“That which you can’t give away, you do not possess, it possesses you.” (Ivenn Ball, Dadaist poet)
As I lay on my acupuncturist’s couch I saw the bare trees rising up to the sky with their tiny new buds emerging. This was a lightbulb moment for me!
None of these new buds could have emerged; no new light reach the tree if the old leaves, flowers and fruits, that had shone radiant in their fullness of foliage, had not withered and fallen away. They had their time of use and purpose and when no longer useful they gracefully fade and fall. Each year the cycle repeats and so nature renews itself.
Each year we have the opportunity to learn from nature: when we let go of the old, we allow the new, new opportunities to happen. Decluttering can be a powerful therapy. In a short time letting go of things that kept you hooked to an old emotional attachment can release you from that attachment and set you free of the hold it had on you. For example, expunging letters from a past relationship or deleting the emails/ texts relating to it! It’s powerful and important, just as the leaves have to drop, so we have to let go.
When working with people to declutter it can be emotionally charged – whether decluttering their most personal belongings or their kitchen! It can often be heard from the client that they are exhausted just one hour into the work! I think this is because we are attached to all our belongings and to the personal history our belongings have. Perhaps it is so hard to part with our school work or school reports because of the association we have with that time. Could we always have done better? What were the expectations on us? What has this done to our sense of ourselves and our identity? Possibly by letting go of them, if they have a destructive association, will help us move on.
I would say nature shows us we all hold on to too many things! Yes we need the roots and solidity of our homes around us as the tree itself is the home for the new buds. The contents, however, need to be viewed like the transience of the leaves and flowers. For example:
‘We wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest hangs there, just in case.’ (Karen Gram, Vancouver Sun)
So what are we doing holding on to clothes we hardly ever wear – 80% unnecessary clothes in our wardrobes?
The Jewish people are coming towards Passover in April as everyone else also goes into Spring Clean mode! The Jewish people are asked to celebrate this festival by imagining they themselves are coming out of Ancient Egypt as their ancestors did from slavery. How are we to imagine ‘coming out of Egypt’ with all our stuff? To truly imagine ‘coming out of Egypt’ one has to work out what we truly need and what we can let go of if our life depended on it! What really matters?
So the challenge this Spring as you clean is:
To be in harmony with nature and to release from the bonds of our possessions.
Nikki Glantz works sensitively and discreetly with people to help them minimise their clutter and creatively reorder their rooms and cupboards. Nikki works in 3 hour sessions @ £90 a session: Miracles can happen in a session! To find out more visit: www.ClutterClearLondon.co.uk