Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Year, Less Stuff

My new year began with a burning bowl ceremony in a yoga studio in Weaverville, North Carolina. (Well, technically I guess 2011 began on a dance floor in Asheville at 12:01 am, but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it). The instructor handed us each a sheet of paper and asked us what we’d like to release in 2011. Our answers were burned together in a bowl and sent out to the universe. And so, as the universe already knows, this year I am releasing stuff.

By stuff, I mean junk, crap, clutter, what I see when I walk into the girls' room and look at the floor and what is surrounding my computer on my desk right now. In Kingston's book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui, she explains that "any kind of clutter creates an obstacle to the smooth flow of energy around a space. This in turn creates stuckness and/or confusion in the lives of the occupants". With three growing girls, we have a lot of energy around our space. Keeping it flowing smoothly seems like a good idea to me.

To add to my desire to get rid of clutter, we are moving into a not-so-big house in May (fortunately just down the street this time). So now, along with seeing every pile of clutter on the floor as blocking our energy, I also am starting to see it as something I'm going to have to physically move. It's amazing how quickly that detaches you from objects.

I have to say, as far as resolutions go, I am off to a good start this year. Last week, I took three garbage bags full of clothing to Goodwill and I already have two more in the car. Today we sold a television and two car seats on Craig’s List. And is energy flowing smoothly around the house? It is! I can actually walk into the girls' room and feel peaceful.

But I recognize that this is January. It's Resolution Month. The month when optimistic exercisers burn calories on every machine at the gym and packs full of cigarettes are tossed hopefully into the trash. The challenge is to keep this up all year and beyond. I am determined to do it. I have visions of more trips to Goodwill, more books checked out and then returned to the library, fewer purchases of things we don't actually need. And I am finally going to sort through that junk room in the basement.

The only thing that has me a little worried is that as I was writing this, I started to think that I might have written about having too much stuff at some point before. Sure enough, two and a half years ago I made this same announcement. And two and a half years and two moves later, we definitely do have less stuff than we did then, but it's starting to creep up on us again and I can't say that I've held firm in my less stuff commitment.

But then again, I didn't release my intention into the universe in a burning bowl ceremony either. And so, 2011, with the universe behind me, I now pronounce you the year of less stuff.

And if any of you are find yourself in Weaverville, North Carolina anytime soon, I know of a great little yoga studio.


Diane said...

Great post, Kita!The energy of the objects around us is incredibly powerful. You really can change your life by moving and releasing clutter. One of my favorite quotes: "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." To your new clutter free home! All best, Diane

Karen said...

I enjoyed this, Kita, and needless to say (if you remember our apartment) I recognized myself! I have slowly been removing clutter but the kids' is the most difficult, I think. I love the previous quotation about letting "the necessary" speak. That needs to go on the fridge! Good luck. :)

Dina said...

I love this post Kita, and wish you lots of positive energy towards these tasks. While we aren't facing a move (that I know of) anytime soon, I am struggling with this right now, and am really finding time to just "do" all the work required in meeting this goal. Somehow, dividing it into an hour here or there isn't terribly satisfying either...but I can't take aside a whole week to do it either. Does anyone else feel this way?

Christine said...

I wish you good luck! If you manage to reduce clutter for the long term, please pass on your secrets! For me, I just can't figure out how all this CRAP just keeps growing, and, both boys are hell bent on keeping the house full by collecting junk--beer caps, logos on boxes, sticks that they glue to things so they're not "sticks" anymore that need to go outside, etc. Always purging.....

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