The Physical Pile Up
If you live the busy mom life, you know that every day consists of picking up after your kids (or husband). Maybe it’s laundry or toys or dishes, but no one likes a cluttered house. Sometimes, if it gets out of hand, you want to just give up and learn to live with the physical pile up because the thought of cleaning it all seems overwhelming. That’s, of course, never a good solution. The best solution is to be organized and do your best to keep it that way. Staying on top of it, however, can be challenging. So, you find ways to help. You use shelves, buckets, and hampers. You use rules to keep things tidy. Maybe you even take a day to spend on cleaning. Imagine if you could keep your head and heart as neatly tidied using similar tactics? You can if you check your inner house.
The Mental Pile Up
A messy house (outer or inner) means you can’t find things (memory or train of thought) and may not have a good place to put new things (process experiences). That’s frustrating. Every time you experience something, it goes into the vast database of your brain and, often, into your heart. You think and feel and need to process everything. Some things are easy while others, such as trauma or other complex situations, are hard.
You may be tempted to just come home and dump it in a heap, never to address it again. Maybe you say you’ll deal with it later, but when is that anyway? The truth is you need to follow the same rules for your inner house as with your physical living space. Otherwise, just like your physical space becomes overwhelming and less usable, your mental and emotional space can become cluttered, causing stress and undue anxiety.
Your Inner House
In coaching, we have a technique called the House of Visualization from the Co-Active Training Institute. Here’s a peak at what this exercise entails. Imagine you come upon a house labeled, ‘The House of You.’ First, is it locked or open? Is the atmosphere inviting or are you apprehensive? First impressions can be important.
This is your inner house and represents all that you’re storing inside. You see doors in this house, or maybe it’s open for you. There’s a sign that says, ‘Room of Emotions.’ What’s it like in there? Is it tidy and well lit or messy and dark? Can you clearly see what’s inside? Another room might be labeled ‘Room of My Heart’ where courage and action take place. What does this room look and feel like?
If as much attention were given to keeping one’s inner house clean as keeping one’s physical house, perhaps people would be less aggressive or anxious or forgetful. Your physical house is worth keeping clean not just because others might come over and see it, but also because it’s nicer to live that way. So how can you start cleaning up your inner house?
It’s not a matter of whether or not others see it, but rather it’s important because you live in it. You will live better outside if you live better inside. Pay attention to your inner house and go exploring. See what needs cleaning out and what needs organizing. This may take journaling, time for self care, or coaching. It will be a breath of fresh air to know that you’re right inside and out. If you need help, don’t hold back! Coaching, therapy, a friend, call whoever you need and get that inner house to a place you want it to be, a place where you thrive.