Updated: Jul 2, 2020
“Clutter is no more than postponed decisions.” – Barbara Hemphill
My desire can almost always be boiled down to FREEDOM. More freedom. So my growth is always deepening into what gets in the way of that freedom. Freedom in my mind…..limiting beliefs. Freedom in my heart…..constricted energy, locks, and blocks. Freedom in my life……abundance, time, love, experiences.
As we move into the last days of this decade, my intention is to clean house. To empty out, and let go of the things that no longer serve me and that get in the way of my freedom.
First, as always, comes acceptance for where I am and what I am holding onto. Because, let’s face it, we hold onto things. In the material world, and in our internal world.
I want to focus on the inside first because I believe our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.
So, internally, we close ourselves, constrict and hold on to stuff. Energy is meant to move right through us, but we all know that doesn’t always happen. It gets stuck. We constrict, we bind, we resist, we stuff, we keep, hold and close up. This generates constricted and bound energy within us, creating blocks and festering stuck spirals. And in this busy world, we rarely give ourselves the chance to empty out. We get lost in the doing and keeping up with life. This means that all the new energy coming in has to go around these blockages and constrictions which just piles up more. We can all get on the same page that this…….feels like crap.
Look, it’s completely natural to close and protect ourselves. That’s our go to move, it’s survival. It makes sense. But by closing and trying to protect ourselves from pain or uncertainty or feeling, (which by the way, doesn’t ever work) we also block all the other stuff too. Joy, opportunities, love, connection, belonging……...you get the idea.
So, the practice then becomes how do I open more? How do I clear out these blocks? How do I create a practice around emptying out, letting go, cleaning and releasing? So that I can be freer. So that I can be more present, open, connected to my life. Because when we create a practice that supports us in emptying out, suddenly there is so much more available for us.
When I think about the time I have here, I don’t want it to be in days, I want it to be in the depth and quality of my being. I don’t just want time with my family, I want deep quality time where we get to savor life and create incredible shared experiences. I don’t want to just make money, I want financial freedom and abundance so I can travel, retire my parents, create those incredible shared experiences, spend more time with family, help those in need, have the freedom to do what I want when I want, and how I want.
So, something to keep in mind if you choose to begin this journey of cleaning house is to ask, what am I creating space for? What type of life do I want to live? In what ways do I desire to be freer?
There will be lots more on that topic soon to come as I share with ya’ll in a few weeks something I’m working on to bring you in the new year………..
For now, let’s explore how we deal with these blockages and piles of stuck energy inside of us so we can begin to clear some space and empty out.
Most of us have blockages and tightness within us that are decades old. (Or however old you are, do the math.) These have calcified, started to grow new things, and are deeply embedded in our being. Some of them are not even ours……we adopted them from the people around us, especially when we were little.
Remember, our body is a map of everywhere we have ever been. It remembers. It has to deal with everything we have ever put into it. Emotional, physically and mentally.
To begin the process of letting these things be unpacked, felt, seen, understood and let go, is, I think, the most important work one can do.
For me it has become a lifelong process of meeting myself where I am, holding myself in acceptance and then moving through.
So, before we go and make any new resolutions or big changes in our lives for this new year, I invite us all to first address what is. To meet there.
You want to bring new things into a space that has room for them. You want to put down a new rug on a clean floor. So first, we must clean and clear. Sometimes there are things that have been so stuck and buried, and built up around, that it takes deep work to unravel them. Professional help, and a long or short road of processing pain. The gift on the other side of that process though is freedom.
And in my life, that has been worth it a million times over.
The first time I really felt what it was like to process pain, I thought I was going to die. Literally, die. I came home from therapy and lay on the floor crying so deeply I didn’t recognize the sounds I was making. It was as if someone else was crying. Or some kind of animal. My body physically hurt. I wanted it to stop more than anything, but I also deeply knew that there was only one way out of this, and it was through it. My boyfriend held me as I writhed on the floor in pain, and sobbed deep cries that came from a place I had never allowed myself to visit, let alone feel.
Why would I willingly step into that kind of pain?
Well, for a multitude of reasons, but it all boiled down to........I was tired of suffering. Of constantly feeling an underlying sense of deep fear and terror. Of being chained. Of feeling ZERO freedom in my mind, body, and heart.
When Brené Brown talks about shame she says it’s the swampland of the soul. We have to walk through it and know how it works. Many of us stand in the quicksand on the shore of the swamp, thinking we can never go into the swamp, that would be too painful. BUT standing in the quicksand slowly sinking is worse, and far more painful.
That’s how I felt. I couldn’t stand the feeling of sinking anymore. I deeply needed to be free. And in order to do that, I had to wade into the neck-deep swamp scum that I had boxed up and denied. I had to own my story and my experiences and let myself feel the feelings I never had before.
I had to process the pain so I could get to the freedom.
