As the coconut oil swirls around my mouth, remnants of last night’s dreams slip away and an awakening begins. After a whole year of oil pulling, I can’t imagine a morning without this daily cleansing. Followed by a ceramic bowl of freshly frothed matcha tea, a sprinkling of chia seeds and a quick boogie to whatever music has been fueling my heart lately, and my day is already a happy one. I wish I could say I wake up at 6am and do a 45 minute yoga sequence and don’t touch technology until I get to the office, but well, I’m not that much of a saint. That would be ideal. And perhaps when the mornings start getting warmer that is precisely how I’ll start my day. I’m blessed to have access to a beautiful rooftop so if I can kick myself out of bed and up to the roof, I could really do some sunrise yoga before work. As the time goes by, you need to consider re roofing brisbane for your safety if you’re doing yoga on the roof or the rooftop as well.
Your morning routine is seriously essential to setting the mood for your whole day, and so it’s important to wake up feeling grateful and excited for the upcoming day. If you can wake up and smile, even if it’s forced, you’ll be setting yourself up for a much more positive day. That’s what I’ve been trying lately and it really works. I like to mix my morning routine up a bit with the music I listen to, otherwise it can feel a bit robotic. Also, throwing open the windows and letting fresh air clear away the stagnant night air, and letting bird song flow in, helps too. I love my little slice of nature in such a throbbing metropolis. If you don’t have a view of trees like me, maybe you can fill your apartment with plants and pretend you live in the forest. That works too. Also, be sure to make your bed and put everything back in its place so that when you come home in the evening you can kick back and totally relax and not worry about chores. It only takes 5 minutes to wash a few dishes and hang up your towel etc, and it’ll leave both your space and mind free of excess stress. I think this is why I absolutely love cleaning (yeah, you heard me!!). That feeling you get when everything is in its right place and you can flop on your bed in a space free from dancing dust. It not only leaves my apartment gleaming, but also my mind. A clean, free, decluttered space equals a free, decluttered mind. Yeah, I love cleaning…haha.
To get a decluttered mind though, you need to do more than just declutter the space around you. You need to declutter your entire life, and yes that means exactly what it sounds like- throwing away stuff that is no longer of any use to you, and yes that also includes people I’m afraid. As they say “Out with the old, and in with the new.” That is so true. If you want to move forward in life, you need to let things from the past go. That can range from something as simple as clearing out your wardrobe of clothes you no longer wear, like or fit into, to as big as cutting ties with friends who no longer add anything to your life. I’m talking about toxic friendships, the ones that suck the energy right out of you and provide you with nothing but stress, worry and misery. In the past I wouldn’t have considered just cutting off a friend, but lately I feel differently. There’s only so much effort I can make before I give up. If I’m getting nothing in return why should I bother? Let me tell you, I am very good at maintaining strong friendships with my friends. I make an effort. If I don’t get the same back, then it’s a real shame, but also a sign that’s it time to move on. Also, I think I’m just getting old. If there are awkward silences, or too much gossip, or negative energy emanating from someone, I’m just not interested. I already have the most beautiful souls as friends on this planet, and I don’t want to hang out with pessimistic, negative, uninspiring people. I’d actually rather be at home alone with a book than force myself to hang out with average people and form half-hearted friendships. Life’s too short for that.
So, cut those toxic ties. If someone doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, or if they’re constantly complaining, why are you hanging out with them? You can choose your friends in this life, so choose people who make you laugh hysterically, people who listen and who you want to listen to, people who challenge your thoughts and opinions in a good way, people who you can sit in silence with and not feel awkward. The same applies for relationships. Don’t date someone just to avoid being single. Unless there are butterflies bursting out of your body and your heart is beating happily, why are wasting your time? Don’t settle for anything less than mind-blowingly beautiful relationships. Otherwise you’re just kidding yourself and you’re not really happy, nor are you respecting yourself and what you need.
Some other things you can do to declutter your life are to think about your habits. Have you mastered the art of saying ‘no’ yet? That’s a tricky one and it’s only recently that I’ve cultivated this habit. I used to let people take advantage of me all the time and I’d say ‘yes’ to everything, even when I didn’t really want to do it. I was always afraid of letting people down, but because I always said ‘yes’ I was letting myself down. People: it’s OK to say NO! In fact it’s essential to maintaining your own well-being, which is why this weekend I am saying ‘no’. I am going to go back to my little apartment and read my book, cook my own food and not feel guilty about saying ‘no’ to friends. Sometimes some quality ‘me’ time is the perfect decluttering method. I’ve already stocked up my fridge and I am extremely excited to just sit and cook healthy, hearty meals that are meat free because right now I am also saying ‘no’ to meat. And it feels really good.
As does closing chapters, both literally and metaphorically. I haven’t been giving enough time to reading lately, so hopefully this weekend I can focus more on enjoying the written word, as well as finishing up some unfinished business and ticking some errands off my list. That’s a sure fire way to feel free- getting all those little tasks completed that you’ve been putting off for so long, or turning the page to begin a new chapter of your life. I love having a completely blank page to fill with new memories, new habits, new goals. Now that Spring is here, it feels like a really good time to embark on new ventures and let go of things from the past that have been lurking in the depths of my mind. Decluttering is actually just another way of saying ‘self-reflection’ and so it’s the perfect time to really focus in on what you want, what you don’t want, what you no longer need in your life and what you can do to reach your most happiest potential.
Start small. Decrease the amount of time you spend on social media. Delete Facebook friends that you don’t actually really know or haven’t spoken to since high school, or who don’t add anything of value to your life. Spring clean your apartment from top to bottom. Say ‘no’ to that colleague who keeps asking you to go above and beyond what you are required or want to do. Clear our your cupboards and give the clothes and books you no longer need to charity. Minimise the amount of money you spend on new ‘things’. Do you really need to buy magazines and clothes every single Saturday? Start cooking healthy meals- you’ll save money and your body will thank you. Spend more time with people who make your heart dance with happiness and less time with people who suck every last dreg of energy out of you. Start doing more things that make YOU happy. If you’d rather lie in bed and read your book than go out with friends, that’s totally OK. It’s YOUR life, so do whatever it is that makes you happy. And don’t think of that as selfish. It’s not selfish at all to focus your energy on your own well-being. You will be so grateful you did.
Clutter is chaos, and nobody likes chaos. I challenge you to declutter all that you no longer need. I promise you will feel so much more joy and peace and have a lot more time to focus on what is actually necessary and important to YOU.
Let’s Feng Shui our lives!
Illustration by the talented Alexandra Eldridge: “We Are In The World To Love The World.”