I just love New Years. Not the New Year’s Eve celebration necessarily, but I do love the *fresh start* energy I get from myself and everyone around me, which inspires me to do a lot of things that I only do annually, one of which is to clear out anything and everything unwanted and unneeded in my life.
In January, containers go on sale because everyone is reorganizing their houses to accommodate the stuff acquired over the holidays. Most people forget this important step in the annual reorganization of homes:
DISCARD UNWANTED ITEMS from your house, your mind, your life.
This is the essence of why I love New Years, and, back in my 20s, why I enjoyed moving so much. When you sort through your home, you should touch every object in it and decide if it still makes you happy, or if it’s time to let it go. Moving is a perfect opportunity to let stuff go, and unpacking is a second chance to decide you can let this thing go, rather than finding a place to put it.
Sometimes I can go a little nuts when it comes to letting things go, because it creates such a rush of fresh energy in my life, I want to keep that high going. I’ve also advised friends, family and clients to do a clutter-clear, or to actually move to a new apartment, to bring on the next good thing in their life.
This year, I sorted through my office while listening to a new audio book:
Two things really delighted me about this book. I found it really useful to follow her advice and DISCARD FIRST, before attempting to put things away or find spots for thing.
This allowed me to completely trash my office, making piles of things in one corner which I decided I would keep, because they either made me happy, or I needed them for whatever purpose they were actively fulfilling. Once I was finished with discarding, the putting away process took a fraction of the time it normally would have taken me, because I was working with a completely empty closet and book case.
Organizing, it turns out, is as about ¾ discarding and ¼ putting away.
Unless you work at a hospital, but that’s another story.
The second thing I really loved about the Tidying Up book is the way the author describes her discussions with inanimate objects, as though they could hear her. *I do this too.* I have the distinct impression that the actual structure of a house cares about its occupants, in a real energetic way. I think there’s a reason empty houses become derelict so quickly – they need occupants to give them purpose. It’s not just about having the heat on and the lights on timers, houses need people. Still, I hadn’t taken it to the extent to which the author interacts with her home and possessions.
She greets her home like a person. “I’m home!” She thanks her shoes for supporting her in her work as she puts them away, she empties her bag every day so it can rest. She talks about respecting belongings and honouring their supporting role in her life, so storing them respectfully prolongs their life and her enjoyment and appreciation of them.
She describes how folding clothes enhances the life of the garment, because you’re taking a moment to care for it as you put it away. This makes perfect sense to me. My energy work of “setting intentions” or programming crystals, which I believe directs my life in a positive way, could easily be put to use in appreciating my belongings.
I do say, out loud, almost every day, “I’m so grateful for this house,” because I am. Occupying den-mother ghost aside, I think the house itself imbibes that energy of being appreciated, and is grateful I care for it so diligently.
I was especially tickled because the only other author who writes about her experiences in having discussions with inanimate, manufactured items is Machaelle Small Wright in her autobiography, Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered.
Machaelle wrote about talking with a teacup, an object that felt angry at being neglected. This came out during a group class she had run, where she’d asked the students to each bring an object to class with them, and the other students took turns talking with it.
It turned out that the teacup was the last in a set given to the owner for her wedding, by a relative she didn’t like. She was too guilty to give away or sell the tea set, so she had “accidentally” been breaking parts of the set for years. This teacup was the last survivor of its original family. (By the end of the class, that teacup found itself a new home with one of the other students who appreciated it for it’s beauty.)
I find it very useful to think about energy in terms of personalities and conversations. For me, talking to a teacup isn’t the same as talking to an animal, human-presenting spirit, or even a plant per the principles of the Findforn Foundation. Yet everything is living and was given life, on some basic, energetic level, and it’s more than simple energy imprints.
When you think about it, it’s easy to acknowledge the earth itself as a living being. I think the earth has a life and a consciousness, although it’s larger, longer and deeper than the spirits I usually speak with. How many different religions and spiritual practices acknowledge the earth as some form of Mother figure? A bunch. A whole lot.
