I spent three days inside last week due to dangerously low temperatures here in the Chicago area. Since I rely on walking outside every day to stay grounded (and it’s also the best way for me to connect with my intuition, I’ve found), needless to say, I got more than little bit of cabin fever.
Being forced to stay in, however, made me more aware than usual of my surroundings — I couldn’t get outside to escape them!
Toward the end of this enforced hibernation period, I found myself cleaning out my bedroom closet, which had become a swirl of unused gift wrap, shoes, things I meant to donate and just a general lack of any organizing principle.
This led quite organically into organizing my dresser drawers, and between these two areas, I got some bags of donations ready for Goodwill.
Then I deleted a bunch of stuff I no longer needed from my laptop.
I also brought a beautiful picture out of the closet that I’d framed but not gotten around to putting up.
These actions may seem relatively small, but they’ve had a big effect on my energy this week.
Confronting the tangle of stuff on the floor of the closet had been creating frustration for me on a daily basis, but because it seemed “mundane” I wasn’t dealing with it (a pattern of mine). The same went for the overstuffed dresser drawers.
That unnecessary stuff on my laptop was taking up space. And that wonderful picture buried beneath clothes I’d meant to donate? I wasn’t getting to experience it, and I badly wanted to (that’s why I’d framed it!).
Now it’s out in the living room where I can appreciate it, I’m pleased when I look into my bedroom closet every day, and my dresser drawers close with ease.
None of this seems like “big” stuff, but add up enough of these individual energetic drains and you can wonder why you feel sluggish, unfocused, or frustrated every day.
If you are very sensitive to energy, as I am, these things can really affect you. So just notice if you’re falling into the “I’ll deal with that when it gets really bad” camp when it comes to your immediate environment. You can certainly make that choice (I often do!), but you might want to try out the exercise below and just see how you feel afterward.
This exercise works best if you choose only one area at a time to focus on. Often, we let things pile up and up (both externally AND internally) because we think we have to take it all on at once. That feels overwhelming, so we say, screw it! I’m not doing any of it.
(A solid guideline here: If you feel any amount of dread, the step you’re considering is either too big, or it’s not the right one, right now.)
Doing an energetic home scan
• Go into a room of your home (or an area of a room, if that feels more doable) and stand in the middle of it. Simply let your gaze wander around the room and notice what feels “off” to you.
(It won’t necessarily be “clutter” — it can be anything at all that feels draining. One of my clients felt drained by the lime green chair in a corner of her office — the color was overwhelming to her! Another noticed a humming sound coming from her TV that bothered her. )
• Now, make a list of what you notice. You don’t have to get too detailed (unless you want to).
• When you’re ready, repeat the process with another room, or another area of the same room.
• Once you’ve done this with each room, choose just one thing on the list to deal with this week.
(If it’s a bigger thing, you may want to break it down. The important thing is to begin. I found that when I decided to clear away just a couple of things that kept falling off a box in the closet, I spontaneously did more because it felt so good. When we’re really into the process, we tend to continue it!)
• Really let yourself celebrate and appreciate the space you’ve created. Let how it feels sink in.
Taking small steps to clear energetic drains in our immediate surroundings often leads to taking small steps to clear other, less “physical” drains.
After I did this clearing out several days ago, I found myself reevaluating a couple of commitments that have been feeling “off” to me, and I’ve decided to cut back on one, and let the other go completely. Clearing space in my environment seemed to open me up to clearing space within me as well.
(That picture buried in the closet really got me thinking: something I truly value is hidden from view, underneath a tangled mess? Interesting … )
By the way, not giving ourselves the space we need between doing one thing and another can be a huge energetic drain as well. Where can you allow yourself more space — if only just to take a deep breath — as you go about your day?
Where do you notice energetic drains in your home environment? What do they point to for you in other areas of your life? I’d love to hear from you.
Need one-on-one support in recognizing the energetic drains in your home? You might want to try out one of my Living Space Discovery Sessions. You can find out more on my Ways We Can Work Together page, here.
Want to stay connected? You can get info about my ongoing coaching offerings and other good stuff, here.