We have all heard of feng shui but as with so many influences in our daily lives, we may be unaware of the significant impact our surroundings have upon our energy levels. Despite my expertise in the organizing arena, I recently reached out to a colleague, Cathryn, who has incredible knowledge of feng shui hoping for insight into the next steps needed to improve the balance of energies in my home. In my experience, when applying the general principles of this practice, there is always a positive result whether you understand the why of it all or not. There are many books and many web sites with information on the practice if you are intrigued.
What I want to share now is what Cathryn referred to as removing the "splinter" because this is a profound, although simple, concept and one that has already influenced a mood and energy shift for me. The "splinter" is that pattern or repeated misuse of space that influences energy.
For me, it was displaying things on high shelves throughout my home. These spaces had become heavy and stagnant. Because they are difficult to access and require a ladder and half a day to clean once I get started, I had left the displays unchanged for a long time. Even before I invited feng shui advice, I had noticed a nagging feeling when looking at these heights and had removed items from one room.
Some of the items have been donated to bless someone else, and other things are now being used for their intended function rather than decoration. Beginning this process propelled me into to considering the same steps in next room. But something was holding me back. Enter Feng Shui expert with no connection to my things or the stories attached to them. These ceiling height collections were one of the first things that Cathryn noticed and urged me to remove all of them and to live in the cleared spaces. I noticed a sense of calm immediately. Since removing the splinter, I have discovered the energy to move forward in other areas of my life.
I was inspired to put this new knowledge into practice and asked my son's participation. He has challenges falling asleep at night, as do many people with ADHD, and with his permission, I made some change in his room to see if they would make a difference.
I proposed that we remove the high energy bedding and leave the gray blue in its place. The shift was noticeable immediately. Next we removed active, high energy posters from his walls. Although he is a film major and chose posters to represent his favorite film genres, how restful can it be to wake to movie posters of the New York skyline in flames and the Joker's wicked grin? I proposed that we remove them temporarily to see if he felt any different with this change. His room is definitely calmer. But it remained crammed full of his many treasures, and being the creature of habit that he is, has remained unchanged for a few years other than to add to the mix.
Did I mention that he had a dense collection of things at ceiling height in his room? A splinter, perhaps! What I know for certain, is that he has been sleeping better and waking at 9 am instead of noon since we made those changes. That was two weeks ago.
Since then he has been more receptive to clearing more clutter and going through boxes and cupboards one at a time. And, I have been doing the same throughout our home. I call this process peeling another layer.
For many people, and especially those challenged by chronic disorganization, setting a time limit with an actual timer, or pinpointing one specific area to review makes decluttering less overwhelming. Just one shelf or box, or just 15 minutes are finite and tangible parameters. It may take longer than some of you would prefer, but it will get done and with benefits beyond the clutter clearing.
Apply the neuroscience of architecture to your life and who knows what you may discover!