We don’t like things to be messy, do we?
Clean, tidy, neat, organised is what most of us long for.
In feng shui, clutter and mess are thought to block the flow of energy and create feelings of stagnation and exasperation.
I am not the tidiest person but every now and then, I love having a really good sort out. I summon up some courage, take a deep breath and pull everything out of that drawer/cupboard/room with a view to deciding what to give/throw away and carefully finding neat and tidy places for everything else. Order reigns (for a week or so).
Sounds easy, right?
But that description misses out that there is always, ALWAYS a point, where I look at the messy chaos surrounding me and wonder what on earth I’ve started, often accompanied by a sinking feeling that I’m never going to get through it and why oh why did I start???
But when I take a breath and managing to quieten down the mild panic and desire to run away, I start to see the mess differently.
I see people, memories and stories. I see things I recognise and know are mine and things I don’t recognise and I wonder where they’ve come from. I see things that make me smile, things that make me wince and things I feel nothing about at all (I’m pretty sure I have all the elastic bands ever produced). And at that point I realise that the only option is to get in to it; to engage my brain and to choose what happens to each item in order to create some space.
Life is messy. Not everything has a “place” or fits in a box. Some things are useful but not joyful (vacuum cleaner – urgh!) and some are frivolous but meaningful (a sliver foil butterfly). When we step away for a moment from the desire to control and organise things, thoughts or emotions, we create space to remember and appreciate. Don’t get me wrong, it’s often uncomfortable being IN the mess, particularly when it’s thoughts or feelings which we can’t just ignore, but mess isn’t something to be afraid of either. Taking a breath and looking again, mess can be interesting, informative, evocative, even beautiful.
When things feel messy – whether it’s physical clutter or a jumble of thoughts and feelings – don’t despair. It can be tempting to want to be rid of the mess (a place for everything and everything in its place) or pretend it isn’t there. We may strive for clarity in everything but confusion is also an important, necessary part of our experience.
So, next time you’re IN the messiness, what might you notice if you took a breath and sat with the mess instead? What might you see in those thoughts and feelings? What might you learn from the “vacuum cleaner” thought or the “silver foil butterfly” feeling?
If this sounds good but your’re not sure how to start, get in touch.