Yesterday my husband and I were discussing how amazing it would be to live on 100 acres of land in the mountains and retire.
I have a lot of friends and clients who desire easy living, too.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this theme is emerging around us.
Get back to nature.
Moving towards simplification means moving away from the clutter.
Clutter is everywhere we look.
We are over obligated, over papered, over analyzed, over informed and over stuffed.
Clutter in our minds keeps us from being fully present in what we’re doing.
It’s the noise in our heads that keeps us awake at night.
Clutter in our house keeps us from being comfortable in our own space.
Clutter in our spending keeps us in debt and away from savings.
We think we find security in this clutter.
We are busy because we are important and needed. We have a ton of stuff in case we need it later. Because the objects mean something to us.
We’re afraid to let go of it all because that would leave us vulnerable.
Security in food.
For the longest time, I thought that when I ate until I was full (which is way past what my body needs), I was secure. And when I stopped eating before I was full, I felt anxious. Like the floor was dropping out from under me.
I felt vulnerable because I didn’t have enough ‘stuff’ in my stomach.
Eating too much food is another form of clutter.
Instead of cluttering your house, you’re cluttering your body. Keeping you from your natural weight.
Clutter isn’t the problem.
It’s just the result we’re left with. The problem lies in why we want the clutter.
What it means to us and why it’s so hard to clean up.
Understanding why is especially important when we feel like the mess grows on it’s own.
That’s why clearing out the clutter never starts with selling everything you own or going into a spring-cleaning frenzy.
It doesn’t start with a toxin-cleansing liquid diet that will help you lose 12 lbs in a week.
That’s a short-term fix.
The clutter will come right back when the newness of those activities fade and you will be starting again, with new stuff, new dust and new weight.
When you start with throwing things away, you’re not cleaning the clutter; you’re just delaying it.
You must start here.
Clearing out the clutter has to start with understanding why we have it in the first place.
What we think it does for us – what we think it brings us.
It starts with understanding the stories we tell ourselves about why we need it.
I thought overeating felt secure. I thought I was preparing for what may come.
I may get hungry later and what if I don’t have food?
I may need to justify that expense from 2005, and what if I don’t have that documentation?
What if I need that button later?
The fact is, if I get hungry, I will find food.
I’ve already forgotten about that expense from 7 years ago.
And I don’t sew.
Come out from hiding.
The truth is, clutter isn’t here to protect us or keep us secure.
It’s here to hide us.
Just like overeating is a way to hide from ourselves.
How am I moving past my clutter?
I realize that what I thought it was doing for me – keeping me secure, keeping me prepared, keeping me wrapped in a blanket of protection, wasn’t working.
Clutter doesn’t protect me. It doesn’t keep me secure.
It weighs me down – in every sense of the word.
What do I want instead?
To feel light, free, and unstoppable.
I want to take off – and my stories are stopping that from happening.
Clean it all out.
I’m not denying that this is a big project. De-cluttering is no joke.
But I’m not starting by forcing myself to have a garage sale.
And neither should you.
I’m starting by clearing the clutter in my head. Exposing those old, unproductive thoughts.
Thoughts that make me feel like a victim that needs protecting.
I can’t do this yet.
I don’t have the energy to do it on my own.
I’m scared of failure.
I’m scared of not being prepared.
I’m scared of rejection or of doing something wrong.
These thoughts are what shake my sense of security.
Not the lack of stuff.
As I expose these thoughts as lies and stop believing them, cleaning the physical clutter becomes easy.
Because I don’t need it anymore.
It’s like getting rid of other people’s stuff.
It’s easy to do because there is no attachment to it.
Clear out the clutter in your head first, and you will have no attachment to your things, either.
That’s freedom, baby.
And you don’t have to buy 100 acres in the country to feel it.
I’d love to hear from you:
Where is your life cluttered?
What stories keep you from getting rid of it?
Let me know in the comments below.
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