Cleansing Rituals: Routines for Home, Body & Mind
Cleansing rituals . . . what comes to mind? Clearing negative energy and thoughts? Doing a detox? How about “Spring Cleaning” in your home, going that extra step to clean mattresses, windows, floors, and all the hidden nooks and crannies. Cleaning grime is wonderfully satisfying (when using natural cleaning products, obviously), but reducing the number of items we own, both physically and what we hold onto mentally has real benefits. Purging can feel so good. Out with the old, in with the new, or maybe just finding perfect contentment with less. Marie Kondo, the current master of decluttering, is having quite a moment with her philosophy of encouraging us to let go of anything that does not “spark joy”. There is power in that, definitely. I try to live by the quote from William Morris: “Do not have anything in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
Subconscious awareness of a closet crammed with seldom or never worn garments, that “junk drawer” in the kitchen, or even a computer desktop or inbox that’s been untended and is now overgrown with unfinished tasks, (adding a subtle undercurrent of stress as it nags as a perpetual item on a to-do list), can create a chaotic mind. Do you always feel like you’re forgetting something, or feel like you never have enough time to get things done? I’m guilty of both, and one of the keys to getting on top of that, in addition to embracing minimalism and having a place for everything, is regular cleansing rituals. Let’s break it down.
Cleaning Your Home (so it’s not a chore)
Natural and effective cleaning is so simple, and so enjoyable with just a few tools. I shudder to think of the hundreds of chemicals I used to use in my home for various cleaning purposes. So many bottles, so much money. I hesitated to make my own cleaning products because I’m not much of a crafty, DIY kinda gal, and I also wanted things ultra clean. Plus, I’m not keen on the smell of vinegar and as soon as I would read a natural cleaning recipe calling for vinegar I was done. Off to the store, spending way too much money on fancy “green” cleaning products that really weren’t so green after all. They didn’t work very well and they didn’t smell very good. Sad. But no more! You can get away with cleaning almost your entire home with a bottle of dōTERRA’s On Guard Cleaning Concentrate, a glass spray bottle, and a few essential oils. And of course, the diffuser replaces any scented candles or other unhealthy, unnatural room scents. Although my home smells fresh and amazing, I would still consider it “fragrance” free. Then there are the added health benefits and mood boosting benefits of diffusing essential oils. Oh happy home! If you want a free comprehensive guide to cleaning your entire home, room by room, with lots of DIY recipes to take things further, just send me a message.
I start each day by setting up my diffusers and find that to be a beautiful way to design the way the morning will feel. Using my all-purpose spray cleaner (which I also customize with essential oils) is an addictive activity, and not a chore in the least. It smells soooo good. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Self Care: Outer & Inner Wellness
Have you ever felt that taking time to care for yourself is selfish? I think this is thankfully starting to feel like an outdated notion as awareness of the importance of caring for our own self before others (“put your own oxygen mask on first”, you know the drill) is simply understood now so much better. I recently heard someone say on a podcast that the best gift we can give our children is our own happiness. So true! Contrast that with a previous generation or two when parents “made sacrifices” for their children’s happiness, all the while creating the exact opposite. Did you ever feel good when someone else felt bad? Not likely. (Unless you are evil, haha). So whether you want to be a better parent, spouse, friend, or just a kinder, happier fellow human to the others, taking care of yourself first is absolutely critical . . . and such a pleasure.
Here is where the cleansing rituals come into play. There is a deeper and more beneficial experience of taking that bath (for example) or eating that delicious, healthy salad, if we prepare and cleanse our bodies (outer/inner) first. It’s all about preparation. Here are some ways to do that:
Transformative Body Cleansing:
Before taking a bath or shower, try dry brushing. This stimulates the flow and drainage of lymph while it helps slough off dead skin cells and detoxify the body by encouraging blood flow through to the skin. Work from your feet up, in long strokes, always brushing toward your heart. It’s incredibly energizing and feels amazing.
Another way to cleanse pre-bath or shower is to have a good sweat and release toxins that way. Vigorous exercise, a sauna or a hot yoga class—all excellent ways to clear your pores, while boosting your serotonin levels and releasing endorphins. Oh yeah!
