As we approach the New Year, it wouldn’t surprise me if your thoughts began to focus on resolutions for the New Year. Or, if you prefer, setting some goals. And pursuing those dreams. Yet, if I were to ask you what challenges are standing between where you are today and what you desire for the coming year, would you consider how your environment impacts you? That’s because, if there’s one thing I know it’s that clutter blocks your dreams.
Now, now. I see you rolling your eyes there. And muttering to yourself that I’m not working with a full deck of cards today as I write. Because though you may know that clutter can stress you out, how could it get in the way of those New Year’s Intentions?
From the depths of my heart, I share this little nugget of wisdom with you because for most of my life, I allowed all kinds of clutter to stop me from moving forward into the kind of life I desired. The kind of nourishing daily life each and every one of us deserves.
Clutter comes in many forms. Mental clutter. Calendar clutter. Spiritual clutter. And, of course, physical clutter.
The mountains of laundry that need to be washed or folded. The stacks and stacks of books we’re going to read so that we can find the magic solution to fixing our lives. The piles of shoes at the door and the unwearable clothes crowding our closets crowd us from peaceful entry and exit into our own lives.
And don’t think I don’t understand. It’s so easy to believe we can buy our way into a perfect life. With the belief that if we have the right clothes or shoes or living room couch, our lives will magically improve. We also associate the purchase of a new sweater or towels as a way to treat ourselves.
Our physical clutter blocked your dreams because, at the core, not only does it distract us. The truth is, we’re often trying to fill the void in our lives with stuff. Or soothe loneliness with things. And that means that we’re stopped from pursuing deep dreams and even small, seemingly doable, goals.
And the purchase of things can affect the ways in which we try to fix relationship challenges. We seek to purchase forgiveness. And hope that by buying a loved one a splendid present will make them love us more.
The truth about clutter is this: it distracts us. That’s how clutter blocks your dreams.
Every time you pass a stack or pile, your precious attention is shifted to the mess. Rather than being able to focus on your real desires and deeper dreams, you become distracted. And all that demand for our focus in our physical environment, shifts us away from our inner world and thoughts
You don’t have to be living in hoarder level clutter for physical clutter to get in the way of the kind of life you desire.
The over-stuffed closet keeps you from easily and quickly preparing yourself to face the world. Instead of lifting you up, it drags you down. The linen closet full of ratty towels and sheets you don’t ever use distracts you from creating who you desire to be every damned time you open the door. And those boxes of “memories” stacked in the attic or basement or under your bed are what you really think about when you try to envision how a nourishing life would be.
The hidden clutter calls to us, reminding us of past failures at creating a perfect life. There’s just no doubt: clutter blocks your dreams.
When I talk to you about clutter, it’s because I intimately understand how it gets in the way.
When I was a little girl, I was always getting in trouble for having a messy room. No matter where you turned, my spaces were filled.
My dresser drawers were stuffed to the gills with nightgowns, shirts, and shorts. The bookshelves were double stacked with books. Those desk drawers of mine were jammed full of papers. Oh, and my closet was a hot mess. One of the reasons my room was always messy was I had way too much stuff.
My mother would berate me for my messiness, and the next day buy me a new Barbie or several outfits. Talk about an oxymoron! If I had really paid attention to my mother, I would have seen how clutter blocks your dreams. Because she never really pursued her deeper dreams and desires.
When I moved into my own home, I followed in my mother’s example of buying too much stuff and filling every corner into my own home.
And though I may not have understood how my things got in the way of pursuing my goals when I was a child, I certainly began to understand that as an adult. See, I pretended to the outside world that my life was perfect all those years, but inside I was lonely and sad.
Clutter helped me mask the loneliness in my marriage because it looked perfect from the outside. I mean, why wouldn’t my life be wonderful when you saw beautiful dishes, linens, books, clothes, and movies? I filled every space to overflowing in hopes that I would finally feel loved.
Now I know that clutter blocks your dreams. And at that moment, my dream was for a happy marriage.
