What’s standing in the way of bringing your dreams into your reality? What’s keeping you from leaning into those secret desires? What’s stopping you from taking that next baby step towards the kind of daily life you crave?
What if I told you one of the things in the way of your dreams was clutter?
Now, now. I see you rolling your eyes there. And muttering to yourself that I’m not working with a full deck of cards today as I write.
From the depths of my heart, I share this little nugget of wisdom with you because for most of my life, I allowed all kinds of clutter to stop me from moving forward into the kind of life I desired. The kind of nourishing daily life each and every one of us deserves.
Clutter comes in many forms. Mental clutter. Calendar clutter. Spiritual clutter. And, of course, physical clutter.
The mountains of laundry that need to be washed or folded. The stacks and stacks of books we’re going to read so that we can find the magic solution to fixing our lives. The piles of shoes at the door and the unwearable clothes crowding our closets crowd us from peaceful entry and exit into our own lives.
We try to fill the void in our lives with stuff. We attempt to buy our way to a perfect life, believing that if we have the right clothes or shoes or living room couch, our lives will magically be on track. We “treat” ourselves to a new sweater, new towels, or new shoes to soothe our loneliness. We seek to purchase forgiveness. We hope that by buying a loved one a splendid present, we will get them to love us more.
You don’t have to be living in hoarder level clutter for physical clutter to get in the way of the kind of life you desire.
The over-stuffed closet keeps you from easily and quickly preparing yourself to face the world. Instead of lifting you up, it drags you down. The linen closet full of ratty towels and sheets you don’t ever use distracts you from creating who you desire to be every damned time you open the door. And those boxes of “memories” stacked in the attic or basement or under your bed are what you really think about when you try to envision how a nourishing life would be.
The hidden clutter calls to us, reminding us of past failures at creating a perfect life. Clutter blocks your dreams.
When I was a little girl, I was always getting in trouble for having a messy room. No matter where you turned, my spaces were filled. Under the bed were boxes with toys. My dresser drawers were stuffed to the gills with nightgowns, t-shirts, and shorts. My bookshelves were double stacked with books. My desk drawers were filled with papers. My closet was jammed with clothes and toys. One of the reasons my room was always messy was I had way too much stuff.
My mother would berate me for my messiness, and the next day buy me a new Barbie or several outfits.
And I carried that way of living forward when I married and moved into my own home.
I pretended to the outside world that my life was perfect all those years, but inside I was lonely and sad. One of the reasons the outside-in-view of my White Picket Fence life looked so perfect is that my house was filled with all kinds of dishes, linens, towels, books, DVDs, shoes, and clothes.
I filled every space to overflowing in hopes that I would finally feel loved. I hoped that an abundance of physical stuff would equate an abundance of positive emotions. I hoped that if I bought just the right set of dishes, my husband would enjoy what I cooked (he never liked my cooking). I filled my closets with clothes and linens and books, but never found satisfaction. I distracted myself from the fact that my marriage was emotionally barren (and emotionally abusive) by filling up my bookshelves and showering my children with toys and clothes.
When we divorced, he took his clothes and a few pieces of furniture. He left me with most of the furniture, dishes, and knick knacks so he could start fresh. I even helped him set up his apartment with new furniture. In those first few weekends alone, when the girls went to his place, I came to realize that I couldn’t move forward when I was buried under mountains of worn out furniture and broken dreams.
I made the connection that I was never able to buy enough soft linens or pretty clothes to sooth the aching isolation I felt from myself during those years. I finally began to feel the stirrings of a life that felt supportive when I started clearing my spaces.
As I rid my closet of clothes that didn’t fit or I didn’t love, the sexiest and sassiest version of who I was born to be emerged. As I hauled broken furniture to the curb, my dreams began to come together.
When I started clearing out the physical stuff that was in my way, I realized that I had control of my own life. The way to usher my dreams into my reality was to take my own happiness by the horns and stop filling my environment with crap I didn’t love.
Then, I did something almost unimaginable. When I moved to Ohio to merge my life with JB, I packed only what would fit in my car and left all the shattered memories and “should haves” behind. I took the most important treasure, though: my sense of true self wrapped up in the knowledge that if I wanted to love my life, I needed to cultivate the kind of environment that helped me thrive.
The attitude I brought to Ohio with me was to only bring into our home what we loved. Our lower floor stayed empty for the first year here as we waited to find furniture that we loved and would support our lifestyle. Our entry hall was barren for three years until we found just the right piece to bring a sense of openness and welcome to entering our home.
Though I joke about it with friends, when I’m feeling blocked or burned out, the first thing I do is clear off my desk and clean the kitchen.
I’d never suggest to you that if you want to create a life you love, that you should leave everything behind and start fresh. However, I am going to tell you from experience that if you want a daily life that feels loving, supportive, and nourishing, the first place to look is around you.
Our most important resource is our precious attention and focus. When it comes to ushering your dreams out of your mind and into your everyday life, you need that attention to go towards yourself and your goals, not on the stacks and piles and overstuffed closets and drawers. Clutter blocks your dreams.
You deserve to live in a home that allows you to feel nourished. You deserve to feel loved exactly as you are. You are worthy of allowing your secret desires to be born into the world. You deserve to be in a home that allows you to thrive. You shouldn’t have to simply attempt to survive. Remember that all sizes of clutter can shift your focus away from what matters – you and your dreams. Please, darling, allow the seeds of your desires to blossom. Don’t allow your clutter to keep you from finding your happiness.
If you need a little help clearing your clutter (both big and small), allow me to help you. 30 Days to Clarity: Clutter Busting will gently and lovingly help you clear your physical spaces.
Getting clear in your life by dealing with your physical clutter (big clutter and small clutter) will allow you to direct your precious energy towards creating the clear path to living your best possible life.Want more details? Click here for the 411.
Out of the Vault for 2017: Beginning Sunday, September 17th
Clutter Busting Edition – Course Investment: $21