In our last issue, we talked about integrity as a way to live the good life. By good, I mean that good things seem to come to us to the degree we operate from “wholeness”. This week we widen the scope of what integrity can mean in our lives through cleanliness.
Experience: Integrity as Cleanliness.
I’m not necessarily the neatest, most organized person but I’m not a total slob either. There are times when I really let things go around my home, office, clothing, etc. Then there are times when something inside me says “enough!” I can’t move! Now I’m not saying that sometimes during a creative streak that things don’t get messy. We sometimes need to allow messiness and less structure when we’re creating. It’s just that after the creative storm, we can regain inner clarity and energy by clearing the decks.
When you de-clutter and clean your environment you set yourself up for greater functionality. You know where to find things, simplify your process steps, and make things more appealing to the senses. This way in the midst of busy lives, back to back schedules, or unexpected crisis, you can be more resilient and responsive. Function allows for the complexity of ever-changing conditions.
Practice: Lightening the Load
Here are a couple of ways to lighten the load and create integrity around cleanliness:
- Purge and clean: Get rid of the unnecessary materials on your desk and around the house, dust-up, clean up, and organize. Afterward, you’ll feel so much better and things will seem so much clearer. Take time to do this once a day, once a week, or as you go. The main thing is to invest in purging and cleaning.
- A Baseline of structure: Branford Marsalis once said ‘There’s only freedom in structure, my man. There’s no freedom in freedom.’ A certain baseline of cleanliness and structure offers a feel of integrity, wholeness, spaciousness, and positive energy. You can have this too when you allow ease of use and finding structure in what’s around you.