Sort New but wanted to share ~ Leo's Decluttering as Zen Meditation
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Registered User KimZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    409
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Sort New but wanted to share ~ Leo's Decluttering as Zen Meditation

    Decluttering your home or workspace can often seem overwhelming, but in truth it can be as peaceful as meditation, and can be a way to practice living mindfully and in the moment.

    1 ~Clutter is a manifestation of a) holding onto the past and b) fear of what might happen in the future.
    2~Letting go of clutter is a way to live more mindfully and in the present.
    3~The act of decluttering itself can be a mindfulness practice.

    Clutter is holding onto the past, or fear of the future
    Why do we have clutter in the first place? Why do we keep it when we donít really need it? Maybe we think we do need it ó for two reasons:

    1. We donít want to let go of the past. Often clutter comes in the form of emotional attachment to objects that have significance to us. They might remind us of a loved one, or a vacation, or a special event like a birthday, funeral, graduation, etc. It might be a gift from someone. All of this is living in the past. Iím not saying we should forget about the past, but letting go of these objects (and theyíre only objects, theyíre not the events or loved ones themselves) Ö it is a way of releasing our hold on the past. Itís a way of living more in the present. I never forget the past, but itís not a place I try to dwell.

    2. Weíre afraid of the future. Clutter might be things we think we might need sometime in the future. We hold on to them just in case. Over-packing for a trip is a good example ó we bring more than we really need, just in case we need them. Itís the same in our houses ó we have a ton of things we donít really need or use, just in case. Weíre afraid of being unprepared for the future, but the truth is we can never be totally prepared. We canít control the outcome of the future, and trying to do so means that weíre never really living in the present moment. Weíre always preparing for what might (or might not) come.

    Look at your clutter carefully, one object at a time, and ask yourself why youíre holding onto each object. Itís probably for one of these two reasons, if youíre honest.

    Btw, books are usually examples of one of these two reasons. We hold onto books weíve already read, as trophies of our reading accomplishments. We hold onto books we might read in the future (but probably wonít), with the optimism that our future selves are going to be more amazing readers than weíve ever been in the past. In truth, you only need three or four books ó the ones you might read in the next month. Then after youíve read those, donate those books to charity, and check out a few books from the library.

    Let go of clutter to live mindfully
    So if clutter is holding onto the past, and fearing the future Ö how can we live in the present instead?

    I slowly get rid of clutter, and in doing so, I release my mind of these attachments and fears. Itís a liberating process. Clutter is the physical embodiment of these attachments and fears ó emotional stuff that we donít realize we have. By decluttering, we are clearing ourselves of these tangled webs.

    And when Iíve gotten rid of clutter, Iím freed. I can forget about those things, and live instead in this moment. I can fully appreciate life as it happens, instead of looking back on what has happened before, or looking forward to what might happen later.

    Itís of course possible to live in the moment even if you have clutter. There is no prerequisite to mindful living. But decluttering can be a beautiful process of helping ourselves let go of the things we donít realize weíre holding on to.

    Clutter as mindfulness practice
    And so, as I declutter, not only am I freeing myself up to live in the present Ö I am living in the present during the process of decluttering.

    Itís a form of zazen ó which is sitting meditation, but at its core zazen is really a way to practice being mindful. Itís a way to prepare us for dealing mindfully with the rest of the things we do in life. And really, anything can be used as a way to practice mindfulness. Iíve often used running and walking, but also washing dishes and sweeping.

    And decluttering is one of the best mindfulness practices, in my experience. Hereís how I do it:

    Pick one cluttered flat surface. It can be a tabletop, countertop, shelf, the top of a dresser, floor of a closet, floor of a room (just a section of that floor to start with). Donít worry about all the rest of your cluttered spaces for now ó just pick this one space. Small is good.
    Clear that surface. Take everything off and pile it on the floor or another table. Clean the surface while itís clear ó wipe it with a cloth, slowly and mindfully.
    Take one object from the pile. Forget about the entire pile ó just look at that one object. Ask yourself why you have it. Is it for emotional reasons, or do you really use it? Is it for ďjust in caseĒ? When was the last time you used it? If you donít really need or use it, put it in a box for donation or trash it. If you do really use it, put it in another pile to be put back on your now-clean surface. If youíre on the fence and canít bear to give something up, put it in a ďmaybeĒ box and put that box away for six months (mark the date on your calendar).
    Repeat, one object at a time. Practice doing this mindfully. Make a decision with each object ó keep, donate, or maybe box. No waffling or putting off decisions. Deal with each object once, then move on.
    Put the objects back, and make a ďhomeĒ for each one. Each object needs to have a spot that is its home, and you should always put those objects back in their homes. If you canít find a home for an object, you donít have space for it. Donate the items in the donation box, and put away the maybe box. Eventually you wonít need a maybe box as you get good at this.
    Learn to focus on one thing at a time, mindfully, and deal with each object once. This is a good practice for doing things in the rest of your life.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    2,603
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    10
    Rep Power
    28

    Default

    wow that's good.

    disagree with the books. i read books over and over again until they fall apart.

  3. #3
    Registered User KimZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    409
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    11

    Default

    I LOVE Leo! He's so insightful and his website is awesome. I don't know if we are allowed to share links........ but if we can I will post a link to his website

  4. Remove Advertisements
    FrugalVillage.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Registered User Luckybustert's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon area.
    Age
    58
    Posts
    3,524
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    6
    Rep Power
    34

    Default

    Useful information, thanks for sharing. I'm trying to declutter my house, and am willing to try any ideas/suggestions that can help.

  6. #5
    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    British Columbia
    Age
    54
    Posts
    26,302
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    166
    Rep Power
    156

    Default

    Great article! Will have to put his idea into practice when I declutter my bedroom. . Thanks!!




  7. #6
    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Maui, Hawaii
    Posts
    19,119
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    57
    Rep Power
    118

    Default

    Mahalo KimZ - positively the most meaningful message at just the right time - plus I have all summer to practice!!

  8. #7
    Registered User tervsforme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Posts
    2,896
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    32

    Default

    I've hit the point where I am starting to declutter. I totally agree with all of this, I am so much more relaxed as I get rid of stuff I don't need or want. I have a long way to go, but every little bit helps! Thanks.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 16
    Last Post: 02-02-2012, 08:05 PM
  2. Just wanted to share....
    By jkelstaten in forum General Chat
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 02-08-2007, 06:42 AM
  3. Just wanted to share...
    By Hawkshop in forum Health and beauty
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-02-2003, 06:37 PM
  4. Wanted to share
    By babynurse in forum General Chat
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 12-22-2002, 09:57 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts