I was recently reading one of my favorite authors, Mark Nepo, as he described lack of clarity as a muddy river. The muddy river metaphor is helpful to describe how clutter can run through our minds, our homes and our business life, making everything seem so unclear at times while clouding our decisions.
When stuck and unclear how to move forward, find stillness.
When we are unclear about the stuff that we surround ourselves with in our homes and lives, our vision, inspiration and flow of life can become clouded. Like a fast running current where we can’t see the bottom, the silt and rushing waters make it virtually impossible to find our ground. We are then uncertain how to proceed and can become stuck!
I may dip my toe into the running waters, right on the edge, still feeling safe, I can stop and take it in. Inch by inch I can trust the feelings that come, rather than making decisions based on external forces (that feel so out of my control!).
Our feelings are our most trustworthy guide as we move through the process of letting go Click To Tweet (of clutter, of grief, of old patterns).
How can we get unstuck? By learning to trust our feelings. This doesn’t always come naturally because our culture teaches us to lead with thought, not feeling! This is when it’s most important to stop and cut through the thoughts to what is underlying and recognize how we feel.
When we pick up a sentimental item, can we identify the feeling that object evokes? Is it joyful, bitterness, sad, or nostalgic-evoking memories (good-bad or mixed)? It’s really important to begin to invite and honor our feelings about our stuff. When we do we can then take honest action in the decisions we make about keeping or getting rid of stuff.
The muddy river metaphor as tool…
A useful tool when we begin to make decisions about releasing clutter is setting our intentions. Once we are a bit more in tune with our feelings we can decide how we want a space to feel. We create that space and those feelings by making decisions to only allow what evokes that feeling into our space.
Setting an intention is as simple as deciding and acting from a place of alignment!
The process of getting clear about your clutter might look something like this:
- Go into a clutter filled space with a journal or piece of paper to take notes on.
- Sit in the space for 5 minutes or longer and take notes about how the space currently feels. What emotions come up (good and bad)?
- Pick up a few objects and invite a response based on how you feel, this is like testing the waters. Some people are really physically impacted by touching items, others are more visual so it’s good to try both and take a few notes.
- Decide how you WANT to feel in the space, write down these feelings and set an intention to create that feeling!
- Begin the process of clearing away the objects and clutter that are not in alignment with your intentions and how you want to feel.
Use the muddy river metaphor to help you gain clarity in your decision making process. When we understand how clutter makes us feel, we can act on decision making from a place of intention. We then create a space that reflects the feelings we want rather than being stuck with feelings we have unintentionally created by indecision.
I’ll be sharing more practical tips on the clutter clearing process over the coming weeks. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or not sure where to begin and need some guidance with this process, please email me to schedule a call so we can talk more about how I can help.
In the meantime you might want to check out my Clutter Action Plan!