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Spring Cleaning

YAY for SPRING and spring cleaning! A time to Let go of things that no longer serve us. It can be hard. Stuff has given me an illusion of security. Letting go of things I might need one day can leave me feeling a bit insecure. But what if I need it?

It takes time to prepare myself because yes, it is emotional. Things are things, and yet we are the ones who apply emotion to them. Things that were my parents’ or my kids’; things that take up space but do not bring joy.

Not only do I keep things that don’t bring me joy, but I have also moved that stuff around from four different houses. I have kept participation trophies the boys no longer care about because I assigned it an emotional value. I deemed it helpful for their security.

I am not the only one. It seems like more of us are keeping things. Although historically it has been pretty easy for me to throw away and clear out, I found after my divorce it was much harder, which of course makes perfect sense. When we go through a stressful life event, such as losing a loved one or divorce, it can trigger hoarding tendencies.

Before you start the physical act of throwing away, deal with any emotions. Are you dreading it? Any feelings of guilt, shame, frustration or sadness? Decide what needs your attention, and to avoid bouncing from room to room, pick one room.

Notice how many times you distract yourself.

Channel your inner Marie Kondo: thank it and let it go! I think of the happiness it will give to someone else, making room in my closet, and the newness it allows.

Allowing things to come and go without attachment is called aparigraha in Sanskrit.  Aparigraha is the last of the yamas, or ethical behaviors, listed in the Eight Limbs of Yoga by Patanjali.

I continue to practice yoga on and off the mat. I notice memories that come up with each thing, and I allow it. Sometimes that is hard. Some things make me mad; others make me laugh.

Object attachment is the experience a person has when they feel an emotional attachment to an inanimate object and may even feel a sense of loss if they were to part with the object.

So do you have attached an emotion to an inanimate object? That’s okay! You get to choose when to let it go. Keep asking yourself, “Does this bring me joy?”

Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed. Clutter affects our emotional and physical well-being and our ability to focus. A cluttered home can lead to a stressful home. Decluttering is a form of self-care. Self-care is everything you do to take care of your physical and emotional health and letting go of that inanimate object is another way to show self-love.

Valerie Thompson
Author: Valerie Thompson

Valerie Thompson is a health coach, yoga instructor, meditator, breath instructor, and mom of two grown boys. She helps women explore how to take care of themselves by balancing hormones, while juggling their career and family.

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Spring Cleaning

by Valerie Thompson time to read: 3 min