"Don't own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”

Wendell Berry

Clearing the Clutter

A new year is almost here!   I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions but I do reflect on the past year and where I can bring change in my life into this new year.  It’s a cliche, but one I’ll be using this year: “Clean Up Your Act, Barnes!”

Its so easy to let life get filled up and bogged down with unnecessary baggage that needs to go.

A great way of adding new energy to our life is by ridding our self of the clutter that continually drains your energy. One kind of clutter is physical clutter. In a cluttered environment, we spend much of our time moving things out of the way, or looking through the pile for what we need, and that takes away from the time available to actually get things accomplished. Getting rid of the clutter can bring plenty of new energy to your life. Clean out your desk, your file cabinet, your closets, your garage, your attic, your computer’s hard drive, your shelves, your kitchen cabinets, your glove compartment — all those places where useless and burdensome things accumulate.

If we haven’t used something in the last year or two, chances are very good that we won’t ever need it again. Unburden yourself by giving away, putting away, throwing away and organizing all the artifacts that clutter your existence. The neat, orderly environment we create will bring added energy to your life.

Another kind of clutter is emotional clutter. Every moment of every day we drag around a collection of old, worn-out feelings, many of them caused by things that happened a long time ago. Just think how energized we would be if we could let them go. The good news is that we can indeed let them go. They are our feelings, and we can do what we want with them. If they no longer serve us, if they are holding us back, then it’s time to consider throwing them out. What’s a good way to do that?

Sit still and calm your mind. Then bring up the feeling. Acknowledge it. Wrap your awareness around it. Experience it fully. Then realize that it is something you have chosen to hold and maintain. It is not an integral part of you. Visualize that you are holding the feeling in your hand. Then, when you are ready, imagine dropping it to the floor. Let go of it and allow it to fall away from you.

If it ever should come back, go through the same exercise. Soon you will be  free of it, as the power of your intention to let it go overwhelms the original feeling. Let go of those old, heavy feelings that hold you back, and you’ll bring new energy to each moment.

The idea is to begin the new year with more of a fresh slate!  Oh, I’m not going to get rid of all the past clutter and I’ll probably accommodate more as the new year progresses but I’ll be working the clean-up process as the months go by.   Being part of a spiritual community . . . worshiping together . . . reaching out to others in need . . . celebrating our blessedness as children of God . . .is cleansing in and of itself.

Find new ways to give your time, energy, prayers, and good will to First Congregational Church of San Rafael.  It will benefit the congregation and will lighten the load you carry.

Shalom,

Ken

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