So many things in Feng Shui come from ancient ways and rules that might not seem obvious at first. Ironically enough, some of the earliest writings about Feng Shui, almost 2000 years ago, spoke of Feng Shui as being derivable and stemming from things that were almost common sense. Perhaps to the ancient Chinese, for whom Feng Shui had been a tradition for 1000 years already, it was common sense. For us in the west, however, we need a little help.
One thing nearly all of us need is a way to “unclutter” our environment. Clutter interrupts the flow of Chi, or energy, and symbolizes the way our lives will be on edge just as our home is. While Feng Shui does not have many hard and fast rules for “uncluttering” your life, there are some common sense steps to take before good Feng Shui can happen.
We all have stuff that we don’t really use or need. For some reason, we just can’t seem to part with it. Often times, we get rid of the easy stuff in a matter of minutes, but then we just can’t seem to make up our minds on what of the other stuff stays or goes.
We all have our excuses, “..but it’s so nice,” or “..that was really expensive,” “..I barely got any use out of that,” “..hopefully I’ll wear that again someday,” or my favorite, “..I’ll feel so guilty if I throw this out.”
For every item that you can’t decide what to do with, make a note of what excuse you are using to hang on to it. Listen to the voice in your head that tells you to keep it, and make a note of why.
As you start to do this, you should start to get a clear picture of just exactly what it is that is keeping you tied to certain things. You may find that, for example, you have no trouble throwing away greeting cards from last Christmas, but it would take a crow bar to pry that pair of pants out of your hand that you haven’t been able to wear in three or more years.
It doesn’t mean that you are heartless when it comes to the greeting cards, it means that you are comfortable and secure in the knowledge that your friends and family love you. It also means that you are probably not so comfortable with your body image and are having trouble accepting the fact that you simply can’t fit into those pants anymore.
Plenty of other people, on the other hand, might have no trouble throwing out those clothes, but cringe at the thought of throwing away postcards that are 20 years old. I can feel the guilt and inner struggle now as the mind says “it’s only paper, there is no reason to keep this,” while the heart weighs a ton at the prospect of “throwing away” all those friends and family members. The problem is not the postcards, it’s where our own personal insecurities lie.
So many of the reasons we hold on to clutter have to do with memories of past events, or the hope of usefulness in the future. Holding on to things gives us a sense of hope, or a sense of reminiscing. Both of these make it harder to live in the now. If you fill your closet with clothes that are too small, you remind yourself every day that you are not the size you want to be, and that you are not happy with where you are now. You remind yourself that you still have hope for losing that weight and being skinnier some day. Every day, as you reach for an article of clothing that is not one of the “goal” items, you get a small sense of failure.
Imagine the toll these little message put on you day after day. You wouldn’t look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are a failure every day, would you? I certainly hope not. The message here, though, is closely related if not the same. When you hold on to things that represent what you wish for, and are unhappy about presently, it brings bad energy to your self every day. When your closet contains clothes that fit your body, your life, and your personality, every wardrobe choice becomes a positive step towards a good outlook on the day, and on your life.
It is difficult sometimes to make the decision to be clutter free, and sometimes even more difficult to make that decision a reality. At every item you can’t seem to let go of, listen to the voice in your head and learn to discover the real reasons why you hold on to things that seem to have no use or purpose. Learn to let go of these things and enjoy the here and now. The good energy will begin to flow better, and the path to good Feng Shui will have begun.
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