So if you can follow that thread, everything on earth is made *from* the earth. Rocks tell stories. Rivers flow with purpose. Why not address the energetic life in a teacup? In a faucet? In the gasoline in your car? The line is really where you choose to draw it.
I’ll wander off on a tangent here: I think that mass-produced items have a vastly different feel than items built by a caring individual. I think this is why a factory will never be able to produce a musical instrument that plays as sweetly as one built by a loving musician. It’s more than the physical material and how it’s put together.
If you address things as though they have a consciousness, you will be surprised at how the information shifts and flows to meet your invitation to speak. You will probably end up with even more information than you thought possible!
I think this is why some places are deemed to be haunted, but are not actually occupied by an “earth-bound” human or animal spirit. Instead, sometimes this energy belongs to the dwelling, or to events of the past.
I find it easier and more productive to ask the dwelling as though it could answer me, what is up with the weird activity. Who better to answer your questions? I find it’s easier to pick up the answers if I channel the energy of the dwelling and talk to it, rather than try and take responsibility myself and find the answers within my own mind. Asking the house is a great way for me to get into medium mode, and just let the information flow in a pattern I’m familiar with as a medium – a conversation.
A lot of these concepts have been touched upon before in my still-favourite book about home-making, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. Karen Kingston talks about the purpose objects have in your home, how they support you and how clutter can impact you negatively. Her book helped me to release almost everything I owned when we moved across the country, and to embrace that experience.
I think it was probably Eckhart Tolle who talked about maintaining enough of a detachment to possessions that you could easily release them if required, or if you noticed them impeding you. Instead of feeling angry over a stolen stereo, you could say, “Ah, they have come for the stereo,” and release it, so that you could create space for something new to occupy that space.
I think there’s really a third phase to setting your home in order that the Tidying Up author didn’t address – follow up on repairing items you truly need or love. I realized that my desk drawer has been broken for a few months. Time to fix that, or replace the desk. No need to have broken drawers in my life in the new year! I’ll fix the drawer tonight.
Usually the new year is when I discard clothing I’ve been intending to mend but didn’t get around to repairing. If I haven’t done it in six months, the garment is probably feeling neglected. I don’t want to wear a dejected shirt anyway. If I *really* loved that garment, I’d keep wearing it without the button, or *with* the rip, as was the case for one of my favourite skirts. I wore that ripped skirt for YEARS. I *just* let it go. It’s still very pretty, but if I were going to fix it, I would have done so by now. It’s off to the second-hand store, where someone else with either repair it or wear it ripped as I did.
I’ll also purge clothing I don’t wear. I’ll let you guys know if I see that skirt around town. That’s the funny part about living in a small town – sometimes you get to see what happened to the clothes you gave away!
Every once in a while I get an email from someone who feels plagued by evil spirits. Often, you guys, it’s just a cluttered home. Seriously. Haunted or crusty, stuck-energy places tent to accumulate clutter, and so you have to be extra-diligent in purging stuff out. Only after you’ve purged and physically cleaned can you really feel confident about energetically shielding your living space, no matter what technique you’re using to clear the energy, be it sage, crystals, sound, salt or holy water!
That’s why purging stuff gets addicting, because it has a more profound effect on the energy in your home than anything else you could do. Purge, clean and then paint, furnish, decorate, make it your own.
It is life-changing, the author of Tidying Up isn’t exaggerating there! Once you’ve purged stuff you don’t like or want, you’re suddenly surrounded by what you DO love and want, and it helps you focus on what matters.
Oh, and I wanted to briefly mention the bullet journal. As important as it is to clean your living space, I feel like it’s just as important to clear your mind. If you have a lot of stuff rattling around in your brain, that can interfere with meditation and your daily sense of calm. I LOVE the bullet journal method. I have one for the hospital (because I leave my hospital work at work) and I have one at home for my business and life. When I get to work, I check the journal to align my mind with what I need to focus upon, and when I get home, I will sit in my wonderful, soft, supportive recliner, and sort through my life tasks with a cup of tea at my side. It’s brought me so much peace, and I’m now starting to see it as a method of managing the clutter in my mind.
So there you have it. A new year, a new beginning, Happy New Year and Best Wishes to y’all in 2016!