And now those thoughts, those experiences, those things that used to rule my life, and govern everything I did or didn’t do, are now faded polaroids that have no power over me. They are faded memories, that live in the past, and are not part of my present.
You can let go of a lot more than you think.
If you are willing to do so.
And the space that you create by doing so allows everything you want in.
Until you make the space though, there isn’t room for anything. The more blocks you have stuck, the more things stick to them. And before you know it, you have a landfill of undealt stuff sitting inside of you.
So, if you are ready for some freedom, start with cleaning house!! Empty out you! Let go, release, purge!
This looks different for everyone because we have all built different houses with our own special brand of mortar and stone. BUT I do believe that we all can share some truths in this...
1. We all have stuff.
2. We all battle with our enoughness. (Not smart enough, not good enough, not enough)
3. I deeply believe we all need to have a daily practice of emptying out. Digesting, metabolizing, clearing, and releasing if we want to be more open, available, present and free in our life.
4. Dealing with our stuff, it’s not easy or fun, but it is worth it a million times over.
Your freedom is worth it. You are worth it.
Give yourself permission to LIVE and BE FREE.
So where do we start?
I always speak from my truth. From my personal experience. The things I have seen, felt and witnessed work, in the hopes that it supports and empowers you! Here are some of those........
1. Therapy, coaching, group, workshops, professional help. This can be one on one with a therapist. It can look like workshops and experiential learning environments. This can look like somatic coaching. This can look like attending group meetings for a particular unpacking that is specific to you or your trauma. For me, it looked like all of these. In order to really grow you need other people, and other experiences.
2. Journal. The more you uncover your truths, your patterns, your pains, your stuff, your stories, the more you can see. The more you can see, the more choice you have.
3. Feeling. This can happen in a lot of ways. If you do anything in number one, you will open the flood gates for this. Feeling is important. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel then things get really stuck. They get stuck in the mind and in the heart. So I found that feeling things, especially from the heart was a big part of my healing.
4. Moving, sounding, breathing, letting the body lead and the mind learn. There is SO much healing and alchemization that can happen with simple letting out some sound!! Everything is held in the body, and yet we get trapped in our mind thinking that's the only way to freedom. It's not! You have to get into your body! We are animals at the end of the day, and so let your body lead, you may find answers you have been looking for your whole life. ;)
I think a lot of times, we are not taught how to feel. And we don’t always do it in healthy ways. We put our pain on someone else, instead of taking responsibility for it and feeling it. I also found that I was afraid to feel. I don't think we want to open the floodgates in the fear of what might come out, or in my case, the fear of being stuck there forever. The irony though is, until we really feel through things so they can be release we will be stuck there forever.
So, I had to learn what really feeling felt like. For me it was a lot of breath. You breathe. You allow yourself to feel. You give yourself permission to feel whatever is there. Feeling nothing and numb is feeling. Experiencing rage in your body when you think you are supposed to be feeling sadness, is feeling. ALWAYS honor what you are experiencing over what you think you should be experiencing. Your experience is your experience. It is exactly what it’s supposed to be. Be present and allow yourself to feel.
5. Digital detox and silence. It’s incredible what can come up when you quiet the noise. Most of us live in a constant state of distractions and busyness. The more you allow yourself to be with yourself in the nothingness, the more you will learn.
6. Move your freaking body. This matters so much it get's to be in here twice!!! By moving your body you are literally moving the energy through. You should move your body in some way everyday. Moving consciously with my breath is always my go to for healing. This can look like yoga, dance, intuitive movement, swimming, walking, running, LITERALLY ANYTHING! It feels good, and the more you practice, the more comfortable it feels. If you are not used to moving it can feel weird, but trust me, it can FREE YOU.
“If you want to tame something, you must sit with it every day.” -The Little Prince
You must be patient.
There were so many times in my journey of healing where I sunk down to the floor and gave up. Completely. So many times where I would be so frustrated and feel overwhelmingly defeated and alone. But the more I practiced meeting myself there. On the floor. In the defeat. In the loneliness. In the shame. The more I was able to free.
I have found there is deep work like therapy, feeling, unpacking of trauma, and then there is the daily practice of emptying out. Both are important and sacred.
Your deep work is YOUR work. Make it sacred. The practice that you create around emptying out every day, is YOURS. Make it sacred.
I will offer some of my daily practices, in the hopes it spurs your own creativity and spark.
How I empty out in the morning:
1. Breath, sounding and moving my body: This sometimes looks like yoga, most of the time its dance, but more of a therapeutic dance. Intuitive movement. Eyes closed, feeling into my body, moving how it desires to move. Letting my body lead and my mind learn. Moving energy through.
2. Sitting or walking while feeling and metabolizing: I do a practice called HeartRise (I am a certified HeartRise facilitator and have found it to be extremely helpful in my healing.)
