Feeling overwhelmed? Things getting on top of you? Heather Durling – Founder of The Phoenix Gathering shares some wonderful insights on how cleaning out your physical space can help clear out your mind.
Last night, I was reading a book to my youngest son, and the topic was about how a house can get very messy if it’s not cleaned regularly. The dishes get piled up, the dust bunnies become dust armies, and the bathroom turns ugly. This is very similar to how we clutter ourselves up when we don’t clean our mind and soul house.
Louise Hay made a brilliant statement in her book, “Heal Your Life”: “If you want to clean a room thoroughly, you will pick up and examine everything in it. Some things you will look at with love, dust off or polish to give them new beauty. Some things you will see need refinishing or repair, and you will make a note to do that. Some things will never serve you again, and it becomes time to let those things go. There is no need to get angry in order to clean a room, and it is the same thing when we clean our mental house. If a thought or belief doesn’t serve you, let it go!”
Cleaning your mental house is very similar to your physical one. When you begin the process, you walk around the rooms, and do one of three things: put away what you want to keep, set aside in a “decide later” pile, and throw away the garbage.
Setting things aside in life would be like classes, seminars, and books – anything you may use in the future to better yourself in some way. Putting away things you want to keep relates to all of the good parts of your life – the wonderful memories, music that you love, a favorite quote that inspires you. Anything that makes you truly feel good when you think about it, or see it.
Then it’s time to throw away the garbage – old bills you’ve already paid, expired coupons and junk mail, worn out clothing, and old household items.
~ Old bills you’ve already paid – This translates to past hurts/regrets to yourself or others. Was this bill paid already by receiving or asking for forgiveness? Then it’s time to throw this away, it’s been paid! In regards to choices you’ve made that impacted yourself – forgive yourself for doing what you thought was best at the time. Would you pay your electric bill more than once a month, because you felt guilty for leaving your basement lights on? Ask yourself – why keep paying for an old regret or hurt?
~ Expired coupons and Junk Mail – These are all of the bad relationships, memories, and experiences in your life. None of these things serve you in a good way, and only cause blocks. There are friendships that have expired for whatever reason, but we hang on because there’s “history”. The bad memories and experiences are kept for many reasons – fear of a repeated event, grudges held, sadness over closed doors, and even regret over making the wrong decision. Should have/would have/could have reigns supreme in this area of our minds. A good rule of thumb for cleaning this room is – Does it make me feel lighter if I keep it? If it weighs you down, or makes you feel heavy – then it’s not serving you, and it’s time to put it in trash bin.
~ Worn out clothing – These are all of the beliefs that you have that are no longer true, or may not have been true at all! The best way I can explain this concept is by sharing a deep belief that was buried in my subconscious – “Be Silent. Be Safe.” Growing up in an abusive home, I was taught at a young age that if I was quiet, I wouldn’t be hurt. This translated into an adulthood of being introverted, with low self-esteem. As I’ve been going down my personal healing journey, I recognized that this was not true at all. It was holding me back from positive experiences. In order for me to be a speaker, and stand up in the fight to break the silence of abuse – I have to be heard. My new belief is: “Echo in a way that carries.” I’m letting my life and my words echo in a way that will carry to those that need to see and hear that they aren’t alone.
~ Old household items – These are all of the things that have served their purpose, and you no longer need. Think of an old toothbrush – it served its purpose, and now it’s just cluttering up your bathroom sink. This relates to yourself in the things that you have that used to work well for you, but you’ve outgrown or moved on from. Self-help books from your divorce 10 years ago; old emails from people you don’t talk to anymore; and old phone numbers still in your contacts that you haven’t cleared out yet.
Clean your mind and your life as if you were cleaning your own home. Look at everything in a detached and observational way, while choosing what is worthwhile to keep, and getting rid of what no longer serves you. Cleaning these things out of your life will make room for all of the good things to come in.
Heather Durling – Founder of The Phoenix Gathering, Practitioner, and Personal Coach for adult survivors of child abuse. She is a fellow survivor who strives to learn new ways to thrive, while sharing her knowledge with those on their own healing journey. She is also a co-facilitator for a local support group, speaker, writer, and a closet herb mad scientist.