Spiritual clutter can also take the form of negative thinking, over thinking, and negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, and other soul-sucking emotions. It’s not letting go, it is living in the past, it is letting others’ actions or words reside in your heart for too long. For me, the biggest issue of spiritual clutter is overthinking and having too much to do. Like a dog thrown too many toys and catching none, having too many tasks lends to my doing nothing. I get overwhelmed. The time has come to clear it out.
Recognize the clutter. This is the toughest part of the process because we fool ourselves into bad habits. Multi-tasking and keeping busy provided me this false sense of being productive. In fact, I was not. If anything, I stressed myself out. Getting to the heart of the issue can be a process that takes a while, but well worth finding the issue to fix it. Take stock of your feelings, your motivations, and how it serves your Life. Does it move you forward? Help you evolve? Or does it stand in the way of opportunity?
Find a way to remove clutter. This next step can also be a process of trial and error. Removing anger and jealousy can be huge because if you live with it long enough, its like having a favorite sweater you wear. We grow comfortable with the emotional/spiritual clutter, not recognize how unhealthy it really is. Sometimes taking it off ends up an illusion, you find yourself doing the same thing. Commit and keep at it. I find it helps to cultivate healthier habits to replace the old ones. For instance, being angry with someone can be replaced with compassion, knowing everyone has their issues. Difficult people often work from their own weaknesses (and clutter). You don’t have to let that take you down too.
Stumble and try again. This was tough for me to recognize- to accept I will fail, stumble, fall back into old habits. This is part of the process.
Some of the things I’ve cleared out;
– The anxiety I felt that had me biting my fingernails. After a year, I finally have long fingernails and don’t even feel the urge to bite. I might tap the nails now with anxiety, but I found mediation and simply taking moments to recognize that feeling to remind me to feel calm. Slow breathing helps too.
– Over thinking. Wow, this was really difficult to work through and I still work at it. Over thinking causes so much anxiety because you imagine things that haven’t happened. I remind myself of Scarlett O’Hara’s quote of “tomorrow is another day”. If I can’t fix something, I let it go to deal with it when I can.
– Too much to do. I realized this year that I just have too much to do. I homeschool my son, have my own business, volunteer with Score.org, organize meetup groups, blogs and fiction writing, and I find I just can’t do it all. I quit two meetup groups, keeping only the writer’s group open. I cut back on Score volunteering, rely more on my son taking on responsibility of studying, and most importantly, learned to say no. Even blogging will be on a schedule so can get it done, providing its scheduled and planned. This has made a world of difference.
Sacred space also needs a cleaning now and then, and mine was no different. I went through my stuff, asking if it serves a purpose. If it isn’t used regularly, it goes into a storage box. I prefer a stream-lined alter with only a few useful items, and you can take note, the Zen influences here. I really like the Terracotta flower pot plate filled with sand. I can put in any type of incense. It can be in cone form or stick, and I use a spoon to clean out the ash. I also add various crystals depending on my need. The plate that looks like a leaf is made from Paper clay where I used one of the leaves from my grape arbor to give it shape and texture, then painted it. I do not use anything flammable on it. Behind everything is a corkboard, so I can hang my jewelry, prayers, chants, and the pentacle charm.
What do you do to clear out your clutter? Post in comments.