When we mop a floor, wipe a counter top, scrub a toilet, dust a table, it is not so much about the physical dirt we are removing from the object, surface or space. It is about the dirt we are removing within us.
When we enter a dirty space to clean it or if we live in a dirty space, we internalize the dirt. The dirt without takes up residence within and the way we get rid of the dirt within is by engaging in physical cleaning. We take time to remove a stain from a surface because doing so creates satisfaction within us.
This is not entirely different from taking time to improve an article one is writing – inner satisfaction comes from doing so, whether or not the readers appreciate the accuracy, correctness, simplicity or profundity of the article.
Inner transformation happens as we engage in outer work. The inner transformation then also produces more transformation outside. The more you clean the outer space, the more your inner space is clean and the more you want to live in a clean space.
The goal of every cleaning is not external cleanliness but internal cleanliness. The space that we are trying to clean is not the visible space but the invisible space within us. This is true whether you work as a Cleaner or you are cleaning your room. The inner lives of those who work as Cleaners will be greatly enriched if they saw cleaning as an internal work as much as it is external.
When we declutter a space, the real decluttering we are doing is internal. Clutter, like dirt gets internalized. Since there is a strong linkage between the exterior and the interior, the visible and the invisible, the internal decluttering only happens when we start to get our hands busy with external decluttering.
The real estate we need to be concerned with is invisible, within us, whether we are users of a space or cleaners of the space. Cleaners have it a little harder because they have to internalize dirt they did not create and clutter they did not cause. Cleaning happens without because of the need to get rid of this internal dirt. Decluttering takes place without because of the need to declutter our internal space as cleaners.
True cleaning requires the ability to tune into our inner space and be as familiar with the inner as we are with the outer. As familiarity grows with our interior spaces comprising of our paradigms, thoughts and emotions, we become better able to clean not just tangible dirt that has been internalized but any kind of intangible dirt including fear and anxiety.