Healer and counselor Peggy Fitzsimmons, who has been helping people eliminate garbage from their lives for fifteen years, suggests that ultimately tidying up is not about making space, it is a spiritual quest in and of itself.
The new Fitzsimmons book, Launch: Create a Clutter-Free, Soul-Driven Life, is a guide to letting go of things, be it physical belongings, mental and emotional build-up, stagnant energy, or bitter relationships. By surveying every area of our lives and making decisions about what stays and what goes, says Fitzsimmons, we can rediscover what is most true for us. The following excerpt from chapter five of Launch, offers seven questions to ask ourselves to determine if something is worth holding onto.
The questions below are the roadmap for your orderly journey. Ask them about everything in their life and listen carefully to the answers. If you follow this map, the things in your life that are aligned with your soul, and the things that are not, will begin to reveal themselves. And you will be on the road to freedom.
Does it contribute to the intention of my soul?
Does this thought, feeling, energy, relationship, or possession contribute to your soul intention? For example, does it help you feel spacious, live easily and efficiently, or feel light, bright, relaxed, and engaged? This question goes directly to what is essential. Actually, it is the only question you have to solve. A negative answer to this question indicates that it is time to miss something. Easy enough, but your selfish mind will make it difficult. He will examine and refute and worry and complain. He will do his best to keep you holding on to things that do not contribute to your soul’s intention. The rest of the questions will help you make decisions that support your soul knowledge.
Is this thought, feeling, energy, relationship, or possession beautiful? This is quite simple, but a warning here. You may be able to say, “Yes, it is a beautiful abstract painting,” but if you prefer realistic paintings, you would be a candidate for publication. Like anything else that is not aligned with your soul’s preference for beauty. If it’s not beautiful you, Let it go.
It is useful?
Is this thought, feeling, energy, relationship, or possession helpful? You are looking for the things that contribute to your effectiveness in life and allow you to do the things that your soul wants to do. This question seems to be self explanatory, but keep in mind when answering. You can say, “Well, this belief that I need everyone’s approval has helped keep me safe in my life, so yeah, it’s helpful,” but the truth is that it prevents you from living life your way. Or you can say, “Yes, these ski poles are very useful,” but the truth is that you stopped skiing years ago. Be clear that whatever it is, it is really helpful to live your soul intention now. If it doesn’t help, let it go.
Do you love me too?
Does this thought, feeling, energy, relationship, or possession make you love yourself back? The things you love and the things that love you make your heart sing. It feels good. In his presence, your energy ignites and you say, “Oh, I LOVE that!”
Be curious if things in your life evoke that kind of feeling. Or are they more like the vase your ex-husband’s parents gave you: the ugly yellow one with the red hummingbirds that makes you shiver every time you see it? Or the feeling of shame that comes over you when you compare your body to the retouched models in the magazines? Or your frustration when random things stuck in the hall closet fall out every time you take out the vacuum? These are examples of things that don’t love you. They hit you with a stream of energy that is not true to you. It is not wise to undergo that repeatedly. If he doesn’t love you, let him go.
Is it today?
Is this thought, feeling, energy, way of relating or possession in the present tense? Most of us do not live in the present. Or we place ourselves in the past time, which is the land of memories, obsolete beliefs or charged emotions from other times and places; or in the future, which is the land of fear and planning. If you hang out in the past, you will find that you are thinking and talking a lot about the days of yore. You can glorify old relationships, or lament how you used to be a size six, or repeatedly tell stories of your life’s trials and tribulations. You’ll have tight clothes in your closet, a filing cabinet that barely opens, and you’ll be sorry you didn’t say yes to that job offer five years ago. You will feel guilty, sad, or angry more often than you would like to admit.
If you hang out in the future, you will find yourself concentrating on what might happen. You will either plan ahead to the point of missing the moment or be hyper vigilant in everything so you can handle any impending disaster. You will fly everyone in your life by helicopter and take pride in anticipating “their” needs. You’ll have thick clothes in your closet, an overabundance of worries, and plenty of brown shopping bags in the space between the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinet. You will be prepared for any eventuality and you will hear yourself saying things like “I have to keep this, just in case” or “I might need it sometime” or “What if …?”
Remember, the ego does its best to keep us in the past and future tense. But our soul is at home in the present, dancing with life as it is, moment by moment. When we live in the present tense, our physical environment reflects who we are now and what our life is like now. We are willing to live the moments as they come, without rushing or holding on. We trust that everything we really need comes to us at the perfect time and in the best way, and that we have, and have always had, the flexibility and ability to respond to what happens in our lives. If something is not in the present tense, let it go.
Do you have a sacred place to live?
Does this thought, feeling, energy, way of relating or possession have a sacred place to live? Think of it this way. Of all the things in this big world, you have chosen this particular thing to fill your indoor and outdoor spaces. The fact that you have chosen it automatically makes it sacred. Therefore, you must honor him and appreciate the service he provides you. You have to make sure it has a sacred place to live. If it is possession, treat it with respect by keeping it and the place where you live clean and orderly. Even if it’s relegated to a drawer or closet or garage closet, make sure it’s easy to see, easy to find, and easy to find. If you decide to maintain a thought, feeling, energy, or relationship, it should also receive a place of honor. It must be visible, accessible and appreciated. An orderly soul lives transparently, with everything in its right place. If you can’t find a holy place to live, let it go.
Does my love help me to serve the world?
Does this thought, feeling, energy, way of relating or possession help you to serve your love to the world? We are here to serve by sharing our love. Your soul knows the unique ways you must love. You have always had certain ways, certain abilities, certain gifts, and certain dreams about who you wanted to be and what you wanted to do. When you share your love with the world, you know it. Your heart is open, I live with intention and purpose. You are in your natural flow, with nothing to hold back the river of your focus and energy. You are receiving more than you could give. If something in your inner or outer space does not help you serve your love to the world, it no longer serves you. Let it go.
Excerpted with permission from Waterside Productions.
Peggy Fitzsimmons is a counselor, healer, and author focused on intensive cleansing. For twenty-five years, he helped people recovering from mental health problems and addictions in clinical settings and through therapy in nature. Fitzsimmons has a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Arizona State University and is trained in Hakomi somatic therapy and intuitive energy healing. His first book is Launch: Create a Clutter-Free, Soul-Driven Life.
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