We are all engulfed by a feeling of powerlessness during this time. A feeling of no control over what is happening in our world or maybe, even, in our own life. A great nation, such as the United States, is being attacked by an invisible entity and we are all at its mercy. Our streets, normally buzzing with activity and voices, are now silent. Ghost towns have emerged where great celebrations once took place. Wildlife has begun to explore and reclaim what once belonged to them. What is happening in this world?
As we sit in our homes longing to regain control in our lives, we can do little things to feel more in control of our space. For most of us in America, we live with a lot of excess. Maybe this time given to us, is allowing us to take a look at what is important to us. Have we been too indulgent in our lives? Do we shop too much and fill our homes with stuff and not with the love, friendship and the ease that we need? Do we find cleaning is overwhelming and purging, almost paralyzing?
In order to find control in the greater world, we must start in our personal space. It is obvious that this quarantine time is going to last longer than we originally thought or hoped for. Everyday, take an hour and choose one small area of your home, and think about what you NEED in this space. (I would not suggest beginning in a large closet, it can be too much to get started.) For me, I pull everything out of the space. I like to see what the emptiness looks like in the area. Then touch everything and notice if you have touched it in the past year? Is it seasonal? Can it be stored until you need it? Is it dusty? Is it useful? Does it have sentimental value that can not be replaced? Ask yourself these questions to decide if this object needs to be in your home. If the answer is no, get rid of it. Clean this one space then take the unwanted objects to the trash or to a donation site. Do not wait until you have cleaned out your entire house to start removing bags or boxes from your garage. This will, again, create a sense of overwhelm and make you feel out of control.
Imagine, once we can move freely in our world again, you will already be moving freely in your home. Organization, cleanliness and no clutter, will free you from the out of control status of your home. Practicing Non-Excess physically will help ease the burden that engulfs us in chaos. It is proven that people are more depressed and tend to be more easily overweight, when their home is out of sorts and not clean and orderly.
Begin with the consumerism excess and then you can begin removing the mental and emotional excess. Imagine, if you can, not being weighed down with all the “should haves” in your life. Honestly, our to do lists, like laundry, never end, but carrying the weight of should haves, is a heaviness that we can choose to let go. Imagine your history being just history, as if you shoved it into one of those black trash bags that you set out by the curb. Letting go of what can not be reclaimed, redone, or redirected is also freeing and cleansing. Instead of carrying your pain, write it down, read it and burn it or cut it into small pieces. Then envision that those areas in your life, like a caged bird you are setting free back into the wild, are gone. When that cage is empty, you no longer have need for it.
Take control of everything that touches you personally daily. This is what you can do to better your surroundings, to create peace and control, and to take inventory of your heart, mind, spirit and soul. In these times of chaos, and always, what you think, you create. Think and do positive, intentional and creative things and see your world open up to freedoms, value, hope and love that you never knew existed. Then imagine, just imagine, a world where everyone has found this peace, clearing, lightness and hope and they bring it back out to the new world with new the connections we are developing while we are separated. Imagine everyone realizing how connected we are and that it is not stuff that brings us joy, but the people who we encounter throughout our days that fill us. When we realize that human touch is more powerful than diamonds, gold and any position you could hold, we will heal our world and our humanity.