Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Make Cleaning Fun: Archetypes

I haven't posted in a seriously long time.  I guess finishing my last year of school is taking more out of me than I even knew!  It's my darn thesis!

However, I still have lots of blog posts swirling in my head with this one being at the forefront.

Jungian archetypes are something of a treasure in my life.  They offer me inspiration, direction, and sometimes a solid kick in the butt (and who doesn't need that).  Archetypes help reframe activities, a cognitive technique I have touched on in a previous post.  Here are a couple archetypes that I find helpful in relation to cleaning. 

Hestia - Goddess of the Hearth

As described by Bolen (reference below):

"When Hestia is present, a (person) goes about (the) household tasks with a
sense that there is plenty of time.  She doesn't have one eye on the clock,
because she is neither on a schedule nor "putting in time." Consequently,
she is in what the Greeks called kairos time - she is "participating in time," which
is psychologically nourishing...  As she sorts and folds laundry, washes dishes,
and cleans up the clutter, she feels an unhurried, peaceful absorption
in each task."

When I am in Hestia mode, I tend to see my home as a peaceful and replenishing place.  There is a sense that I am taking care of it rather than doing a chore.  I find this happens most often with treasured possessions or with areas of the house of which I am especially fond.  For me, this is my garden - washing and scrubbing my pots is getting ready for the upcoming growing season.  As well, washing the counters and floors in my kitchen is quite peaceful because I adore cooking.  Chip away at your chores by designating a few to be inspired by Hestia.

Demeter - Goddess of the Harvest

As described by Bolen: 

"Demeter was the most generous goddess...  (She) provides
tangible food and physical care, emotional and psychological support, or
spiritual nourishment...  The mother archetype motivate (people) to nurture
others, to be generous and giving, and to find satisfaction as caretakers
and providers...  The nurturing aspect of the Demeter archetype can be expressed
through the helping professions... and in any relationship in which she
can be a nurturing person."

This is my primary archetype when thinking about my cleaning business.  I find that it shifts my mindset away from feeling like I do chores all day to feeling like I support my clients in living more pleasurable lives.  As well, the inspiration of Demeter is great when contemplating a young child's mess.  It transforms picking up toys into creating a clean and nurturing home.  The archetype can also be used as children get older and you are teaching them how to clean - the maternal instinct is not about being a slave, it's about raising healthy, well-loved kiddies who develop a role in the household!  

At the bottom of this post is a reference for the book I drew the quotes from.  As I mentioned earlier, I find archetypes wonderful for shifting my mindset.  These are two that work for me but I encourage you to find ones that work for you.

Thanks for reading!

Bolen, J. S.  (1984).  Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women's Lives.  USA: Harper Collins.