When we are authentic, when we keep our spaces simple, simply beautiful living takes place.
— Alexandra Stoddard
As we continue our journey through the matters of the Fourth House, we are discussing the importance of our home and the idea that our homes are templates of energy. This template creates a fundamental pattern that organizes how our personal energy flows into the wider world. We see the results in our work, wealth, relationships, and the day to day matters that play out for us.
By rearranging the template, we can make profound shifts in our personal energy fields, thus making changes in our lives. This is a premise of feng shui, but also can be adapted in other, simple steps, depending on your intention.
Did you walk through your house as I suggested last week, making an inventory? I hope you did this in a way that was gentle and not overwhelming. Start small, but do start. You’ll be surprised what a big impact even small changes can make.
Once you’ve seen some of the details that need sprucing up, consider the bigger picture. For instance, author Denise Linn asks, “What overall energy does your home project? Does your home look and feel Spartan? Does it portray comfort and a relaxed view of life?
“A Spartan home is fine if you want to have a precise approach to the world. However, if you want more comfort in your life, then make your home environment more comfortable.”
So if you want more precision, clarity, and organization, or a more Zen-like feeling in your life, but your home looks like a reality show about hoarding, change your home to change your life.
Conversely, if you seek a more comfortable, lush lifestyle, but your home is bare bones and feels empty and sterile to you, you might want to add some texture, color, and a more cozy feel. Note: this doesn’t require a lot of money. It does, perhaps, take some creativity!
And if your life is feeling too chaotic, confusing, and overwhelming (a common theme these days!) Denise suggests that the simple task of cleaning out your dresser drawers, making them spectacularly neat, can send ripples of change into the rest of your life. It is a way of reassuring yourself on a deep level that you are in control.
This small change can be astonishingly empowering. You may suddenly find yourself able to resolve problems that previously stumped you, or discover new options to sticky situations.
She suggests that you clear out your drawers one by one, instead of dumping them all into a big pile, which can just contribute to more confusion and indecision. One drawer at a time is manageable and takes surprisingly little time.
Similarly, in her bestselling book, The Happiness Project, author Gretchen Rubin launched her experimental year with the most fundamental task: she cleared out and organized her closet.
Although she had procrastinated on this task for ages, all the research she did in preparation for this project pointed to this being one of the most sure routes to personal serenity. Once she got over her reluctance, she actually loved it so much that she found herself begging her friends to let her help them with their own closets. Sounds weird, but she found that closet makeovers were like an addictive happiness drug!
So now, as the Moon is waning, and perhaps the urge for Spring cleaning stirs somewhere in your bones, this is an ideal time to go at it with gusto. Let your mantra be “Use it, love it, or get rid of it!” If something needs to be mended or repaired, either do it or dump it. If it doesn’t fit, or it is loaded with regret, mixed feelings, or unhappy memories, recycle or trash it right away.
Be especially scrupulous with those nagging things that come with “one of these days” attached: as in, “One of these days when I lose ten pounds,” or “One of these days when I have a hot new boyfriend.” They only serve to remind you that your present is not what you wish for. If you must keep them, store them somewhere else, where you won’t have to sigh wistfully every time you open your drawers and see them.
Once you have completed this small task, congratulate yourself, and notice the new energy available to you. Admire the tidy, organized results. Nothing remains that isn’t useful or that doesn’t bring you pleasure.
There now. Doesn’t that feel better already?