Cleanse Restore Protect
This mantra could really be applied to every part of our lives. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase “Cleanse, Restore, Protect”?
Your City or Town
From small personal actions to all-encompassing global issues, this phrase, Cleanse, Restore, Protect perhaps inspires us to make a change, to start something new or maybe to end something and begin again.
We don’t always have to look at hardships as a bad thing, if you look close enough there is almost always something good that comes from something bad. If nothing else it gives us the knowledge that we can survive.
Small changes, big changes, they all feed what is most important, Your Spirit.
Not the religious kind, although I’m sure that’s part of it for some of us, I mean the life force within each of us, the being inside that acts and reacts. What can we do to make that being feel joy? What can we do to wake up every day with a smile?
Of course, it won’t happen all at once, or all of a sudden, but by making small changes, one at a time, over a period of time you will begin to see those seeds of change turn into a feeling of, dare I say it, HAPPINESS!
Ahh, happiness. Is it really that elusive? Or are we our own worst enemy? I have found that the absolute hardest thing to do in this life is to live in the present.
PRESENT – the period of time now occurring; existing or occurring now.
Now, not yesterday, not tomorrow, not 6 months from now, not 5 years from now, NOW, today, this day, all day. Maybe even just a moment of today.
There was that time in my life where everything my husband and I had worked for was upon us. The two younger boys were in university and had plans for their futures and we had grandchildren by our oldest. We had sold our business and we’re looking forward to our retirement of travel and grandbabies. Everything seemed so perfect.
Then a hurricane hit us, he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and the next 7 months we were engulfed in the medical nightmare of trying to beat it. We lost.
My world stopped, all the promises of the future stopped. The proverbial rug was pulled out from underneath my feet. I was introduced to the reality of living one day at a time. I couldn’t think beyond that, couldn’t feel beyond that. I could only deal with getting through the day in front of me.
Places, people, things….. all contribute to feeling you ‘have something’, ‘did something’ but when the world stops you ask yourself what is important to you. What makes you get up every day, what makes you smile, what gives you joy, what gives you peace with yourself?
When I think back over the years we spent being so busy with work and with the kids, I ask myself how many times did I feel that elusive ‘happiness’, that feeling of ‘joy’. Don’t mistake we had FUN, in capital letters, we travelled with and without the kids, explored lots of places in the world. We met so many interesting people, had amazing conversations, built lasting friendships. We laughed, we danced, we cried….we lived a great life. We were busy!
But I can say that we RAN through all of those experiences, and I know that there were a lot of moments of joy, but I didn’t always take the time to acknowledge them.
I am thankful for the photos I have to keep those moments alive for me, to remember the places I have been, the people I have worked and lived with along the way. Family and friends that have come and gone, and those that are still here. Those photos remind me to take the time to BE in the moment as it happens. To take the extra time and be grateful, to feel the joy no matter how fleeting. THAT is what feeds your spirit. THAT is what keeps you going. THAT is what gives you joy. THAT is living in the present.
When disaster strikes, we rebuild. One day at a time. The world starts moving again and we begin the process….. Cleanse, Restore, Protect.
Cleanse yourself of the clutter in your life.
The closets, the yard, the garage, old habits and yes even some of the people, all become anchors that drag us down.
Baby steps. Start with your surroundings. What things can you sell or donate? Things you no longer use and serve no purpose. How many closets are holding things from years past? Do one closet at a time to not get overwhelmed. For the special memory items make a memory box, the first piece of jewelry from your sweetheart, a photo of you and your friend, the mug your child made you, even a concert shirt or school hoodie. Do the cleanout in 3 piles: keep, maybe and let it go. Put the boxes of maybe and let it go into the garage or basement, out of sight until you are ready to take it to the donation place. Then do it again and again over the next few weekends until you are left with the things you LOVE. Creating space allows us to breathe.
Restore yourself physically and mentally.
Walk more, drink more water, eat better, meditate, so much to do and SO MANY things to start can give us a sense of overwhelming. Remember, one thing at a time!
Baby steps. Start by drinking water every day, water flushes out toxins and hydrates your body to move better. Use a water bottle that tracks how much you drink. Do it until it’s a habit before moving onto the next thing. Walking 20 minutes a day gives you amazing mood-lifting benefits. If you can get outside that’s the best with or without headphones. Use a treadmill on bad weather days, or go to an indoor mall and walk while window shopping, it’s good entertainment to pass the time. Just remember you’re there to WALK not spend money. Even if it’s only 3 times a week it will give you an energy boost and over time the bonus of firming up your body and possibly losing inches.
To bring balance to all things we have to do the maintenance required to keep ourselves in the sweet spot. Think of your body as a car for your Self. To keep both running and in good shape, for a long time, we have to replace fluids, use good fuel, wash off the accumulation of grime, reset and update the onboard computers and take it out for a spin now and then! Make sure you allow yourself the quiet time to really think about where you are and where you want to be. I’m not talking big goals here, just waking up every day and feeling good about YOU.
Personal boundaries are so important and so easy to let go of. The hardest work you will do is standing up for yourself in a way that is not hostile or argumentative or antagonistic. Tall order I know. With every conversation just ask yourself what you want the result to be, and be prepared to accept it. Every relationship, family or friends or significant other, is a study in compromise, that’s normal. What’s not is feeling compromised, or not feeling heard. If you can talk about problems from a place of compassion it will make it easier for you to see the other side of things, to allow for compromise and healing.
Baby steps. When you schedule your annual physical, your dentist visit and your eye exam, make sure to schedule a mental health checkup as well. Our world is bigger, faster and crazier than ever before, doctors guide us through all sorts of physical issues and mental health is no different. Mental health is not something to be swept under the rug, there is no longer a stigma attached to needing a reset.
Make no mistake that there are situations that are inherently dangerous to us, we find ourselves in a place where it seems there is no way out and you are not safe. That’s not what I am speaking to here and in those cases, I can only suggest that there are professionals that you can and must reach out to for help.