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Making Space

By Dr. Shannon Sarrasin, ND


In the above previous ariticle on Spring Cleansing we talk about the role of internal detoxification in supporting optimal health.  Equally important to our health is the cleansing of our physical, mental, and emotional clutter.  By simplifying our surroundings, routines, relationships, and thought processes, we “make space for our positive priorities to flourish. 

This article is inspired by the book Unclutter Your Life, by Victoria writer Katherine Gibson.  She states that “clutter extends beyond the physical and into our emotional and spiritual well-being, surfacing in negative, life-limiting thoughts; relationships with toxic people; and disruptive situations”. 

Are you directing energy towards the things that matter most to you, or are you being side railed by the chaos of a cluttered life?  Perhaps it is time to “make space”…

Physical Clutter

We buy, acquire, collect, and save a whole lot of “stuff” throughout our lives.  Eventually we feel we need a bigger house to store it all!  How much of these things do we actually need, how much adds value to our lives, and how much is merely clutter that complicates our lives?  Being piled under clutter leaves us feeling overwhelmed, distracted, and drained of energy.

Clear space can give us internal calm and a sense of being in control.   Feng Shui experts would agree that a clear space allows the energy to flow throughout your home.  A clean kitchen can motivate us to create a beautiful new recipe, a clean work space allows us to be more productive at work, and a clean living space may be what is needed to inspire us to work on that creative project.

After reading the book Unclutter Your Life, I spent a month clearing out the clutter.  I worked through closets, shelves, the fridge/pantry, and those piles of “important” papers that seem relentless in stacking up.  I proceeded to tackle the kid’s space (with their help) after realizing they had far more clothes and toys than they needed.  Simplification makes it easier to make choices, and leaves room for creativity.

Mental Clutter 

How many of you live life in the fast lane with schedules cluttered with overtime work, extra-curricular classes, and endless multitasking?  Does this fast paced life prevent you from making time for things that are important to you such as having quality time with your spouse, sitting down as a family for dinner, or getting enough sleep?

Katherine Gibson describes mental clutter as the “expectations, distractions, and obligations that affect our peace of mind”.  Mental clutter is about the hectic lifestyle that prevents you from having a peaceful moment where you can gather your thoughts.  It is the techno-clutter such as cell phones, T.V, and computers that distracts us from being in the moment when used excessively.

We can simplify our mental clutter by learning not to overschedule our time (including limiting the number of activities our kids are in), placing limits on our digital technology and electronics, and most importantly learning how to say “no” when we have enough on our plate.

Emotional Clutter

Emotional clutter includes negative or defeating self-talk and feelings.  For many women this negative self-talk is directed towards their body image, parenting capabilities, or professional ability.

It can also include worry, guilt, or holding onto relationships that leave us feeling inadequate.

Letting go of emotional clutter can help us with self-acceptance, improve our self-esteem, and help us reach our potential.  If this is a concern for you, you may want to consider working with a Registered Clinical Counsellor.

Mahatma Gandhi states that “abundance is a state of mind.  It flourishes not when we grasp and hoard but when we release what no longer serves us and open our lives to others.”

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This seasonal newsletter is written by our Naturopathic Doctors and strives to support & inspire women, children, and family health using natural and preventative medicine.

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