Discover Serenity by Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Life

Photo credit by RichardLowkes; creative commons license

Decluttering your home, your mind, and your life can help you find serenity. Meditation and clearing out clutter are two paths to peace of mind, more time, and less stress—and that means more happiness.

If someone says “peace of mind” and “inner peace,” you know exactly what they mean, even though the words themselves have little impact anymore. The phrases have become trite and overused, but that’s only because so many people have sought that feeling of serenity. Seeking that contented state of emotional and mental tranquility is a fundamental trait of us weary humans.

We live in complicated, complex times when our world is busy every second and our minds seldom shut down long enough to get a good night’s sleep. It’s nearly impossible to finish a small task without the distraction of an email, phone call, text message, or instant message to pull our attention away. How many of us remember all our passwords, especially if we have to change them frequently to intricate codes of letters, numbers, and symbols in nonsensical patterns? And don’t most of us keep calendars either online, on our walls, or on our PDAs to keep up with the never-ending flow of appointments? Sometimes, it seems like it’s all stressful gibberish banging around inside our heads and it’s too much to sort out or remember. All that mental clutter becomes noise, just as much as the physical clutter in our homes seems to suck away our energy, too. It all needs decluttering.

The clutter takes on a life of its own–It’s All Too Much! –and decluttering becomes a priority…if we can find the time to do it.

Meditation, among other tools, helps to release the inner clutter and find that quietness of mind that takes us away from the stresses of the day, shows us snippets of insights and creativity, and re-fuels and replenishes our clarity. Whether used a spiritual tool to get in touch with our Gods and our intuition or just as a way to sort out our busy minds, meditation is one of the best paths to decluttering the mind. It’s too bad the most people don’t understand how to meditate or have unrealistic or inaccurate expectations of the process.

Hopefully, most people are quicker at learning to meditate that I was. I tried it off and on for at least ten years, finally succeeding and succeeding extremely well once I put aside all my expectations of what meditation had to “look like.”

My attempts at meditation were also squelched over the years by its other foe: time. As part of a hypnosis “adventure” that involved most of the women in my family and their friends—they wanted hypnosis to help them with smoking cessation and weight loss and I wanted it to help me de-stress—I was taught the techniques of meditating. All I had to do was set aside 40 minutes a day. My two teachers were divorced empty nesters with what I considered to be oodles of time to meditate, and they could not understand when I explained that I couldn’t spare 40 minutes a day for myself because of my career during the day and my small children at night. They insisted I must take time for myself, regardless, and spend a full 40 minutes to complete their daily program and that I had to put myself first. Though they meant well, I took their insistence as criticism and failure, and I gave up for many years.

How I finally learned to meditate was to stop putting constraints on myself. I stopped trying to force my process to be exactly like someone else’s and I stopped insisting the results look like anyone else’s. I was able to figure out what worked for me, and now I meditate as frequently as I need to quiet my mind, decluttering it and reconnecting with that deep sense of self and safety inside me.