Massage and Bodywork Magazine for the Visually Impaired - Clean Space = Clean Spirit = Good Business

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September/October 2014 Issue

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Clean Space = Clean Spirit = Good Business

By Jennie Hastings Stancu
[Savvy Self-Care]

Cleaning and organizing your work space is not only good for business, it’s good for your spirit, too. By tending to this area regularly, you reflect a sense of excellence that won’t go unnoticed by your clients.
When a client walks into my massage space, I hope she will notice the care with which it was created and is maintained. I try to eliminate as much clutter as possible and keep dust at bay. I always notice what state a massage room is in. I have one colleague who keeps an immaculate office—I mean immaculate! I would eat off her bathroom floor. When I am there, I always notice how this care she takes with her space filters into her therapeutic presence.
I also notice when I go into a massage room and there is a big pile of wrinkled, unfolded linens lying in the corner. I know life sometimes gets in the way of folding the laundry, but at least hide that pile behind a screen.

Make It Fun
Instead of looking at cleaning as a chore, think of it as a spiritual practice. A wise woman once told me to splurge on good sponges and nice dish towels and to buy my favorite dish soap. Enjoying the tools makes any chore a more inviting experience.
I would say this applies to all the tools of cleaning and organization. I used to find it hard to spend money on these things since I found them to be boring. Now, I realize that since cleaning and organization are parts of my life that never go away, I may as well try to have some fun with them.

Dust Bunnies Be Gone!
A fresh, clean home and office are healthy for the spirit because sweeping out dust bunnies and washing away grime in our physical world makes our internal world that much more comfortable. It is so much easier to take a deep breath, stretch out on the floor, and sit in meditation in a clean room. I have done many a Sun Salutation with my nose to crumbs on the floor, and I am always amazed at how much better it feels to do the same movements after I have taken a moment to sweep those crumbs away.

Get Some Help
If cleaning is not your cup of tea, you can always hire someone to come into your home or office. This may seem like an extra bill you don’t need, but I promise you, once you get it worked into your budget, you will be happy you did. I am still working on the goal of hiring a housecleaner, but I gave in and hired an office cleaner a couple years ago. I cannot tell you how nice it is to know that my work at my office is limited to massage and administrative tasks, and I am not required to stay late to mop and dust.
Another task I outsource is laundry. There came a time in my practice when I realized that if I took one more massage each week, it would more than cover the amount of money I needed to pay the laundromat staff to wash and fold my linens. Laundry is a lot of work. Folding so many sheets is tiring. It took me more time to do the laundry myself than to do one more hour of massage and pay a local business to help me with the washing.

Making Space
Try choosing one task at a time. Clean out one cabinet each week. Go into the office on a Sunday afternoon and file the pile of papers that has been building up for the last six months. Pay someone to help you once in a while—or trade for a massage. As your personal world improves, your inner state will improve. When you purify your surroundings, your spirit is purified, too. When you take out the trash, you create room for something better. I know you already know that—this is just a reminder.  

Jennie Hastings Stancu, LMT, is the author of The Inspired Massage Therapist (Massage Blossom Books, 2012). She lives in Portland, Maine, where she practices massage, yoga, and coaching with clients, and sings to herself for fun. Find out more at www.inspiredmassagetherapist.com.

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