What I mistakenly believed was that an abundance of physical stuff would equate an abundance of positive emotions. I hoped that if I served dinner on the right set of dishes, my husband would enjoy what I cooked (he never liked my cooking). And then there was the hope that if I wore the right clothes, he’d find me attractive.
All the clothes and linens and books and stuff never satisfied what I really desired. And not only did it help me reach any goal, I distracted myself from the fact that my marriage was emotionally barren (and emotionally abusive). The source of the distraction was the ways in which I filled my bookshelves and showered my children with toys and clothes.
When we divorced, he took his clothes and a few pieces of furniture. He left me with most of the furniture, dishes, and knick knacks so he could start fresh. I even helped him set up his apartment with new furniture. In those first few weekends alone, when the girls went to his place, I came to realize that I couldn’t move forward when I was buried under mountains of worn out furniture and broken dreams.
I finally made the connection that stuff didn’t equal happiness.
There were never going to be enough soft linens or pretty clothes to sooth the aching isolation I felt from myself during those years. And the stirrings of a life that felt supportive? It began to emerge when I started clearing my spaces.
As I rid my closet of clothes that didn’t fit or I didn’t love, the sexiest and sassiest version of who I was born to be emerged. As I hauled broken furniture to the curb, my dreams began to come together. Clutter blocks your dreams, and I decided to stop allowing it to block mine.
When I started clearing out the physical stuff that was in my way, I realized that I had control of my own life. The way to usher my dreams into my reality was to take my own happiness by the horns and stop filling my environment with crap I didn’t love.
Then, I did something almost unimaginable. When I moved to Ohio to merge my life with JB, I packed only what would fit in my car and left all the shattered memories and “should haves” behind. I took the most important treasure, though: my sense of true self wrapped up in the knowledge that if I wanted to love my life, I needed to cultivate the kind of environment that helped me thrive.
The attitude I brought to Ohio with me was to only bring into our home what we loved.
Our lower floor stayed empty for the first year here as we waited to find furniture that we loved and would support our lifestyle. Our entry hall was barren for three years until we found just the right piece to bring a sense of openness and welcome to entering our home.
I’d never suggest to you that if you want to create a life you love, that you should leave everything behind and start fresh. However, I am going to tell you from experience that if you want a daily life that feels loving, supportive, and nourishing, the first place to look is around you. Because clutter blocks your dreams. And it’s hard to create a life you love if you don’t pay attention to your goals.
Our most important resource is our precious attention and focus. When it comes to ushering your dreams out of your mind and into your everyday life, you need that attention to go towards yourself and your goals, not on the stacks and piles and overstuffed closets and drawers.
Clutter blocks your dreams.
My darling, you deserve to live in a home that allows you to feel nourished. A home that supports you in pursuing your goals, rather than distracts you from them. Those secret desires deserve to be born into the world. And your home should be a space in which you thrive, rather than a holding cell where you attempt to simply survive.
Please understand that those New Years Resolutions you have are good ones. And that those bigger dreams and goals you desire to usher into your reality. No matter how large or small the clutter may be, it will stand in the way of what matters. Because it will always distract you and pull your focus. Darling, allow the seeds of your desires to blossom. Don’t allow your clutter to keep you from finding your happiness.
Now that you know that clutter blocks your dreams, what if I could help?
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that you cannot welcome new things into your life if you don’t release some of the old stuff. You need to begin to purge things from your life. Getting clear in your life by dealing with your physical clutter (big clutter and small clutter) will allow you to direct your precious energy towards creating the clear path to living your best possible life.
Join me for 30 Days to Clarity: Clutter Busting Edition
2019 Course Dates:
- Welcoming Spring: Beginning Sunday, April 14, 2019
- Before the Holidays: Beginning Sunday, October 20, 2019
(*Note: As of 2018, this course is lifetime access. That means, you’re IN at no additional cost anytime the class runs.)
Course Investment: $21.Purchase Clutter Busting Email Course