Quote of the weekend: Sea
"I've been deep-cleaning my closets, sorting through all the stored stuff and getting rid of a lot of it - all the things that are not needed, unloved, unused. But I've been surprised by my reaction: it doesn't feel great at all - not lighter, not freer, not a release. It's hard to put my finger on the feeling, but it's more like feeling ill, somewhat sick to my stomach."
You have come to the end of Week Five. Today is my birthday, and so I'm going to post a little light in order to get outside and work on the yard (the little scrap of cement that we've covered with gravel and dirt, which is starting to breathe with the warmer weather again). However, Sea brings up a really important issue (above) that I want to address.
Why do you sometimes feel worse, instead of better, when you deep clean and declutter?...
When you move things in your home that have sat for awhile you stir up all the old energy that has sat there as well. For me, photographs are the worst.
While the whole point is to stir up and clean out the old energy, it is disruptive and often stressful to feel it all come up. You may find yourself reminded of old feelings and thoughts that have not been present for awhile and which - by and large - can be slightly depressing. Karen Kingston speaks very eloquently on this in her book, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui.
It is helpful to know that this is going to happen in advance so that you are not ambushed, and when it happens it is best to witness the feelings, but not to let them stop your progress. If you need to take a break and get out of the house, go for it, but return and finish whatever portion of the job you are on afterwards. If you are working on sections of your home, it is good to chunk your daily projects into small enough projects so that you can start and finish them within the time you have alloted. Leaving a messy project open over a number of days can be very challenging emotionally.
The important thing to remember is that if you are experiencing this, you are doing a GREAT JOB and it's all the more important that you do it. When you are done, you will not only have put your home in order, but you will also have cleared out a great deal of old, dead, depressing energy and given yourself a fresh batch to carry on with. Also, if you experience this, you may want to think about undergoing a Cure yearly or twice a year in order to really clear your home out and keep it clear. Energy is exactly like air or water, when it sits for too long, it stagnates, but when it is allowed to flow, it transfers life and joy.
Have a great weekend and a happy Easter!
This Week's Assignment:
In the Deep Treatment, among other things you are diving into the home office and tackling all the computer and electrical tangles that you may have. You are also considering a Media Fast, which is a rather radical part of our household cleaning binge.
In the One Room Workout you will be getting into real color, painting color that is. We had a great time writing this part of the book and remembering all that we had learned over the years about painting. In particular, we were happy to be able to lay out some healthier paint alternatives, though we've found it hard to integrate these choices into NYC life. We'd be interested to hear any tips on this subject.
Info:The Cure posts will go up twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays (or sometimes Friday or Saturday), allowing for plenty of comment space. We will be pulling comments and pics to the front page post each week and everyone is urged to take pics and post them to this great Flickr pool or simply tag them with "apartmenttherapycure." See our old pics here too.