December 13, 2017

Clear Your Space, Body, and Mind In Time for 2018


Every week, Preen tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. JulianoMarla DarwinMonica Eleazar-ManzanoRossana Unson, and Ronna Capili-Bonifacio tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.

With just a few days until Christmas, the countdown frenzy has begun. Our family credo, however, is “less is more.” How do you celebrate a season of extravagance with a minimalistic approach to living?

Instead of piling up the usual Christmas lists for friends and family, we’ve decided to give what truly matters in the season of giving. I’m talking about the gift of real presence versus material presents for those dear to us and giving to charity to those genuinely in need. And to truly prepare for the new year, we’re doing some space clearing at home and in our bodies, too. My ultimate peg is Marie Kondo for home matters while I look into my personal Yoga and spiritual practice for guidance into the realm of body + mind spaces.

In the past decade with my husband and three kids, we’ve practically moved every two years. Yes, it’s true. We’ve moved within cities in Metro Manila, and then took the leap of faith from Manila to Puerto Princesa, then drudgingly back to “the big bad city” of Manila. Then back to Makati to Quezon City then to San Juan and then back to Palawan but this time around, El Nido. Judging from our track record, we must be master packers, to which I claim, we really are! Because of our vagabonding tendencies, we’ve learned to reduce our possessions to mere necessities. And with children involved, it can get tricky but still very doable. We’ve learned that living out in the boonies, you can survive with so much less than what you are accustomed to in the big city.

Here are my space clearing tips for home, body and mind to physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare you for ending 2017 clean and starting 2018 with a clear slate.


1. Envision your ideal living space/s.

2. Remember that things should be able to breathe so that energy can flow well. If it feels too heavy or clutter is a problem, then you already have more than necessary.

3. Identify the things that are beautiful and useful for you and your family. If there are items that do not fit your beautiful or useful categories, reduce by selling online (for profit return!) or donating it to charity.

4. Join a 30-day minimalist challenge with a friend to get you into the groove of things, or should I say, lessening of things.


1. The best way to cleanse the inside spaces aka organs of your body is through a good detox. The body, thankfully, is naturally an efficient detoxing machine. However, with the amount of processed food we perpetually feed ourselves, we do need a little bit of help!

2. Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic detox practice that works wonders for me. Swish any edible oil in your mouth for at least 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning. I prefer virgin coconut oil and add a drop of pure essential oil like clove or peppermint for added detox oomph.

3. To help the digestion flow more smoothly, drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with honey in water before breakfast.


1. Clearing out the mind may be the hardest thing to do so I start small. I tune in to my breath as a form of simple meditation available to me anytime, anywhere. This is best done during hectic or stressful but totally appropriate times like when stuck in traffic or counting your breaths before replying to a small child’s tantrums.

2. Practice is key. We’re all very much prone to negative thinking due to years of mind conditioning. The good news is, your brain acts like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the better it gets at doing what you want it to do. So, to train your mind to think more positively, all you need is to catch it when it goes into the dark side and shoo it towards the light!

3. If you have a yoga or spiritual or just a consistent self-care practice, it is good to set an intention because “energy flows where your mind goes.” If you’ve ever read or watched the movie on What The Bleep Do We Know, they explained the secret behind the mind and manifestation in a phrase, “Thoughts become things!”

I hope I have given you useful tips to jumpstart your cleansing period in time for a brighter, lighter, and more positive new year!

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.


Art by Lara Intong

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culture, declutter, Mind, momhood, Motherhood, New Year, parenting

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