Declutter Challenge: Part 2: Starting Trouble & A Zen Moment


#globalite Arch returns with an update on the declutter challenge, Part 2 that turns out to be more Zen than declutter, or may be they are synonymous? #declutter


When the over gets whelming the whelming gets over… or something like that.

After my Declutter Challenge: Part 1, I was enthusiastic and charged up to get going on my “clotter” which as a reminder means:

Clutter is stuck energy. The word “clutter” derives from the Middle English word “clotter,” which means to coagulate – and that’s about as stuck as you can get. ~ Karen Kingston

I had set out with some rules:

a) NO RULES!  START RIGHT NOW RIGHT WHERE I AM!  …Baby steps instead of big plans that never pan out
b) NO DEADLINES - those only leave me feeling guilty and hopeless
c) ENLIST SOCIAL MEDIA by blogging about my multi-part declutter effort.

And had taken 3 steps right away:

1. Return things to their designated place after use
2. Automatic Closet Sorting into “Will Wear” and “Will not wear”
3. STOP Random Stuff Accumulation

So far so good.  I have generally kept up keeping up with the 3 first steps.  But beyond that my brain wasn’t getting creative about what to do next, while on the other hand the guilt of not reporting back to you my dear social media was eating me up.  That’s right, you make me feel accountable.

So last week, I did decide to start with what I thought was the easiest – books.  I rolled up my sleeves and walked up to my book shelf expecting to have a pile to give away at the end of the exercise.  But book after book went back into the book shelf.  “Oh, this book, where have you been! I must read you!” and “Hmm… this book is from my favorite author” and “Oh man, I know I won’t read this one, but it’s such a good book.  Let me just keep it”.  I finally had about 2 books and a few magazines that I decided I did not want, and I put them in a bag and headed out.Declutter_Books

I was going to the Little Free Library in my neighborhood – a really cool community concept (read about it at http://littlefreelibrary.org/)  and I was quite excited to make my first book contribution to it.

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Once I reached the little library, I set my bag down and started making space to shove in the “books I did not want” into the tiny library and leave.  As I pulled out books and rearranged them to make space I noticed something – amidst a smithering of novels were books that seemed to be placed there “for someone” … “Operating Journal – A book of my son’s first year” – surely meant for a mommy to be, “The giant bathroom book of knowledge” – surely for the bathroom sitters :-),  and this one really tugged at my heart: “Alexander, Who’s NOT going to Move” – surely to help a child deal with leaving behind everything they’ve known – their house, yard, friends, neighbors and moving away…

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And that was the zen moment  - the realization that when people left books that they probably didn’t want, they were still leaving “books for someone”.  What a difference that shift in perspective made!  I felt ashamed that I had been so stingy about sharing my books and resolved to “bring books for someone” the next time around – books that I’d really like others to read.

It’s funny isn’t it, how we create our tiny circles and become so self-contained in them that we become so selfish and self-serving… but when we start broadening that circle, the walls crumble, our hearts expand, and we embrace not just those who happen to be biologically or psychologically close to us, but all of humanity, and eventually all of life.  There is no division really, just the perception of division, and it is moments like these that give us a glimpse of that undivided oneness that is life.

Despite the slow progress on the original Declutter mission, I guess you could say Part 2 accomplished much more than expected – in that it decluttered my mind and expanded my circle of care and compassion.

See you again soon on this journey.  Until next time…

[Featured Image Source: Pinterest]

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