You can get a pretty good idea of the benefits of clutter clearing simply by imaging your life free of all the negative effects of clutter that we've explored in the past two issues of this newsletter: lack of focus and clarity; feelings of being professionally, creatively, spiritually, and/or romantically stuck; insufficient time and attention for self and family; increased stress, irritability and depression. Wouldn't it be great to be free of all these?
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No matter what other factors may be dragging you down, I guarantee you that clearing your clutter will dramatically improve your mood and energy. And then any other problems you are confronting won't seem quite so bad.
When you first start clutter clearing you may be surprised at the emotions triggered by the simple act of dealing with your stuff. You think you're just cleaning out your home, but what you're really doing is rooting around in dusty corners of your psyche and coming eyeball-to-eyeball with unresolved business from the past. The personal relics that lurk within your clutter - college papers, family memorabilia, detritus from a long-dead marriage - can be easier to ignore than to carry to the dump, which is why they've been haunting the back of your closet for so many years.
As you persevere with clutter clearing a moment will come when you realize how much lighter and happier you feel. In the process of coping with your clutter, you've reconnected with your inner self, with dreams and wishes long ignored. Those you've outgrown can be released with a fond smile. Those that make your heart leap with recognition and longing... well, now you have the space, time, and energy to pursue them.
Clutter clearing gets you out of your rut. It shakes loose frozen aspects of your soul and allows them to journey into your heart where they belong and where you can listen to and act upon them.
Eventually, you will find yourself turning to clutter clearing instead of aspirin or caffeine when you notice that you're not as clear-headed, focused or insightful as you'd like to be. If you're feeling lethargic and don't want to exercise, you'll know to examine whether you've allowed a zone of stagnation to creep in around the couch (where you are most likely to be having lazy thoughts in the first place). If you can't seem to decide on priorities for your business, you'll realize it's time to clear off the desk and catch up on paperwork. And if you're not eating as well as you should, you'll remember that clearing off the kitchen counter and cleaning out the fridge will help get your eating habits back on track.
What this all boils down to is that managing your clutter helps you feel like less of a victim and puts you back in control of your moods and your life. You have greater confidence in your abilities and decisions, so you feel more hopeful and optimistic about the future. You respect yourself more, and will probably find that other people treat you better as well. You feel less stressed, and have more courage to try and do new things. You stop turning to material objects to make you happy, because you are content with less.
Clearing out your clutter creates space for possibility. You may find yourself deciding to go back to school, change your career, start your own business, go out on a date, take up painting or singing or ballroom dancing, try out for a part in a play, or... what's your dream? (No wonder clutter clearing can be a little scary! Suddenly there are no more excuses for why you can't pursue that dream.)
Your friends will say you look terrific. They'll wonder where that sparkle in your eye came from, and how you manage to look both energized and serene at the same time. It's because you have released from your life everything that is no longer useful to you. You have let go of the past and are no longer hoarding for the future. You have made space for living freely in the present, where peace resides.
© 2003 Stephanie Roberts
Stephanie Roberts is the author of "Fast Feng Shui: 9 Simple Principles for Transforming Your Life by Energizing Your Home", a #1 most popular feng shui book at Amazon.com.