We recently participated in a huge recycling event. We’ve been cleaning out the garage and closets and letting go of things we’ve accumulated over the past 11 years in this house. (Has it really been that long since we lived out of backpacks for 4 months on the PCT, where I swore I wouldn’t carry around more than I really needed?!)
Since that hiking trip where I learned to live with less “stuff” I’ve let go of things regularly, but there are some things I’ve kept around. Things I just kept moving from closet to closet, drawer to drawer. Things I told myself mattered, things I told myself I’d fit into again someday. Things I bought that if I had had a sane girlfriend with me at the time of purchase, she would have compassionately said “um, where are you in there?” and then emphatically told me “no f’n way am I letting you hide in that!”
I found things that I had been holding onto because the guilt of releasing them felt heavier than carrying them around.
When I went through my “stuff” and ruthlessly cleared out everything that didn’t make me feel amazing, comfortable, sexy, rich, bold, creative, and dynamic I found that there wasn’t much left. There was a lot of space in my closet.
In all that space I had to face a big truth. The truth that I wasn’t allowing myself to be those things because I was holding onto all these items that were energetically not a match. Why? Because I was afraid of the space to create and BE who my soul longs for me to share with the world.
I saw how it was being reflected in my business. In my relationships. In holding onto programs and ideas and people that weren’t really in alignment with me, with the work I want to do, with the lifestyle I want to have.
I had to face another truth: the truth that guilt was attached to almost every item I got rid of. Guilt that was literally there from the day I was born. Guilt for stuff I didn’t even do-collective guilt, societal guilt, irrational guilt. It felt so good to release all that! (I’ll tell you how in a minute).
But at first it was terrifying. I wanted to check out. But I didn’t. I cried. I grieved. I prayed. I got quiet. I listened. I heard.
Sometimes we are so afraid of the silence and the space that we will do almost anything to fill it. When God comes knocking at your inner door though, you know it’s time. Time to drop it all and start anew.
Ready for some truth? Here’s what I invite you to do:
1) Decide how you want to show up in the world, how you want to feel. Not sure? Just set intention to keep only those things that bring you joy.
2) Get a big bag and clear some space on your bed
3) Empty your closet contents (including shoes and accessories) onto your bed
4) Only put back the things that fit you well, make you feel the way you want to feel and/or feel joyful. (Even if you’ve never worn them, or only wore it once).
5) I further invite you not to drink or use any other substance (including your phone or a friend) No talking to someone about each item. This is an exploration for YOU, and if you numb out in any way, you’ll miss the emotional release. Seriously, you could invite a friend and have a big purge closet-fest with wine, but it’s likely you’ll wake up with a hangover and missing those things because you mindlessly threw them away. If you don’t consciously release them, they’ll be back (trust me on this one). Get rid of them for you not because your friend had any say. 2 caveats: If you have any questions about any items, then you likely need to let them go; if you like company, then ask someone who can be a witness, but not who interjects her opinions about everything.
6) Be ruthless. If there is anything that even remotely has an energy charge that is less than joy (or your other desired feelings) then get rid of it. If it was a gift and you’ve been holding onto it because of guilt–into the bag it goes. I had a couple sweaters that were my comfy security-blankets. My hide-out-at-home sweaters. My “old-lady-with-100-cats” sweaters as Mike called them. I got rid of them. Not sexy. Not attractive. Too safe. Too comfortable.
What are you holding onto that your so afraid of dropping?
What do you believe about the world, your worth, and how things come and go in your life?
What would happen, really, if you literally created space?
Give yourself the gift of clearing out the white noise in your environment and you’ll see what’s holding you back, what’s holding your success at bay.
It’s hiding in your closet…along with your joy.
I’d love to know, what truth did you find in your closet?
From My Heart To Yours,
p.s., After cleaning out, I had two new clients join my Inner Voice Circle. Others are on the way. Could you be one of them?