Having just bought our first home, and having previously lived in an apartment, and thinking that the house had a lot more space than the apartment to keep clean, I suddenly remembered: Clean as you go.
It was the summer of 1987. A 15 year old boy got a job at McDonald’s to join a few of his schoolmates working there and of course earn some money. This wasn’t his first job; he had been working for his father’s roofing company since he graduated 8th grade more than a year earlier.
But one thing he learned during his McDonald’s training was: Clean as you go. His manager explained that if you wait until the store closes to start cleaning, it will be a gargantuan task because of the many small messes that have piled up throughout the day. So the manager instructed him to clean a little bit here and there when he had a couple of free minutes as the workday progressed.
Funny, the young man was a bit surprised that it actually worked. Of course intellectually the strategy make sense, but in practice it makes it SO much easier to clean up and close the kitchen when the store locks its doors at midnight or 1:00AM.
Spiritually speaking, if an individual waits until the end of their life to diminish his or her ego – to clean out (release) all unnecessary stress, worry and attachment, it will be a hell of a task. But if that individual spends a bit of time each day releasing his or her ego-created complexities and impurities, not only will the “clean up” at the end of life be MUCH easier but the quality of life everyday will be greatly enhanced, brightened, and lightened. Then his or her momentum toward spiritual growth (lightness) picks up speed.
Here are some signs that an individual hasn’t spiritually cleaned themselves on a regular basis:
- Feeling overwhelmed with the busyness and craziness of his or her life
- Emotionally disturbed by the drama of others
- Resorting to spiritually toxic habits (alcohol, drugs, etc) to help cope with everything
- Haunted by enormous uncertainty around so many unfinished plans, tasks, and desires
- Anxiety about what the future will bring
Important point: Cleaning yourself regularly doesn’t mean that you won’t experience typical human situations in your life (positive and negative), but it will certainly equip you to handle everything that life throws at you with MUCH more serenity and grace. Try it for yourself and see.
And you probably guessed it – that 15 year old kid working at McDonald’s was me 😉
So back to our new home – I hope my wife and I can figure out a way to clean as we go and not let any untidiness accumulate until we are overwhelmed, avoiding the need to spend an entire weekend cleaning the whole house!
PS- if you’d like me to send you details on a cleaning practice that may work really well for you, contact me here: firstname.lastname@example.org