Fitting for the start of a brand new year, the challenge for members of our Soul Sanctuary this month was to get rid of stuff.
Most of us are owned by the things we think we own.
If every surface in your house is covered, the sacred buried under the mundane, and you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer weight of possessions in your house, it may be time to ask yourself:
Does your living space support your life and work, or does it drain your precious energy?
Your external environment reflects your internal self. If your surroundings are disorganized, it’s impossible to experience clarity and focus on the inside. If you think you can just close the door behind you and pretend chaos in your environment doesn’t exist, think again. Those masses of unanswered emails, piles of paperwork on your desk, unpaid bills, unopened mail, useless gifts gathering dust, tupperware containers without lids and mismatched socks, all have a suffocating effect on your soul.
By cleaning up the items that crowd your life, you eliminate their negative influence, free up energy and creativity, and unlock your true potential. The Buddha laid it out pretty simply: Attachment causes suffering. The more attached you are to useless ‘treasures,’ the less you’re able to remember which bits really matter.
Perhaps even more important than the effects of the junk in your garage and closets, is the clutter that has made a nest in your mind and heart. What are the outworn beliefs you hold dear that trip you up from moving forward? Do you believe you’re not worthy? Do you believe you can’t change? Do you believe that health and wealth and happiness are difficult to create?
Do you think it may be time to just let those beliefs go?
You created your beliefs so you can uncreate them. Delete them. Undo them. Throw them out together with those old CD’s and odd sculptures and things to put other things in.
The more you commit to clearing clutter in your external and internal life, the more your relationship will change to your outer and inner ‘stuff’. You begin to realize how very little you actually need to bring into your space; how much is actually as Stephen Kings says, needful. You don’t need thoughts and feelings that don’t serve you, just as you don’t need all those old birthday gifts that you never really wanted, the nice clothing that hadn’t fit in years, and the souvenirs from holidays long gone. And when you truly GET this, you’re gifted with a new way to view the training of culture and decades of television commercials that tell you that you’ll only be ‘good enough’ if you have more of what you don’t need.
Here are a few thoughts to lead the way:
1. In the words of Brooks Palmer, your stuff is not sacred, but YOU are. Don’t make your space a temple to useless objects.
2. Reflect on the mindset that enabled you to create so much clutter in the first instance. Was it avoidance, procrastination, good ole’ laziness? How can you change your mindset to get excited about clearing clutter in the first instance, and maintaining habits that will prevent you from getting in the same predicament in the future.
3. Realize that holding on to objects has an addictive nature. Learn to recognize the addictive voice. It whispers things like, ‘what if you need it some day?’ or ‘I could still wear/use this…,’ or ‘…but I paid good money for that!’ Don’t argue with the addictive voice. Just notice it, and then take action anyway. Owning seven salt and pepper sets are really not that crucial to your happiness.
4. In making a decision on whether an object stays or goes, ask yourself only two questions:
Do I love it?
Do I need it?
If the answer is yes to either, keep it. If not, bin it or gift it to charity. In due time you may find a trip to the charity shops as cleansing as a yoga retreat.
5. Remind yourself that clearing clutter makes room for clarity and sweeps away confusion. It makes room for new and exciting things to enter into your life. You don’t have to do it all at once. Perhaps it will serve you better to commit to getting rid of two old things every time you bring something new into the house. You’ll be amazed at the sense of ‘lightness’ it opens up in your world!
When you commit yourself to clearing away clutter, you’ll notice that you don’t end up missing much. In fact, it’s so much easier to breathe when you leave your hands open than to make a fist to hold something tight.
What’s still standing between you and freedom?
I would love to hear your thoughts and tips on clearing clutter in the comment box below.
I also invite you to become a member of the Soul Sanctuary, where you’ll be empowered on a daily basis to master the spiritual practice of health, wealth and happiness. Join us now!
Let’s create miracles together!