You are currently viewing Episode 168 – Deep Cleaning

Episode 168 – Deep Cleaning

Do you know why Spring Cleaning exists? 

Because after a cold winter of burning wood or coal in the house, people loved to finally open the windows, let in the fresh air, and scrub off the grime that had built up. 

It’s so satisfying to make your home shine again. There’s an energy that comes with deep cleaning that is a bit sweaty but so sweet. 

Sometimes we let a lot of grime build up in our minds, too. 

We may have experienced a long winter in our hearts or we may have just gotten used to things being grey. 

In today’s episode we’re talking about deep cleaning the corners of your mind so you can start fresh with squeaky clean thoughts that shine. 


Hey out there, how are you? How’s it going?

Thank you so much for being here. If you’re loving the podcast, will you take a second and write a review? I love reading all the reviews. I know that like all podcasts say this, like, Hey, stop and do a review. And I, even as a podcaster who knows how important reviews are often don’t do that. I actually have a goal that I’m like, I need to go back and review a lot of podcasts that I’ve been on or that I love and just leave that mark there.

But will you please just take a second and write a review? It means a lot to me and it helps people know that. This is an awesome podcast for life after loss. Now, today I’m really excited about our topic and it came to me, cause I love a good analogy and I just see them everywhere because I’m always thinking about podcast ideas and I’m always thinking about ways I can explain things to people I’m coaching.

And. This one just came to me and then as I wrote it all out and got everything ready, it just, like, it’s just so good. So, I’m happy you’re here. I hope you’re happy to be here. Uh, let’s do this. Do you know why spring cleaning exists? Well, it’s because after a cold winter of burning wood or coal in the house, people love to finally open up the windows, let in the fresh air, and scrub off the grime that had built up.

It’s so satisfying to make your home shine again. Sometimes we let a lot of grime build up in our minds, too. We may have experienced a long winter in our hearts, or we may have just gotten used to things being dull and cold and gray.

In today’s episode, we’re talking about deep cleaning the corners of your mind so you can start fresh with squeaky clean thoughts that shine. I had to record that one a couple times to get it right. Almost wrote myself a tongue twister. I remember reading Little House on the Prairie and I know that that series has had a bit of controversy around it.

I acknowledge that. I grew up loving the series. I remember how vividly Laura describes the spring cleaning process, how they washed everything, how they took out all the rugs and beat off the dirt, how they pulled out their lumpy straw mattresses and would fill them with fresh straw. And they shined up the windows and just had everything looking bright.

Even when they’re living in a little sod hut, they still would like clean up and make everything feel fresh again in the spring. Now, A few episodes back, I talked about cleaning out your mental handbag, which basically was talking about getting rid of some of those cluttery thoughts in your brain that you just don’t need.

Well, today I was inspired to share another take on this because I have noticed that a lot of people are struggling with patterns of thoughts that are deeper and a bit harder to get rid of, or at least they feel like they are. Instead of like an old receipt that you’re tossing out, it’s more like an oven that you haven’t scrubbed for a long time or the top of your kitchen cabinets that you never knew were so grimy until you climbed up there to grab a rogue Nerf dart.

So today I want you to relax and just open up to figuring out what spring cleaning you want to do and then get started. Putting it off does not make things any easier. If you know it’s time, it’s time friend. The cool thing about spring cleaning is there really is this new burst of energy that comes with more sunshine and warmer temperatures.

You want to open up all your windows and let the fresh air in. But let’s talk about what happens before spring comes. It’s the cold, dark winter. What seasons have you been through that feel like a cold winter where you’re just hunkered down and did what you needed to do to survive? I don’t know what that’s like for you, but I was thinking that, of course, it can be a season of grief and loss.

Or it could be a season of unwanted childlessness. A hard season in your marriage or a bad relationship, abuse, poor health, experiencing racism or discrimination for any reason. It could have been your childhood or a job that ate at your soul and your confidence.

There’s no competition here. There’s no right answer, but I just want you to think about a hard winter in your life. Now, at the end of winter, we start to see glimmers of hope that it will get warm soon. I’m Then it snows again. Then it looks nice for a minute. Then it’s freezing. If you’re in that season of what we sometimes call like fake spring that seems to be messing with you, or you’re trying so hard to move forward, but it seems like you keep getting sucked back in, know that this is part of the process.

Transitions are never smooth and linear. It’s okay if it’s unpredictable and uncomfortable, but know that as you search for your spring, you’re going to find it. I remember a few times where this was the case for me. I did not love the town I grew up in and I was one of those, as soon as I graduate, I’m out of here kind of kids. And I did, I left. But moving to a new place doesn’t magically solve all your problems. I still struggled with my confidence and feeling like I fit in.

I had roommates to figure out, and college, and dating, and I brought a lot of my old ways of thinking into it. I didn’t think I was pretty. I didn’t think people liked me. I thought that finding a guy who would love me would mean we’d be together forever, so I was mentally skipping the part where you just date different people and have fun.

Now, I grew up in a religion that definitely upholds marriage, and I think that’s great, but I also think it can cause other issues. I took my teenage winter season into my college season and it took time to change and grow into a more mature version of myself. And it was kind of a bumpy time. I was also thinking about after I lost my baby River.

That loss really broke my heart and my relationship with God and basically life in general. I was angry and I didn’t want to reconnect. In that season I told myself over and over that God didn’t care about me or my family, that I told myself life wasn’t fair. I was very bitter towards a person who wronged us financially at the same time as the loss and I was generally just negative towards life.

I blamed myself and I said all kinds of awful things about what had happened in the aftermath of my DNC surgery. I blamed my doctor, my hospital that made mistakes, Just everything. And of course that experience was real and I needed that dark winter, but it went on for years and I started to think that maybe I was ready for spring to come, but I didn’t know how to get there.

So it was bumpy. The first step to spring cleaning is recognizing that you’ve got some deep stuff you want to work on. You have a whole season’s worth of soot and smoke that you couldn’t really see when it was dark. Or maybe you saw it and you just didn’t have the energy to clean it because it took everything you had just to stay alive.

Notice any sentences that keep running through your brain that you know are from a different season of your life. You know that they’re holding you back. You know, it’s time to clean them up. We always want to do this with love. We do this with understanding. When you’re in survival mode, you can’t do anything but the bare minimum.

That’s how we are designed. And when we’re young, we’re impressionable. When we’ve spent time being treated badly, we remember it. Our brain is wired for negativity, and we are also wired to survive. Once we figure out how to do that, we often repeat patterns over and over throughout different seasons of life.


The next step is getting started. It can feel overwhelming and impossible. That brain of ours loves to conserve energy, so it’s going to do everything it can to tell us not to start. Getting started can be the most challenging part. What can you do to help yourself get started? How can you support yourself?

You might be wondering how to do it. Maybe you can see some patterns you want to work on, but you have no idea what to do. That’s okay. And you don’t need to know the how. I, of course, think hiring a life coach is a great start because as soon as we make a goal, our brain is going to put up obstacles. And then most people see this as a reason to quit, but not you.

You know that the obstacles mean that you’re on the right track. Having a coach just helps you and to remind you that that’s true, even when it’s really uncomfortable. Then you want to make a decision that you’re ready to change. Write it down. Tell someone. I like to put my goals on my phone lock screen so I see it often during the day and have that constant reminder.

You might want to pick a thought that helps you. Pick a thought that feels good and allows you to overcome any uncomfortable feeling that’s coming up for you. This is all part of the process. Once you’re firm in your decision and you’re not letting anything stop you, you’re in such a good place.

Celebrate yourself for all you’ve accomplished. Now. All you need to do is follow through. This can be tough, maybe even backbreaking. It also may be so much easier than you think. Speaking of the top of cupboards, I had a home with lots of kitchen cupboards that did not go up to the ceiling. And I think I was decorating for Christmas up there and realized it had gotten really dusty.

When I went to wipe That dust away with a wet paper towel like I usually would for dust. I realized it wasn’t just dust It was a greasy Messy dust we had a gas stove and we of course cooked a lot and I just had neglected this part of the kitchen It was easy to neglect it because you couldn’t see it.

So I started scrubbing it with a cloth a sponge Hot soapy water And it was not coming off and I felt like this was going to take forever You So I paused and I started looking for solutions, and I found one. Someone said to mix oil and baking soda. I had been trying to clean oil with water, but the baking soda worked as a light abrasive, and the oil worked to pick up the oil like a charm.

Now, there were kind of these oil baking soda balls and pieces everywhere that I had to clean up when I was done. But the grease was gone and the grease came off so much easier this way. What I realized was the job wasn’t actually as bad as I had thought. I had just come at it in a less effective way.

Have you ever felt like that? Maybe you’ve tried to let go of these deep down thoughts before and nothing has worked. Not therapy or changing your circumstances, not mantras or meditation. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible for you. Everything you’ve tried so far has gotten you here. It hasn’t been a waste.

