Getting things dust free and sparkling is one thing, it takes time, storage solutions, and a bit of re-organising in the cupboard. Now is also a good time to find all the stuff that's not been used for a year or two, those things can be given away or even sold on eBay if they're still in good condition.
But, there's another side of life that doesn't involve vacuum cleaners and furniture polish. There's the emotional and spiritual side of things that follows hand in hand with our daily activities, influencing every action we make. All our decision making and planning revolves around how we feel, how much pressure we are putting ourselves under, and how much space we're leaving for me time.
Some of us love to go away for a few days, and clear the cobwebs from under the skin, or visit a local beauty spot just for a few hours. Others find peace in the act of meditation, or reading, getting into the relaxation groove is something we have to take personally. Something I like to do is burn incense, or even better, do a bit of smudging. For me, the act of creating fragrant smoke symbolises a physical presence of desire to positively charge and dispel unwanted atmosphere.
I like to use all kinds of joss sticks and things, and they can get a bit messy, but the art of using smoke as a cleansing tool in spiritual activity can be dated back to Native American Indians. Sacred Smoke Bowl Blessings would take the ingredients of many plants which were revered for their spiritual and cleansing properties. The smoke is believed to literally drive away negative energy, cleansing the atmosphere and the surrounding energy of the people in the ceremony.
It has a fairly simple methodology, in which a smouldering mass of dried herbs are allowed to produce smoke, and this smoke is encouraged to move around the room. Incense has been used in churches, temples, and other places of worship in much the same way in other cultures. The act of producing an aromatic smoke has symbolised the work of spirit and cleansing for many cultures.
Today smudging is done mainly with dried sage, and is treated as an holistic therapy to assist in the cleaning of negative emotional energy. That's the stuff that causes us to not do as well as we can do, or allows us to stand in our own way. By making an effort to cleanse ourselves in this way and by following the ritualistic tradition by using the correctly prepared herbs, on a psychological level at least, something will be taking place. As the actuality of the dissipation of negative spirits, it's up to you if you feel that to be the case. I like to think so.