With summer neatly tucked away, fall seems to have marched in, almost hurriedly! I remember when summer break was kicking in, we were all unsure of how two and half months of staying at home would pan out. In hindsight, this summer was spent rather meaningfully, mostly outdoors. We enjoyed family time while discovering many beautiful trails, biking in lush green Pocono mountains, were struck by the beauty of rising sun by the ocean, and most of all, we were grateful for the simple pleasures of life, in a year ravaged by the pandemic.
However, with winter soon closing in, many of us might spend time largely at home, indoors. Fall cleanup is usually associated with outdoor maintenance activities like raking fallen leaves, trimming, pruning, fertilizing your lawn etc., basically to protect the landscape during winter and ensure healthy spring vegetation. Similarly, as we prepare for a long winter, a few simple strategies in fall might ease us into winter, as we await the arrival of spring! To start with, a well-organized, neat home can inspire joy, diminish winter blues and stimulate creativity!
My September started with the idea of painting my son's room to a fresh blue along with arranging his bookshelf and closet, essentially in preparation for his virtual school year. Infact, his newly painted room galvanized my fall cleanup project! Encouraged by his acknowledgment of saving time and planning better by having an organized, tidy room, I went about decluttering all closets in my home, trimming wardrobes and kitchenware. I weaned myself from hoarding things that would be useful 'someday' in the future. My donation piles grew larger. My home felt open and airy.
Saucha, meaning cleanliness in Sanskrit, is an important concept in Yoga philosophy and relevant in everyday life. Saucha must be practiced before we step on the yoga mat. Saucha of the physical surroundings, body and mind, contributes to a successful yoga asana and pranayama practice. A clean space allows us to stay safe as we move and helps us draw our attention inwards. Cleanliness of the body ensures that we feel light and agile as we move and are fully awake in our practice. Finally, saucha of mind is crucial in staying present and moving with awareness. Negative thoughts or a disturbed mindset can derail our practice and can lead to poor mental and physical health.
So how does saucha help us in our daily life? All aspects of saucha can be extrapolated into our regular lives. Messiness can be exhausting!
1) A well-organized home segues into a well-organized life. Saucha at a physical level demonstrates that an orderly home creates harmony, brings mental clarity and enhances focus. We are able to plan better, accomplish tasks and seem to be in control of our lives. At an emotional level, decluttering teaches us to let-go of belongings that we might have been clinging on to. As space in our home frees up, so does our mind!
2) Personal hygiene is important in maintaining good health and reinforces self-care, thereby promoting saucha of the body. A clean body stimulates/energizes the mind!
3) A clean mind boosts positive thinking and inspires creativity! We learn to detach ourselves from hatred, pessimism and gloom. Instead, we fill our hearts & minds with gratitude, forgiveness and appreciation for life. However, this requires constant self-reflection and consistent practice! In the words of Marie Kondo, 'discard everything that does not spark joy.'
So, are you ready for Fall Cleanup?
“Outer order contributes to inner calm.” —Gretchen Rubin
Author : Deepti Gupta
All of us have a story to tell. Turning ideas into words and life's experiences into stories is empowering and fulfilling.