I am a perfectionist and a control freak. There now, I have said it. If you need anything organising, then I am your woman. I am super organised. I write a weekly menu planner and buy my shopping in accordance. I systemise and have order to everything, be it finance, my diary planner or a just a list of what food is in the freezer. I have even made a list of things that would have been good to take on holiday from our last holiday ready for our next holiday.
The last 13+ years have therefore been a challenge to me as I have a husband who is a clutter insensitive, who doesn’t mind mess and is a proactive gatherer and hoarder of the bizarre and strange. Also having 2 young children, who are also very messy and have to be reminded to clear up after themselves all the time, has probably been one of my biggest life challenges.
Just to put you in the picture of the level of mess we are talking about here. The spare room in my then boyfriend’s (now husband’s) house had a mattress on the floor with an old duvet on it for his mates to crash overnight. No cover on the duvet and a few weeks old dried cat sick on it. You couldn’t see bare floor for all the mess. The bathroom had a toilet that leaked, a handle that would come off when you flushed it and taps on the sink that stopped working, so whenever I stayed over I had to do my teeth over the bath. There were also always piles of dirty dishes in the sink whenever I popped round.
Venturing into his car was even worse. There was never room for a suitcase in the boot, as it was full of junk and even a tin of spam (!), which he said was for ‘emergencies’. When we moved into our first house together it took him a week solid just to empty out the attic of his little terraced house.
Once married these funny stories and scenarios became less amusing to me as I found that it was no fun living with a clutter monster. I soon realized that boot sales and charity shops and in fact anything left outside a neighbour’s house on the street were dangerous zones that could increase the level of useless ‘stuff’ in our home.
Over the years I have managed to ‘push’ these messy, disordered areas into limited areas of our living, basically any parts of the house my husband uses on a regular basis that I am able, to the best part, steer clear of. These include the cupboard under the stairs, the shed, the attic and a drawer. I still go into mild panic when I enter any of these areas, as I cannot understand how the level of mess doesn’t bother him. It is the hours and days lost looking for things that bothers me so much and the anxiety of not being able to find something when you really need it.
Let’s now fast forward to Spring 2013. I often take part in online seminars and workshops in an endeavor to keep up to date on current health issues and techniques. This time it was a week’s seminar on Tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique, as it is otherwise known. My first introduction to tapping was at a Louise Hay Workshop 18 months ago. Being a huge admirer of Louise Hay and all her work linking physical health and emotional wellbeing, anything she was such a big advocate of was worth looking into. I have now had 2 private sessions with an EFT practitioner with profound results. This time though the online seminar showed you how to introduce tapping into your life on a regular basis for many of the challenges we all have. Well, low and behold on day 4 a very lovely Lindsay Kenny introduced ‘Tapping to clear clutter in your home and heart’. The timing could not have been better.
I could feel the Spring equinox coming and the need to do a detox. Alas the cold, damp weather was not conducive to doing my usual raw juice detox so I had a brainwave – detox the house, and I didn’t just mean spring clean, I meant in a way I have never done before.
As Lindsay explained there are 3 levels of clutter. The first level is just the plain old mess where stuff is not put away and dust gathers. This describes my daughter’s bedroom. The second level of clutter is more than just mess and a frustration at not being able to dust and vacuum. It starts to affect other areas of your life with the levels of litter and disorganisation. It can affect different areas of your life too, your house, your car, your office and even your appearance. What is underlying is a lack of desire to clean up after oneself. The third and last level has a deep element of filth to it. It is where things become a health risk due too very unsanitary conditions. There is chaos, rubbish, unwashed dishes and laundry and even pet faeces that push the environment to a disgusting level, (I am having unpleasant flashbacks at this point).
Clutter to an extreme level robs us of precious time, it creates low self-esteem and negative energy or energy blocks in the home. You will tend to find that people who live in cluttered homes are stressed, lethargic and tired a lot of the time and may find their life is stuck in a rut. At an extreme point the shame, guilt or embarrassment at living in such a way is also a good way to keep people away from your home and keeps people from getting close, physically and emotionally.
Though it is easy to poke fun and laugh and claim ‘how disgusting’, what I have really come to understand through Lindsay’s seminar is that clutter is in fact a control issue. In a complete opposite way to my organization (which I know in its extreme form is also a sign of anxiety), reducing things to this level of disorganization is in fact a way of maintaining control. The key is always to look at when it started, what was the trigger? A traumatic event or a series of events are the likely cause and as a result people can then start to hold onto things.
As I always recommend with ‘health work’ it is always better to treat the cause rather than just the symptom. Just clearing the clutter is only part of the problem.
Coincidentally, at the same time as learning about this aspect of tapping I started to read a great book I had been meaning to get round to, Marie-Claire Carlyle ‘How to be a Money Magnet’. It’s a great read and Marie-Claire is not only an amazing life coach but also a feng shui consultant. One of the many life-changing messages in the book is how clutter can impinge on your ability to work at what you want to do and earn the money you aspire to.
I am a big believer that there is no such thing as a coincidence and that you draw the right things to yourself at the right time. All the messages about the importance of being respectful of your home environment not only resonated with me, but also my husband. We had a breakthrough.
I am delighted to report that my wonderful husband and I have spent the last few weeks steadily clearing years’ worth of unused, unwanted, broken ‘stuff’. Our house now feels amazing and so do we. It has become addictive, as we have seen so many positive changes as a result. The difference it has made to our lives has gone further than I could ever have imagined. My husband has set up his own company and is already making a great success of it. I have started writing a recipe book that I hadn’t quite gotten round to, but have wanted to do for the last 5 years. Even our relationship has moved on to a whole new level that I could never have imagined. The kids are even getting themselves out of bed in the morning without being woken 3 times and cajoled by me. We all have a spring in our step. A coincidence? I think not. They don’t exist.
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References, books and related articles you may find of interest:
Nick Ortner, founder of the Tapping World Summit I attended online and author of the amazing new book ‘The Tapping Solution’: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living
Dr Deepak Chopra’s book ‘Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Conicidence to Create Miracles.’ Dr Deepak Chopra reveals how, through understanding the forces that shape coincidences, you can learn to live at a deeper level and access the flow of synchronicity that lies at the heart of existence. You can start to transform your life through full-contact living, in which all things will be within your reach.
Lindsay Kenny’s Progressive EFT website:
Marie-Claire is one of the UK’s top female inspirational and motivational speakers.
Hay House Publishing founder and best-selling author of inspirational, self-help books including Heal Your Body and You Can Heal Your Life: