Feng shui isn’t just about painting a wall a certain color and hanging a wind chime. Feng shui is more about understanding the way your house is representing your life and its influence on your happiness. And there are signs, both subtle and overt, that tell you about the need to make changes in one to see improvement in the other.
That’s because clutter is more than bad feng shui, clutter affects you and your life.
Let’s take a house where someone is a hoarder, for example.
A hoarder loses sight of all that’s around them. They no longer see the way life is — full to the ceiling — and may add more stuff as a way of exerting control. Only the situation turns on them and soon they’re controlled by everything that surrounds them.
Over time, all the excess belongings and stuff stifle their life, may harm their health, their income, and cause problems in their relationships.
Their house is trying to tell them: let go.
There’s a Zen saying of let go or be dragged.
When you aren’t able to let go – of a situation, negative self-talk, or clutter and possessions that no longer serve you, you’re dragged by that energy.
The beautiful part of feng shui is that you are able to literally see what’s surrounding you and it shows you how your life is being affected.
Karen Kingston in her seminal book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, says the root of all clutter is the fear of letting go. But that’s fairly obvious. It goes deeper than that.
I believe all clutter is your home’s way of showing you your fear of the future.
I know someone who has very little space. He’s lost all the big things in his life like a good job and marriage. He fills his space with collectibles and things he finds on online and at sales. This is a person who doesn’t just fear the future, he dreads it. And life unfolds as a thousand tiny cuts, bleeding the vitality – and the empowerment – out of his life.
The best part of letting go of all your excess stuff is that you are brought in touch with yourself, regaining a feeling of power and control in your life, and rediscovering your natural vitality.
That’s because removing excess stuff gives you room to grow, like a plant that’s moved into a bigger container.
When you hold on to your possessions – what you’ve bought in the past – your home is telling you with the cramped drawers, the closet rods rammed so tightly you can’t find anything to wear or garages full of junk, that you don’t believe life will get better in the future.
Even if your conscious mind believes it will, your house is showing you something different.
So what do you believe? What your mind is telling you or what your house is showing you?
Life becomes empty while the house becomes full.
Another important message your clutter or mess is trying to get across is that you don’t believe you can fix a situation.
Maybe you haven’t faced up to a problem or insecurity, whether that’s financial, emotional, or relationship, and sought help for it or actively applied yourself to correct the problem.
Seeing something growing bigger, such as clutter, is a sure sign it’s not being handled, and often reflects another part of your life.
Self-improvement guru, Louise Hay, in her book Heal Your Life, says that most disease is rooted in an emotional problem difficulty and that most people are seeking fulfillment in some way.
I think that’s what an overcrowded house is trying to show you: that you’re seeking fulfillment and what you’re getting is simply filled – filled with stuff you don’t need, use, and many times, even want — and your house becomes suffocating instead of a sanctuary.
There’s no pill for clutter and holding on to excess stuff. It takes you handling one item, one after the other, one drawer or one closet at a time.
When you’re having a hard time releasing something, take in a big breath, hold it for a count of three and exhale.
Now how you feel about the item? Notice if that cleansing breath helps you release the item more easily. Your house is trying to breathe deeply too.
Notice your breathing as you are clearing out. Does it stop or become very shallow? Are you aware of it? Give yourself plenty of time to breathe and take in many cleansing breaths while you purge your home of unwanted and unused or broken items.
What is your house showing you about your life with the clutter in your home?
Learn to read the signs of your clutter. Once you do, you’ll stop being dragged by it.
Your house is telling you to let go.