It’s spring and from the ground up we are all thinking about spring cleaning. Some of us are actually doing it while the rest of us are procrastinating. All that decision-making of what to throw away presents the primary impediment. Besides, throwing out what we have already purchased invalidates the money we spent as well as the intent – could we have been wrong?
Maybe you don’t realize it, but all of your stuff is piling up altering your perception: the various knickknacks, the hundreds of similar photographs, the piles of magazines and mail and the layers of dust. Your space becomes uninviting (embarrassed to let people drop in) which contributes to the loneliness – “Why don’t I have more friends?” Maybe you don’t really see the person who lives with you and loves you and he or she doesn’t see you anymore because the view is obscured. Here are some reasons why de-cluttering will immediately invigorate your life and renew your relationships.
- Toss out the toxins in your life. Why do you clean out your refrigerator? You know that if you don’t periodically throw away old foods, they will spoil and release toxins like mold and bacteria. As a result, bad odors will be overwhelming and there will be no room for fresh wholesome foods which anyway would be contaminated by the spoiled food. Do you see the analogy to your own life: how physical and mental clutter can spoil your life? If you don’t get rid of what you don’t need, mental junk overwhelms your life, keeping you stuck in the past: failures, criticism and grief. There is no room for self-improvement.
- Look for a pattern to your clutter. Are there dead plants? Too many paintings on the wall? The same pants in the same color you bought last time and forgot about? Most of us keep duplicating what we already have, like dating the same type of person we have divorced or the usual repetitive arguing. What are you always buying and why? Is emotional programming the reason? Is there something about yourself you want to complete with all this stuff? Find the answer and you will change your life by doing things differently.
- Learn to be selective. If you photographed everything, would anything be special? If you like everything, then you like nothing. Designate what you treasure and release the rest. Keep making choices about what you want and don’t want. “I choose to do it” versus “I choose not to do it.” You will stop being a people-pleaser which makes you resentful while you will find some compassion and happiness for yourself. It is important to realize that you absorb the energy of the people with whom you associate, so choose good energy.
- Liberate your true identity. Realize that you accumulate things to fill an empty heart or make you feel accomplished – “Look at what I own” versus “Look at me.” If you are living amidst the nostalgia of what has happened in the past, you are not maximizing your present life. By cleaning out your stuff you can channel your energy to discover your hidden assets because nothing is in the way to confuse and distract you.
- Make room for the talent of your space to emerge. How wonderful to reorganize and create a space just for yourself to percolate ideas that go from inspiration to aspiration. You can clean up and set up even a corner of a room to contain your personal, beautiful, inspirational objects - perhaps a window with a view, to be in a wonderful state where art happens. Your creativity and productivity will soar in all areas of your life.
Now that you have worked on yourself and your mental clutter, you are ready to simplify your married life. Are there obstacles to your sensuality and sexuality? Check out your bedroom. Your bed should be the focal point of the room and not have to compete with a desk. Are there photos of the whole family on your night table when there should be photos of the two of you? Are your sheets worn? The rewards of getting rid of negative energy in the bedroom should be quite clear. Set the stage for romance.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life
, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout
and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul,
a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com