Cleaning up old ways of thinking can increase better happiness, reduce stress, and give us those all-around good feelings we crave.
How do we do it? Easy, Emotional House Cleaning will start you on the path to better happiness. During the last year, we’ve been finding new ways to move forward in life, even in the worst times. Each time we thought we were clear – boom, something else popped up. Finding deeper happiness will be more important than ever as we move into a more free existence.
Additionally, as we focus on the sunny skies in our future, we know gratitude will help us move ahead. It’s important to reflect on the good things we’ve accomplished in our everyday lives. There is certainly room to reflect on the obstacles put in front of us this past year, and boy, was it crazy! But even more important is beginning a new plan on how we can move forward. Let’s call it Emotional House Cleaning. Our job is to figure out what needs to go and what needs to stay.
Reflect, Rest…Rewrite your story
To begin the cleaning process, find a quiet place, listen to birds chirping, or put on a relaxing playlist like ocean waves. Allow yourself the space to daydream, drifting in and out of relaxation and reflection. Think of this as a bit of procrastination time before the work begins. Find a place of calm to ground before we actually start cleaning out the closet of emotional junk.
If it’s helpful, connect to an idea of the Peaceful Warrior, unshakable against all odds, obstacles, and annoyances, yet perfectly calm and peaceful.
If you find your mind wandering and becoming anxious and concerned about what the future holds, conscientiously shift your mindset. Find a joyful memory, possibly a beautiful place you visited back when we could travel. Think about puppies or smiling faces, or soaking in a bathtub – connect to whatever wells up happiness and ease in your body. There are many ways we can touch into happiness. The process of expanding happiness is one of the first steps in cleaning out our emotional house.
Finding quiet makes it’s easier to make friends with ourselves to clean out unwanted emotions
In those quiet times, we begin to see reoccurring thought patterns that keep coming up again and again. It’s only in those quiet moments where we can hear our inner voice and become aware of the constant chatter in our minds. Oftentimes it is called Monkey Mind.
It is said that you can not experience good without bad, warmth without cold, happiness without some sadness. It can be hard facing old ways of thinking and identities we hold onto that no longer serve us, but one way we can move forward. What is keeping you stuck? Where do you need to apply Emotional House Cleaning?
Permission granted to release that which is not serving you…time to clean house
Take a bit of time to reflect. Let’s face it, many of us are attached to the past; our memories and our habits give comfort. It’s difficult moving into unknown territory, changing how we identify ourselves.
Somewhere within those uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and emotions are clues. Dust Bunnies, if you will. We can use those clues to shift forward. Possibly something shifts inside us – or we simply make the conscious decision not to go down those old roads that take us to the same destination over and over again. Releasing these old behaviors, limiting beliefs, and identifications helps us to see new possibilities manifest in ourselves.
Honor all the goodness inside of you
The first step is to honor the good things you’ve done for yourself and for others. By tapping into that feel-good vibration, we can lift ourselves up and accomplish many things. Remember, we are vibrational beings; good feelings keep us lifted.
Name one good thing you did for someone recently. What character strengths did you exhibit? Possibly Kindness, Generosity, Positivity, Cheerfulness, or Patience. I want you to think about that good experience for a few minutes really savor it. Tap into the sights, the sounds, the people who were there, and all the good feelings that arose.
Now let’s look forward.
Your inner being is calling you to clean house
Assign a number of importance for what you need to work on:
(1 is the least – 10 is the most needed focus or change) Start each item with the words, “I need to…”
____ Reset my go-to emotional response if it’s not serving me well
____ Clear out emotional baggage by identifying what or who that might be
____ Listen better to my intuition – what is calling to me
____ Let go of this past year and the inconvenience and sadness it stirred
____ Be aware of any imbalanced relationships causing me disharmony
____ Set a long-term goal to achieve before next summer
____ Invest in self-care: Meditate More, or Exercise Regularly
____ Schedule time to be social even if it is distanced
____ Get better Sleep or Relax more without distraction, ie: no TV / Social
____ Plan meals better so I’m healthier
Circle your 3 highest ranked selections
Emotional House Cleaning:101
Journal Prompt: Choose a long-term goal you’ve had in mind but haven’t had the time, money, or the inclination to commit time to achieve but really want to do it. Take your top-ranked “I need to..” list and expand on why.
Increase Happiness in your life by choosing to do one of these options:
- Write letters and mail them telling your loved ones telling them why they are important to you.
- Volunteer: Help someone or do something like cleaning up the environment. Get active to raise your personal happiness scale.
- Donate to a good cause: Foodbank, Meals on Wheels, Social Equality, or Literacy Programs. Or better yet, give your time to help.
Finally, be aware of your emotions – Label them when you can. According to Abraham Hicks, emotions are at the core of feeling good, and feeling good is at the core of getting what we want. The closer we are to the emotions at the top of the list, the easier life becomes.
The Abraham-Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale:
Joy / Appreciation / Empowerment / Freedom / Love
Enthusiasm / Eagerness / Happiness
Positive Expectation / Belief
Frustration / Irritation / Impatience
Overwhelm (feeling overwhelmed)
Insecurity / Guilt / Unworthiness
Fear / Grief / Desperation / Despair/ Powerlessness
Out with the old and in with the new
Now that you’ve done a little Emotional House Cleaning inventory, it’s time to put a plan into action. Write your plan down; what do you wish for? Tell your friends about your plan. Figure out all the good things that will happen if you make some needed changes. Figure out what obstacles will get in your way and plan how to deal with those obstacles.
Take about 10 minutes to journal after your practice, then take a look at what came up. Where your thoughts scattered or very focused? Did you notice any repeating thoughts? Was there a mental movie playing in your head with a lead character? Contemplate what this could mean for you? Then let it go! Allow yourself some space to develop peace in your practice. You may even consider learning a new mudra.
For many of us, finding comfort in meditation will not happen overnight — and can even be slightly annoying as we acclimate ourselves to the idea of just sitting. But remember, this is a lifelong journey. It’s ok to stop and start on the path to inner knowledge. A shift will occur, but it takes finding your cushion again and again. Mindfulness is a gift that keeps giving. Simply give it time.
Let us know in the comments – what you’ll be working on this year? Did you do anything to increase happiness? How did you like the Emotional Scale? Does the idea of Emotional House Cleaning resonate with you? If you have a story idea, we would love to hear from you!