What If Clearing Clutter Makes You Feel Stressed, Anxious, Guilty, and Downright Crappy...THEN WHAT?
Ok, so I have to admit that I am a bona-fide Neat Freak. I LOVE organizing and getting rid of stuff; if I didn't love having my own retreat spaces in my home I would seriously consider scaling down and joining the tiny house movement. (Of course, my husband would HIGHLY disagree about that lifestyle, so that is not a topic of discussion at this point in time)
Everything in my home is in it's place, BUT some of the "stuff" that I tend to hang on to is for the same reasons that other people do; the monetary value, the guilt, the sentimental value, the fact that it was on sale (you get the picture).
And sometimes I can get a little freaked out about parting with some stuff, so I do get it when you say that getting rid of things that you have had for awhile can make you feel stressed, anxious, guilty, nauseous, and downright crappy!
Maybe this will help....
Try this simple "compassionate awareness" exercise
You will need:
Journal (or notebook, or piece of paper)
Go to your closet, and take out ONE item that doesn't fit, has a hole in it, a button missing, or something that you haven't worn in a long time that you are having trouble parting with.
Set your timer for one minute; hold the item in your hand, and place it close to your heart; notice how the item makes you feel. Experience all of the thoughts and the emotions; the guilt, overwhelm, anxiety, knots in your stomach, etc. All of these thoughts and feelings are stuck energy, and are perfectly normal. Let the thoughts be; don't try to judge them or get rid of them; be totally present with what is happening, and do not try to control the outcome.
By simply being, and observing, in total awareness with this article of clothing in your hand, are you able to shift your judgement about how you are feeling right now? Can you shift from thinking that your feelings are a bad thing that you need to manage, or get rid of? Can you just be present with your feelings, without being attached to the outcome?
What we don't realize is that it's not your overflowing closet, the clothes that don't fit, or even your neighbor who seems to mow his lawn whenever you decide to take a nap, it's the level of attention that you bring to these issues. It's how you relate to them!
After your minute is up with just observing your article of clothing, you have three choices of what to do with the item in your hand;
Put the item away
Lovingly release it
Write down how you feel right now....if you can't put any sentences together, write down the words that come to mind.
This exercise can be done whenever you want to practice getting rid of attachment... You can also try it with the thoughts that go through your head, too!
You see, it isn't about getting rid of something, it is simply about allowing ourselves to release the attachment that we have to it. If we let our thoughts be, don't try to judge or get rid of them, be totally present with what is happening, and do not try to control the outcome, that is when the magic happens! xoxo