For me, this looks like my hand or hands, on my heart. Plugging in and connecting to my heart center. (This took a long time for me to be able to do.) Hearing, seeing, witnessing what has been held or constricted there. Allowing myself to feel it. From the heart center, breathing, feeling all that I have been holding (this doesn’t have to make sense when you do it. It’s not about the doing, it’s about the practice and process. The heart bowing to the mind.) Then from the feeling, I release it and let go of it. Literally imagining it leaving my body, breathing deepening, letting it go. If I’m walking it is raising my hands up, or pushing out the breath, sighing. Breathing is the key through all of this. Actually, breathing is the key to everything. Literally. Always come back to the power of your breath.
**If you are curious about Heartrise, reach out to me, I'd be honored to work with you!
3. Journal and Reflections: It's crazy how pen to paper gets things out of your being. Journaling always helps. When I was deep in my therapy and healing process, I carried my journal around like a baby blanket. I wrote constantly. It was my way THROUGH. Now each morning I take the time to reflect. How am I feeling? What's going on? This is also so wonderful as a record for yourself, to be able to look back and see patterns, or see where you were. I add lots of stuff to this journal practice in the mornings that I will share when I write a blog about FILLING UP. (The next thing I do after I EMPTY OUT:)
So, most of the time that is how I empty in the morning. My practices go through cycles and I always honor the natural rhythm of my body and of the earth. Sometimes I need to tend to more. Sometimes if I’m being faced with a challenge, internally or externally, it takes some more energy and intention. Sometimes releasing one thing brings up another thing that was stuck or buried underneath it. It is always a practice of honoring myself where I am, meeting myself there. This is not always easy, I posted a video recently about SHOULD that dives into this. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGphAjpOW4M&t=263s)
Know that, the practice of meeting yourself where you and holding yourself in acceptance is a BIG ONE.
Know that with practice it gets easier.
Releasing throughout the day for me looks like checking in. It can be a walk. 6 deep breaths. Bringing my hands to my heart and really feeling into my body. Letting my back catch up with my front. It can look like a hot shower. Exercise. Yoga. Making myself a cup of tea and sitting in silence. It can look like a million different things depending on the day, and what’s available, and what’s true.
Emptying out in the evenings is important and something I personally struggle to practice. It is one of the things I committed to for my December challenge (Your challenge). When I do practice emptying out before bed I sleep better, I have less crazy dreams, and I wake up feeling clearer.
Usually, this looks like meditation. Once again, emptying out, feeling whatever unresolved stuff there may be, and letting myself let it go. Even if it’s just for the evening and I’ll pick it back up in the morning. But it’s letting go of everything that doesn’t serve my rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
Meditation is huge.
So, know that it can look a million different ways, but the intention is always to empty out. Feel and metabolize what IS, what’s there, and let it out and let it go. Empty so you can fill and open, and BE.
As you move into this next decade, what to do you want to let go of? How could you clear, clean, release, let go, and empty out?
Sit with yourself and listen for the answer. It’s there.
Right here, right now, try this. Let’s open together. Try this exercise below.
Take it at your own pace.
*Take out a journal or pen and paper to write down what you notice*
Think of a person or a situation that recently caused you to constrict, close down, feel small, and tighten up. Bring it to mind, and let yourself feel that for a moment. Feel the less than, the not enough, the anxiety, tightness, smallness. Feel it; in your body, in your mind, in your heart.
Now scan your body, and see where you hold the tension. Start at the top of your head and just notice. As you go down your body, where are you held? What shape do you take? Where do you feel constriction and tightness?
Here are some examples. When I constrict I feel it…….. My chest feels….. My throat feels….. I feel tightness in………
I encourage you to journal and write down what you notice. Where in your body do you feel it, and how does it feel? What are the physical sensations and where are they rooted?
Then let’s work together right now to soften and create space there.
So breath into where it’s tight. Breath into where you feel constricted. Allow the power of your consciousness to send the breath there. And ask.......how can I soften here? How can find more space? More ease?
Now physically with your body do the opposite of constriction. If you are tight in your chest, spread your arms out wide and lift your chest to the sky. If you are tight in your throat, lean your head back and stretch the front of your throat. If you're tight in your jaw, open your mouth wide. Open and close your mouth big a few times. Stand up and lunge with your legs. Try to take up as much space with your physical body as possible. Literally stretch and lengthen every part, trying to take up as much space you can. Take deep long breaths, release them out the mouth. Maybe even with some noise, a sigh, releasing and emptying.
Now. Sit back down and notice. Do another scan of your body, from the top of your head to your toes. Notice. What physical sensations do you feel? Notice your thoughts. Your emotions. Journal about what you notice.
I hope this has served you. Know that you always have the choice to close or to open. And that the more you strengthen your ability to open and release the more life there is available for you.
Be free my friends.