The home I live in is three stories tall and was built in 1894. In my eyes, it’s a grand place with original hard wood floors and woodwork. Just the other day, I decided that I would take the time to clean the third floor. So I mounted the stairs with my dust cloth, broom, glass cleaner, paper towels and a determination to get rid of all that had collected in the corners, on the bookshelves and on the mirrors. Most of January had been brutally cold, but on this day the temperature had soared to 25 degrees! So, I decided that I would even open a window to bring in some fresh, clean air.
I removed everything from the tops of the dresser and chest of drawers, and with my dust cloth I joyfully wiped away a thin layer of dust that had collected. I cleaned each piece of “stuff” that was on the surface of these two pieces of furniture and edited as I created a new display, arranging the items in a way that allowed me see each piece anew.
Next, I ventured to the bookshelves which span the length of the room! Each shelf holds a collection of framed pictures, photo albums, books and what my dad would call “nick-knack-paddywacks.” The shelves are broken up into five sections, so I began on the right side and worked my way across. Once again, I removed everything from each shelf, then using my dust cloth, I cleaned each shelf. As I began to replace the items after cleaning, I found myself really looking at the pictures, books and other treasures. Everything on these shelves had a story, not just of our years together, but stories of our parents, our siblings … our entire families. As I started to place the items back on the shelves, I decided that I would take the time to not only change the placement of the special keepsakes but to also change the frames that the pictures were displayed in. Each story was retold as I wiped away the fingerprints from the glass and placed a picture into the frame. I smiled, laughed and even experienced a tear or two as the images took me back to days gone by. What a joy!
Two hours later when I reached the left end of the bookshelves, I realized that I had taken a fantastic journey. As I scanned the clean shelves, I saw shining, smiling faces looking back at me! By giving the shelves a little attention, I transformed everything on them into something new and eye-catching. It was as if I redecorated the entire room. Love emanated from me towards each image and then was reflected back to me. When I finished, I must have sat in front of the shelves for another half hour. From the staircase I heard, “Hey Steve, did you fall asleep?” “No,” I replied, “I’m just getting rid of a little dust.” I smiled, picked up the broom, swept the floor, shook the area rug out the open window (then closed it!), emptied the trash can and changed the bed clothes.
Surveying the room right before I descended the stairs, I smiled once again – who’d a thought that by getting rid of a little dust one could bring so much love and positive energy into a room.
Later that evening, I learned that the next day was the New Moon in Aquarius (Jan. 30, 2014). This New Moon is also called a Super Moon because it was the second New Moon in the month of January. This Aquarian Moon represented freedom and liberation. Here, the Sun and Moon (which were both in Aquarius) offer us a fresh outlook on life, empowering us to move in a bold direction! Every New Moon is a new beginning – it can be looked at as the seed which has just been planted deep in the soil. There is only darkness but the seed possesses a yearning to move and grow, so it starts its journey towards the light.
I reflected on my afternoon cleaning spree and the idea of this bold new moon. How perfect it was that I had taken the time to get rid of dust and fingerprints from oh so many familiar things to make room for a new vision to come into my life.
You too can do this! You can bring this newness into your life every day. You don’t have to tackle a full wall of pictures and photo albums, as I did; you can begin with just a desk or table top. Begin by clearing the space – as a friend of mine once said, “You’ve gotta make a mess before you can really clean.” Now, get out your dust cloth and clean the surface. Make your efforts sacred – set an intention if you like … something like, “I open myself up to all possibilities”, or “I am clearing this space to bring in something fresh and new into my life.” Now, let each item tell you a story as you clean it – spend some time with each one! Then as you begin to place the items back, first make sure that you still want or need to have that particular item out on display. Remember, you don’t have to throw away anything – this is an exercise in seeing your world in a new way. Now, take that picture of Mom out of that gold frame and place her in the silver frame that had a picture of you at a summer picnic three years ago. Take that picture and place it in another frame and so on, until you have it all back in its NEW space.
Time speeds by us. By changing up small things in our lives and making them new, we begin to notice them once again. This Newness demands our attention and in this noticing, we slow down.