Peaceful Zen-Space or Sentimental Clutter?

In my last post, I talked about harnessing Capricorn’s energy to declutter your home for peace of mind and increased productivity. What about personal knickknacks, mementos, and souvenirs? Surely those get a free pass in the roundup of clutter, right? Not necessarily.

This morning I enjoyed a Meditation with the Buddha, which is an audio visualization available to members of my Awareness Engineering Membership Site. I, too, have been wrestling with the accumulation of years of collecting…well…stuff. Work-related materials, old manuals, papers, and files, correspondence, barely used purchases, out-dated clothes, and the list goes on.

So I chose to focus my meditation on bringing space into my life. Space to enjoy my time and relationships, space to indulge in self-care and personal interests. The Buddha seems so serene, present, and peaceful, so when I arrived deep into the meditation, I asked him to share his secrets.

His answer was simple….Simplify!

Many people have a tendency to hold onto mementos – gifts from others, souvenirs from trips, inherited belongings from deceased loved ones, etc. – out of a sense of obligation or as a way to feel connected to the other person, but some mementos are better to part with. It all depends on the memories connected to the items and how they make you feel.

You may have an old birthday gift given by a family member or friend with whom you have had a falling out, and looking at the gift brings up the anger and betrayal you felt during your last conversation. Or perhaps you have a paperweight in your home office that used to sit on your desk at a job you hated, and you are reminded of that job every time you see it. These items are not contributing to your personal happiness and should be discarded.

How can you have peace, and joy when your space is radiating negative energy and triggering unhappy memories?

The best way to determine whether a belonging is adding negativity to your environment is through the following exercise:

  • Take a moment to center yourself until you reach a neutral, calm state. Then, while continuing to leave your mind as blank as possible, look at or hold each item in question.
  • Make yourself aware of your internal reaction, both physical and emotional. Are you involuntarily tensing up, or do you perhaps feel sadness or anger seeping into your consciousness?
  • Ask yourself what the item contributes to your environment and how it serves you.

If you have a hard time getting rid of items with negative emotions attached to them, continue to examine the reasoning behind your reaction and see if you can work through your feelings until you reach a place where you can disconnect the object from the memory. If this is not possible, then it is time to let go. Once the physical reminder and the unwanted energy are gone, your space will be  freed up to nurture and support you.

If you would like to enjoy a variety of guided visualizations, including Meditation with the Buddha, you are invited to check out the Awareness Engineering Membership Site.