Your outer circumstances are a reflection on how you feel about the world.
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Many of us start the year with a long list of intentions, like organizing our home/office/work area. Organizing is one thing, getting rid of clutter is another. In my experience, the clutter clearing is more effective to keeping your home feeling light—a place you feel you want to spend your time.
Several years ago, (before Reiki) I was a service manager for an auto dealership. One of my employees walked by my desk and said, “If your desk looks like this, I’d be afraid to see inside your brain.” Truthfully, he had a great point. I usually felt as if I was a b-b in a tin can, going several different directions and focusing on none. After I learned Reiki, that changed—not immediately, but gradually. I still tend to have more on my desk than I really need, but I have learned and implemented systems to keep myself feeling grounded.
Yet, just about the time I feel as if I have completely learned something, I get reminded it’s actually a journey. Last spring, my husband Mike and I went to Oregon to clear out my parents’ home. My mom had died more than 5 years before, and my niece had been available to move in at that time. It was an easy way to delay the inevitable.
As we were clearing and sorting and deciding what to keep, I tried to keep in mind that my parents grew up during the Great Depression, which means they lived by an unspoken agreement created during that time: Waste not, Want not. Don’t throw away anything that has any usefulness…. anything!
I have taught clutter-clearing classes, and really thought I had an emotional handle on the baggage that things can create. However, I realized I still had a lot of work to do on myself. We went up before the estate sale to take one last look around the place. I felt my heart clench when I looked at my mom’s china set. Did I want it? No. Did I want it to be sold, especially to a stranger? Not really. But what would I actually do with it. I went through the same process with my grandmother’s teacups—and other items that felt like they themselves were the memories. A few items actually passed the test, and I brought them home.
After the estate sale, we went back up to Oregon and were overwhelmed that there was still so much left. What were we going to do with it all? Fortunately, my daughter-in-law, who is clearly savvier regarding social media, took some photos and put it on Craig’s list and Facebook as FREE. I could NOT believe the number of cars that started to show up at the house—or the things that people took—or the joy in their eyes when they found something that they wanted or could use. I felt so much joy in letting things go to these people who were so excited. It was a win-win.
Underlying the joy, though, there was this deep sense of exhaustion and sadness. Why was there so much STUFF? Typically, I am the first to say things do not equal memories, but in the days of this process it didn’t feel that way.
I came home feeling fired up. I wanted to throw everything away—until I got back to California and started to sort through MY stuff—which was so much cooler than my mom’s stuff. I mean seriously, I have some awesome crystals and great resources in books. Who would want to get rid of those?
Now that I have some perspective, thanks to time, I thought I would share with you some ideas on how to clear out clutter from your home. I believe that your outer circumstances are a reflection on how you feel about the world.
How to clear clutter from your home:
- Reiki. (That probably seems obvious, but in the throes of clearing out our things, sometimes our emotions get clouded. This is a huge help!)
- Sit in meditation and ask your home, “What do you want to have in you?” This may seem a little odd at first, but the more you connect with your home, the more you figure out what actually belongs there.
- Do a little at a time. Maybe a kitchen drawer or a shelf in your closet is enough just now. All this stuff didn’t show up in a day, so getting rid of excess doesn’t need to happen immediately. To paraphrase William Rand, President of the ICRT, sustained effort over time will give results.
- Ask yourself, “Is this something I truly need or does it make me happy?” This can be a huge sticking point. If you have something that your Aunt Geraldine gave you, feeling guilty about not loving it and getting rid of it, is a tough place to be. But if you take a page out of my journey, you can remember it will be going to someone who truly does love it and you can free up space for the things you do love. Imagine the joy it will bring someone who loves receiving it. If you love it, keep it. If you loved the person who gave you the item, but not the item, the love doesn’t go away if the item is gone. Really it doesn’t.
- If you have items to go as a donation, take them immediately. If you have items to go in the trash, do that immediately. Do not have piles lying all over the place creating more clutter.
- Did I mention Reiki? This is crucial. Letting go of what no longer serves you, makes way for what does. The more you do this the more you will notice your life mirroring this.
- Finally, do a ceremony for your home. When we got my parents home ready to go on the market, my family and I went through the house and talked to the spirit of the home and the land. We did Reiki, drumming, sage and ringing a bell. My granddaughter, who is 10, kept track of her dad and grandpa to make sure they drummed in all the corners and rang the bell even in the closets. We promised the house and the land, that a family would move in and take care of it. And we requested from Spirit that a lot of love would be there—that people who would care for and improve the space would come and spend years there.
As I am writing this article it is 97 degrees in California. We have hot weather, but considering the other issues going on in the country, I’m ok with it. There are fires burning in other areas of California, and it reminds me of a question I received when taking a clutter-clearing course… if there were an emergency, what are the three things you would take from your home? So, just take a quick second and think about that.
My mom’s house did sell to a family with small children. I believe we kept our promise to the home and the land. I drove by when we went up after the house sold. The house already seemed to have life and joy returning to it. Our house in California?—well, we are always clearing. I try to take something out when I bring something new in—try being the operative word. I have a strong feeling that the journey is continual. And my three things? Two dogs and a photo of my parents.