Spring is Here! 3 Steps to Clearing Your Mind & De-Cluttering Your Internal Basement

Internal clutter feels a lot like external clutter… It’s there and you know it. You don’t want to deal with it. The more you don’t deal with it the bigger it seems. And now there’s a secondary list of the things you need to do but can’t until the original clutter is dealt with. You’re overwhelmed. You feel like you’re running all the time but not making any progress. You may feel lethargic, depressed and may even get sick. You’re confused about how you got here and lack a vision for your future. [Shhh! This is Secret #4 for Creating the Life You REALLY Want]

It’s time for some serious Spring Cleaning!

I’ll never forget having a male roommate (sorry guys!) while living in Costa Rica in my early twenties. I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t helping with the house-cleaning. Finally, I talked to him about it. “I didn’t do anything to get the bathroom dirty,” he said. “Why should I have to clean it?” His reasoning took me completely off-guard.  And then I got it. He honestly didn’t know that things JUST GET DIRTY. No one actively puts the dust there, the hair, the cobwebs, the little particles of dirt. They just accumulate. And they need to be cleaned regularly or the whole place goes to heck.

Well, our body-minds are a lot like a house. We don’t need to be repressing any unusually dark emotions to get cluttered-up. But we do need constant cleaning to keep our body-minds in tip-top shape.

So, what are the 3 Steps to a Spring-ier, cleared out, spanking new YOU? Read on…

Step 1: Un-Clutter

This part takes some introspection. Go to a place that comforts and inspires you, where you won’t be distracted. Now sit and feel (yes, I said “sit and feel”). What emotions are present for you? Allow yourself to completely feel these emotions, no holds barred for at least 5 minutes without trying to figure anything out. Just feel. Once you have done this thoroughly, activate your mind. What are these emotions related to? What is needed from you at this time? Spend some time calmly brainstorming until you have found just the right actions needed on your part. Write these down and follow through. [for a more thorough description, see “Coping Skills: How to Deal with Anxiety, Depression & Overwhelm“]

It’s worth it to say a quick word about two very different things, forgiveness and physical space, which both play a powerful role in the clutter phenomena. On a spiritual and emotional level, there are few things that have the power to clear us out as forgiveness. What do you need forgiveness for? Who do you need to forgive? What is needed of you to do this? On a seemingly more mundane level, I’ve found that Step 1 for most people in uncluttering their lives is often literally cleaning out a particular physical space that’s been cluttered. Is there a physical manifestation of your internal clutter that needs to be cleaned out? Do this first.

Step 2: Reprioritize

I’ll never forget reading a book by the Dalai Lama called “The Art of Happiness.”  In it, the Dalai Lama suggests the simplest of recipes for human happiness. He says something like, “Make a list of the things that make you feel good. Now make a list of the things that make you feel bad. Now spend time doing the things on the first list and stay away from the things on the second list.” Doh! Oversimplified? Mmm… not really. Difficult as all-heck? Perhaps.

So, take some time to make an inventory of the things that uplift you and the things that drag you down. Make a plan for incorporating the things from the first list into your daily and weekly life and letting go or diminishing the impact of the things on the second list. Write these down and follow through.

Step 3: Set Healthy Habits

People often tell me how much they love my home. They use words like “beautiful”, “good energy” and “comfy”. So here’s my secret:  50% of beautiful is clean. At least. And clean doesn’t happen by cleaning once a month. It happens by cleaning a little bit every day.

Our body-minds are the same.

So, what daily, weekly and monthly habits are needed to keep your body healthy and fit? To keep your mind calm and serene? To keep your physical space orderly and beautiful? To keep your relationships healthy and bright? What do you need to do on a regular basis to feed your heart and digest and express your emotions? Once you compile this list it may seem like a lot. So experiment for a week and see how you feel. I often get reports from busy people that they may DO more without this self care but they PROGRESS less in the things that are important to them.

One thing is for sure: there is no clarity and vision while clutter is present. So once you have taken the necessary steps to un-clutter, re-prioritize and practice healthy habits that preclude the build-up of new clutter, you are well on your way to experiencing the clarity necessary to envision… and therefore create… a future of your choosing.  To Springtime and all the new possibilities it brings!

1 Comment

  • Arshia

    Reply Reply August 3, 2014

    Even though this is an old arcltie, I stumbled across your site while using Yahoo. This was a cool arcltie. I hope to see you remove the main point of this post and make another separate arcltie, maybe embed a video in it, too? If so, it will be greatly appreciated.

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