Last night’s mug and plate from my evening snack was sitting in the sink.

I was standing there shaking up my protein shake, and I looked at the dish rack, filled with dust in the corners, stains from the water that never drains properly, and a few marks from whatever had spilled on it recently.

I thought how silly it is that I put clean dishes into a dirty dish rack. So I stood there and I scrubbed it, sprayed it, rinsed it, and took at look at the once again satisfyingly brilliant bright white clean dish rack.

While I was scrubbing, I went into a reflective space. I was thinking on how I’d already been awake for two hours before I found myself in the kitchen washing my dish rack. I’d watered and fed the cat. I showered. I drank my first coffee. I made my hubby’s lunch and sent him off to work with a kiss, and a silent prayer that he have a good graceful day. I’d written my e-course invitation for the day. Shopped for what feels like the 57th time for a new journal as I’ve taken a keen interest in Bullet Journalling, I’d cleaned up a folder of other writings, and I’m sure 10 other things I’d lost track of.

That’s when it hit me. I was once a dirty dish rack, and from time to time, still catch myself with a little dust, a stain and a watermark of my own.

When we do the work of healing, or spiritual development, it can often be very exciting. Especially when we observe people who appear to have really gotten it down to a beautiful art. Although it may have had it’s moments of messiness, they are balanced, content, and have a really good aura about them. We see that, and we want that.

We want what they have. So we buy the books, we take the courses, we go on the retreats, we hire the gurus, and the healers, one after the next, and yet, it just doesn’t feel like it’s sticking. So, we try the next thing, and the next thing.

Yet, we are still holding and embodying the dirty dish rack.

In the last handful of years, my personal development and spiritual side has deepened. It took me until my mid 30s to realize I needed to change everything.

I needed to change my angry and sarcastic approach to everything.

I needed to stop consuming alcohol.

I needed to cut ties with and stop spending time with people who were in my life.

I had to stop comparing my journey to others.

I left all groups, circles and teachings.

I had to stop memorializing the glamorizing people, places and things of the past.

I stopped reading blogs, books and articles of everyone else who could tell me how to do anything.

I had to clean my own dirty dish rack. I had to go on a “life detox”. I had to scrub out the corners of my mind, and get really intentional and clear about what exactly I was doing in this life, and who I wanted to be around while I did it.

I had to get truthful about the choices I’d made, the motivating and driving force behind those choices, and determine which were soul-path versus ego-driven.

It wasn’t about me proving that truth to anyone else, it was about me knowing my own truth, and standing in that power.

It was about me knowing what I was doing for myself and not needing the approval or validation from anyone else anymore.

The cleaner my dish rack, the clearer I am. The more I know why things don’t resonate the way they once did. Why certain people and I will never share space the same way again. Or perhaps how un-glorious it is to clean a dish rack.

Healing, Spiritual and Personal Development isn’t all sparkly lights, butterflies and Spirit Guides. It’s deep inner work and exploration. It’s an excavation. Some days it’s an exorcism of sorts. It’s what our limited human thinking – would refer to as taking the ‘good with the bad’. The spiritual self knows, it all just – is.

When people ask me for help or guidance these days, I find myself repeating that it is in the acknowledgement and the doing of the ongoing daily work that is required to keep that dish rack clean.

The art of healing is not a one-and-done, event. It’s an ongoing process along a continuum that changes as you change and as your needs change.

The problem, the solution, and whether or not the dish rack is clean, all comes back to you.

Your daily work, your moment to moment choices, and the driving force behind those actions.