The Sunday Cleanse

On December 5, 2016, I took part in one of the biggest days in the life of a candle enthusiast. It is the day that Bath & Body Works drops all of their candles down to $8.50. This is the day that you get out of bed and make sure that you are at the doors of the store as soon as they open. In addition to the price reduction, you're also allowed to bring along your coupons. Play your cards right... and you may pay 6 dollars and change for your candles. Now, I am sure that for some people even $8.50 is too much to pay for a candle. But for those of us who shop at Bath & Body Works all year round, we know how much of a deal that this really is. I always see times like this as a chance to branch out and try scents that you may have been on the fence about throughout the year. Even if it sucks, you paid under 10 bucks... so who cares? Last year, I decided that it was time for me try the Stress Relief candle that Bath & Body Works carries all year round in their aromatherapy line. The fragrance is eucalyptus and spearmint. I actually am not sure if I was on the fence or if this candle was just not all up on my radar... but I decided that #CandleDay was the day to try it out. The reviews for this candle were rave. People swore up and down that it was so completely soothing. One reviewer even said that the candle helped them with their anxiety issues.

It was a Friday night after work that I decided to finally light the candle up. I sat there waiting for this calm to drop down over my body and soul. I waited... and waited... and waited. The thing is that all of us are different. What's good for the goose really may not always be what's good for the gander. Some people find that candle to be the beacon of stress relief... I found it to be a jar of empty promises. Nevertheless, since I do thoroughly enjoy the scent of eucalyptus and mint... it was not a total loss. The funny thing about candles (at least for me) is that you can't always go with your first impression. Sometimes, you have to give it a couple chances. So... I tried lighting up the candle again to see if it would calm my stress... and it still did absolutely nothing. However, somewhere along that way I found the candle to be cleansing... and addictive. On Sundays, I usually burn something clean, fresh, earthy, or floral. I am not sure why I do this... it just became a ritual at some point. I started to burn the eucalyptus and spearmint/eucalyptus mint candle on Sundays... and then somehow I came up with the idea that this could be my cleansing candle to cleanse my soul and space from the craziness of the week. From there... I got the idea that I, myself, needed to start doing a detox of sorts from the things that may have hit my soul that week.

Here's my thing: Life is so completely beautiful. Like... do you ever just take in the way it feels when you walk out to a beautiful morning. It's like... no matter what you are feeling... in that moment... it all just melts away. Still, even with all of it's beauty... life can be so very taxing. I was at church one Sunday when my pastor talked about how every day life would scream many things at us that we would have to block out (I'm not getting this verbatim... but that was pretty much the point). We encounter things on our jobs, in ours homes, on the street, at the store... and the list goes on. Add to that social media. Social media has become one of the biggest mind screws (at least in my book) to hit so many of us. There's an endless amount of all kinds of things going on there... and so many us are addicted to our phones. Work days end. People all over go to sleep. Social media is constantly going. And... I'm not saying that social media can't also be fun and even a stress reliever. I enjoy it... but I just feel like anytime you get a whole wide world of humans together... it's going to get tedious... and sometimes frustrating. Life comes at so many of us so fast... and we are in constant motion. Sometimes, no matter what is going on in your life... you gotta keep it moving. Sometimes, there is no real time to process all of the things that are happening.

Do you ever find yourself in a place where you are trying to trace the origin of your own chaos? It's like when you are regurgitating the story to yourself or someone else... you find yourself saying things like: "it all started a month ago..." or "it all started 3 months ago..." or even "it all started a year ago...". I guess my feeling these days is that no one has time for that anymore! I no longer have time to let life... with it's crazy, unpredictable moods and events rob me of my time. I kind of liken festering thoughts to health in the sense that you must catch things early before they cause serious problems. This is why I recommend taking one day a week to try to clear yourself of the crazies. I honestly feel like actually taking a minute to yourself every day is good... but I realize sometimes that is hard. It really is okay to choose not let negativity rule your life. It really is okay to stop saying things like "same (Sugar. Honey. Iced. Tea... think about that really hard... it's an acronym) different day". Because... really... who wants to drink the same old stale sugar honey iced tea every day (I prefer green tea anyway... hahaha)? And... no day is the same. I promise I saw a quote somewhere about this by Maya Angelou. Even if you are doing the same thing every day... the day is still different. I guess I'm passionate about this issue because I've been in a place where negative emotions lived in me like some kind of chronic illness. I was ignorant to how bad it really was at the time... but now I know better!!! Feeling good just feels SO good! To achieve that place in our minds, we have to start somewhere. This is why I am all about cleansing, processing, and compartmentalizing our thoughts. We all are much too valuable to allow the dark forces to eat our souls. A week in a rut is too long. It is important to deal with what is happening to us in a way that can make us healthier in our minds. It is important try to cleanse yourself of things that bothered,  angered, or depressed you during the week... or the day. It is important to fight allowing these things to fester and pile up.

Not so long ago, I attended an AA meeting with my friend. I'm not an alcoholic... but I was invited... so I went to see what it was like. I was shocked to see just how religious/spiritual that the meetings were. Even though this was for substance abuse, I felt a strange comfort just from being in the atmosphere. One of the things that they said at this particular meeting was that even when we ask God for help... it may not happen overnight (ok... not verbatim... but I felt like that was the point). I mention this moment in my life to say that even if you start the process of trying to cleanse your soul.. some things may take time to move on from. I'll use myself as an example. I went through a period of anger. I would pray and tell God that I didn't want to be angry anymore... and I would wake up the next day and still be angry. I got angry with God because I was angry. In my mind... I felt like I was not even asking God for something like a new car or house... I was just asking not to be angry. It took some time... but God finally brought me to a point where I was no longer angry. Same thing with me and sadness. I was OVER it! I decided that I was going to keep going to God until I quit letting sadness rule over me. I just wanted to be happy. I did not care what was happening or not happening in my life. I just feel like some emotions will not subside overnight... but if we KEEP praying and working... it's so completely possible. I just wrote this paragraph because I don't want anyone who may want to try this to be discouraged if change does not happen overnight. Some things are like weight... you gotta keep working out your soul to get it to look how you want.

In closing (this post is SO long to me), I just want to say that this is something that I am trying to do in my life. A huge part of me sharing myself is to be a voice for anyone who may relate to where I am coming from. I have learned that we can pursue all of this tangible stuff... we can look so completely fly... we can have the world at out fingertips... but if you are tore up on the inside... what does it all mean? I see so many people who seem to have it all... but then you later hear stories of them living in torment. The pursuit of happiness in the sense of going after the desires of your heart is something that I would strongly encourage anyone to embark upon. However... just don't forget to make accessing true internal peace, joy, happiness (and pretty much all of the fruits of the Spirit a priority too). I feel like that is really what we all need to truly enjoy everything else. And I know that I got a bit heavy for a moment. Maybe everyone reading is not dealing with heavier emotions. But... we all have bad days. We all have things (no matter how frivolous) that we hold on to for much too long. If we stay constant gardeners of our mental health... we really can produce so many beautiful things!

These are the first official flowers that I've snapped photos of this year! :)

Me - the constant gardener of my soul. :)

Cleanse with meee! (the candle is optional... that is just my thing)

Love you!



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