So, I was cleaning out my pantry the other day, something I do often and I became acutely aware of a process that I have carried out subconsciously for years. You see, I have this system for keeping my pantry well organized- some would say a bit too well but I like things in their place. I was deciding what to keep, throw away or donate by the foll0wing criteria;
- What is no longer useful to me and could be helpful to someone else?
- What is no longer useful/potentially harmful and should be thrown away?
- What should never have been allowed to be there?
- What items do I need to restock? These are the things that I never want to run out of.
Suddenly, it was so clear to me. I make a regular practice of keeping my outside world clean and organized, but how often do I give my inside world the same careful attention? Am I doing this often enough? Wow! My emotional, mental and spiritual well- being are like my pantry. There is only so much room. If I clutter my space with items that don’t deserve to be there, I will not even see the ones that could be useful to me. If I don’t check the ‘best if used by’ dates regularly, I could be consuming something that was once nutritional and could now be harmful. Situations change, time passes and if we are not paying careful attention we could find ourselves in terrible need of a spring cleaning and not even realize it!
Now, just like organic gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal (don’t judge) in my pantry, there are things I keep right up front because I reach for them often- my values and beliefs, my close friends and family who love me in spite of myself, my ambition and thirst for knowledge. I keep these things well- stocked by supporting them with healthy interactions, quality reading, diverse entertainment, challenging endeavors and quiet time. But which things should I be discarding- the things, situations, or dare I say it, people who no longer fit with where I am going? The situations that literally drain my energy and happiness. Does keeping it or them, hold me hostage from moving forward? Don’t get alarmed. I am not suggesting that you literally throw people away like I did with the organic tart cherry juice that was only recognizable because of the label. What I am suggesting is that if you find yourself in that same old uncomfortable and unfulfilled place that you have been in for a while, it could be time to take inventory of your associations. Perhaps there is clutter that is preventing you from seeing and experiencing what is truly valuable in your life.
Gaining clarity can feel like dirty work at first. Once it is done however, you have a pleasant environment that is ready for new experiences. I suggest you take the same approach that you do when cleaning your bathrooms- grab a pair of gloves, walk right up to the bowl with courage, clean and flush it out of your life. Okay, maybe not the best analogy but you get the picture- fresh and pleasant.
Need help? I can help you gain clarity. Bathrooms? You are on your own.