Spring arrived last week here in the U.S. and greeted us on the East Coast with a spring snow storm. Ah yes, mother nature has a great sense of humor, doesn’t she? Despite that, spring is still in the air, and it’s still the perfect time to do some spring cleaning. My last blog post was part one of a three-part series on detoxing your life. (If you missed it, you can read it here).
This is part two of that series and is focused on detoxing your environment.
I know you likely think of clutter in your space when I say that, and that is definitely part of it. However, it also includes spaces and places you frequent, such as other people’s homes, networking events, office environments, and even social meeting places.
First let’s talk about the obvious: your space. Decluttering your home space can often seem overwhelming. It’s as if everywhere you look there’s another pile of something that is stacking up or closet that needs cleaning.
My suggestion: start small. Tackle one thing at a time. One drawer, one closet, one pile at a time.
Where do you start? Start with the thing that is most bothersome to you.
For example, the closet in my office is a space that constantly made me roll my eyes and mutter, “ugh, this stupid closet” whenever I opened it. It was unorganized, crammed with old stuff, and anytime I opened it I muttered under my breath how badly I needed to clean it and then quickly slammed the door shut, avoiding looking at it one second longer than necessary. Then one day I asked myself why I was tolerating a daily annoyance and frustration from this closet? It seemed ridiculous that each time I opened it, I felt that sense of irritation. Why was I continuing to allow that negativity into my space? So, I finally cleaned it out. It took all of 2 hours and eliminated many more hours of frustration that I’d been tolerating for probably an entire year.
Which space in your home evokes that feeling of “UGH” when you see it or open it? Start there. And then, move on to the next space.
One other thing I’ll add to detoxing your space is to take note of photos, books, knickknacks, and clothes. These are easy to accumulate; yet, are truly the things you want to be surrounded by and wearing? I remember a few years after I left my corporate job my closet was still filled with an abundance of black and grey pants suits. I barely wore two of them, let alone all that occupied an entire wall of my closet. They no longer represented the life I was living or wanted to live, and yet remained because I’d forgotten about them. Donating them and clearing gout that side of my closet got rid of old stagnant energy; energy I didn’t even realize was occupying my space. Books, photos, and knickknacks are often the same. They represent a time in your life that perhaps has passed or needs to be refreshed and updated. Take a look at these things and ask yourself: do these things represent me, the energy I want in my space, and the life I want to be living? If the answer is no, it’s time to purge and pass them on to someone who will appreciate them as much as you once did.
Next let’s talk about spaces and places you frequent. These are locations you go on a regular basis: office environments, other people’s homes, networking events, restaurants, social meeting spaces such as gyms, churches, or volunteer organizations. This is not about the actual material things in these spaces but the energy of them, the people who are in those spaces, and how you feel when you’re there and when you leave.
All brick and mortar establishments contain energy. Many of you who are highly sensitive people can probably sense the energy of a space when you walk into it. For example, some people’s homes feel warm and open, while others feel tense and uninviting. Some restaurants have a very mellow and warm atmosphere whereas others are more frantic and hyper. If you are not someone who can sense the energy of a place when you walk inside of it, pay attention to how you feel after you leave. Are you calm and happy, or do you feel off and have a more negative vibe? You might not even be able to put your finger on why you’re feeling off, but it is likely because of the energy of the location you just left. How you feel when leaving any location is usually an indicator about the energy of that space and how it impacts you. There’s no right or wrong energy about a specific location- it’s about how it makes you feel. You carry that energy with you, so, if the purpose of this detox is to rid yourself of negative energy in your life, limit your time in those environments that don’t make you feel good. And, of course, spend as much time as possible in those places that fill you with good feelings.
Most of the spring cleaning around your environment comes from paying attention to how you feel about the spaces you are in – whether they are your own or belong to someone else. This awareness provides an opportunity to stop tolerating anything negative occupying your space. When you clean up your environment (and your brain and body, as I wrote about in my previous blog post), you open yourself and your space to new opportunities. Our next topic on detoxing your life will focus on other people. Until then, do you have other tips and tricks on how to clear your environment of negativity? Please feel free to share!