Something has to go. I can feel it. It’s a familiar feeling actually. It arises whenever it’s time for me to go through the house and evaluate what I own.
It is usually motivated by an internal restlessness. I take a look at everything and determine if it still serves me. Do I currently use it? Do I love it? Anything that doesn’t meet the criteria doesn’t make the cut. It’s the harsh reality that objects face when they live with a feng shui practitioner.
The interesting thing about this feeling is that I’ve been having it a lot lately. Every time it happens, I walk through the house with the intent to simplify. And every time, I manage to do it. But, with each purge, the excavation goes a little deeper.
Now, compared to the average family, we don’t really have that much stuff in the first place. So, this little exercise requires quite a bit of diligence, really assessing each object with a critical eye. And the biggest thing I noticed recently was that things that would have passed the test just a few months ago are no longer making the cut; meaning that even some of the things that I do actually use or that I do still enjoy are being eliminated. One object at a time, I pace around the house with my simplification obsession.
Well, the truth is, it doesn’t have anything to do with the stuff in my home. It never does. I always tell my clients that our belongings are simply mirrors of our life, pointing us towards messages that maybe we wouldn’t otherwise see. The feelings about the objects are telling me that something has to go in my life. It is time to simplify. The feeling is clear. But, it demands that I take an honest look at everything in my life, much like I have been doing with my possessions, and decide what is best serving me and what has lived its life cycle.
This is always a difficult thing for people to do. When we have been doing something for a while, unless we are completely over it, we rarely just decide to be done. We usually need something major to happen or something external to make the decision for us, like getting laid off from that job that you were kind of apathetic about or getting dumped by the mediocre lover.
So, how can we begin to make those decisions proactively? Well, if we are not aware of our true feelings about a situation in the first place, it can be difficult to make a decision about it. That’s where our home can come in as a communication tool. How you feel about your things is a strong reflection of how you feel about your life. Your stuff is giving you a message about your self. If you ignore this communication, you are missing out on a wonderful healing tool. I have never met a person who is overwhelmed by their space, but feels right on track with all aspects of their life. Nor, for example, have I met a person who has a neglected bedroom, but is meeting all their personal and relationship needs. In the decade that I have focused on my work with space, it has become clear how much we can learn about ourselves from our homes.
If you want some insight about your self, I really urge people to tune into how you feel about your home and about your things. Pay attention to any emotional responses or words you use to describe your space. Many of these things our houses have to tell us about our life, we don’t want to see or believe. I didn’t necessarily want to believe that “something has to go” in my life, but my pacing neurotically around the house revealed it. And now, I can choose to listen or I can wait until some external force makes the decision for me.
And frankly, I’ve tried that method before. This time, I’m listening.