Today is a “do something” day.
We’ve spent a couple days focusing on the issues that are most cluttering our internal closets and blocking the progress we want to make in our lives.
Today, we move something physical. We declutter—something. Just one something. Today, we start with the Power of One.
This will help us create a more effective release ritual on Day 5.
Last year, the physical area of my own home that bothered me most was the office. I’ve noticed in my work with other self-employed people that clutter accumulates in the office when we’re getting ready to launch a new project, trying to do too much at once, or just feeling ambivalent about our businesses. I was on the cusp of launching a new venture and the anxiety congealed into clutter.
A year later, I’ve cleared the clutter and bought new office furniture. I have a new desk that I actually bought from a store, not secondhand. I’m also planning a new light fixture and white bookshelves to match the white and chrome desk. However, I still need to work on the shelves I use as altars. It’s hard to let go of objects that have sacred meaning, or that once meant a great deal. But I noticed when I put the altar shelves in the closet so as not to frighten the muggle I’d brought in for a painting estimate, I instantly felt better about the space. Because the clutter was out of sight. So it needs to really, truly go now. Not just hide.
Another classic way people hide is from relationships. People who want a new relationship but are afraid of being hurt tend to clutter the relationship sector of the home. By “relationship sector,” I’m going classical Feng Shui, in which the southwest is the relationship sector of the home. This emotional clutter tie can also show up in the living room or bedroom.
(Don’t worry about knowing or not knowing Feng Shui. All you need to know is that it’s at heart about keeping positive energy flowing through your home and life. And that clutter and dirt keep energy stuck.)
When I met my now-husband, he lived alone in a small house in the outer western suburbs. I lived in the city. Before we met, I’d begun clearing my own apartment of souvenirs from a failed marriage and relationships that hadn’t met my needs. Some were items I’d kept for a long time, because I believed as long as they weren’t in sight—especially in the living room or bedroom—they wouldn’t interfere with new relationships.
And yet—it was when I cleared those items away that I finally met the guy a couple friends had been wanting to introduce me to for a couple years. And a couple years after that, we moved in together and got engaged. In between, I helped him do some serious decluttering. The first time I saw his living room, I looked in the southwest corner. It was jammed full of DVDs, so many that he’d filled the shelves and started stacking them waist-high on the floor. They were fenced in by part of the home theater sound system, topped off with some awards from work. And that was exactly what he’d filled his life with instead of a wife and family: hobbies and career.
Before we moved in together, we filled a 12-foot dumpster and a moving truck with items he didn’t want or need any more. As well as numerous trash bags put out with the weekly refuse.
This took months. But as with all spiritual journeys, it started with the intent and desire for a better life.
So, what’s important now is to take some action on those lurking physical items that most bother you at this time.
I’m not recommending we go full Marie Kondo at this point and clear away everything in one category. The day I did clothes, it took me almost eight hours. And I didn’t have a big wardrobe at all by contemporary American standards.
No. We’ll work today on the Power of One. You decide what constitutes “One.”
It could be one closet. One dresser drawer. One bookshelf. One box. One surface area. Even one special item that represents what is most difficult for you at this time. Just one.
While you clear this One, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. If you have a journal, keep it nearby. Write a few notes while you work, if this is comfortable for you. If you have a recording or voice notes device and would prefer to use that, then do. Also pay attention to how your body feels. Notice if any part feels tight, or painful. Notice especially any feelings of nausea or tension in your abdomen.
If you become anxious or overwhelmed by negative feelings, take a break. Sip some water. Tune into the physical or emotional feelings. I find it helpful to use these six steps from Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin. They teach you how to follow the clues from physical anxiety to the root issue.
Journal your insights after you have cleared your One box, or shelf, or item. If you like, pull a card, rune or other divinatory tool for additional insight.
Be sure to drink plenty of water while you work, and to eat something when you have finished. Again, protein is particularly grounding.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments section or the Facebook page Five Day Decluttering for the Samhain Soul Challenge. If you’d like more privacy, ask to join the group Decluttering for the Soul . I’ll be working along with the group and post my own experiences both places as well.