I have always been a believer that having a good clear out paves the way for new things to take the place of the old. It can apply to the clearing out of physical objects or a mental clear out. This could include old beliefs habits, etc. that are no longer relevant in our lives or make a positive contribution.
The ‘old’ could represent our comfort zones, a place where we may feel safe and secure, representing predictability and stability. However, such a place may very well prevent us from experiencing new situations and adventures and in time may become a prison without us realizing it. Furthermore, clutter spreads into other areas of our lives. Clutter equals stress.
Having a clear out is easier said than done. Most of us procrastinate and sometimes for years before we get around to throwing out the old even if it was in our best interest to have done so a long time ago. Coupled with procrastination might be a sentimental attachment to the physical, mental or emotional things we need to let go of. We might cling on to our clutter for dear life just like a child with a comfort blanket. It could, of course, be sheer laziness preventing us from doing what needs doing.
However, when we eventually get around to the clear out, it is a very rewarding and cathartic experience. It is as though a physical weight has been lifted off your shoulders, accompanied by a sense of wellbeing or even euphoria. A saying that will be familiar to most of us namely, ‘if you do what you’ve always done you will get what you’ve always got’ offers some insight into the benefit of ridding ourselves of the old.
The Chinese philosophical system of feng shui refers to the flow of energy in our lives, both physical and mental and advocates the free flowing of energies in and through our lives. Ridding ourselves of physical and mental barriers enables positive energy to flow more freely.
My mantra has always been that if I haven’t used something or worn a piece of clothing for a year, it is time to get rid and that includes our digital lives. Be ruthless with emails, mailing lists and information that are no longer relevant.
I have mentioned a number of times in previous posts that preparation for retirement is critical to a positive retirement experience. The notion of a good clear out of both physical and mental clutter is a significantly powerful act in the preparation of embracing either part-time or full-time retirement. Old habits, beliefs and actions may no longer be relevant and in order to embrace and benefit from new experiences, changes are critical.
It is the perfect time to rid ourselves of both physical and mental clutter that no longer have any benefit in our lives. In doing so we successfully pave the way for a different life, making way for new experiences and adventures. The process of doing so can be an emotional experience and there is no need to do it all at once. You now have the time to do what you have always put off doing in the past.
That is exactly what I have been doing the last few months. I realised that my large wardrobe of business clothing represented a professional identity that no longer catered for my new lifestyle and persona. It took quite some time for me to let go of clothing I was very fond of, but doing so allowed me to enjoy experimenting with new styles and colours that I would have considered inappropriate for a professional environment.
The added benefit was that not only did I enjoy the journey of creating a more relevant wardrobe, but a significant benefit was that it also allowed me to de-clutter my emotional wardrobe as well. I took a hard look at the habits and beliefs I had about myself and cleared out those that were irrelevant, allowing me to embrace new aspects of myself. More about this in the next post.
So, be brave and make time for a Spring cleaning in order to make room for the new!