Creating a better life. Is decluttering one of the secrets?

Creating a better life.  Is decluttering one of the secrets?

DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME AND YOUR MIND …. making space for your new beginnings

Take the practical process of decluttering to the level of your Mind and Spirit.

Most of us took up the challenge with the Marie Kondo decluttering method and embraced the principle of ridding our homes of possessions that no longer “spark joy”.

My interpretation of “spark joy” is a feeling of positive association or connection.  This feeling goes beyond the psychological, it’s intuitive and resonates as an inner aliveness.  You know the difference between happiness and the fleeting ‘spark’ of joy because of the depth of ‘feeling’ … joy is a deep-rooted, inspired happiness.

For me, the most profound benefit of decluttering my house was the space it left in my mind and in my Being.  For as I “let go of the old and made way for the new” in a practical and literal sense, I experienced an internal shift … a freeing up of space that has allowed room for creativity, clarity of thought and new beginnings.

You can do this too by simultaneously decluttering yourself.  Here’s how …

With each item you lovingly release, mindfully, consciously and with even greater respect and love, release your attachment to the “thing”.

Sometimes this can be an emotional process and a confronting one as memories, feelings, experiences, thoughts, all bubble to the surface and challenge your commitment to the actual process of truly LETTING GO.  It’s hard for us to let go.  We tend to hold on fearing the inevitable sense of loss and potential grief it evokes.

But it’s in the letting go that we become free … free to reconnect with ourselves, to be ourselves and free to manifest the new.

And you’re not going to like this gurrrl, but especially let go of the material things you purchased in a “retail therapy” frenzy.  It may have filled a void at the time with a short-lived offering of relief, but the challenge is to let go of everything you bought AND the issue underlying your pain preceding it.

So instead of simply offloading all that does not “spark joy”, offload everything - every, single, item - that has a negative or meaningless association to you now.  And everything that has served its purpose … the stuff you’ve outgrown because you’ve grown and changed. 

With each item, let go of your fear, your habits that no longer serve you, the thoughts that have held you back, the dream that lies dormant, the expectations that remain unfulfilled, the compromises you made, the guilt you felt.

Let it all go.

Free yourself of the clutter in the spaces of your house, the spaces in your mind, and the spaces in your heart and soul … and feel the Joy of creating room in your home and in your Being for the new treasures and experiences that await you.

Spring is the season of rebirth and renewal.  This is the time.  Begin it now.  Reclaim the Joy of Being Home.

A personal journal entry … The Minimalist Challenge of 2017…you’re welcome to read

Last day entry (day 31) … an excerpt …..

“496 items have left us and are on to a new destiny.

There’s one truth I’ve learnt about life.   The longer I’m are on this planet, the more is accumulated ….  on every level … and therefore the more the need is relevant to learn the process of letting go.  That’s logical. Regardless of my philosophical approach though, I resist … will it ever get easier?

Sometimes we don’t have the blessing of choice as we’re forced to let go of loved ones, friends, pets, our youth, our looks, our complete health, income and status, our culture or heritage, homes or all possessions at once in a natural disaster … oh how did the bushfire victims cope with such overwhelming loss?  Losses not by choice.

These events do put into perspective the blessing of choice.   Sometimes circumstances dictate and demand for us to confront either letting go of or clinging to ….. but there is choice, and conscious, deliberate choice is a personal power lost in an undercurrent of awareness that we sometimes forget to utilise.

Every day presents this …  to choose to either let go of or cling to … old dreams and hopes (are they relevant anymore, is it time for a new dream?), the sadness of issues past,  material possessions that defined me, long held beliefs and attitudes, our independence, careers, control, the need to be right, the fear of not being good enough, expectations of myself and others,  global ideals, the list goes on … and next I’m going to make that list and tick them off as they are ceremoniously released.

There’s a need to make space …….. and along with the 496 things, I’ll have a new destiny too.

 

Here are more journal entries … heads up … some are truly ‘tragic’, pathetic, mildly humourous

My minimalist challenge of 2017

My mission … for one month … to let go of 1 item on day 1, 2 on day 2, 3 on day 3 and so on (totalling 496 things!).  And I’ll simultaneously free myself of a belief, attitude or thought process that doesn’t serve.  I’ll liberate myself and make space for new experiences, attitudes, energy and creativity.

Day 1.

I’ve wrestled with my approach to this challenge.  Do I start in one room, select random pieces? Choose barely noticeable objects or go for the big stuff?  I’ve decided since I’m a decorating pro who starts a project with a “statement piece”, I’ll apply the process in reverse and let go of one.

I pick a giant ornate frame, once a stunning mirror but smashed in our last move.  It’s been repainted many times and framed countless images.  But it doesn’t bring joy I’ll admit.  In fact, I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the monolithic negative omen of the broken mirror confronting me each day.  So you shall be the first to be released.  Thank you for adorning our walls for so long.  I set you free to be repurposed by someone else (who will not be burdened by superstition).

DAY 2

I hate to admit it, but this is tougher than I thought … already!   2 things only and I can’t decide. Get a grip.  My bedside table I’ve never loved.  Sorry.  I’ve had you for 15 yrs, repainted numerous times and convinced myself that … at a stretch … it’s French Provincial in style.  Face it sista, it’s not!

But I allow my mind to wander at so many other possibilities and in the process confront an internal dilemma.  I have a decorating business.  Is it hypocritical or am I on the cutting edge of a new interior trend?  A friend’s compliment springs to mind … she said my home was like stepping into a comfy and fascinating magazine feature … with every surface telling a story, capturing a mood or theme.  All g, I’ll tell new stories.

