Don’t let clutter steal your shine!

Delete. Ctrl X.  Backspace.  

You know which key, or combination of keys, to use when you need to remove items on the computer.

And so it is in real life. You sometimes need to hit delete–to edit your life–in order to shine like you want to.

Clutter isn’t only about a house bursting at the seams with “stuff.”  Every area of our lives is subject to clutter, but, we have the last word regarding what stays–or goes–in our lives.


Mental clutter
Are you worn out mentally?  Guilty of foggy thinking or (gasp!) no thinking?  You probably have too much going on in your “beautiful mind.”  Sometimes we need to take a “mental health day” to purge our minds. 
  • Choose to focus on positive thoughts and eliminate, or at least decrease, negative thinking.  
  • Let go of the multitasking!  It really is less efficient than doing one thing at a time.  A fragmented mind is often a demented mind, but an uncluttered mind is an effective mind.
  • Relinquish the title of superman/superwoman!  You don’t have to be Ruler of the Universe.  Someone else already snagged that title!
Emotional clutter
We’re often unaware of the extent of the toll taken on our lives by emotional issues.  When we vacillate between one end of the emotional spectrum and the other, we become imbalanced.   
  • Pay attention to your emotions and behavioral triggers so that your relationships won’t be hampered. 
  • When deep-seated issues, many of which are formed in childhood, are not addressed, our emotional clutter will disable us from living in the present.
  • Focus on the people that truly count and deserve your time, and root out those that don’t.  That might mean cutting back on some activities or losing some toxic “friends,” but if it lessens your clutter and replenishes your life, go for it!
Physical clutter
We are a generation that wears its body down to a frazzle.  The amount of stress and tension we put ourselves through is alarming.  Why do we do this when the result–poor health, shortened lifespan–is so devastating?
  • Combat the physical clutter within our bodies by paying attention to your eating habits and adding exercise into your daily lives.  
  • Incorporate practices such as slow eating, yoga, walking, and tai chi, which are proven change-makers.  Sometimes just paying attention to our body language (furrowed brows, hunched backs) and responding by breathing deeply can deflate the tension we carry within us.
  • Remember that physical clutter isn’t limited to our bodies; it’s also found in our surroundings.  There is a proven link between uncluttered surroundings and productivity
I’ve always loved–and try to live by–this quote by William Morris:  “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  What better way to invite peace and positivity into your life than by making the areas you inhabit clutter-free, yet attractive!
Spiritual clutter
Here’s the thing:  if the three areas we just discussed are cluttered, there’s no room for the spiritual, the most important aspect of our lives.  
  • We are spirit, gifted with a soul and inhabiting a body; unfortunately, we’ve reversed the order and thus forfeited much of our peace and joy.  
  • Prayer and meditation are God-given pathways to spiritual wellness.  
  • As we clear away the hindrances to our relationship with God, we begin to see ways to work on other areas that may be cluttered.
In his book “The Life You’ve Always Wanted,” John Ortberg states that “the enemies of simplicity are multiplicity and duplicity.”  Whenever we are pushed and pulled in too many directions, it becomes impossible to keep life simple.  In addition, we aren’t true to ourselves when we are ambivalent. 
Are you shining to the fullest?  Are you giving yourself the chance to enjoy a simpler, balanced life, brimming with possibilities, positivity, and peace?  As you press that “delete” button in each area of your life, you’ll begin to see measurable and enjoyable differences.  And so will others!


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