Sometimes we need to try all the wrong ways to find out what really works for us. Sometimes the ways that seem like they didn’t work actually did move the needle. Sometimes we need to take a break and open up to other ideas. You know you best. Trust yourself to find a way. And remember, don’t let those patterns of beating yourself up or saying mean things to you creep back in during the process.

Now once you’re onto something, like my oil and baking soda mixture, all you need to do is keep going. Don’t give up. Something I tell my kids all the time is you do the job until it’s done. Don’t leave a few socks laying near the dryer when you do the laundry. Don’t forget to put the broom back after sweeping.

Don’t skip the sticky bits that take a little more elbow grease. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. All you need to do is is commit to yourself because the process itself is so satisfying. Don’t skip enjoying that part. Turn on your favorite music or podcasts metaphorically and enjoy seeing the dirt wash away.

Enjoy that gross bucket of water. That’s proof that you’re doing it. Enjoy the hot shower to clean you after you’ve cleaned all day and the aching muscles as you fall into bed. For my clients, this probably looks like picking up all your tissues you use during a session Wiping off the remains of your makeup and needing some time to process, but also feeling so dang good for doing the work.

It may sound sort of villainy, but I love when I see my clients cry, because I know that means they are feeling their feelings. For some of them, I know that it’s the only place they really let themselves be honest and open and that is a gift after you’ve spring cleaned. All you need to do is know that it’s likely the dirt will try to creep back in.

So there are a few ways we can deal with that. First is maintain, set yourself up to recognize what’s happening and address it before it gets really dirty. For example, if you decide to stop apologizing for everything, because most women have been conditioned to do this. I notice when I text people and at the grocery store, the most.

So I see myself wanting to apologize for not texting back sooner or for just existing in front of the cereal when maybe someone else wants to look at cereal and I stop myself. I edit my text. I smile and say something else. I remind myself that I love me and I don’t need to apologize for everything. I can also look into why I apologize so much.

What’s really going on there? Is it just a habit or do I deep down think badly about myself? Or do I think that I’m a bother to other people or that I always make mistakes? When I can see that, I can clean it up. I also like to think that by being more confident, I am helping those around me to stop apologizing too, especially my daughters.


And I have to laugh at myself because I’m Canadian and saying “sorry” is about as common as saying “eh”, so I can love this part of me and even be proud of my heritage and all the jokes about how overly nice and polite Canadians are. So it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. It doesn’t have to be a heavy thing.

You don’t have to come into this with this attitude like there’s something wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you, right? We’re all just humans figuring life out. And doing the best we can. And so while you’re in the spring cleaning, like I said, enjoy it while you’re doing the work, enjoy it. Like see the progress, be in the process.

That is a beautiful thing. Another thing you can do when you’re spring cleaning or after is to prevent. Now, I ended up putting parchment paper on top of my cupboards so I didn’t have to scrub them like I had ever again because even though the oil and baking soda mixture turned out awesome, I spent way too much time and energy there to want to do it again.

How can you prevent some of these old patterns from coming up again? How can you heal? How can you make strong decisions or set boundaries so you don’t get stuck in the same situations?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I think that having support and tools to help keep your mind maintained is so important. Whatever that looks like for you, go for it. Then enjoy it. I felt so dark for so long when I blamed myself for what happened to River. Once I decided to let go and never go back, it was so much brighter.

I can honestly say that getting coached around my deep messy thoughts and being told that I could let them go permanently was the best thing I did for myself. And now I can just live and love and tell my story without all that pain and suffering. It’s gone and it’s awesome. So friend, this episode was a little bit heavier, uh, and I just want to check in with you.

Are you okay? How’s your heart? You’re doing such an amazing job and I know that 100%. Thank you for being here. If you’re ready to dive into your spring cleaning, I’m here for you. You can click the link in the show notes or go to smoothstonescoaching. com and sign up for a connection call. And then I will take care of the rest.

Truly like everyone who listens to the podcast and then decides to take that jump. It’s a really easy one. And the connection call is really simple. It’s just a place for you to ask questions. It’s a place for me to answer them and explain what we’re going to do and show you how coaching can really help you.

So enjoy this season wherever you live or whenever you’re listening to this. I hope that you know that spring always does come. And we can take that special energy and use it to get rid of some of these cobwebs and this grease and grime and just lighten and brighten up our own world. It’s absolutely possible.

There’s nothing stopping you. I love you. I’ll see you next time

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