Here’s the thing about clearing.
It is not about the “doing” at all.
It’s not about the issue or your desired outcome. It’s not about what you observe as a problem, or the solution.
It’s not about the mismatched socks, the mountains of paper and store catalogues teetering your desk, or the to-do tasks that never get done.
It’s not about the juggling of a million things all at once, the fact that you’re not getting enough sleep, or have zero time for your self.
It’s not about your family that doesn’t pitch in to help out, your crazy boss, or your neighbor’s dog that barks all night …
It’s not about fixing something, managing, getting rid of…
Clearing is not about any of those things.
Here’s what clearing is:
- Clearing is an opportunity to bring compassionate awareness to the places in your home and life that are out of balance.
- Clearing is a journey that can be messy, and meandering; a journey that doesn’t always add up, make sense, or go in a straight line.
- Clearing is a daily practice that starts where you are.
The real goodies with clearing – that this course will help you discover – is in how you process the gucky stuff that arises when you clear: your attachments, fears, overwhelm, confusions, stucknesses…
“Processing” – as in tuning in to how you feel. Without attachment.
Awareness changes everything.
Going Slow to Go Fast
What most people do not recognize is that the simple act of clearing one little thing with intention, every day, is more powerful and sustainable than binge-clearing a whole lot of things on the fly. By consistently clearing something small like a purse, a wallet, or even one paper clip off your chronically messy desk, you can bypass your brain’s fight-or-flight wiring system to such a degree as to create a sea change and a ripple effect of global proportions!
Adopting a simple daily practice of putting away one thing, for example, or rounding up a small area for sixty seconds, every day, is not only soothing to the nervous system and can feel really good over time, but it’s one of the best ways I know to move energy that feels stuck in your home, head, and heart.
As you probably already know, or will soon discover, clearing anything has a sneaky habit of pushing our buttons and bringing up what I affectionately call the “weather.”
You’ll recognize this emotional weather when you feel annoyed, cranky, tired, or spacey. You may have urges to overeat, avoid, or hold on even more. You may feel terrific one minute and completely fall apart the next.
You’ll recognize this weather when you hear your inner critic find every reason to discredit your efforts, convince you that these clearing practices don’t work for beans, and that this course is probably the worst one you ever experienced.
If any litany of judgments derails you, remember: This is the “clutter part” of your mind talking, not the real you! The first step is to try not to give in to all that noise.
At its essence, clearing is about moving stuck energy. Anything that you might experience as unpleasant could be the effects of stuck energy getting unstuck, or a high pressure system colliding with the pre-existing low pressure one.
Changes in weather are really good signs that something is shifting.
Hang in there! The lessons, clearing practices, and journal exercises together will help you ride the waves when these surges arise without taking them personally.
To illustrate how we bring awareness into our clearing practice, consider the principle of acupuncture – the ancient Chinese practice of inserting tiny needles into the energy centers of the physical body to get the chi flowing again to restore balance.
You could say that we’re doing the same thing with clearing, only in this case what we “insert” to bring about change in the stuck places of our homes and lives is pure compassionate awareness.
There’s no way to predict what will happen as you clear. Consider these ways to get the best out of your experience.
Allow silence: Silence creates openings and opportunities to feel. Don’t be afraid of it!
• Take your time: This is a journey. It is an experience to be lived, not “taken.” Go as slow as you need to, but keep moving.
• Have fun: Don’t take yourself or anything that happens too seriously. Being less attached to an outcome will raise your energy level, expand your perspective, and lighten your load. Remember, if you’re not having fun, it’s much harder to let go.
How are you feeling right this second?
What I mean is…
How’s your body: Is it tight and contracted? If so, where exactly?
How’s your breathing? Is it shallow or full?
Is your mouth dry? Are you thirsty?
Are you tired? Yawning? Zoning out?
Are you attentive? Energized? Excited?
How’s your breathing now? Is it different than it was a few seconds ago?
Most of us do too much, or have more possessions than we need or use. Or both. With our lives swept up in an overwhelming swirl of attachments, worry, and endless, mechanical “doing,” our minds become fuzzy on what stays and what goes, what matters and what doesn’t. As humans it is in our nature to experience clarity and spaciousness all the time. The problem is we lose focus, get off balance, and forget how. So how do we dial it back – or even begin – to reduce the noise, release the stuff that doesn’t serve and support us, and connect with that which makes our hearts sing? One minute at a time. In present time. No matter how miniscule the task or effort, the fact is, clearing anything consciously and gently creates an energetic opening–a spaciousness–that will work on you slowly and surely to soften your grip of attachments to things, beliefs, and outcomes.
by Stephanie Bennett Vogt