Cleaning up After Yourself: The First Radical Act of Empowerment

October 14, 2018  (picture–Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Davinci))

Keeping your own body alive requires power and independence. All acts of power start with those actions we perform on behalf of the survival and health of our bodies. All our bodies have the same necessities: we must eat and hydrate. We must eliminate wastes from our bodies and brains, we must sleep, we must exercise, we must clean our bodies free of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other dirt.
When babies or very elderly or frail, we cannot always perform these functions for ourselves and we therefore depend on others to take care of our survival and health. But if we have reached old age or ill health, having lived a powerful life to that point, and beyond that contributed to the survival and health of those around us, then we may enjoy in gratitude those performances of service by others for our benefit.
As ingenious human beings, we have produced many tools and other material things to be used as extensions of our bodies and our bodily functions. Those extensions of our bodies, in aid to our bodily functions, include utensils like knives, forks and spoons, as well as toilet paper and toilets, washing machines, bath tubs and showers, trash receptacles, etc.
Just as our bodies are the center, like the hub of a wheel, the tools and machines mentioned are like spokes in the wheel. The spokes are connected to the hub and to the tire which surrounds the hub and spokes as its circumference and boundary. When we act powerfully in life, the expression of our most significant and fundamental power gets exerted within the entirety of that wheel. It means, not only do we prepare food and eat it, but we also wash and clean the tools we have used to accomplish this task in total. When we live an empowered life, we bathe our bodies to take care of the wastes from perspiration, digestion, hormonal output, and the residue from the places in which we have worked, gone to school and played. To complete the functions of bathing we must launder the towels used, and contribute to the cleaning of the basins in which we wash our bodies. We must also launder our clothing. All these individual tasks are essential parts of the powerful action of cleaning our bodies and refreshing our spirits. When we give our bodies and brains reasonable hours of sleep, we allow the detritus in the brain to clean out, because of cerebrospinal fluid that washes wastes from the brain only when we are sleeping. Staying up all night to play video games leaves waste in the brain and may literally drive us crazy!!!
Our bodies constantly interact with the environment. In fact, the environment constantly flows through us in lots of ways. Light entering our eyes helps us see. We breathe air, we eat food from the ground. We get covered in dirt and dust from our environment. Sounds from the environment run through our bodies and affect our ears and our moods. We stand on the planet due to the forces of nature such as gravity.
When we do not power up to take care of our bodies and the extensions of our bodies—bedrooms and houses are spatial extensions of the body also–then, consciously or inadvertently we disempower others. When we depend on someone, without asking them, to clean up after our bodies, then we disempower them. We treat them as if they were our servants and butlers. We steal their energy and time, so that instead of spending that time and energy on pursuits they would otherwise choose, they need to devote that to tasks that keep our bodies—not theirs–thriving and healthy including the environment (the whole wheel and wheelhouse) in which our bodies live and from which our bodies benefit.
Often parents tell me their kids are lazy. When I ask if they are lazy all the time, they generally say, “no.” We humans generally power up when we enjoy or are interested in things and in accomplishing something. Most young people who seem lazy about chores do not have the slightest clue that they have missed opportunities to get incredibly powerful. And it is up to parents to teach their children how to cook a meal, make a bed, put in a load of laundry, wash a toilet, because without knowing how to use these tools and how to function on behalf of our bodies, we go out into the world weaker and less prepared than we might be.
If you are interested in larger matters in the world, like saving the environment from disasters like global warming and clean energy, or reducing poverty and increasing jobs, then you cannot do nearly as well if you do not connect the basic power of keeping your own body alive and healthy with the power required to make a positive difference between your wheel.
We live in families, in communities, in states, in countries. We each of us does or does not do makes an indelible impact on those around us. We can choose to live an empowered life and empower others, or we can choose to exploit others, make messes on little and grand scales that we do not clean up, and leave for others to do, and remain disconnected from the source as well as from appreciation by others as well as the self-confidence we might develop as we learn to navigate the ins and outs of living our part of the whole.
By the time you do not need someone to accompany you to the bathroom, you have arrived at an age where you can begin to take on power and achieve independence. Power and independence fuel good feelings about yourself as a person, as someone in relationship to others, as well as boosting your likelihood of succeeding in this world as you define that.
Every time you clean up after yourself, remember that you are exercising your fundamental power, developing your independence, and growing into the kind of strong person who takes care of business from beginning to end. And wakes up and does that again. And again.