You’re tired. Maybe you’ve fought long and hard to break free of depression but are now stuck, or maybe you’re just having a really difficult day/week/month/year. You aren’t exactly depressed, but you still find it difficult to really get going on anything. Ennui has set it and it’s not leaving. Here is one of my favorite ways to get your life moving again, adapted from a technique I learned from Martha Beck.
The state of our inner life is often reflected in the state of our outer life (aka, our homes) and vice versa – the state of your home can affect your inner life. When you are going through a hard time emotionally, do you sometimes stop cleaning up at home? That is a simple and direct expression of this principle, but it goes even farther than that. If you are feeling stuck energetically, getting energy moving in your home can be just want you need!
Step 1: Locate a spot to work on
Think about your house. What area do you find most unpleasant, most stultifying? It can be a closet, a shelf, a drawer, or an entire room. Just be sure that you know exactly what it is. You won’t make as much progress if you move from location to location every day, though you should feel free to expand your area as the changes start adding up.
Step 2: Figure out what you want
How do you want to feel? Happy, calm, energetic, peaceful? Try to pick one emotion if you can. Now think about some other space, one spot on earth you find absolutely gorgeous, a place that embodies the feeling you want to cultivate. It could be a room you’ve seen with your own eyes or a house you saw in a movie, or someplace in nature. Think of two or three adjectives that describe the beautiful place you’ve just identified, plus the emotion you picked before.
Step 3: Change it up!
Go out and find some physical object you can bring back to your home – a paint color, a blanket, a pretty rock, a pillow, a photograph – that can be described with at least one of the adjectives you chose in step 2. This can be something you found in another area of your home, and need not cost you any money. Bring that object into the area you have chosen to focus on. If moving existing items around can achieve the feeling you are going for, then feel free to do that, too.
Step 4: Get rid of what doesn’t work
For every beautiful or inspiring object you bring into the space, get rid of something less beautiful and inspiring. You can get rid of multiple items at one time, or you can take it as slow as you like – it’s your choice!
Step 5: Repeat until done
Repeat the steps above until you have achieved your desired result. Once you have begun this process, you may find yourself spontaneously taking more and more actions to bring your space into harmony with what your intentions. For example, I took a break during the writing of this post in order to tame the cords under my desk, because I just couldn’t help myself! And no, I am not the sort of person who ordinarily even notices those cords. If you feel moved to add and/or remove more than one item at a time, go for it! But don’t feel like you have to, either.
I recently embarked upon this process myself. After experiencing a set-back I was feeling rather lacking in energy (in other words, I spent much of the week-end eating chocolate chip cookies and watching almost the entire first season of Once Upon a Time). I decided that I had to do something other than baking and watching TV, so I decided to reorganize my craft supplies. It was a small project, with clearly delineated parameters. I expected it to take me an hour at most.
Four days later, I have not only reorganized my craft supplies and gotten rid of a full bag of stuff I no longer need, but I have also managed to remove an entire piece of furniture from the room, rearranged the furniture that is still there, moved my collection of spiritually important items (aka, my altar) into a more prominent location, and I have plans to do even more. And guess what? I’m not feeling stuck anymore. I have energy, motivation, and inspiration to move forward.
Your results may not be as dramatic — mine usually aren’t either! — but I’d be willing to bet that if you stick with this process for at least a week you will notice your mind set and energy both shifting. Give it a try!
Have you ever found that changing something in your home changed something in your state of mind? Or conversely, has a difficult time for you emotionally ever translated to a change in the state of your home? Let me know in the comments!