If you are my client, or have read my blog, or if you happen to follow me on social media anywhere, then you’ve heard or seen me express one of my favorite universal truths..
“energy follows thought”
Depending on whether your thoughts are positive or negative, your energy will follow them. You can really learn a lot about a person, and where their energy is, by their personal environment.
For me, personally, MOST of the time, my home is neat and tidy, picked up, and clean. I like my bed made, my papers filed, my dirty socks in the hamper, my bathroom counter clear, and my kitchen sink empty.
Not many people know that the last 2+ years for me have been harsh, and very difficult, with multiple waves of unexpected life events that each had a negative impact on my life. I was completely burned out, exhausted, overwhelmed, brokenhearted, financially crushed, ashamed and embarrassed at the failure of my business, and pretty much just in a deep, dark, ugly, emotional space.
In the process of falling into this dark place, I unconsciously stopped taking care of myself, and my space. I’d come home and papers would just pile up on my desk. Dishes would pile up in the sink. I’d clean up occasionally, when I had the energy, but it was a perpetual buildup of clutter. And with each new addition to the pile of clutter, my energy would sink. I was absolutely exhausted, and my environment showed this without me ever having to say a word.
At the start of the new year, I chose a word, as I always do, to focus on. This year’s word for myself is NOURISH. I was so burnt out and tired all the time. What I needed was to nourish myself. I decided that every single day I would do one thing just for me. If that meant 5 minutes alone with my eyes closed just breathing, then so be it.
The first thing I did for myself at the beginning of the year was to alter my work schedule to have more balance, with free time for myself. You see, I’ve worked virtually the same work schedule for the last 10 years, never having a day off without responsibility or caring for others.. it’s the single mom way, I suppose.
My schedule now includes 2 days a month off that are just for me, no plans, no work, no kids, no obligations. This is what normal people have every weekend, but something I have not had the luxury of, in more than a decade.
Honestly, it feels like a holiday every other week. This was far and away one of the best things I ever did for myself. This time off gave me a chance to really look around at my life and really tune in to how I was feeling inside.
You might think I had some profound epiphany here.
Baby steps, friends.
Clutter is a nasty goblin. Decluttering your space is a sacred practice. It doesn’t seem like it would be, but it is. I’ve previously read many books on the subject, but of course when you’re in the that dark pit of depression, you don’t actually see it, or think much about it.
You see, decluttering clears the energy in your space. In the book, “Sacred Space” by Denise Linn, clutter is described like this: “Our homes are mirrors of ourselves. …They tell a story about how we feel about ourselves and the world around us”.
Having time for self-care, after changing my schedule, gave me a little spark of energy. And with that energy, I tackled a project that bugged me every freaking day for more than a year.
I tackled my bathroom. That doesn’t sound like a cure, does it? But this was the start of my sacred decluttering process. I started with just one drawer.
You know “that” drawer, ladies? The one with all the loose bobby pins, and hair ties, and barrettes, and hair clips? It was complete chaos in that drawer! I used that drawer every single day, and so did my two teenage girls.. you can imagine what it looked like. Every time I opened it, it frustrated me, and unconsciously stressed me out.
So one day, I emptied out every single thing from that drawer. I cleaned it and put down a drawer liner. I purchased an organizer with separate spaces for each of these items that were just cluttering up the drawer. And then… something subtle happened to my energy.
The next day, when I opened the drawer, I had almost forgotten I’d decluttered it. I was actually excited when I saw everything so organized! Still, after a month, it makes me almost giddy when I open that drawer.
OMGosh.. this is when I made the connection.. how I was feeling on the inside had been absolutely reflected in my personal space.. specifically in that messed up, chaotic drawer!!!
Over the next week, I cleaned out the other bathroom drawer, set up an organizer in it, and the under sink cabinets, and cleaned out the medicine cabinet, too. It may sound crazy, but just clearing out those things uplifted me for the entire week!
In the book “Creating Sacred Space With Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston, the author brilliantly describes the effects of clutter on your life as “Clutter accumulates when energy stagnates… Everything you own is connected to you by strands of energy. ..Clearing clutter actually releases huge amounts of energy in the body.”
Friends, I’m describing to you my unofficial study on this subject, and it’s completely true.
Over this past weekend, I continued on in my sacred decluttering mission. I decided to tackle something that has been heavy on my energy for a very long time… I purged and reorganized my filing cabinets. This was a HUGE beast of a task. I’d closed my business at the end of 2015, and hadn’t really looked much at the swelling drawers full of papers since, other than to add to its contents.
There was quite a lot of suppressed emotion in this project. The heartbreak of failure, the shame of not being able to make my dream work, the embarrassment of letting clients down, the mortification of having the financial disaster I’ve been left to deal with… it was all in that file cabinet. Just looking at the filing cabinets gave me that monster under the bed feeling…
I began the process by asking Spirit to guide me in this work. As I purged the papers, I repeated the Ho’oponopono to myself. (This is a Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness, if you didn’t know.. google it, it’s amazing!) I ultimately shredded multiple bags of stuff that had negative emotions attached to it.
And at the end of the day, when I thought for sure I’d be exhausted, I found just the opposite! I was full of energy!! I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders somehow. I didn’t feel that stagnant drain of dread when I looked at those cabinets anymore. The monster under the bed feeling was totally gone.
I actually felt… relief. And hope. And accomplishment. And empowerment. And maybe even a little joy.
Decluttering my files, while just on the surface seems like a mundane task, was truly an energetic recharge for my soul. All the emotions that had been hanging around, attached to the paperwork, was gone. And the best part… I have space for something new now. A new idea, a new project, perhaps even a new business?
It’s been a few days, and today I woke up this morning feeling energized, and ready to start a new creative venture.. something I haven’t felt in years. I even brainstormed some ideas just because I had a sudden download of creativity. I absolutely know the process of decluttering shifted something for me. It was like a magical energy re-boot!
This sacred practice of decluttering can work in your home, obviously, but it can also work in your office, your car, your finances, your relationships… anywhere you may find some emotional baggage hanging around. Don’t think of decluttering as a chore… think of decluttering as sacred work.
The best advice I can give you about decluttering is this: Start small. One drawer. And see how you feel. You will likely find some momentum as you work, and surprise yourself at clearing up that internal clutter that’s weighing you down!
Love, Cam xoxo
PS – Do you have an experience about the sacred practice of decluttering your space? I want to hear it! Get in touch and tell me your story!
Note: Extreme clutter is no joke. This can be an outward manifestation of internal distress, and can be an actual indication of a deeper or more serious issue. If you feel like your emotions, or your clutter, is out of control, or you feel like you need professional help, please consult your healthcare provider.