Ahhh. It is that time of year when I start getting the urge to purge; the itch to clear out the old; the desire to open up the house and let the fresh air blow out the musty, recycled air. I always feel so much better and lighter and freer when I clear out the clutter of my life. Spring is that time for renewal and rebirth. In order to make space for the new, we must clear out the old. We must release things that no longer serve us. We must let go of those things that hold us back – physically and emotionally.
Physical clutter clearing is the easiest for me. I pick a room, closet, cabinet, shelf, etc. and just start to go through the items asking what do I still use and what have I not used in over a year. Clearing out those items I have not used will open up space, but sometimes there is an emotional attachment to an item. I feel a resistance to let it go. I want to keep it. Even if it is hidden at the bottom of a drawer where I rarely see it, there is comfort in knowing it is there. Most times, the item triggers a good memory for me. I like the feeling I get when I remember that good memory. I must remind myself that if I let go and release the item, the memory is still with me.
Emotional clutter occurs when we hold onto old beliefs, old angers, old fears, old betrayals, old sadness. We may have regret for something we did in the past. We may wish we had chosen a different path or had been more open to opportunities that came to us. All of those kinds of stored up emotions keep us weighted down. They do not serve us to carry them around on our backs every day. What happened in the past, happened. It cannot be undone. We can examine the past and learn from those experiences, but then it is time to let go and work on releasing the emotional clutter. Be gentle with yourself as you do the work. The pay-off in the end is well worth it when we are free from the emotional baggage we carried.
Back in November, I created the above mandala. I asked myself the question, “what do I need to release today?” After I finished painting it, the title ‘Release the muck” came to me. The brown muck in the center of the circle represents the emotional clutter that is ready to release. The message of the mandala is that it is time for me to examine the thoughts and beliefs and relationships that no longer serve me.
After pondering this message for a while and digging through my emotional closet, I decided to address some of the toxic relationships in my life. I tend to be a very optimistic and giving person. I have many, many friends who are the same in that regard. There is balance in our relationship with giving and receiving and uplifting one another. And then there are those friends who seem to only reach out to me when they want something from me. They tend to create a lot of drama in their lives and then dump that drama at my door over and over again. That drama is not mine and it creates a negative energy in my life. It drains me to help again and again and again.
This presented a good opportunity for me to strengthen my boundaries and work on saying ‘no’ to those toxic relationships. I am worthy of healthy relationships and my time and energy are valuable. My mandala shows the bright, colorful energy that is ready to come into my life when I clear out the muck. The positive energy flows and swirls all around me.
What will you find when you dig through your emotional closet to clear the clutter? What muck needs to be released from your life? Happy Spring Cleaning to you!!