We treasure childhood memories, and after awhile, we accumulate an eclectic mix of furniture, artwork, collectibles, books, clothes, and all sorts of miscellaneous “stuff.” Family members pass on their heirlooms, these hand-me-downs get things rolling, and before you know it, you have a house full of furniture whether you want it or not. Just as a drawer can be so stuffed it has no room for one more thing, your home, office, or life can be equally filled to the brim. Downsizing your life through the process of letting go creates room for new things to enter. If you want to make a dramatic change in the course of your life, begin by creating space in your environment.
This can involve anything from eliminating items you no longer use or need to letting go of obligations you no longer want to fulfill and goals you no longer feel connected to. Each item removed, leaves an opening. With breathing space, we more clearly see the areas we need to develop in order to fulfill our hopes and dreams.
Also, giving—or, “gifting”—things away, in effect launches a “Circle of Prosperity.” As one thing is “paid forward” in the form of a donation, a gift, or recycling of something that’s no longer useful, we create openings for new opportunities in our lives.
Clutter appears in many forms. It can be the stack of old newspapers or magazines you can’t bring yourself to throw away. If you grew up in lean times, you may have learned to stockpile necessities and goods in order to provide for yourself and your family. You may believe that having more is somehow better, that material possessions define who you are and raise your value, status and reputation in the community. Even “favorite” collections can qualify as clutter if what you accumulate goes well beyond the space you have to display them modestly. Hoarding of any kind points to the “what if” mindset of always planning for any unforeseen event “just in case.”
Anyone can justify that his or her mess is systematic, but clutter feeds disorganization. If your justification for clutter is that you’re simply too busy to clean and organize your house, consider this: If you found the time to create the clutter, you can also make time to clear the clutter!
The benefits of simplicity outweigh the time and discipline it will take to lighten the load. You’re making room for something new—something better. By letting go of what no longer serves you, you’re declaring that you trust you’ll be taken care of. You’ll function better when you simplify your life. And you will come to understand what it means to become prosperity conscious.
Eliminating mental clutter—lightening up internally—is just as important as reducing physical clutter to create an easy and natural flow of life.
On an elementary level, the process for lightening up your day can begin by declining any obligation that doesn’t serve a purpose or move you in the direction of your goals. Every time you reluctantly accept an invitation to an event your heart really isn’t into, your energy takes a dip. If saying no to people or obligations seems daunting, you can ask yourself, “Is this experience vital to my survival?” Feeling obligated is tiring. Events or situations that lack value to you may end up as roadblocks to your creative path. Saying no to any unwanted commitments and responsibilities will allow you to concentrate your energy where you want and to be more centered and focused on what’s most important to you.
Mental clutter also includes: old belief systems that keep you tethered to the past; lack of openness to new ideas; anxiety about a future over which you have no control; participation in endless dialogs of criticizing and judging; obsessive thoughts that rehearse your history and continually reopen old wounds; and old anger that keeps you wasting energy on people in your past.
Feng Shui has a useful term—“poison arrow”—that refers, on a material level, to two corners coming together (on tables, counters, and other furniture) in ways that turn their sharp edges into blades that cut or bruise on contact.
In the same way that homes are “child-proofed” to protect small children from being injured by sharp corners or objects, we have to “adult proof” our life from the poison arrows we create with our thoughts, words, and actions. When your mind-set, belief system, or actions become extreme, inflexible, and void of compassion, you’ve created a poison arrow in your mind and inhibited the smooth flow of energy in yet another way.
Your ability to trust the natural and instinctive unfolding of your life, even when facing the unknown, is key to transforming chaotic situations into opportunities. It’s learning to live at ease with uncertainty. From this moment on, before you purchase one more item or revisit one more old wound or make one more commitment, ask yourself, “Will this decision result in adding more clutter—in any form—to my life?” If you pause long enough to answer the question thought-fully, you may free yourself from a compulsive action as well as keep unnecessary clutter from re-entering either your physical or internal environment.
Thanks everyone, have a great uncluttered day!
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