A prerequisite to happiness.

happinessA clean, tidy home in good repair is not a guarantee of happiness, but it is a pre-requisite. Think about it. You can find unhappy people in beautiful homes without looking very far, but rarely will you find a truly happy person in a messy, dirty, cluttered home. Everything is energy – and mess, dirt and clutter are not an energetic match to self-kindness and happiness. Mess, dirt and clutter wear you down whether you notice (or even care) or not.

If you are like most people, you are probably relatively unaware of the degree of change that would benefit you at home, even if you think you know what needs to be done. Unless you are uniquely and acutely conscious of energy and your surroundings, I guarantee that the level of mess, dirt, clutter, or “stuckness” in your home doesn’t register fully in your awareness. And that’s a good thing, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. You need to feel hopeful, even excited, to make changes at home, so it’s best to take things one step at a time.

Once you take the first step, even if it’s just cleaning out one drawer or putting in a brighter light bulb, you will feel the difference for yourself and understand what I am talking about. You will start to feel energized and want to keep going.  It’s a wonderful feeling to notice the feel of your home shifting. You feel lighter, freer – and happier. Not only does your home feel and look better, but the process helps you to see how much influence you have on your own life experience (lots!). Things that you thought were beyond your ability or resources suddenly feel do-able.

I am not talking about having a “showcase” home or even about material wealth – your home can be very simple, even temporary. What I am talking about is creating a home environment, whatever it is, that actively supports you in living a life that you love, with ease. It’s all about life feeling right and good – and feeling good about you.

I speak from experience. After years of deep inner work and personal challenges, it seems almost magically, I have a happy, comfortable and (depending on the day!) relatively clean and organized home for which I am deeply and actively grateful each and every day. Even so,  I have discovered it takes very little to throw things off balance. That’s why I take action at home every single day – not because I am obsessive (I am so not) – but because I have trained myself to notice what things feel like if I don’t. I can no longer tolerate mess in my home – it feels awful to me. Cleaning, tidying, organizing, and improving aesthetic details at home have become as natural and necessary for me as breathing. And I am much happier for it.

If you feel that true happiness is eluding you, take a deep breath, smile, put your shoulders back, and clean out a closet. Shred some memorabilia. Throw out some dishes that are cracked or chipped. Open your curtains. Wash your windows. Do your laundry. Carry some things you no longer want to the curb. Make your bed. Re-organize your pantry. Pick stuff up off the floors. Chuck old financial files you no longer need to keep. Clean behind your stove. And notice how it feels.

I will bet that if you do a little bit every day, with faith, hope and gratitude in your heart, before long your life will start to feel lighter and brighter!

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