Thursday, March 08, 2001

Clearing Clutter

Outside My Window

Lately, every time I look out one of my windows, something is going on. Since last week I've watched deer down by the creek every day, even in the middle of the day. The ruffed grouse have moved from their snowy covers to balance themselves on perilously thin choke cherry branches to pick at the buds. On Friday, they took a break from that activity to warm up to a spring ritual. Two females sat on low pine branches, I sat at the office window, and the three of us watched two very worked up males spar. Tail and breast feathers were in full form as they fought for over an hour. I'm sure it wasn't for my benefit but I enjoyed the show. And a pileated woodpecker has been down by the creek regularly boring holes the size of my fist in a dead yellow birch. I can only guess that the insects occupying that tree are restless too. Nature is definitely moving from a state of being to a state of doing. I can take a hint.

Clearing Clutter

I live in what I have always considered a pretty clutter-free home. But after reading Karen Kingston's book “Clear Clutter with Feng Shui,” I've realized I can still do with less. I started last week. The little clutter I have already cleared has had a surprising affect on me. Karen is ruthless in her suggestions (empty the trash every day!) but gentle and convincing in her approach. I have managed to give away and throw away several boxes. I truly didn't believe I had that much! The things I didn't toss, I started using again.

Karen defines clutter as:
  • Things you don't love
  • Things that are untidy and disorganized
  • Too many things in too small a space
  • Anything unfinished

She even told me that the word “clutter” comes from the Middle English word “clotter,” which means to coagulate. Okay, I get the picture all too vividly.

The problem with all this clutter is what she calls “stuck energy.” As clutter accumulates, energy around your space slows. And as that energy slows, more clutter accumulates. The result? You become what you see; tired, confused, in disharmony and disorganized. Your life is literally put on hold. There's just no space for anything new.

Here's the good news. By clearing clutter, you change the possibilities in your life. A week ago Sunday, I cleaned out my jewelry. On Monday, I received a totally unexpected gift in the mail, a beautiful silver bracelet that was just right for me. No, it wasn't my birthday. The giver just thought I’d like it. And I do! Hmmm. I think I’ll clean out the garage this week.

“Eliminate something superfluous from your life. Break a habit. Do something that makes you feel insecure.” ~Piero Ferrucci

“In my hut this spring, there is nothing—there is everything!” ~Sodo

“You can't have a better tomorrow if you're thinking about yesterday all the time.” ~Charles Kettering

“It is not the greatness of a man's means that make him independent, so much as the smallness of his wants.” ~William Cobbett

“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” ~Allen

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