Can a mop and a dust cloth bring happiness and luck?
Back in August, I picked up a book written by Mr. Mitsuhiro Masuda (in Japanese) who advocates the power of cleaning and decluttering. He maintains that we can be happier and luckier by cleaning up our place of living. I was a brand-new entrepreneur at that time, meaning my business was starting to attract some clients but not enough to be in full operation, so I had time and was willing to try anything to improve the situation.
Now, I know grabbing a dust cloth and reorganizing the bookshelf is as boring as it gets in personal development. But we intuitively know our environment affects our mood. When we are in a poorly-lit, cluttered room where we can’t find what we need and what we see doesn’t resonate with who we are, we feel messy, sad, frustrated, and out of place. How can we feel bright, efficient, well-organized and be in the natural flow of energy? Clean up!
Many people are big on decorating their place. That is fine. But cleaning needs to happen before decorating. Before creating your new YOU, you need to let go of your old YOU. Physically taking care of your environment by cleaning and decluttering can stimulate letting go of your mental clutter that has been holding you in the old pattern.
The 21 Day Outside In Personal Development Program
The book came with the 21 day action plan. It’s a good plan, but very women-oriented, so I have modified it to be helpful for everyone. You work in one area for three days, totaling seven areas of your place of living.
Before you start, visualize who you want to be. You are going to make your place fit for that person, your future self. In my case, I visualized myself working happily and proudly as spiritual consultant, with many clients who appreciate my service dearly.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Letting the fresh air cleanse and refresh the place
Day 1: Open the windows to change the air.
Day 2: Open the windows first thing in the morning and take a few deep breaths.
Day 3: Open the windows first thing in the morning, take a few deep breaths, and say “Thank you.”
You want to keep the good habit of caring for your personal space. Changing air is the easiest and immediately-effective approach, so you are spending full three days to get this in your behavior system. Keep doing this. Open the windows whenever you feel stuck. And add the positive energy of gratitude.
What is your baggage literally?
Day 4: Take out everything from your wallet and throw away unnecessary items such as old receipts and coupons. Wipe the wallet with soft cloth and put things back with gratitude.
Day 5: Do the same with your purse or bag. Carry only what you need in an organized way.
Day 6: Check the address book in your cell phone or PDA. Delete contacts you do not need.
You are literally taking care of your baggage. Let go of the weight of junks and people who you know only drag you down. By making space for new things and people to come in, you are letting them in.
Bathroom: See yourself as you are to become who you want to be
Day 7: Clean the mirrors in the bathroom.
Day 8: Wipe the lights in the bathroom.
Day 9: Put away the personal care items in the cupboard and clean the vanity.
The bathroom is where you go naked and see exactly who you are, both physically and figuratively. It may be uncomfortable to see yourself clearly as you are, but knowing who you are is the start of becoming who you want to be.
Bedroom: Energize yourself
Day 10: Move as many appliances, furniture and knickknacks out of the bedroom. Vacuum (including the underneath of the bed). Bring in only what is nurturing for your rest and relaxation. Other things such as electric gadgets go to your work area.
Day 11: Go through your wardrobe and throw away clothes that you don’t wear any longer. You can donate them to Good Will if they are still in good condition, so don’t feel bad about this.
Day 12: Wash the bed linen and the clothes.
Comfortable and energetically-clean bedroom is critical to be recharged fully during your sleep. Day 10 takes a lot of moving big items, so get help. Then define your new self by the clothes. This doesn’t have to mean you need to buy new clothes. First, let go of clothes that don’t resonate with who you want to be. They are holding you in your old roles.
Work Area: Make room for the new you
Day 13: Check your bookshelf. Throw out books that you’ve read and don’t expect to read again, books you thought you would read someday but don’t see when that would be, along with old magazines and scraps.
Day 14: Clean up the desk drawers. Keep only what you need in an organized way. Other things can go to storage such as office supply box.
Day 15: Throw away your other “someday” items. This may include exercise kits, hobbies you thought you might try later, anything that you are holding onto just because it was cheap, or expensive, or supposed to be useful but don’t really see how it fits into your life.
That vague “someday” never comes. If you are serious about becoming the person you want to be, you have a plan – the fact that it stays someday means you don’t really need it. Let go of your someday stuffs and make room for the very thing you really want.
Entrance: Clear your door way for better luck
Day 16: Designate area to take off shoes. You don’t want to bring in the dirt, literally and figuratively, from the outside into your personal space.
Day 17: Clean up the door way. The entrance is the first place your visitors see upon coming to your place, so strive to give great first impression. No trash sitting there, please. This also helps you feel better yourself when you come home.
Day 18: Clean your shoes.
The entrance is your interface with the outside world. You have prepared yourself by getting well recharged, letting go of the old, and making room for the new. Now you are ready to receive the good, and the luck comes through the doorway, symbolically and sometimes even literally.
Living and dining area: Receive the goodness with gratitude
Day 19: Clean the dining table. As usual, no unnecessary items – just clean placemats and a flower would do.
Day 20: Clean the windows. (Have you been opening them occasionally?) Let the light in.
Day 21: General clean up. If there are items that seem to be out of place, decide if you need it, and if so, decide where it goes. Each item needs its place. You want your place in the world, too.
Living and dining area is where you eat, relax and enjoy yourself and your loved ones. Are you fully ready to receive the good luck? Make your living room comfortable by first letting go of the mess.
Congratulations, you made it! Your place must be shining, and I’m sure you are feeling so proud. You are also clear in your thinking without all the distractions. You are on your way to be the person you envision.
How it worked for me
In September, my business grew big time and I’ve kept several weeks worth of waiting list since. Do you think this is just coincidence? Maybe. But why don’t you try this program and see for yourself?
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About the writer: Akemi Gaines writes for Yes to Me – Spiritual Healing and Growth for Greater Success. She is a new entrepreneur, serving people who are serious about personal and spiritual growth through her Akashic Record Reading. You can subscribe to her blog here.
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