Sunday, January 25, 2015

Clutter Busting - Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 4

For the fourth week of the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, I read Clutter Busting - Letting Go of What's Holding you Back by Brooks Palmer.

This book had so much helpful and insightful information about what clutter is and represents in one's life. There were action steps to take and questions to reflect upon. I'm happy that I read it.

There are key points that I would like to remember from this book:
- Clutter busting is actively breaking through barriers and letting go of the unnecessary clutter that crowds your life. It helps restore clarity and insight....You naturally replace lack of motivation, anxiety, and unhappiness with peace of mind, certainty, and acceptance of change and progress.
- The things that move and inspire you are fertilizer. They make your life blossom. Clutter, however, is inorganic. Nothing grows from its existence - not anything we can love, that is. 
- Where your attention goes, so spreads your life force. Where you put your energy and attention, you leave your mark. 
- You don't need something outside you to remind you of why you make a difference.
- There were pictures of their kids when they were much younger. None of the photos were of the kids as they were then, in their late-teenage years. There were a lot of pictures of dead relatives and of friends they didn't see anymore. And most of the photos were of other people....These were indications that they were stuck in the past, when things were "better," as they imagined them to be. Nothing in their [home] signified or celebrated the life they were living now.
- You overlay the present moment with a memory. It is a way of pretending that everything is all right. Meanwhile, the present suffers because your attention is not there. The longer you spend in the memory of the past, the further away you move from actual joy of right now
- Go through all the recipes [that you have accumulated] and pick the ones you want to try.
- Always come back to yourself when deciding what to keep or toss. Does the item make you feel good? Does it improve your life? Or have you been hanging on to it because of the memories associated with it?
- Clothing represents different emotional periods of your life. If you keep a lot of things you don't wear, your clothes closet has become a photo from your past.
- (Regarding letting go of emails:) "It feels pretty bad trying to keep this memory going....It's like someone died, and you won't let them go....It's up to you, but if you hang on to this pain, you'll be slowly destroying what is gentle and good in you. It's time to bury the dead. You deserve to have the fullness of life in your heart." (The woman released all the emails. She looked lighter. The dead weight of emotional clutter is debilitating. Shedding that clutter fills you with lightness.)
- What items from the past have you been keeping that interfere with your present goals?
- Keep photos that jump out and animate your heart, that make you feel grateful for the experience you have had. They are a reaffirmation that you are a deserving person.
- Be aware of whether you are holding on to photos to relive the past or to honor a memory.
- You need to have a spacious, smooth surface by your head every night before you go to bed. Otherwise, you take all the crap to sleep with you every night. You're going to have to get used to peaceful stillness again.
- (Regarding a full nightstand:) "This is what's going on inside your head. How could you think clearly with this kind of noise going on all the time? It would be like living right next to the airport."
- Are you living in a graveyard? Is it what you want? Memories of the past can capture your attention, but how much fun is that? If you're living in the cemetery of the past, that means a great big part of you is dead. But some part of you is still alive: your essence, the pure feeling of existence.

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