Archive for August 19th, 2011

Cobwebs

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Every year when I was a child, my grandmother would have Spring cleaning. It was time for the chimney sweep to come and clean out the chimney. I remember, my job was to go out in the yard and watch for the brush to come out of the top of the chimney and then run inside to tell the sweep. I didn’t realize until much later that he didn’t really need for me to do that, but it did get me out of the house while he did his job.

During this time we would open all the windows and take all the bed linens out to hang on the clothes line in the sunshine. My grandmother would start upstairs and work her way down and then eventually out the back door. As she would say “it is time to get all the cobwebs out”. It was a busy and exciting time. Winters in England are long and were very cold. The house had been kept closed up against the North Wind, and the ice and snow for so long. It felt so good to have it all open.

Cleaning and opening up is still part of a process of clearing the clutter from our home. Getting the cobwebs out is good. This came home to us as we recently inherited my wife’s grandmothers home and it had years of clutter and being closed up. After a lot of hard work, it is beginning to shape up. It did, however, make us think not only about the clutter in our home, but also the clutter in our lives. We decided that we are hoarders, not as bad as the ones on the reality shows, but yet we keep a lot of things “in case we need them”. As I said, this not only applies to our “things”, but our lives in general.

We decided to clear out the things in life that do not serve us well. This included organizations to which we belong as well as friends and acquaintances that we are constantly chasing after. I had some “friends” that I had kept in touch with for years. I would call them and they would always say things like, “I’ve been thinking about you and was going to call”. The only problem is they never did. When I cleaned the cobwebs from my life and stopped calling them, that was the end as they have never called me since. These are one-way friendships and my time and energy is too valuable to feed this type of relationship.

So I recommend that everyone look at the cobwebs in their life and see what is there. Once you rid yourself of the things that clutter you home and life, it opens up many possibilities. People may not realize is that while the physical clutter in your life take takes a lot of energy to keep organized and stored as well as physical space, people, organizations and non-material clutter takes a lot of your personal energy.

When we are in a relationship, be it romantic, friendship or organizational, maintaining the ties takes time and energy and sometimes money. How often have you said I wish I had more time, money, or energy? It’s the cobwebs and the clutter that rob you of those vital resources. My wife and I have challenged each other to reign in the energies that are out there and not serving us. I in turn challenge my readers to do likewise. It doesn’t matter that it is not Spring. Start now to de-clutter your life and make it more usable for you. It is your energy that you are wasting. It is amazing how much more of your resources you will have available to contribute to the things in life that matter.

Getting the cobwebs out of your life can be stressful and perhaps this is why we have a tendency to avoid doing so. We make excuses and put it off for another time. It is really a catch 22. The more we procrastinate, the more stressed we become and yet it is stressful to take action. The solution is to be grounded and to take care of yourself during this clean-up phase. The best way to do this is to develop a meditation routine. So many people say they don’t have time to meditate. This is the one spiritual practice that is more important than any other. If I had to give up something in my spiritual life, it would not be meditation. Not only will meditation improve your spiritual life, but also help you at work, at play as well as enabling you to have more energy and clearer thinking, no matter what you are doing. So if you are not meditating because you don’t have time, you can make time by clearing out cobwebs. So clear out those cobwebs from the corners of your home and life and let me know how it impacts on your life. And, don’t forget to use some of that new found time and energy for meditation. I will write more about the importance of meditation and how to develop a meditation practice soon.