Debra : )
Yesterday I wrote a post about three things that interfere with our peace of mind: feeling disorganized, being overly committed, and work issues.
Being disorganzied is often caused by feeling surrounded by clutter.
On Sunday mornings I have a ritual of drinking coffee with the paper and then doing some spiritual reading, journal writing, and centering. This morning I happened to pick up Shakti Gawain’s classic book: Creative Visualization and then turned to the section about clearing. She offers all kinds of exercises to clear out the emotional and physical clutter in our lives. Then I picked up another book I have in our bathroom: Simple Abundance A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. The entry for today, May 16th is entitled: “Clearing Out What Isn’t Useful or Beautiful”. I think God or the universe is talking to me here.
I truly do believe that the universe does not like a vacuum. If we want to create the lives of our dreams we need to make room for the stuff we want and clear out what no longer serves us.
For emotional clutter: we can write down any worries, hurts, or challenges we are having with people. Get it all out on paper. Then when we are ready we can just tear the paper up or put it in the fireplace. This forgiving and releasing process can be very freeing. It takes a lot of energy to remain hurt, victimized, resentful and irritated with things, events, memories, and people.
For physical clutter: Start with one closet, drawer, or room in your house. Or begin with your desk at work. Commit to clearing out things you no longer need or find beautiful. Give them away so that someone else can enjoy these things.
When I need a break from my computer this morning, I plan on thinning out my closet and dresser drawers. It is Springtime. We are really almost beginning our Florida summer here. It is time to get rid of some things and make room for lighter, brighter things for this new season.
We don’t have to let clutter stress us or weigh us down.
Regret. Worry. Mistakes. Woulda Coulda Shoulda…. this is the stuff of angst filled days and sleepless nights.
For years I did this to myself. It is not a good place to be in.
Here are four things to focus on:
1. Be in the present (there are lot’s of good books out there on this subject such as Eckart Tolle’s Power of Now).
2. Practice acceptance and just let it go. Surrender. Sometimes “letting go and letting God” is the best thing to do for our peace of mind especially if it is circumstances that are beyond our control.
3. Practice forgiveness. Forgive yourself, Forgive your parents, Forgive exes. Forgive politicians. Forgive former employers. Forgive bullies from our childhood. We are all doing the best we can at the time with what we have. Let it go. The past need no longer hurt us if we no longer give it any power.
4. Practice appreciation for all the blessings we have now. What we appreciate appreciates.
If you are up late and can not sleep, here is something that you can do that will improve the quality of the relationships in your life.
I started this practice one year at Yom Kippur time which is a Jewish Holiday in the Fall during the high holy days. Yom Kippur is called the day of atonement. It is a day that we are supposed to fast and reflect on the past year. If there is anyone that you feel you need to apologize to or forgive, now is the time to do it.
We don’t need to be Jewish or have a special holiday to do this. First, think of someone you think you have wronged and write a sincere letter of apology to them. Second, think of somone in your life whom perhaps you feel you have taken for granted and write a letter of appreciation to that person. Third, think of someone who you think has wronged you and write a letter of forgiveness to that person.
There. Three letters. Whether you send them or not is up to you. They could be in the form of an email but there is something satisfying about writing the old fashioned way by hand. If you are courageous enough to send them know that wonderful things will come back to you. Give it a try. This is one practice you won’t regret.
“Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep.” -Mohandas Gandhi
Are you angry? Holding onto resentment? This kind of thinking and emotion can keep us from getting a restful night of sleep.
Practicing forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It frees up so much energy: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
One way to forgive someone: Picture them as an innocent four year old child. Look at that little child in the eyes. Nurture and love that little child. Embrace them and let them go.
I did this a few years ago when I was so angry at our President. It was very healing to imagine him as an innocent little child just doing his best.