We all know that clearing the clutter in our lives feels good — even freeing — and spring is the time we get inspired to do it.
But according to internationally renowned spiritual teacher Barry Dennis, it’s more than old clothes we need to get rid of.
“Excess” weighs us down, keeping us from living the life we truly desire. Excess can take any form — shoes, shampoos, unhealthy foods, unsupportive people, too much technology, and unwanted gifts, to name just a few. And all this leads to negative thoughts, which are a most debilitating form of excess.
Dennis calls this junk “Chotchky” — anything that intrudes, clutters, or distracts us from our soul’s highest purpose — and says it makes us stressed out, irritable, and exhausted. All that wasted energy could be used to fuel the life that we know is possible, but has been just out of reach.
He says it’s time for some spring cleaning of the soul and shares 7 spring cleaning tips that will increase your happiness:
Your bathroom. What percentage of your hair spray, hair gel, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair colors, soap, makeup, lotions, shampoos, over-the-counter medicines, prescriptions, and vitamins have crossed the line? It’s bathroomotchky! Go through your drawers and cabinets and get rid of everything that’s collected dust. Empty and recycle the glass and plastic containers.
Your closet. It is not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed by their bulging closet and actually say, “I have nothing to wear.” Crazy, huh? That’s how confused we have become. I call it “apparelyzation.” Use this rule of thumb: your closet should never be filled to more than 80% capacity. Put all those clothes, shoes, socks, and accessories you haven’t worn in the past year in a bag and deposit them into the nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army bin.
Your cupboards. How much food do you feel is truly empowering you, and what percentage is “foodotchky?” Get a big “glad bag” and throw away everything that doesn’t contribute to making you feel happy, healthy, and energized. If the junk isn’t there, you soon won’t miss it.
Your storage spaces. Do you have corners of your garage or basement that are filled with things you haven’t used for years? Drawers that overflow? Or worse, do you have a storage unit somewhere else that you actually pay for each month? It’s time for a sale. Sell it all, and if there’s anything unsold you can put on it your curb with a sign that reads “FREE.”
Your media. Be careful what you allow onto your Internet menu. Every website is an affirmation, every search is a meditation, every chat a prayer. All of the information you feed to your brain through TV, movies, YouTube, and such seems normal. But is it soulful? We are bombarded by excess information. If Mozart, Da Vinci, and Thomas Edison had been distracted by Facebook 5 hours a day, would they have found time to express their genius? Informotchky is insidious and clutters the most precious storage space we have, our mind!
Your calendar or ecalendar. Are you wasting your time with peopleotchky–humans who don’t support you, believe in you, and may actually encourage destructive behavior? Life is short and your time is precious. Make sure you surround yourself with true “Soul-Mates,” friends who support your very soul. Anyone who doesn’t has become excess!
Your consumption. Finally, start to be more conscious about the things you acquire. When you are at a store and you want something, or you’re offered a piece of cake after a large meal, ask yourself, “Do I really need this? How will this feed my soul?” The more conscious you are about what you purchase and consume, the happier and less encumbered you will feel.
As you begin to get rid of the Chotchky surrounding you, you will start to notice that your heart feels lighter, and your mood is brighter. You will find you have become more focused and clear. Your priorities rise to the surface and you suddenly have the time and energy that was always missing to channel into your heart’s true desires. It is truly liberating.
Besides, at this stage in the game, the less we consume the healthier we become in body, mind, spirit, and earth. As we take this challenge we reach what may be the highest state of consciousness possible, that of “liberotchky,” the complete and total freedom from all things Chotchky!
Barry Dennis is an internationally known inspirational speaker and spiritual teacher. His new book is The Chotchky Challenge: Clear the Clutter from Your Home, Heart, and Mind and Discover the True Treasure of Your Soul (Hay House, April 2012). Learn more at www.BarryADennis.com.