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Unexpected benefits in a pile o’junk


One of the sweet aspects about traveling is how easy it is to strike up conversations with people. When out of the patterns and issues of daily life, it just seems easier to be open to new people.

The day my plane landed in San Francisco from Thailand, my sister picked me up at the airport and we went to a cafe near her house, where… we met another traveler! Well, at heart she’s a traveler, and was in body as well until her son was born a year and a half ago.

She told us that she’d been having a tough time adapting to her new life as she didn’t feel like she fit in with the other moms. Not only is she a traveler (an independent, free-spirit breed) she’s also an artist.

Last year she started a Moms group in her area so she wouldn’t feel so secluded as a single Mom. Even though they had plenty in common, she still felt unconnected.

What was getting in the way? Why didn’t she feel a part of this group that she had begun? Why did she still feel so alone?
And then, just one week before my sister and I met her, it all changed.

Because of her stuff.

Neglected shtuff = Emotional baggage

In her condo she had a bunch of stuff from her past, pre-travel days that she hadn’t been willing to take on. Something about facing all that stuff was just too overwhelming.

Until the week before. Something clicked, something changed and she was ready (I was thrilled to hear her say that she Listened to her intuition and acted). She made decisions, cleared it out, dealt with what needed dealing with.

The mysterious and awesome result is that she regained more than the space in her condo. Letting the stuff go freed emotional baggage within herself as well. She felt lighter, freer.

Space clearing can open emotional pathways

The next time she had a play date with her Moms group, she found herself relating with the other women more meaningfully. She was less self-conscious and found herself honestly happy to be there with them. She realized that a big part of her alienation had to do with her own issues (yay for mindful observations!!)

As Monica experienced, your old stuff does more than sit in boxes in your home or office. It’s tied up with the memories, issues, hopes and fears of days gone by—in other words, emotional patterns that can tie up your current reality.

Sometimes, you just need time for your psyche to let go of that old baggage, but other times, it takes some deliberate action that represents cleaning up the mess of the past that will free you to embrace the Now.

Are there any small steps you can take?

Is there anything in your space that has become that avoided pile o’Shtuff? Are you ready to take a deep, grounding breath and let it go? No need to go on a full-blown organizing rampage… just one pile that you’ve noticed is ready to Move.

Monica jumped on the spring cleaning train early—the end of February—giving her a head start on enjoying the beauty of new life.

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