Updated: Jun 16, 2020
I ended my day yesterday much the same way I started it: with a piece of news regarding the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd and the ensuing riots paired with the thought of Cinderella and the meaning of cleansing that she embodies. Somehow, after reading and watching each of the news stories, Cinderella sparked to mind.
Please. What could Cinderella possibly have to do with our current horrific predicament…
First - yesterday morning. I clicked on this link to read about the volunteers that appear each morning on the streets of Minneapolis to clean up the previous night’s mess of vandalism and hatred. These are amazing people and I believe Cinderella is there among them. Brown people, black people, white people all rolling up their sleeves together and picking up a goddamn mop, bucket, trash bag and broom. This is the utmost sacred – the utmost holy - act taking place right now inside the mornings of Minneapolis. This is the Cinderella super-power showing up to cleanse, heal, and bless. To pray for a new day. To give this new day a fighting chance.
Then - yesterday evening. I watched the PBS news hour. And there she was, our girl Judy Woodruff, reporting for the first time in 12 full weeks about something other than the corona virus and the pandemic. NEVER did I EVER dream that I would rather hear another pandemic news story than what was to replace it ☹ – story after story for 95% of the news hour made us cringe and cry. Injustice. Pain. Fear. Anger.
The image of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet came to mind during Judy’s report. I don’t know. It just did. I felt a desire to wash all the feet of the sad, angry, fearful people on the news hour. I googled “Jesus washing feet verse” and this is what came up:
“I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.” - John 13:34
John 13: 1-17 recounts the act of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Why did he do this? He did it to recalibrate their thinking. He did it to demonstrate his love. He did it to cleanse: to wash away the old and bring in something new. Something better. That is the power of cleansing.
Let’s talk about the word cleanse : verb : to rid of impurities by or as if by washing.
And there you go, there’s Cinderella again. When you google “what does Cinderella symbolize?” (again with the google!) – here’s what comes up: Royalty in a fairy tale may represent the sacred realm. The King has invited Cinderella to a dimension beyond her dreams. Such transcendent characters call us out of ordinary experience. Symbolically, they suggest an opening to our higher selves.
And what is Cinderella’s daily sacred act prior to her transcendence? Cleaning. Cleansing. She takes care of her space, ridding it of impurities to wash away the old and bring in something new. Cleansing is the first step in the evolution of a human, an environment, and of a culture. It’s hard to think clearly when you don’t have a clean slate. It’s hard to heal in a cluttered space. It’s hard to grow from a toxic state. It’s hard to drum up creative energy when you’re stuck in the mud.
Steven Pressfield writes about this in his book, “The War of Art”. He talks about the inherent resistance we humans have when it comes to allowing creativity to flow through us, and that we must work to overcome that resistance every day. He writes about that tug toward a creative act being the steps toward our soul’s evolution. “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” He tells the story of his resistance showing up in the form of procrastination as a young man earning a living driving a taxi instead of writing.
“I washed up in New York a couple of decades ago, making twenty bucks a night driving a cab and running away full time from doing my work. One night, alone in my $110-amonth sublet, I hit bottom in terms of having diverted myself into so many phony channels so many times that I couldn’t rationalize it for one more evening. I dragged out my ancient Smith-Corona, dreading the experience as pointless, fruitless, meaningless … I put the machine away. I went back to the kitchen. In the sink sat ten days of dishes. For some reason I had enough excess energy that I decided to wash them.
The water felt pretty good. The soap and sponge were doing their thing. A pile of clean plates began rising in the drying rack. To my amazement I realized I was whistling. It hit me that I had turned a corner. I was okay. I would be okay from here on.” - The Art of War
Is it a coincidence that the soap and sponge seemed to loosen Pressfield’s resistance that evening? He has the clear thought while washing his (overdue) dirty dishes and the energy returns. That was his life’s turning point. He has gone on to become a best-selling author of historical fiction, non-fiction and screenplays.
Step One is ALWAYS to cleanse. Clean, clear, cleanse …. Repeat. Clean, clear, cleanse …. Repeat. And then the magic comes. One of my oldest, dearest friends just started reading this blog. Her new mantra is, “More Cinderella = More Hobbit”. Meaning: the more you care for your space, the more the magical moments enter your space.
This blog’s theme for our new month of June is “Let’s Get Weird”. (hee-hee!) When we pair Cinderella’s super-power with the idea of “let’s get weird” it brings me to the expansive concept of clearing the energy of your space. You can do this in your home and you can do this all day every day as you are out and about.
One of my favorite examples of clearing the energy of space comes from my vulnerable early days as a single mom. I learned so much from that time because when you’re at your most vulnerable, you are also at your most resourceful. I had a lot of scrappy inspiration and creative ideas that came my way during those years to help me make it through. I was feeling fear and worry more frequently because I was doing a lot of new things, and meeting a lot of new people, and I realized I needed an assist.
So – during “scary” moments of interacting with lawyers and mediators and mortgage lenders for the first time, I would imagine a halo hovering over his/her head. This thought instantly put me at ease and changed my energy, thereby changing the energy of my space and changing the energy of the person I was interacting with. The transactions flowed more easily and became more fun.
Try this today! You can use this trick at home with your family members and out at the store or at the doctor’s office. I think you will find yourself smiling more at the very least – and I know that your communications with others will be more agreeable and therefore more successful.
I had originally earmarked the topic of smudging (burning herbs to get rid of negative energy on yourself, your home or any space - which might sound "weird" to some) for today’s post. In light of current events, however, this post took a turn. I would love to write about smudging throughout the week – its such a fun topic, and there’s a lot to learn! So maybe I’ll post more in the next day or two. We’ll see – I believe I also still have couple “nest & bloom” topics that didn’t quite make their way here in May (Dang it!)
In any case, your homework for today (how about for forever?) is to catch a glimpse of that halo hanging over your neighbor’s head. It’s there. And when you see it, you will be clearing the air. You will be making way for something new. Something better. Cleansing is the first step to brighter days.
"My mum always said things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end. If not always in the way we expect" - Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (can you spy her below?)