There are few more satisfying rites of spring than the annual spring-cleaning of our homes. For many of us in Vermont, spring means scouring our front entry room of salt tracked in and the mud from the inevitable mud season. Clearing out snow boots, mittens, and warm winter hats is also in order. We scrub the windows; we change out heavy winter blankets for warmer weather covers, and dust our surroundings from top to bottom.
For many people, however, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished. Paula Simons of Finely Organized, a professional organizer offers us that “The new beginnings of spring always seem to energize many people with the inspiration to reassess, among many things, their personal belongings. Spring-cleaning is a wonderful opportunity to clear out and donate the items you no longer use, need, or want, and to take charge of your space. The act of de-cluttering and organizing your stuff frees up your mind to think about the things that are really important to you.”
So what if we took the time this spring to not only clean out our physical spaces, but also the other parts of our life creating clutter? What if you took the notion of spring-cleaning to clean out the clutter in our minds, or our finances, or our personal network? Spring is a great time to remove the tolerations in our environments that keep us weighed down, or worse, keep us from growing!
So this notion of cleaning your other environments is based on the idea that there are 9 environments that surround us. Most of us know about the physical environment – where we live, where we work, but there are 8 other environments that support us (or derail us). The 9 environments include the physical environment, the financial environment, the memetic environment (your thoughts), the network environment, the relationship environmental (AKA…your inner circle), the self-environment, the spiritual environment, nature environment, and the body environment. Our environment always wins. We have the choice to have our environments support us, removing obstacles or draining factors that ensure failure. Or we can choose to ignore the obstacles and have them work against our dreams and us. In fact, by creating a supportive environment, our environment does most of the heavy “lifting” allowing us to reduce our energy output and save it for celebrating our success.
Sheer will, determination and stubbornness have a finite tank. Eventually, we will run out of will-power fuel. If our environments create obstacles, our determination and will power are spent fighting the challenges and we lose energy…fast. If however, the environment is designed to support us, we have to use much less willpower fuel (if any) and we flow through the change feeling supported and successful. With designed environments will power and commitment become optional.
So what happens when our thought environment (memetic) or our financial environment are cluttered? What happens when they have the proverbial “mud” stuck to them? They drain us of our energy and drag us into summer. They way heavy on our minds and keep us from being able to move forward. Or grow, which is the purpose of spring, right?
Imagine if your mind is full of “should” (I should do this, I should do that, I shouldn’t do this, I shouldn’t do that”)? Your mind is cluttered with one of the worst draining thoughts you could have and it keeps you from being able to move forward. What would happen if instead you took a little Windex (or in this case, positive mantras) to those mind cluttering negative thoughts and said instead “I am able to do this, I am able to do that, I am capable of this, I am capable of that, I believe I am this, I believe I am that.) That is a much different kind of conversation to have with ourselves. And since we are what we think, we are changing our belief pattern to what we CAN do, not what we can’t.
Ok, so let’s look at our financial environment (I literally just heard you groan). Most folks do not have a strong financial environment. And by strong I do not mean a LARGE financial environment meaning having copious amounts of money. Instead I mean that you feel you have a handle on your finances, understand them, value them and feel good about money in general (even if there is very little in your bank account). If our belief pattern around money is that “money is bad, money is scary, money is confusing”…guess what? If we are what we believe, than in this case, money will fight us every step of the way. Our bad relationships with money will haunt us even when we have money. For example, we have all heard of lottery winners who win millions of dollars only to be broke in less than 5 years. What happens? They have a poor financial environment. They might not value money or they may fear money. So money is poorly managed and handled. So have the courage to be rich – at least in the sense of valuing money. One step towards creating a strong financial environment is to clean out our wallets or purses of those receipts littered everywhere that might help us with tax deductions or at least with keep track of where our money is going and file them. Then arrange the money in the wallet to face the same direction. Treat it with respect and you will take the first step towards building a strong financial environment.
These are two examples of de-cluttering the tolerations in our environments that keep us from success. So why not “throw out” those things that have been weighing you down this winter and make room for growth? Try Comet on your kitchen sink and try zapping some tolerations in your other environments. And just like spring-cleaning, it will feel so good when it is done!
For more information on Environmental Design, please contact Amy Magyar, Performance Coach and Owner of FromWithin Coaching where she can help you put on those rubber gloves and help you get “Cleaning”!