Clutter-Clearing and Your Authentic SelfBy Stephanie RobertsHave you ever felt so discouraged, your life soout-of-control, the universe so unresponsive to yourneeds and desires, that you couldn't help it: youjust had to clean up? By paying attention to theseimpulses we recognize the deep connection betweenour personal environment and our innermost selves.It's as though by shifting the arrangement of ourbelongings we hope to rearrange the molecules ofour emotional lives as well.Feng shui teaches us that our spaces both reflectand affect our physical, mental, and emotionalwellbeing. When our homes become cluttered anddisordered, other aspects of our lives tend to feelgridlocked as well. It's a chicken-and-egg kind ofsituation. Not only does a cluttered home reflect adistracted and cluttered mind, it also makes it hardto focus and think clearly. It gets easier and easierto stop making the item-by-item decisions that couldput you back in control of the mess and help you tofeel more in control of your life.Eventually, we give up. The task seems overwhelming,and the clutter is so pervasive that we can't figureout where to begin. We slog through our days thinking"someday when I have the time I've got to clean thisup." Clutter clearing becomes an abstract goal thatawaits a mythical future time when our calendars willbe free of obligations, we will awaken one weekendmorning well-rested and energized, and mysteriouslythrough some unseen grace we will have acquired thefocused clarity and enthusiasm that will finallyinspire us to dive in and get it done. We wait forthe moment to be right before we begin, so beginningnever happens.We're approaching the clutter challenge backwardswhen we think this way. Regaining a sense of clarityand order is more easily achieved by putting ourspace in order than by trying to order and controlour thoughts in a disorganized space.Clutter saps your energy and erodes your spirit.Clutter makes it difficult to get things done, enjoypeace and quiet, or spend time the way you reallywant to. It adds to your stress, slows you down anddrains your physical, mental, emotional, andspiritual strength. Clutter is disempowering.In feng shui terms, clutter is both a symptom and acause of stuck energy. Opening the dictionary we seethat "clutter" derives from the Old English word"clott", which means: "to cause to become blocked orobscured." Like a blood clot blocking circulation inour veins, clutter prevents energy from circulatingthrough our homes and our lives.As a feng shui consultant, I have worked with manyclients who complain of feeling creatively orprofessionally blocked, or who bemoan the lack of asense of purpose or direction in life. What I usuallyfind in their homes are lots of things that don'treflect their personality or future aspirations. Thesepeople are surrounded by objects that have been allowedto wander in unchecked at the door or that linger onthe shelf long after the relevant stage of life is past.On an energetic level, all this stuff is preventing aclear vision of self. Anything that is neglected,unwanted, or unappealing to you will drag your energydown every time you look at it. Even a beautiful objectof great value does nothing for you or your home if youdon't like it. This is why we include "anything thatyou do not love" in a holistic definition of clutter.Everything that surrounds you should be working for youin some way. If the things in your space are notsupporting you and contributing to the positive qualityof your life, it is time to do something about it!The defeat, fatigue, and depression that you feel whenyou think about your clutter will start to evaporateas soon as you put yourself in action. The hard partis getting started, but once you do the magic will begin.Clutter-clearing creates space for us to discover ourtrue path in life and to define who we want to become.With this new vision we can consciously choose tosurround ourselves with objects and imagery that reflectand support our authentic concept of self.
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