By Velma Forde
Let’s face it…we all take that deep dive into transforming the dirty, residential abyss! Spring cleaning is an age-old custom.
No, this is not just a “tidy-up” for weekend guests; not a “spruce up” for the backyard BBQ or “light dusting” for the family dinner. Nope, this is a “roll-up-the-sleeves, pull-on-the-coveralls, get-out-the-mop-and-bucket, glass cleaner, furniture polish, laundry detergent, bleach, dish soap, lawnmower, garbage bins, and dust rags affair.” You name it, you dig it out! Why? Because everything needs to be spic and span! (Though no real person has even a vague idea of what “spic” is, let alone “span.”)
At any rate, there is another higher level of cleanliness that goes far beyond the surface into the spiritual realm. Yes, the spiritual realm. How so? Well, it seems that “cleanliness is next to godliness” is a well-worn phrase that has arguably stood the test of time. Surprisingly, the origin of the phrase (or more accurately, the proverb) is not biblical. The proverb expresses the idea that those who are pure and wholesome are close to God. This, of course, suggests that being clean is a sign of spiritual purity or goodness. I would like to take it a step further and quote Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
There is yet another cleaning that aligns our physical bodies with food. Eating mindfully has been shown to promote proper digestion and reduce unhealthy eating habits. Different foods and food groups have unique properties that ward off illness and disease. Several power foods (oatmeal, raisins, and cauliflower) have direct correlations with the heart, digestive system, and brain (development and maintenance).
Oatmeal, for example, is a natural “scrub brush” for the heart; raisins (and prunes) act as a natural detox for the digestive system.
Cauliflower serves as “brain food” stimulating electrolytes and cells that operate the higher cognitive functions. The same can be said for seeds, nuts, grains and some herbs. All do their fair share to cleanse the physical realm. The same can be said for seeds, nuts, grains and some herbs. All do their fair share to cleanse the physical realm.
So far 2020 and 2021 have not done us many favors. Some of us may still feel the weight of winter and wanting to shed excess baggage, whatever that may be. Nonetheless, we all have much to be proud of, working and living under difficult circumstances yet remaining productive and optimistic. Look how we have integrated and embarked upon a new working structure. It is a challenge under normal circumstances, but to do so almost entirely through virtual settings is inspiring! What a lovely sight to see people taking care of one other and chipping in when and where needed. Lastly, the agility, creativity and collaboration to manage through such a strange year has been impressive. We have likely spent more time with our immediate families than ever before, but less with our extended families. Prayer, empathy, and loyalty have gotten us through the worst and best of times. Despite an inability for us to gather as we normally would, I am constantly observing many examples of dedication and growing trust that make me so proud. I have every reason to be hopeful that we will become even stronger and more impactful for the remainder of 2021 and beyond; during which we will need to pivot again to embrace whatever the new normal becomes.
Ultimately it can be said that Spring Cleaning in its traditional, conventional way, is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It can also be applied, creatively speaking, in broader areas of life including the spiritual and physical body realms. While adhering to the principles of good health (which can be quite lofty at times), one can elevate to a healthier you!
Be blessed and be a blessing!