“Every aspect of your life is energetically anchored in your living space, so clearing clutter can transform your entire existence.” —Karen Kingston
Clutter often creates this haze of feeling not good enough and becomes this outward symbol of a certain loss of joy in your life. It’s often an outer expression of some flavor of fear. Even if you had good intentions when you initially brought these belongings into your life or they showed up in your space, clutter often dims your light.
The belongings can hold emotional stories that you struggle to resolve. You may think that you are your past and all the objects associated with your past. They may have wonderful associations or heartbreaking meanings, but these belongings are not you. They tell stories about who you were, but they aren’t you.
Clutter can show up in your life, as “thorns” in your heart, or activities you no longer love doing. Your heart can be healed from all those “thorns.” Gently pull them out and feel all those difficult emotions. Emotions can show you what you actually care about. You wouldn’t have all these feelings if you weren’t committed to something or someone. The intensity of your grief, anger, or shame often points to the depth of your commitment, your love, and your desire to belong or make a positive difference in our world and this got thwarted for a bit.
It’s soul sucking and exhausting to go through the motions of an activity you no longer love doing or maybe never really enjoyed. You may have been really good at it. You do it to fit in and to not disappoint others who benefit from your talents and abilities. And those people may really care, respect, and appreciate you or not so much. Either way, you notice that your heart is not on board. Your heart stands on the beach with a towel, while your body swims fiercely in the waves longing to be on solid ground. It might be time to reunite with your heart and rest in the sand.
Sometimes it seems easier to stay connected to things than to people. Things seem to have staying power and people can, in a moment, disappear from our lives. Like a child clinging to a stuffed animal, we can make a deeper emotional investment in inanimate objects than people. These objects usually don’t talk, yell, rage, cry, bully, or walk away. Some creepy dolls might speak, but even then it’s not in the all the ways a human being can.
This may be why some people cling so fiercely to books, furniture, knick-knacks, artwork, collectibles, and all those boxes. Our emotional world sometimes collapses into these inanimate belongings because creating meaningful connections with people seems too risky. It might be easier to hold a book than someone’s hand. We avert our eyes from people, but look for a long time at a piece of artwork or our cell phones.
We can fill our lives with more of what we really no longer need, use, or want or begin to gently clear away all of this and bring discernment and new awareness to what or with whom we connect. Feng shui invites us to have empowering connections to things, thoughts, people, and experiences. It may be time to be brave and part ways and open space for fresh adventures.
Powerful proactive action requires a reframe of our past stories, clarity about what we really desire for our lives, and the commitment to make it happen no matter what. This action also may require us to shift out of a powerless or victim mentality and into one of being able to respond, to take full responsibility.
Taking action requires becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable as we stretch and grow. It involves taking risks and walking with our fear and our passion. It’s uncomfortable stepping into an uncertain future without boxes and belongings and that soul-sucking relationship or job or activity. Sometimes a deep desire to be free, to be unencumbered brings inspiration to fuel the action. We can walk through an obstacle course to make it happen. Clearing clutter can become a labor of love, a passionate stand for clarity, and an Oh What the Heck Nothing Else has Worked, I’ll Go For It Anyway.
As Patanjali states it, “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: You mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
What would it be like to be as close to clutter-free as you can be? Can you begin to imagine the open space, time, freedom, less burdened heart, and clearer mind? What would have you jump out of bed in the morning or have you so excited that you could hardly fall asleep at night? What do you love doing or creating more than anything else in the world? Your heart often holds the truth about what this purpose or project is. Listen closely to your heart. It won’t lead you astray.
When we know that a fabulous vacation is around the corner we take urgent and purposeful actions to complete tasks and clear our desks. When our actions are a contribution to a cause more important than our self-doubts, we swiftly act. We rise to the occasion of being generous when we know that our contributions make a positive difference for others. We will do what it takes.
Know that clearing away what no longer supports you or maybe never did can take weeks or months depending on how long and how much you’ve stashed or collected. It takes courage to have those conversations regarding the relationships and activities in your life that need to be gracefully set free.
I wish you deep and enduring peace as you take those gentle actions to clear your space and life of all these forms of clutter as best as you can in this moment. May liberation be your reward.