Spring cleaning beyond the closet
What to keep... what to discard... what lifts me up, what brings me down... how to tell the difference!
Anyone who has tried to "be themselves" has marvelled at how elusive this task can be...
The intuition communicates, alright. That's not the issue. But listening to what Marie Kondo describes as "what sparks joy" goes against every fibre of our rational being. Because we remember... what worked before, what used to lift me up, what used to fit great, what I may like one day in the future, what could be good for me if only I... just change this... improve in this way...
Our intuition - rooted in the emotive body - speaks yet we resist. No - not now. Not yet. No, this is not according to plan. And the anguish sets in. Inner conflict. Doubt. Uncertainty. Self denial. And that hurts. "You may think you want this or don't want this, but 'I' know better." Nothing worse than walking around with a divided Self.
Here's the kicker: when we release, let go and give away, there's a reward. The space gets filled like a vacuum. We double down on what we really want.
So if you are unsure and hesitating about which way to go, may I give you a tip? A strategy for discarding?
Imagine success is a given. Often when we fear making the wrong decision, it is because we dread the idea that walking away from something will result in a loss. FOMO, pure and simple. What if I miss out on what that has to offer? So we hedge our bets. And by doing that, we water down the investment we have made in another direction.
Instead of comparing a potential win and a loss, compare two wins. What if both of these options/choices/directions were a success? Then, which one would I choose? Fear, scarcity goblins and apocalyptic dreams out of the way, desire can let out its gentle whisper.
I made one of the biggest decisions of my life this weekend. I am not ready to talk about it yet - I suspect I will later in the week. But for now, suffice it to say, I walked away from something major. A life path that had worked for me. A career where I had made money and received meaningful accolades. It made me feel like a rarity. A prized pig.
For many years, I had been chasing after a prior success. Yet, I would close my eyes to envision my ideal self/future life and achievement didn't look the same as it had back then. Understandably, the benchmark of my "best case scenario" had irrevocably changed but my small-ego-self wasn't ready to let go.
"This worked for you before!" it yelped. I hear you, fear. I know we liked what existed then. But what about what's possible now? I like my potential future even more. Can we give it a proper chance please?
When I was 21 years old, I had the instinct that when I cleaned out my closet, I would naturally call in greater abundance. It was true, when I completed it 10+ years later (and I keep giving more away). I have done a lot of spiritual courses on money in the past year and they have nearly all begun with decluttering as a first step. There is no debate that clearing space for what you want must happen literally and metaphorically.
I have friends who are in on-and-off again relationships where not all their needs are being met. But they are not ready to release their partial partnership because it contains many essential ingredients they do cherish. Understandable. But that full picture partnership that's out there waiting for them? It has no room to come through. Unconsciously, they are communicating to their ideal lover that they don't have a place for them yet. They are hoping to win without having bought the lottery ticket.
So think of an area where you face indecision in your life. Write it down.
Let's use a simple analogy: you have a skirt in your closet you are thinking of getting rid of (ok true story: it's a Jean Paul Gauthier floor length beauty). But this choice is harder than most. It does not have any holes or stains. It's a vintage designer and you've always waited for the right occasion to wear it. But when you put it on, you don't find it flattering. You think, when I am in better shape and more toned, I will finally flaunt this unique piece. The truth is, you have been 10 different body weights and levels of fitness, and this skirt never felt like a good fit. You are scared to let it go. "I won't find something like this again." "This could be worth some money." "What if I just haven't found the right occasion all these years?" "Maybe when I work out every day it'll look nice." "Maybe when I'm pregnant / rich / living in London." MAYBE.
Ok here's step two. You are going to write down two options, paths, decisions. In the first case, write down what you currently have/are doing that you are not sure is right for you anymore. In the second choice, write out your ideal case scenario.
In this case, it would be a piece of clothing you really want that you currently don't have. For me, this would be soft navy blue sailor pants made of linen, flattering, comfortable and durable. Made by a local, ethical and sustainable/cruelty-free designer.
Great. So what if I told you, if you release the thing that doesn't quite fit, you would definitely get the thing that you really want. No questions asked. The choice would be easy right? Give away/sell the skirt and receive the pants. Then the fact of not letting it go comes into focus: the real issue is not indecision. It's a lack of faith. As I talk about in Plan C, if you are settling for what has worked for you in the past but isn't fulfilling you anymore, it is simply a lack of belief that you can have what you really want. Because if the choices were laid out for us on the table - accessible and without conditions - it would be easy to pick up the object of our truest desires.
I just quit something. Something that has been part of my life almost all my life. It has taken me years, months, weeks, days to finalize that decision and jump into the deep unknown. To stop settling. And guess what happened overnight? My Jean Paul Gauthier skirt sold on Poshmark. Weeks ago, it had been the hardest piece in my closet to put up for sale. I was finally ready to simply give it away as I had my less expensive items, because I had developed the faith. But the Universe was communicating to me: you made the hard choice, you took the leap and made space, and I've got your back.
You chose yourself. You knew your desire was more important than your fear. And now there's room for those sailor pants, and so much more.