With the holidays approaching, we’re receiving countless messages that steer us toward consumerism. Buying more “stuff” that makes us even more stuffed. This really doesn’t make us happy. Instead, it makes us feel heavy, dissatisfied, living in an environment of clutter and chaos.
Why do we succumb? Often it’s a mindless response; we’re lured into the pre-holiday “spirit,” the excitement of buying new things and the promise of bargains. We become distracted from what really matters.
How about celebrating “White Friday” instead of Black Friday? Comb through your kitchen cupboards and pack up things you haven’t used for months to donate to food banks or school drives. At first, it’s dreadful to dive into the drawer or closet where you’ve tossed all your clutter. It takes time and energy to confront all the emotions that come up around those things that no longer resonate. Many of us have loss aversion: we resist facing what’s been hidden away because we’re grieving that we made a wrong decision to purchase it in the first place. Witnessing the waste is painful. But the first step in stopping the pattern of waste is acknowledging that you’ve hoarded or accumulated more than you want or need. Often we don’t realize the powerful subconscious effects of household clutter, how it saps our energy and creates feelings of overwhelm. It weighs us down with a depressive heaviness.
Marie Kondo popularized a system of decluttering that has resonated with millions, helping people achieve clarity about the objects they truly love. What she did with things, we did with health and fitness. There’s a lot of “noise” out there in the fitness landscape—countless exercise programs that entertain you without really making you better. The same applies to food—so many choices that don’t provide the nutrients that will strengthen your organs and entire system. The Happy Body removes all opacity: the measurable and testable exercises help you set goals and then reach them. The food plan is self-tailored and defines how much is enough with specific foods and calorie amounts. Practicing stress release every day helps eliminate the negativity and thought pollution (personal relationships, political strife, academic squabbles, bureaucratic gridlock) that surrounds us.
What do you want your life to look like? Your vision will guide you as you take steps in clearing what you don’t want, eliminating the “ghosts” that haunt you, whether they be unnecessary thoughts or objects. Things like an expensive, beautiful coat that others admire that you never wear. Then you can truly make room for what’s essential, something simple and light that truly fits you.