As my mind goes into overdrive, I still remain undecided about the 2 items and notice the time … dinner.  That confronts me with the utensil drawer … how many cooking tools does a fam of 6 really need? I’ll save that drawer for Day 29!

I go outside for some herbs, swiftly snap up 2 aqua hurricane lamps enroute …. haven’t liked aqua as an accent colour for years and am immediately distracted by an ornate candle holder a friend gave me.  Arms full of parsley and hurricane lamps I whisper to it … “you could be next” and apologise for the threatening tone.

Am I seriously talking to inanimate objects on only Day 2?

Day 3.

Today feels easy.  You three rustic images and frames (London, Paris, NY) adorning the walls of the loungeroom.  They’re cool and I’m a fan of rustic but they’re a reminder that I got ‘em cheap to fill a space … and nobody in the fam likes them.

Along with them today I release the act of compromising on style and beauty for the sake of perceived affordability!  Loving that! Getting excited about tomorrow.

Day 4.

I’m in a mad rush.  Kids to school, shopping, dog walk, contractors fixing ceiling, dress for work.   I quickly choose my 4 things without emotion … there’s no time to engage.  Out go 2 canvasses, a timber deer head clock which doesn’t work (and a reminder that time has stood still in my personal development) and lastly a very special wall piece.  A large ornate frame (rescued)  showcasing a stunning image of a medieval stone staircase lined with church candles.

I’ve meditated on this spectacular vision, even felt the cold stone beneath my feet as I ascended to the unseen top of the staircase.  But I’ve done that for ages now and I’m reminded of a recent conversation with my daughter studying neuroscience … she told me I need to build new pathways in my brain.

It’s great to remember this … makes letting you go easier and I commit to boldly proceed in the building of new pathways … mentally, metaphorically and spiritually!!  Feels good.

Day 5.

At work all day.  Home now and exhausted.  I’ve chosen 5 decorative things that I have no emotional connection to anymore, serve little purpose and do very little to enhance a living space.  Easy. Why did I have them in the first place?

Day 6.

Had a terrible night’s sleep … could be this challenge messing with my subconscious or the family block of choc I ate after dinner!

Either way feel I should take more out of our bedroom, so out goes that bedside cabinet.  Simultaneously another daughter asks me “what are you wearing??”  List is complete … 1xbedside cabinet, 2xoverused heatpacks, 1 stack of old mags, 1xpeasant skirt and 1x leggings I was wearing.

My room is looking as bare as my legs but I’m not stopping to analyse how that feels … ewww

Day 7.

A bit overwhelmed.  Already the living spaces and my bedroom just don’t feel like home. As I move through the spaces I can’t help hatching a plan of how to reconfigurate the furniture to create a new feel and possibly function.  Normally this would be fun but there just seems sooooo much stuff.  Removing some key items reveals only just how much more there is to offload.  Tomorrow is an at- home day and I’m putting on the gloves (boxing that is!).

Day 11.

11 books – done!  Barely noticeable.  Which was not the case for days 8, 9 and 10.  More nicnacs gone, vases and 2 coffee tables.

I did start a redecorating campaign on Day 8 and the house looks more like a home again and less like we’re moving out … had to be done … the kids all understood, but try n explain to your suddenly anxious dog Tori what’s going on and that nobody’s going anywhere! Our (magnificent German Shephard) Shura would just have known.  ‘Letting go’ of her after 12 years … impossibly difficult … its been a year and we miss you so much.  Will I ever not cry when I think of you … is it possible to let go of grief?

But it sure puts this stuff piling up in boxes into perspective …. not one tear will be shed for you … and I’m tackling day 12 right now.

Day 13.

25 more books.  Easy to let go editions.  No stress and an empty shelf.  Possibilities in the void already beckon.

Day 14.

14 more books … mostly novels, entertaining at the time but naaaah won’t revisit. A lot of titles relating to early childhood development.  Those books served me so well and I am eternally grateful to the loving dedicated authors who guided me through parenting 4 little people.

I cry to let go of them and in gratitude for such a blessed phase of my earth mother life.

Day 15.

I cleared my lovely madeover open wardrobe - the focal point of the dining room - which houses dining paraphernalia.  Out go 15 dated platters, bowls, vases, tlight holders, a candelabra, cake platters.

As I wrap them up I allow my mind to flood with the memories of family gatherings and dinners, birthday parties and celebrations that they had been a part of.  My heart cracks as I allow the sadness to rise thinking of the folks who’ll never sit at our table again.  My father ….how I miss you.

Day 16.

Today needs to be less confronting emotionally.  Was going to tackle the kitchen in one go (like day 30) but it’s too overwhelming.  But since I’ve been in this kitchen all afternoon, it took less than 5 mins to grab some bits from a giant utensil drawer.  We don’t need those icypole moulds any more … or do we?

Day 21.

I’ve been gathering daily without documenting.

Just counted 177 books to be set free.

Farewell wonderful, creative, inspired and other authors.  I need “fresh” ideas, concepts and stories.  Should I write my own?

I release you with love so you may entertain, guide and thought-provoke another. My books are the hardest to let go of … will I regret this?  You were my friends, my teachers..

Day 31

As above

But that’s enough … the month is over.

Feeling rejuvenated by this process and will embrace the new from a very different perspective.

All is well.

Posted by Gretchen

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