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HOW CLEARING CLUTTER CLEARS YOUR MIND
Here we are again at a new post on The RS Blog. Thanks for stopping by, Lovie! I am so glad you are here! Today, we are tackling physical clutter and looking at how it indicates clutter in your mind. I hope to prove how bringing your external environment into order allows you to address inner obstacles that are in your way.
DO YOU SPRING CLEAN?
It is that time of year when we see ads encouraging us to get our Spring cleaning on. Marketing campaigns tell us we need to buy all manner of things so we can make a fresh start for the next season. Certainly, there are tasks we need to attend to seasonally based on our climate, but this doesn’t mean buying all the things. Instead, we should consider this as an opportunity to attend to our physical environments and our souls.
Living in an environment where clutter and a lack of organization are in control is common for many women. Science actually proves that women who live in cluttered spaces have higher cortisol levels than men living in the same space. This means our stress levels are even higher leading us down a path riddled with other challenges. These challenges were complicated by the world shutdown when our homes suddenly had to serve as home, work, school, gym, and all manner of other things.
WHAT CLUTTER TELLS US
In my experience, clutter on the outside is a mirror image of what is going on inside us. Clutter and chaos in our physical spaces indicate we may be wearing blinders to what the clutter is covering. Being surrounded by disorder and chaos could leave you unable to see the truth of what is going on because you are focused on the symptoms. It is wrong to live with blinders on because it prevents you from addressing the real issues undermining your life.
Many of the women I have worked with have had some type of physical clutter in their environments. Without fail a tsunami of awareness floods in when we begin to address the environmental roadblock. Before they even are aware, they see the stuff was simply covering up a heart issue they weren’t dealing with. The stuff became a physical representation of the internal struggles. But when addressed and given space to gain awareness, the issue they had been avoiding was so much smaller than they made it within their false narrative.
WHY WE SHOULD CLEAR THE CLUTTER
I come from a long line of pilers. As a young person, I was so messy. There was no order to my space. Occasionally I would go on a rampage and hyper-organize all the things. Naturally, this wasn’t sustainable because the clutter in my physical space was simply a representation of my inner chaos. If I can learn to break this pattern by addressing the root of the chaos, you can, too, by following the same steps.
Whether you are dealing with a physical junk drawer or a metaphorical one, we all have areas of our lives that need attention. Think of this like going to the doctor. You go in due to a set of symptoms. They ask questions to fill in the blanks. They may do some tests. And then they tell you what the real problem is so they can prescribe a treatment plan for making it better.
HERE IS THE PLAN
Today, I will walk you through the process I use to help my clients transform in these areas. It takes courage but it will change your life if you follow these steps:
- Ask yourself this: If someone walked into your space tomorrow what would be the first thing they would change?
- Dig deeper: Take a look at that area and ask why it is there. Look past the symptoms to see the true root of it.
- Tackle the physical area even if it is in increments of 10 minutes and do so with an open mind to what the real cause might be. Once the physical space is clear, your mind will be clear to tackle the root. And you might even be surprised by some other roots that show themselves.
STOPPING THE CHAOS CLEARS SOME SPACE
My girls were dancers and during Nutcracker and Spring show season life got chaotic. We were at the studio 6-7 days a week. In the coming and going, clutter piled up in all the spaces. We used busyness as an excuse. And yes we were busy. Most meals were consumed in the car. Sometimes tights were put on in the car and hair was smoothed into perfect ballet buns while stopped at stoplights. Come in, drop the stuff in a pile, grab the next thing, run out, rinse and repeat. But with some perspective, that clutter was about the chaos in my soul. By running from one thing to the next, I didn’t have to stop and evaluate my crumbling marriage and the half-life I was living. When we stop running and piling, we start seeing some things.
Every one of us has blind spots. Even the most self-aware of us have them. Often there are things we know that we tell ourselves we don’t know. We have to learn to dig deeper. Keep asking yourself why. Often times it takes several attempts to answer why before we land on the real, rock bottom truth.
Now, to be clear an absolute lack of clutter doesn’t mean for a moment that you are 100% whole with no work needed. When I had my firstborn I was riddled with fear over so many things. I compulsively cleaned to the point I vacuumed 5 times a day to ensure she didn’t get into anything from the floor. The activity of cleaning ensured my focus didn’t land on my blind spots.
YOU CAN DO THIS
If you will trust yourself to be strong enough to tackle areas in need of healing, you will learn a new way of being that tastes like freedom and feels like home. You will create:
- A physical environment that brings peace and invites growth
- A mental awareness of areas needing attention
- A new-found courage to spot old roots and pull them out
- A path toward your wholeness
Let this James Clear quote inspire you:
“Look around your environment. Rather than seeing items as objects, see them as magnets for your attention. Each object gently pulls a certain amount of your attention toward it. Whenever you discard something, the tug of that object is released. You get some attention back.”
You can do this one step at a time, Lovie. And we can do it together. Let me help you see places that, if given your attention, will greatly improve your life.
Until next time, remember, I am in it WITH you, always,