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Declutter Your Spiritual House

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Chau Majano

Dec 2, 2023, 2:42:25 AM12/2/23
The same process can happen in our spiritual lives. We can build up spiritual clutter until the only places left for God are the little nooks and crannies between it all. How can he fill you up when there is no space for him in your life?

Declutter Your Spiritual House

What emotional spiritual clutter are you stuffing into your spiritual closet? Fear, anxiety, worry, guilt, and shame can take over your thought life and squeeze out the joy, peace, and contented spirit God wants you to experience.

Of course, once you have decluttered your spiritual life, it may be a challenge to keep it that way! This is not a one-and-done proposition. Decluttering on a more frequent basis keeps your spiritual life healthy and makes for a smoother process.

Take an inventory of the activities, the relationships, the commitments in each area of your spiritual house. Include spiritual activities as well as the things preventing you from glorifying God or making a connection with Him.

Buddhism is about emptying for the sake of being empty. Christians empty themselves of sin and pride not to be empty but to be filled with the life of Christ who is the Holy Spirit! Think about it as the difference between emptying your house because you want a minimalist design compared to removing some furniture from your house to accommodate a great party. Perhaps both houses have a similar component of removing things but the purpose could not be more different!

Carving out time to be alone with God in silence is not selfish. In fact, it is a generous investment in our relationships with others. This summer, instead of decluttering your house or deleting apps on your phone, make your spiritual life a priority. Find some time of silence, speak to God from your heart and listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say. And then put it into practice in your life. You will be storing up treasures for yourself in heaven, and providing blessings for those around you as well.

Clutter is stuff that has taken over. It crowds, covers and obscures; it collects dust, dirt and grime. It loses meaning, becoming a claustrophobic and limiting presence in your life. The piles of paper, crammed closets full of clothes, and "What's that growing in the back of the refrigerator?" squeeze the light, fun and magic out of your soul. The Chinese call their ancient sacred system for decluttering feng shui. Hindus have something very similar called vastu. Whatever the name, clearing clutter is as much a spiritual as a housekeeping pursuit.

Go on a journey with a single suitcase and stay somewhere simple and spare, living from moment to moment, event to event. As you start to relax, unwind, unkink clenched muscles and entertain one clear thought at a time, pause and experience how that feels. It's very freeing. You have limited decisions to make as you eat, sleep, dress and go about your day. You might even rediscover a happier, more energetic you, a person who wakes up full of anticipation, not anxiety. This is the spiritual gift of simplicity. It is the opposite of the chaos and depressed life force caused by, and represented by, clutter. Monks live in extremely spare surroundings so nothing distracts their focus from their spiritual purpose and from living in the moment. You don't have to be a monk to achieve that inner serenity.

Clearing your clutter is an inside job -- and that doesn't mean inside your house or your closet. The causes of clutter are in your mind, your lifelong habits, your soul. You surround yourself with stuff to hide from situations and stresses that frighten you. You obscure things with piles of more things until you've missed the deadline, lost the opportunity, forgotten what you meant to accomplish -- clutter is a physical manifestation of an aversion to dealing with boring, hard or unpleasant reality. Clutter is a sign of the fear of not having enough, or the memories attached to objects, or the misunderstanding that you are not enough without all your stuff. If you can dig it out, weed it out, set it out for the trash, donate it, re-gift it to a friend, your clutter will be in a better place, and so will you.

By changing the externals, you affect the internal. Clearing clutter can release energy blockages, old stuck ideas and attitudes, and expand your life force, according to Denise Linn, a feng shui expert who's written books about sacred space clearing, decluttering, feng shui and indigenous spiritual practices. Linn teaches that the literal openings that occur when you remove clutter open your heart and free your spirit in that space. Try it in one small, overstuffed corner. Remove everything from the area; clean it and only replace a few things that are essential, uplifting or exquisite. Now think of how you'd feel walking along an empty beach or standing on a bare stage. If you've captured that feeling of peace, power and possibility in your modest uncluttered corner, you've created a home for your spirit -- and a catalyst to decluttering that will likely transform you and your house.

