If there is one good thing about owning a dog with tons of energy, it is the fact that he needs exercise. This translates into a daily walk with yours truly. And I can’t complain. This routine ensures that I get time to engage with nature, which is something that I love! And even though our pace is fast – he likes to move! – these walks slow down my internal speed and allow my creativity to percolate.
This week, as I passed the shoots of bright green reaching out of the brown earth, I was struck once again by how easy it is to connect what is happening in nature with the process of decluttering. I started to ponder the seasons and how each season offers a visual reminder of the journey of letting go of our stuff and our worn-out habits.
I’ll start with spring since it is happening in real time right outside our open windows! Yes, it really is warm enough here in Minnesota to let the breeze in! Heavenly!
Spring time with all of it’s mud and mess, growth and life, reminds me of how often we have to make a mess before things get better. If you walked into the middle of a pantry reorganization session, you might wonder how we will ever make sense of all of the stuff that has been pulled out. Cans, boxes, bags of noodles, rice, spices. A mess of stuff getting looked over, categorized, cleared out, and eventually offered the spaces that feel right and allow for ease. Order & boundaries get implemented and the mess turns into relief.
Spring also reminds me of how often we find ourselves in a state of complete overwhelm before we find a way to breakthrough. We have been waiting and hoping for another way, sort of stuck in the same cycle, UNTIL, something happens and we see a bud of hope. Something shifts and we are ready for growth. Ready for new systems and routines to take hold & flourish.
Next comes summer and it reminds me of the joy that can be felt after the work. Everything is blooming and producing & it feels like it’s time to play! In decluttering, when systems are offered time to take shape & grow, then we enjoy the benefits- a feeling of lightness, ease, efficiency, productivity. We don’t have to work so hard to maintain our spaces because we have prepped and planned to create solutions and routines that really fit our daily life and our desires.
But summer also reminds me of the need to tend and weed. We must continue to be mindful about what is coming in and watching for spaces where things are starting to congest. We have to continue to weed and clear to stay on top of the growth that can so easily creep into our lives.
Of course the season of fall would remind me of the letting go that happens as we clear out. We take a cue from the trees and shed all that needs to go in order to grow. We are letting go of the stuff that keeps getting in our way, the stuff that continues to be moved from one surface to another, never finding a resting place. We are clearing out the piles. Cutting back on what is unnecessary or has served it’s purpose in our life. We are making decisions to keep the things that we use, need, and want & then offering them dedicated spaces.
Winter reminds me that decluttering requires reflection. It involves checking in & recognizing what is important and why. This winter, I watched the trees handle the heavy snow, and thought of all of the times when we can feel the weight of clutter & unfinished projects holding us down. These burdens nag at the energy we need for daily inspiration and creativity.
Just as our winter season can provide space for introspection, decluttering creates opportunities to check in and offer ourselves compassion for where we have been and where we want to go on this journey. We have a chance to listen to the longings that might have been buried deep. And just like those days when we see the bright sun shine on a cold day, winter reminds me of hope. And hope is exactly what you need on a decluttering journey.
I love living in a climate where I get to see all of the seasons play themselves out. The mess, the beauty, the growth, and the shedding all playing their role and offering a million reminders of the decluttering journey that is worth taking.
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