The zen of cleaning: How to let your warrior spirit light your way

Cleaning, usually it’s regarded as a chore, something we have to do but we don’t necessarily like to do it. But hiding in the concept of cleaning you will find a huge power to improve the way you communicate with your warrior spirit. For me, meditation is the best way to stay in touch with my warrior spirit, but there are very different ways to do it. Kym has already shown you how to do it while folding origami. But while cleaning?

cleaning white tiger

Beautiful tiger don't you think? If your warrior spirit is clean and shiny it will be as powerful as the lovely kitty int he picture. Photo by jinterwas.

Wash your bowl

A long time ago I head this little story, that in reality it’s a zen koan:

A monk told Joshu, “I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.”
Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge?
The monk replied, “I have eaten.”
Joshu said, “Then you had better wash your bowl.”
At that moment the monk was enlightened.

I don’t claim to understand what master Joshu meant, but one day while washing the dishes I caught an idea. What if you could not only clean the outside, but the inside. Can you clean your own soul?

Soon I realized that it is possible. You just need to be kind to yourself. Just like washing the dishes is not the most fun activity, cleaning your soul is not exactly a joyful trip. The destination is beautiful, but the trip in this case is a bit hard and sometimes painful.

Set some time aside for cleaning

Just as cleaning the house takes some time, you need to devote time to cleaning yourself regularly. You can apply the same principles. If you want to clean your room, you start in one area and focus until you are done and everything is fits neatly into their rightful space again.

Your mind and soul follow the same principle. You need to focus in one particular area of your life to start seeing some improvement. It will also help you build some momentum to clean more of your inner self. Always remember that small constant changes help us build huge changes overtime.

But there is a need for order to be able to succeed while cleaning yourself or else you may not be able to keep up a sustainable change.

First clean your mind

Cleaning your mind is like taking out the trash, once it’s out you should not be seeing that same trash again (unless you allow it inside). To do this, you need to start a simple and mindful practice, you need to be kind to yourself. Stop beating yourself, violence generates more dark thoughts, even if it’s just in the form of words.

Today, you wills tart a simple practice, each time you insult yourself you will forgive yourself. That’s all, If you say something like “I’m a fool for not being able to do this”, you will stop, take a deep breathe and then forgive yourself for that minor mistake.

Once you can establish this practice, you will be able to do more cleaning. The next is to take out the toxic thoughts. Thoughts like “I’m not good enough”, “I suck at this” and any other similar ones must start to go and be replaced with something like “I have not practiced enough”. You are still saying that you are not yet able to do something, but you are being kind and opening yourself to opportunity.

Slowly, you will see that your mind becomes a bit clearer. Once you start noticing that your thoughts are kind and improve your mood and overall performance in your day, it’s time to go really deep.

Then clean your soul

Cleaning your soul is like cleaning the basement. Basements are usually full of memories and stuff that we are not sure why we are keeping there. It’s a bit of a dark place but everything that you can find in your basement is there because you put it there in the first place.

You cleaned your mind in order to allow space to move stuff from your soul to your mind. Your basement may be a little bit dark, and it’s normal that you need a bit of extra light to truly see what you were keeping there. So you move box after box from your basement to your house in order to see what you can find there.

Now that whatever you find in your soul is in the light and clearness of your mind, you can start actually moving forward. You can forgive yourself for keeping it if it’s a toxic element of your past, or if it’s a good bright memory, you can clean it and allow it to empower you, maybe it’s so good that there is no reason to keep it in the basement!

This process can be really painful. It was for me, but each time I came to my basement and started cleaning, I felt good afterwards, like I had done something amazing. Don’t be discouraged, your warrior spirit will be grateful, after all you are devoting time for cleaning it. That is always good.

Let your warrior spirit shine

Sooner or later, deep in the basement you will find something powerful, something that I like to call your warrior spirit, but you can call it your inner self if you wish. This is a powerful voice that has been drowned beneath all the clutter in the basement. Now it will be allowed to breathe and inspire you.

If you keep up cleaning your life regularly, you will see that motivation is already inside you, and you don’t need to many outside influences. You will be able to survive and even thrive in difficult dark moments because your warrior spirit shines and allows you to see even in the darkest place.

It is possible that it can help you overcome truly dark times, like being depressed, just as Kym has already suggested you.

One micro action to start

So, I invite you to take one little space. Ten minutes will be enough, now just allow yourself to breathe deeply and check in with your thoughts, write in one piece of paper, those that are good. Write in another one, those that are toxic for you, once you are done, keep the good list near you, and just throw your toxic list in the trash. Once done, you have made a statement. You are cleaning your inner self, and allowing your warrior spirit to shine forward.

Thank you for reading, don’t forget to share this post with your fellow warrior friends, you would be helping us free more warrior spirits!

I sense a strong warrior In you!

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Alex Reyes (@EnsoJourney) is the co-founder of Enso Journey. He is a geek seeking to turn himself into a modern warrior. You can train with him by liking Enso Journey's Facebook Page or joining the Enso Journey Warrior Dojo for FREE.


  1. Crayon Wrangler says:

    OH how I loved this one! It spoke to my warrior spirit and I am now off to share!

  2. Great tips! I was looking for ideas on getting my house cleaner – but how much more appropriate to clean out my inner house. I love this idea of changing “I suck at this” to “I have not practiced enough” That’s less of a stretch and feels more authentic than simply substituting the opposite thought like “I am not a pro at this.” I’m going to remember this one. Thanks!

    When doing my new 10 minute morning meditation practice I have been going through and cleaning and polishing each chakra. It’s a trick I learned from a mentor many years ago. I think this internal cleansing is helping too!
    Sarah / Wellness The Natural Way recently posted..Fasting And Detox – The Good, The Bad and The Excellent

  3. Alejandro, I’m going to make my 9 year old read your paragraph about forgiving yourself every time you insult yourself. He does this often and it truly pains me to hear him beat himself up about something sill (to me anyway). I love your analogy between the soul and the basement! I’m going to practice writing down toxic thoughts with my son and together I think we’ll burn them in the fireplace! Thanks for your post!
    Amy Grams recently posted..Craving Sugar? The Vital Nutrient You May Be Missing from Your Diet

  4. I love this post very much! So useful! I still need more practice in forgiving myself each time I make mistakes, but I’m getting there… I’m training my warrior at the moment, I’m sure she’s gonna be ready to fight in no time.

    Great post Alejandro!!! :)
    María recently posted..Stop waiting for perfection: the moment is now, this faulty, deficient and unsuitable moment.

  5. Alex, I love the idea of listing the good thoughts and toxic thoughts and then throwing the toxic thoughts away. Listing is such a useful practice. I’ve done it all my life and it has really helped me with clarity and releasing things that were weighing me down. My mentor, Jill Badonsky, suggests a nice way to end a list of negative things. She says, “I now release these thoughts and make room for something better.” Or something like that. Tweak to suit yourself. I like the concept of making room for something better. As you say, it’s hard for our best selves to shine through when they’re buried under all that clutter!
    Sue Mitchell recently posted..My Brain on Overwhelm and How It Got That Way

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