Monday, February 22, 2016

21 Days of Space Clearing: The Final Analysis

It has been quite a journey these past three weeks. You can discover quite a bit about yourself by the things you keep. And you can watch your soul stretch and break free when you let some things go. I'm still not nearly finished. Devoting and hour or more a day to this task has definitely given me a huge boost, but there's still more to finish, and some newly created projects to complete. As I begin my new 21 Day journey, this one will continue as well.

My goal in space clearing was to free up the space in my home. I wanted the Chi (life force) to flow more freely through my home. Clutter can stagnate Chi. Clutter can also stagnate oneself. I felt like things were being blocked in my life by the stuff I was holding onto. Things are moving freer now, even though there is more to do. Since I started, a check for my business came in the mail. I found a free abundance course to take (will blog about it when I'm finished, it's pretty spectacular!). Someone approached me for a job interview. Friendships have flourished, including reaching out to childhood friend I haven't heard from in years, and a friend visiting this summer for a week. More ideas are coming to me, more synchronicities are occurring, and I feel lighter and happier. And I know that more good is on the way.

Last night I went through piles of cards: Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, birthdays, and anniversaries. So many cards from so many different people through the years. It was another reliving of my life. Some of it was beautiful, and it felt like I was there again. I laughed, cried, and reminisced. There were relationships that have since ended, and I spent time enjoying the good times in those cards and feeling grateful for having had those moments. It is a much better feeling to appreciate what was, than to be bitter about how things changed. I felt sadness and regret for my part in those endings, and as the cards were let go, so was all of that. We all have our part to play. When you step away from it all for a time, and then there it is in your face again, it's a new perspective. Time changes things and what I once felt so righteous about, seems pretty silly now. 

This was the hardest part of this journey, and difficult to write about. But, I don't sugarcoat myself in these blogs, I put it all out there: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I saved college letters I wrote my friends. It's interesting to see who I was almost 30 years ago. What I had played in my head as a memory wasn't completely correct. Time washes things a bit. I wrote to a friend of mine about my new college in New York. I was studying advertising design. I joked about the two clubs my school had. The one I made fun of was GLAAD. I made some comment about "oh yeah I signed up for that one right away." I was so embarrassed to read who I was. I was mocking something that I couldn't conceive of belittling now. I sounded like someone who was afraid of something she didn't understand. Rather than trying to understand, she took the easy way out. I was sad when I read that, and I thought of my friends from high school who are gay and lesbian (which I didn't know at the time). How did I make them feel back then? I certainly didn't give them a gentle ear to talk to. How many ignorant comments did I make, thinking I was being funny? I remember having a conversation years ago with a friend of mine about another friend who told her she was a lesbian. I asked her why she didn't come to me about it. She said she didn't think she could tell me. I didn't understand, we were such good friends. This makes sense now. Who knows what I said out loud, thinking I was so funny. I truly apologize to anyone I may have hurt or offended in any way. It wasn't malicious, it was ignorant. I believe that all lives matter, no one is above anyone else, we are all one and the same.

This exercise has been humbling to say the least. It's not about the "stuff." It's why I held on to things. Anything that was kept out of guilt, obligation, "just in case I need it someday," or for any negative reason was let go. Everything that feels like love, joy, peace, and happiness stays. Going through memories of times with my friends and my family has made me feel so much more love and gratitude for them. It has cleared out everything that really doesn't matter and has opened up a whole appreciation for my life and everyone in it. It is a real freedom to let go.

In Gratitude and Love,

Kerri Mulhern

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

21 Days of Space Clearing: Week One (a.k.a What Have I Gotten Myself Into?)

I made it through my first week of space clearing, sort of. I decided to work on my teeny tiny office closet first, because this is really where the mess is. I am very good at letting things go, but everything I'm not able to let go of, is in that closet. I knew it would be the hardest, so I wanted to get it over with. I can easily clean out kitchen cabinets, bathroom closets and sort through clothes, but this is different. And I'm still not finished!

In this closet is business inventory. That was easy. Boxes, journals, pens and more are selling online, and at fairs and flea markets. Those stay, I just needed to organize them better. I went through hundreds of business cards. There were so many contacts I had when I was in marketing, but there is no need to keep them. Some of the cards were people I met one time. I let them go.

Next I worked on my craft piles and so many projects I had only started. I sorted through, and made a donation pile for anything I knew I would never work on. I made a small pile of projects to do and wrote up a list. I'm tackling one at time and will get them all completed. I already finished my meditation pillow last night. Now I'm just waiting for the weather to warm up so I can use it outside on my meditation platform (blog on how to build one is coming up soon!). 

I had tons of my sons' school supplies in there. You know every year you get that list of needed school supplies? I always bought everything! In the last two years I became wiser and more frugal!. Folders, notebooks and index cards were never used, and they piled up. I had an entire shoebox of colored pencils that could never possibly be used by one family. Those, and other excess supplies are going to the nearby elementary school for kids who need them. 

Now here's where it starts to get real. The memories are my deer in the headlights moment. This is where I stress, sweat and debate what to keep and what to let go. The amount of memories that I've kept over the years is telling me something. This is what I am in the midst of right now. I have decades of memories. There are some incredible blessings in going through this process, but it hasn't been easy at all. It has been very eye-opening though. 

I started the space clearing to let go of what is no longer serving me, in order to let in what is waiting for me. I believe that everything has an energy to it, and I have been holding on to some very heavy items. Part of the reason I kept so much was because I kept telling myself I had to. There was this guilt and pressure I put on myself. I was in essence, saying I was bad if I let things go. It felt like I was doing something wrong. But to who? No one else cares about this stuff! I don't know where this is coming from, but I know the letting go is releasing that hold I put on myself. It is releasing that negative voice. I can actually feel the heaviness leaving the closet and the weight lifting from my chest as I do this.

I held onto some things because I wanted to organize them "one day." Some of those things were my daily agendas and calendars. I had them as far back as 1990! 16 years! I didn't want to let these go because I wrote so much in them about my sons. I was terrible about keeping up with the baby books (guilt), but I always wrote down the "firsts" and many other things they did. I wanted to make sure I had all of this, but I never put the time in to organize it all. So they all went into the closet year after year. I have now gone through all of them, and wrote down what I really wanted to save. My feelings changed from what I thought was important so many years ago. I held on so tight to things I really didn't need to. But I am very glad that I saved those memories.

The other part of going through 16 years of my life, is reliving it all over again. It wasn't all pleasant. I relived two jobs working for narcissistic bosses, getting fired, working for a very unethical company (briefly), divorce, lawyers, and some very stressful times that were all documented because of appointments and notes. Stress, guilt, regret, sadness all welled up again. But, I'm not holding on to any of it, I've learned from all of it, accept my responsibility in creating it, and am grateful. And as I tossed these in the trash, I released them. 

What I am holding on to are the days when I found out I was pregnant, when I learned I was having boys, the first time they walked and talked, my friends' weddings, birthdays, and the day I married again. So many wonderful memories.

I also have a humongous pile of photos, videos, cards and my kids' items (clothes, schoolwork, etc) to still sort through. I have pile of my eldest son's shirts (school, soccer, band) that I haven't been able to part with. Every time he comes into my office, I look at the pile and say "Are you sure you won't want these one day?" I'm afraid to let go of things for their sake too. Guilt. I'm doing something wrong, I think. But he keeps looking at me like I'm crazy, and tells me he doesn't care about them. He wants to keep his karate outfit and belts, which he already keeps in his room. So what is freezing me here? I told him I thought I'd cut the shirts up and make him a quilt. Again, I got the "you're crazy" stare. And I don't blame him, I felt crazy saying it. Yet I'm still stuck. But, I will get there. And I know each time I let go, things get lighter. And I know that in doing so, I'm not only making things lighter for me, but for my whole family.

On to week two!

In Gratitude,

Kerri Mulhern

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