Simplify! Simplify! Is the message of Henry David Thoreau in his beautiful book Walden. In it, he writes of giving up all his worldly belongings and traveling to the woods of Massachusetts to build a cabin, live from the land and meditate. We do not have to go to this extreme to become close to nature, of course, but what I love the most about Thoreau’s message is his summary in this most profound statement: “A man is rich in effort to what he can afford to let alone.”
Think about this idea for a second. Does its clarity ring through to you? To me it says: Simplifying is good for the soul. What’s more? I believe simplifying is also an important key in keeping your energy purified and in so keeping your body and soul pure, as well.
With this in mind: as we head into summer here in upstate New York I can think of no better time to roll up my sleeves and shed the old to make room for the new. The reality is, it is hard work. Yet, I’ll make it simple for you if you are ready to simplify, too. Here’s three ideas to help keep your process enjoyable and spiritual.
Take It Slow:
In my book Spiritual Fitness: The 7-Steps to Living Well, I liken closet cleaning to soul cleansing. To me it’s the exercise and meditative process of letting go that creates space for the beautiful fresh and new. This goes for the garage, as well any other cluttered up nook or cranny of the home.
Make it easy on yourself, begin by taking an hour at a time and simply looking through what you have. Next, when you are inventorying your space ask yourself What can I let go of? What kind of space can I create in my life for something new? What am I hanging onto that if I let go of would allow something better to come along?
What Serves Me?
When you examine each item in question, ask yourself how it is useful to you. I often say out loud to the universe: How does this (suit, pair of shoes, stack of papers) serve me? If I can give myself a reasonable answer, I keep the item, if not it gets discarded. It’s just that simple.
Affirm: I Already Have Everything I Need:
The universe provides. In essence we already have everything we could possibly need. I can remember as a child going to a friends house to play and their Christmas tree was still standing square in the living room it was the middle of summer! Imagine what message this was sending to the universe? As you clear your space, continue to affirm: God provides. I already have everything I could possibly need.
Assignment: Clean Out Your Space
In you mind, mentally section off your home. I like to do this by rooms, sometimes corners if there’s lots of stuff in them. If there’s a space where you have harbored items make this its own section. Now take one section at a time and take inventory. Take time to look at each item then decide if it serves you. If not bless the item and let it go.
If you find the item does not serve you or you are unsure, keep it. Put it in a box. When the box is full go through each item once more. Next, tape up the box, date it for exactly one year from the present date. When the date comes due, throw the box away or donate the items. Finally, remember this is a constant process. And although you’ll never need to give up all your worldly belongings and live like Thoreau, keep renewing your space; expect something new and wonderful to show up for the old. I think you’ll be amazed at what comes along to take its place.