“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
If I had to pick ONE thing – one massively BURDENSOME thing – that weighs on the hearts of women who get serious about letting go of clutter, it’d be pretty easy.
Not the divorce papers, or the old letters from college boyfriends who dumped them.
Not the clothing they spent too much on, or are waiting to fit into again some day.
Not even the piles of food magazines with recipes they’ll cut out in some unplanned frenzy of cooking inspiration!
It’s the old china.
Somewhere in the family tree, someone called it “the good china.” Now, it sits in sideboards, fills up shelving, blocking access to the pottery flower vase behind it.
“I can’t stand the stuff. It’s totally not who I am. But there it sits.” Shari was sitting in the circle at my Unstoppable Power of Intention Retreat. It suddenly dawned on her that much of the clutter in her life – including her grandmother’s old china – had one common element that kept it in place.
In fact, what she discovered is THE most common (and most sticky) reason we hold onto stuff we don’t want.
Guilt. Thick as the dust that gathers on it.
It had never dawned on Shari that she could simply let the guilt – and the china – go. No one had every given her permission. Now, it was just way too daunting to consider.
Here’s what I told her:
Things have energy. If you’re wondering why you can’t let go of friends who are critical of you, or if you’re wondering why you never ask for a raise or make more money, or if you feel stuck in a rut, then take a very simple step towards change:
Look around you.
Observe the space where you live and work.
How many of the items in your environment are there because you love them and want them? And how much is there because you’ll feel guilty if you follow your true delight and desire and just let it go?
Your environment often perfectly mirrors many of the other situations in your life. And it’s an easier place to start! When you begin letting go of things like the old china you don’t use, then you get to experience what it feels like to honor yourself.
So, experience the space that is created when you listen to your heart and not your guilt. Ask yourself if you’re ever going to use that china. If the answer is no, then isn’t it time to let it – and the guilt – go?