So, I finally finished Spiritual Housecleaning by Kathryn L. Robyn. What a chore that was.
Now, I should set the stage by explaining that I found this book in the laundry room of my apartment building (its the traditional spot for folks to leave things that are no longer wanted but too good to throw away). I flipped through the first few pages and it sounded pretty good. Ms. Robyn talked a bit about how a messy house can glom up your creativity, basically, and I’ve often found that to the case. So I decided to read it.
But the farther in I got, the more surreal the experience became. She takes us room by room through the house, explaining how to clean it…at first. The chapter on the kitchen made a lot of sense. But as she moved on, there was less about physical cleaning and more and more about why your house is messy in the first place, and towards the end the phrase ‘sacred space’ cropped up frequently. I didn’t mind the latter so much as the former.
Because according to Ms. Robyn, if your house is messy, you must have been abused as a child.
Indeed. She comes back to this point over and over. Now, I don’t want to belittle the trauma that way too many people had to endure as children. And if this book was called “Cleaning house as a means of dealing with childhood abuse” then things would’ve been fine. I would’ve passed it by. But that’s not the title, and the way Robyn keeps returning to this point has me assuming that she herself was abused, and I’m sorry for her. But I don’t want to read all about it.
Mix in a bit of paranoia… when talking about the bedroom and sleep issues, one of her suggestions is “Good locks, extra locks, and locked and wired windows” so you can feel safe to sleep. Shortly after is the advice to “Masterbate! It releases pent-up energy like a steam valve. A good vibrator will minimize any exertion involved.” I have to say using a vibrator would maxmize the exertion involved for me, but I guess the reader is assumed to be female.
I could go on and on. Her ‘Practice Pages’ are exercises to help us accomplish…um, a clean house? Again, they start as practical exercises, but by the end she has us meditating and speaking to our spirit guides.
Ms. Robyn could probably write an interesting New Age metaphysics book. And that’s what she should have done. Spiritual Healing ends up being a mish-mosh that isn’t going to please anyone. If you really want tips to help you manage the chaos of life so that you can stay centered and focused on things that are important to you, then a great chunk of this book will be useless. If you’re looking for a book on metaphysics and a sort of inward spirituality, then the bits about how to clean an oven aren’t going to be much use.
Two thumbs down. In fact, I wish I had a third hand so I could give it 3 thumbs down. Stay away from this book!