The Power of Letting Things Go
When you think about letting things go, what comes to mind? Maybe it's a relationship that is draining you. Maybe it's an overstuffed closet. Maybe it's a crammed calendar. Life needs space. You need to have free time. you need to be able to do everything you want to do in a way that it all easily gets done. Sound impossible? The more you let go, the more you can do. Today's post is about letting go and three places you can get started doing this.
Why you should let things go
For one, you need space to grow. Humans are meant to grow and evolve. This is nothing new. It is such a good thing. I would much rather live in my warm house than a dark damp cave somewhere! But, when we are encumbered with too many things, we can't grow. We have to clean out.
And for two, growing is better than suffering anxiety and depression. When we don't give our mind something to focus on (growth) it is left with nothing. It is left to find fear. Remember what the brain is designed to do: seek pleasure, avoid pain, and exert the least amount of energy.
Your brain doesn't want you to grow because growing is hard, even though it's what we're designed to do. Your brain thinks it's easier to stay inside where it's safe, only staying inside often leads to anxiety and depression.
What's in it for you
In a nutshell, freedom. When you let things go, you have freedom. You have space to think. You receive inspiration. You open up to new possibilities. There is freedom in letting things go.
Your mind will have more space to think. I think it's funny how this works. You clear out your physical space, and all the sudden you have more mental space. A big reason for this is because we tend to hang onto things from the past. Past memories, past feelings, past experiences.
These are all okay. The problem comes from when we spend more time dwelling in the past than we do on creating our future. Maybe it's old photos or things from high school. Maybe it's baby toys, when we don't have a baby any more. Maybe it's clothes that don't fit. It could be anything.
The key is to pay attention to your feelings. There is a story about a woman who was a new empty-nester. She was feeling depressed and having a difficult time learning how to cook for only herself and her husband. Looking around her house, she still had papers on the fridge from when her kids were living at home and going to school. She kept feeling sad and missing them, but really, she wanted to feel happy because she was glad for the way things worked out.
She put away the papers and replaced her family big-meal cookbooks with new, smaller meal ones. This created feelings of excitement and newness for her, and life took a turn for the better.
This is a simple change in perception. Notice what you want to be feeling, and then set yourself up for success to feel that way. This is not being selfish. This is taking care of you.
Three spaces to clean out
Now, I could list the entire house, but I know how overwhelming that can be. I've narrowed it down to three things that you can clean out.
- your purse
- your closet
- the room with the door shut
I know, I know. We'll get to number 3 in a minute. First, you need to clean out your purse. Notice I'm not saying, you need to go buy a new purse. I see what you're thinking! I don't want you to spend any money.
Take everything out of your purse and really clean your purse. Make it look like it's new. Pretend it is new, and take care of it like you did when you first bought it. Be careful when you put your things back inside. Make sure they are clean and organized. Toss the old shopping lists and receipts. How many chapsticks do you really need? Do not overfill your purse. Make sure your things have room to breathe in there.
Now, your closet. This is a big one. It's super important to do this all in one sitting. I've heard that if you think it's going to take you 3 hours, plan for 9. Seriously. Then, take everything out and follow the same process that you did with your purse. Clean your closet and only put back what fits and what you absolutely love. No excuses. You should only wear clothes that you love.
Here's a bonus tip: The next time you go shopping, wear your FAVORITE outfit and only buy something if you like it more than what you are wearing.
I had to put the room with the door shut. This is the room that is causing you the most pain. If it was your closet, choose the next room! The thing is, all this mess and clutter is dragging you down more than you realize. Shutting the door isn't solving any problem.
Maybe you're not even shutting it. Maybe you're so used to the mess that you don't even realize it's there. Find your mess. Clean it out. Do not try to tackle the whole room at once. (I'm not that crazy.) Pick a table, or a shelf, or a drawer. Clean it. And I don't mean move the stuff to another drawer. I mean, get rid of it. Everything should have a place in your house. If it doesn't have a place, get rid of it. Otherwise, what's it for?
If you have a lot of things for 'someday' projects, give yourself a limit to what you can keep. Maybe you have one shelf, or a box, or a drawer. You can only keep what can fit. That would make it really interesting. Because, every time you wanted to save something, you would have to make sure you liked it more than what you've already got.
Some people do this with books. They have one book shelf, and every time they want to add a book to their collection, they have to decide which book they would get rid of. The cool thing with this is that every single book on your shelf will be a good one.
Now go do it
I want you to really do this. First, I want you to schedule time to clean out your purse TODAY. Then, I want you to schedule time to clean out your closet this WEEK. And when that's done, make a plan for you to follow to clean the disaster room. Be sure to set a date you want the room to be clean by. If you give it three months, it's going to take three months. I challenge you to do it in a week. Make sure you honor your plan. It's so important to do what we say we are going to do.
This builds self confidence. Schedule it, do it, and feel proud of yourself. Feel the power of letting things go. Feel the freedom of space.