We all have varying degrees of clutter in our lives…. Could be a counter top that becomes a catch all. Could be that scary junk drawer no one ever organizes. Could feel like it’s our entire living space. And it can also be in our inner lives. It can show up as unexpressed or repressed emotions that clog up our psyche. It could show us as grudges, judgement, anger. Clutter is something all of us have in some form. And often when we have clutter with stuff externally – it is a signal that we have some inner decluttering that we would benefit from.
One of the most powerful ways of connecting with ourselves and knowing our truth and our reality is to tune into is our body. Yet very few people do this. I admit, I'm not the greatest at paying attention to this super amazing message system we all have. Our bodies don’t like it when we have inner clutter. They will voice their displeasure at our stacking up of less than loving thoughts with messages. If we ignore these messages and pleas from our body to get back to loving ourselves and declutter the stinkin’ thinkin’, that’s okay, the messages will just get louder. I remember many years ago hearing Oprah with this quote:
When we have too much inner clutter, like negative mental chatter, approval seeking, hateful thoughts about our appearance, judgement, fear, negative stuff - it can drown out the messages from our uber wise bodies. So sometimes our body turns up the volume on it's messages to please get back to loving our selves with pain, illness, and anything it thinks might get our attention.
Clutter guru Peter Walsh says very simply that clutter is ANYTHING that stands between you and the life you want to be living. Just like clutter in the junk drawer, internal clutter can stack up and sit around in our soul, our mind, our heart for so long that we no longer notice that it’s even there. It becomes invisible to us, yet its effects on our relationships, our self-care, and living the life we desire all take a toll when we become numb to the inner clutter.
When we take things on and hold on to them internally as well as externally, it robs us of energy. Clutter makes it more difficult to move forward in our lives. It takes up space, time and wears us down trying to work around it. It’s constantly “talking to us” by just sitting around, taking up valuable space that could be given to what you WANT in your life.
We hang on to clothes that no longer fit, perhaps we’ll get back in them someday – right? We hang on to things we don’t use or even like sometimes because “you just never know when I’ll need that!” This is based in scarcity, fear and a bit of hanging on to the past. If this is your pattern – ask yourself where else in my life am I hanging on to the past? Where else do I have a scarcity or fearful mindset?
Here is the cool thing about looking at where and how you hang on to clutter – it reveals something about your inner life that is valuable for you to know. If addressed and questioned, it can set you FREE! The important thing is to not jump to judgement when taking a look at the clutter in your life. Just NOTICE. What can you learn from it? Simply observing without jumping to judgement is a way out of inner clutter.
Just as we do in our material stuff, we must make some space internally as Brene’ Brown points out. Stillness, meditation, reflection time all create space in our soul so that we can open it up. If the thought of meditation makes you want to skip ahead in this chat, let me offer up something that I recently read from Danielle LaPorte that caused me to feel completely different about this idea.
ANYTHING where you get some alone time, can be a contemplative practice. Sitting with a cup of coffee in silence in the morning counts as a contemplative practice if we get quiet and not focused on our to-do list for a minute or two – THIS creates space for our lives to open up and declutter. Even taking a 30 second break to just take a few deep breaths, this clears up space in our inner world and helps reduce the clutter in our minds.
I’ve said it many times, we all have stuff. Stuff that clogs up our path to happiness, fulfillment, connection. If we can just be willing to clear out one junk drawer in our physical space, I can almost guarantee you that it will also clear up some inner space for you. Tosha Silver suggests setting an intention that when the drawer is cleared up, that you will be cleared up also.
It may seem like a stretch, that if you organize a bit in your outer world that it will also clear out some clutter of your inner world. I’ve seen it work many times for people I’ve suggested it to, as well as for myself. We must have a vision for what it is we WANT in our lives though. If you want freedom, connection, love, passion, or whatever is on your wish list – you have to make space for it. When we are all cluttered up with old junk, there’s no way it can get in.
Want a better relationship? You gotta have a vision for what you want it to look like in order clear out the clutter of what it has looked like in the past. I'd invite you to do what Tony Robbins has you do in his immersion seminars - sit down and write out what your relationship vision is. This is a total clutter buster! When you have a vision for what you want, it gets a lot of junk out of the way so you can get there.
What can you let go of this week? Which junk drawer will you clean up and organize? What will you decide to no longer be numb to in your life and continue to over-look? And most importantly, what do you want to make space for in your life?
In addition to submitting this blog on an irregular basis, I also do a short radio show on a regular basis (Monday thru Friday each week) with my friend and co-host Spencer Williams. All this week we are going to dive into the topic of decluttering your life and see if what we have learned can be of any help to fellow seekers on their own paths. I will post links to these short 3 minute bolsters of upliftment on my Facebook page and there will be more tips on decluttering – you can listen any time.
Sandy Edie Hansen
I use this space to "Chat" about things I am working through and learning in my life currently. Join me!