Have you ever entered someone’s house and got an instant sense of who they are simply by what you saw inside?
Several framed family portraits peppered on the walls is indicative of a person who is family-oriented.
A collection of souvenirs from exotic countries tells you that the person is an explorer at heart.
A dozen portraits of birds and animals, and hiking equipment are signs of a nature lover.
A rack full of books on philosophy and history speaks of a person with a deep intellect.
Each piece in the house gives clues on key aspects of the inhabitant’s personality and interests. What’s interesting to note is that you can also learn a lot about a person’s state of mind from how they keep their house.
A clean and well-organized abode shows that the person living there has a clear and disciplined mind. A domain that is unkempt and full of clutter, on the other hand, is symptomatic of deeper inner issues that the dweller has not addressed.
Now I suspect that some of you might scoff at this notion and see it as a harsh generalization. After all, couldn’t the person simply be too busy to maintain order in their life? Even if that was the case, their surroundings would still lead them to the same place. It’s a chicken and egg situation.
For this to make sense, let us examine this from the lens of metaphysics, more specifically the ancient art of Feng shui. This philosophy developed 3000 years ago in China and is used till this day to create harmony and balance in a living space to bring good fortune and health for people living in it.
According to the principles of Feng shui, clutter and a disorganized home or office creates stagnation, encourages procrastination and an inability to move forward in our life. This philosophy explicates that energy needs to flow smoothly through space to encourage smooth circulation.
It is rare to find successful individuals who aren’t maintaining some kind of order in their life. True success requires us to stay conscious of how we expend our resources. If a person is unable to organize their time, money and energy, they will waste these valuable resources on things that aren’t important to them.
I once lived with a messy roommate in college for two years. We had separate bedrooms and shared a living room, kitchen and bathroom. Despite my daily reminders to her to pitch in with the housework, I was left to clean house all by myself. She eventually gave in because her conscience was plagued by guilt. Yet her bedroom continued to look like a tornado had wrecked it.
What I found strange, at that time, is that despite the clumsiness she demonstrated at our apartment, she managed to get excellent grades in all her classes. In fact, she was on the dean’s list every single year. This made me question my beliefs about self-organization and how it correlates to success.
Later on, I was able to get some insights into her personal life, which was, not surprisingly, full of drama and turbulence. This confirmed my hunch that her scattered way of being was manifesting itself in other areas of her life. This is a misleading phenomenon that is frequent in the lives of many geniuses.
If you’re someone who’s steeped in clutter and living in disarray then it’s time to get behind the steering wheel of your life and take control. Here are some questions you can ponder on and that may potentially lead you to a viable strategy.
1. How do you feel when you think about how disorganized your life is right now? Describe your emotions with clarity, depth and honesty.
2. What do you think is causing you to be disorganized? State the obvious and the deeper reasons. If you’re stuck, this article might help.
3. What shifts and changes do you need to make to restore some order in your life? Think about the changes you can make on several different levels – mind, body, emotions and spirit.
4. What are some measures that you can take to maintain this level of organization in your life? What kind of systems can you set in place to make sure that everything continues to run smoothly?
The Japanese have an age-old tradition that they perform whenever they let go of clutter. They perform this ceremony with a sense of reverence because they see it as a special send-off for the things that were once dear to them, and preparation for a new phase on their journey.
And that is essentially what we do whenever we try creating order in our lives. We create systems where we can bid adieu to what once was, so that we can make room for the new. In this way, we can smoothly flow with the natural cycles of life.
All my best on your journey,