Now you’re ready for your bath upgrade. One way is to add epsom salts and essential oils to your bath. The epsom salts draw toxins out of your body while the magnesium absorbs into your skin. This is deeply relaxing and the epsom salts serve to prevent the essential oils from sitting on the surface of the water where they may cause skin irritation. Add some baking soda as well to help soften skin and make the whole concoction mix well together. Ratios are not exact and up to personal preference. As a general guideline you could use 1 cup epsom salt, 1/2 cup baking soda and 5 - 10 drops of pure essential oils of your choice. Adding up to 1/2 cup sea salt is an optional addition. Enjoy!
Transformative Internal Cleansing
Leaky gut, SIBO, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, allergies, inflammation, toxins in our liver . . . have we ever been so aware of what is going on inside our bodies? Nutrition and supplementation are huge topics, so I’ll just share some things that worked for me. Every person is different, but we can all benefit from an occasional cleansing or detoxifying program, and eating the cleanest, healthiest whole foods we can. If you have gut health issues (most of us do to some extent) you will get a far better result from doing a proper cleanse and then adding probiotics and healthy foods as opposed to just adding the good without clearing out the bad first.
I have done a few different cleanse programs and have never had results like I have with dōTERRA’s Cleanse & Restore kit. Highly worth the investment and commitment to simply take the specialized supplements for 30 days (3 phases of 10 days each). It clears all the gunk and biofilm from your body and then rebuilds a healthy gut biome for you. There are no strict rules or dietary restrictions, you just eat as healthily as you can, eliminate foods that you think might be problematic for you, and drink a lot of water. So easy and so worth it. You also get a month’s supply of the Lifelong Vitality Supplements. These are my daily non-negotiable health habit that ensures I have all the vitamins, minerals, Omega oils, antioxidants and nutritive components for me to look and feel my best from my brain to my toes.
I’m not a registered nutritionist so I won’t preach about a healthy diet, but encourage you to ADD more healthy food, rather than trying to reduce unhealthy food at first. It’s so much easier this way as the healthy food simply replaces less healthy choices and there is no feeling of deprivation. When in doubt, eat more plants. And if you’re trying to reduce sugar, let yourself eat dried fruit for goodness sake. It’s a good transition crutch to have on hand. Medjool dates, I love you.
Cleansing Your Mind: Releasing and Receiving
Ohmmmmm . . . we’ve reached the final level. Clean home, clean body (outer + inner), and now we reach the mind. I’m going to make a suggestion for those who are dealing with a high level of stress, or trauma: start here. Only once you’ve achieved a baseline level of peace can you address issues of your diet, exercise, or even keeping a clean home. If any of those factors seem out of your control, you need to start with your mind. Care for it, be kind to it, and give it a good, deep and thorough cleansing. Let’s begin.
Know that you can handle ANY emotion. Anything from your past exists now just as a thought. It’s up to you how you frame it. Be curious about how it feels in your body, what other thoughts it leads to. If you don’t like the way it feels you can choose to let it go or put a positive spin on it somehow. There’s always something that could be worse. Offer full love for what it has taught you and simply release it. Fill any pain with pure love. Be kind to yourself for any perceived shortcomings or flaws. Love yourself deeply, with kindness and empathy and an energy greater than this world. Visualizing a white light radiating from your heart works nicely.
Breathe. Now breathe deeper, longer. Stretch. Now stretch deeper, longer. Move around, shake it off and then clear your mind. Once you are still, with a straight spine, ask a question from the benevolent forces outside of you. What do I need to know now? How can I serve? What’s my next move? See what thoughts come through you. Fill yourself with admiration of the beauty of everything and everyone that exists. Let gratitude give you a buzz, right through all your cells. And smile.
Cleansing is an ongoing process, part of our daily and weekly routine. As part of nature, we too have cycles. Our skin, our cells, our hair, it all continues to replace itself and renew. We excrete, expel, let go of what no longer serves us in simple and profound ways. In doing so we choose what we allow back in to our clean homes, bodies and minds. Let it be positive, and beautiful, and with purpose. Every day is another chance to reset.