When we surround ourselves with too much stuff, not only can we not find anything, but we can get lost on a spiritual level, as well. The clutter takes up physical space, of course, but it also takes up energetic space. Space that you could be using to welcome bigger and better things into your life. The clutter gets in the way of your ability to connect to source, which is why the act of decluttering your physical space can actually declutter your spiritual self and create a clearer and calmer path forward.

For the shepherd, he had to go looking through the fields. For the woman, she had to clean her house. She had to declutter and look under things. She had to sift through what she had, and I imagine she had to retrace her steps. But, when she found the coin, she rejoiced. She called her neighbors together and threw a party. What once was lost had now been found!

If you're looking for an easy way to reduce stress, decluttering your environment may be a good place to start. Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. A tidier space can make for a more relaxed mind.

Still, the case for decluttering isn't clear-cut. Another study found that, while orderly environments are more linked to healthy choices, disorderly environments promote creativity and fresh ideas. If you value creativity, you may want to allow yourself to be a little messy in certain areas of your life.

Lower risk of asthma and allergies. You may think your house is messy but not dirty. But it's hard to clean around piles of belongings. Decluttering can prevent pests and reduce dust, mold, and mildew, which may trigger asthma and allergies.

Start by making room! Clear your space of the stuff that you no longer need, the stuff that merely serves as a distraction from your life. And while, yes, decluttering your physical space is important, it's also important to declutter your mind. Take time every day to sit in silence and solitude.

Eating healthy and staying active is a great way to stay connected to yourself and your higher power, whether that's God, the Universe, or simply your own internal guidance system. When we allow our internal systems (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) to become clogged and bogged down by lethargy and unnatural substances, we block the opportunity for spiritual growth and eventual awakening. Keep your body clean and clear by feeding it well and moving it often, and prepare to receive the messages you seek.

Keep in mind that a spiritual awakening is not necessarily a one-time thing. The spiritual path is a lifelong journey of growth. Continue to follow the steps above and you will undoubtedly find yourself "waking up" to new awareness and deeper consciousness over and over again.

This rule is fundamental to all decluttering. Grab some boxes or bags and fill them with the things you no longer need or use. That could include the clothes in your closet you haven't worn for years, those collectibles you bought that no longer make your heart sing, or any other unused items you find. Then, toss it in the trash or donate it. If it doesn't add value to your everyday life, it's probably time to get rid of it.

Need to start small? Begin with 5 minutes at a time. If you're new to decluttering, you can slowly build momentum with just five minutes a day. Gradually increase your time to ten minutes, then 15 minutes, etc.

Don't give away or donate junk. Next time you are decluttering, ask yourself - would I give this to a friend and not be embarrassed by its condition? Charity shops are still businesses trying to make money to support the organization they are connected to. Donating quality items with lots of life left in them is much more likely to move than stained or damaged items.

Use the 10-10-10 method. Identify ten items to donate, ten things to sell, and ten items to give away. Once you have those ten items in three different bags, take action. If you keep this method going daily, you will be amazed at how easy it is to declutter your home.

Then take another photo to see the improvement. Looking at your home differently can make it easier to start decluttering. It is like looking at your home through the eyes of a visitor. Ask a friend to help you by walking into your home and identifying three things that need to be thrown away or donated. If that item is important to you, defend it. If your friend disagrees with your reason, it may be time to get rid of it.

I wish decluttering was a one-time event. Unfortunately, it isn't. Pull out your calendar and set a date three months away to declutter - again! That way, the clutter doesn't get out of control again, and creating order is a priority. Sometimes friends can help you by offering a fresh perspective on the items you think are so important. But are they? Ask a friend for her honest opinion. Then decide to keep it, donate it, or sell it.

One day, when I was feebly attempting spring cleaning to overcome the disorder and disorganization in my home, I began thinking about how the ideas of cleansing, simplifying and decluttering apply on a spiritual level.
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