De-cluttering as an exercise in clearing our mind
Clutterers, let’s come out of the closet! For those of us with an attachment to stuff, and in possession of headless dolls, yellowed newspaper clippings and multiple sets of dishes, it’s time to crawl out from under the piles and admit that all of this clutter is cluttering our minds.
If our load has us weighed down, be it literally or figuratively, it can be helpful to call in outside reinforcements. In the case of my jammed cupboards, I needed help, so recently I hired a clutter coach; at least that’s what I call her. Her name is Nikki, and what she really does is encourage, provide accountability and offer a fresh approach to freedom.
What does the state of our sock drawer have to do with the state of our mind?
Meditation teaches us, “…as above, so below.” In the case of clutter, “as in our lives, so in our minds.” If our surroundings are cluttered and overflowing with disorder, we’re likely to be as well. If one aspect of us is in disarray, it can’t help but create confusion in the others.
When we sort through our junk, mental cobwebs begin to lift. At times this process may leave us feeling tremendously vulnerable and afraid. It can be hard to let go of keepsakes that hold emotional significance, as if the memory or experience is somehow alive in a piece of paper. But letting go externally means moving on internally. Ridding ourselves of superfluous stuff, and any associated emotional baggage, frees us to focus our energies on the present. It allows us to create space, and in that space, there is freedom.
De-cluttering is not only practical, but good juju as well.
It’s simple. Weeding out our possessions gets rid of old news. Some of us hang onto things out of obligation, fear or because “Aunt Ethel gave me that and someday she’ll be gone.” Once duty-bound, fear-based and guilt-ridden items are out of the house, the associated negative feelings are also out of our minds.
This principle spills over, out of our closets, into our lives. As we practice our pruning skills on things that don’t really matter, like our sock drawer, we gain the confidence to thin other areas of our world. The end result leaves us with unencumbered spaces, clearer minds and less distraction from interference.
I’m no longer interested in being an overwhelmed, closed up person who leaves things left undone, un-put away, and unhealed.
When we gain awareness of our attachment to things, we have the opportunity to re-evaluate what’s important. Then, we can prioritize our energy and resources accordingly. With awareness, we shift from being mired in the mess, to moving on to what really matters. When we clean up after ourselves we can make a peaceful space in our homes and in our brains.
Do we all need to hire a clutter coach? Not necessarily. But if our homes are too busy, our minds tend to follow suit. If beginning a new endeavor requires cleaning up from a previous one, we probably have some work to do. We can all ask, what can we let go of? Where can we create space? Where can we find freedom? Then look around and pick the first pile.
Cluttered feels like: De-cluttered feels like: