Updated: Mar 17
Day 16/366 days Towards Self-Mastery: Status: intrigued
Clarity. If you're seeking clarity look no further than the state of your living spaces.
Back in the 80s clutter was a trend. I distinctly remember offending my host one evening when I offered her a complement that she subscribed to the "cluttered" look. It had recently been featured in some glossy magazine and I thought I was being upbeat and generous. She had very tidy clutter and it appealed to my sense of order. She felt otherwise.
There's a difference between minimalism and ordered, and maximism and chaos. As I reflect on today's inspiration these distinctions came into focus.
(We have been enjoying lovely soaking rain, on and off over the last few days. Perhaps my rainy images are an invitation.)
When I got to 35 I stopped counting the number of times that I moved house and home. I've always loved stuff. The stuff of memories and joy, the stuff of wisdom and passion. The stuff of quirky ideas and interesting pursuits. And most of all, the stuff of my own life experiences.
With all those moves I had to figure out a way to lighten the load. And as I mentioned in my last post, that meant not hanging onto stuff that I didn't use. But really, the only stuff I didn't use was the stuff I didn't like, so that was an easy decision.
The inspiration for today:
Living with order vs living in chaos. The state of our living spaces and work places reflects the state of our mind.
We can't always control what's going on around us, but we can turn to our inner resilience and bring order to our spaces so that we can begin to bring order to our mind.
You'll think more clearly and the right next step will have a clearer mind space to reveal itself to you.
What in your spaces can you bring order to today. Your kitchen benches, clothes that you have left lying around, your laundry, your desktop, your digital files?
One unforgettable experience of sharing my home with a housemate was to observe his state of mind and the state of his spaces. Curious to observe his process, I noticed that whenever he had anything on his mind his spaces would turn to chaos. Stuff everywhere. No order what-so-ever, for someone who was generally very neat and tidy. That was my clue that there was something brewing. That chaos would spread to the shared bathroom and the kitchen. Waiting patiently, before long he'd whip things back into shape and I knew that he had sorted whatever was on his mind.
The point is that how we live in our spaces is an indication or a reflection of what's going on in our mind.
Nowadays some people choose minimalism which is generally associated with order, and others choose maximalism which could look like a dog's breakfast if it all goes wrong. It doesn't have to.
Both can be ordered as this lovely article attests. Check it out.
In the last 20 years I've settled, and moved far less. In that time I've gathered a lot of memories and memoirs and I've kept them all. My mothers 1935 Polish readers have been crafted into works of art and altered books. Old discarded photos have been given a new lease of life in junk journals. My bookshelf still carries my favourite books from a lifetime.
The key is, everything is ordered.
During my Christmas break the Feng Shui Your Home book jumped off the bookshelf into my hand and demanded some attention. With a decidedly amateur approach, I discovered that the key element was to pay attention to how the chi (energy) was flowing through the spaces. Where it appeared confused, where it might gather speed, where it might feel stuck. The idea is to allow the chi to flow unhindered.
With that in mind, my spaces were tidied and adjusted, always mindful to accomodate my life and my daily living, to retain an expression of who I am, and enable the flow of energy to support rather than frustrate my mind.
The reflections of my life still need to be visible around me. And sometimes that means leaving a dish rack of clean dishes on the sink to remind me that I enjoy food here. The bed pulled up but not perfect to remind me that I sleep here. My shoes are left at the front door to remind me that I live here.
And there's no clutter. My mind needs to be free and unhindered by stuff lying, cluttering up my spaces and nagging at me to clear it away. Clarity is a priority for me. Self-Mastery.
How about you? How do your spaces reflect who you are and the clarity that you may be seeking?
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart. As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.