Environment is about so much more than the quality of air or noise or light around us; it also includes the type of people we invite into our experience and the feeling we create in our homes. Are your surroundings peaceful and light? Do they provide you with a sense of ease, or do things feel heavy and tense? As you begin this week, look for the places in your environment where you can clear out some of the toxicity and make space for new energy. The health of our environment is under our control and we can make small fixes that both encourage and help to center us.
People are not toxic, but sometimes their behaviors and words can negatively impact us on deep levels over time. In order to regain power in these relationships, begin to consider the circle of friends and family who are around you most frequently. Think about how you feel after you spend time with some of these people. Are the conversations you have with them fun, interesting, and inspiring, or are they opportunities to gossip? Consider whether you feel drained when you leave them, or if you’re filled with pleasant and hopeful emotions. Begin by spending more time with those who energize you and less time with the ones who can be depleting.
Try to identify those behaviors in yourself that wear you out and the ones that give you life. Our choices are very influential on the quality of our environment and relationships, and contribute significantly to how we feel.
Stand quietly in your home and look around. What is the feeling you get? Is this a place of upset, frustration, anger? Or is this a haven for love and acceptance? What needs to happen to have more of the latter? If it feels dark, see how you can bring in more light. If there is no color, see if you can do something to brighten the walls or surfaces. And if there is mess and disorganization, try becoming deliberate about the neatness of the place and observe if you feel better. The outward environment - the space we create and maintain –is a reflection of how we feel in our mind and spirit. The reverse is also true: By making small improvements in the way we tend to the physical environment around us, we show care for ourselves by creating a home that is worthy of us.
Clearing out toxicity is not always easy; it might mean saying good-bye to important people for some time or changing old habits. One thing is for sure: When we clear it out, we allow newness to enter. Try it and see how you feel.
Billy Rosa is a Registered Nurse, Integrative Nurse Coach Visiting Faculty, University of Rwanda