In today’s consumerism-driven society, clutter seems to be an inevitable part of life: shelves are overrun with trinkets, papers pile up, and excess clothes are bursting from our closets. It’s safe to say that this can be overwhelming!
Not only is clutter overwhelming, it also has a negative impact on our spiritual health. Below I’ve detailed three reasons why decluttering and simplifying your life will improve your spiritual practice.
Clutter is energy
Imagine a time when you’ve been in a room filled with stuff. Maybe you were cleaning out an old storage room or packing up to move house. How did it feel to be in that room?
Whatever word you use to describe the situation, chances are it didn’t have a positive connotation. This is because the excess items were scattering the energy of the room.
As I’ve said countless times before, everything in the world is made up of energy. You, me, the device you’re reading this on, and the chair you’re sitting in all are energy.
The molecules that make up the universe vibrate at different frequencies and these vibrations are sensed by us in our daily lives.
In an ideal world, we would all live positive, high-vibration lives. After all, the higher our vibration, the healthier we are physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
However, surrounding ourselves with too much stuff will lower our vibration. Think about it: every single item in a room is emitting energy. When there’s too much for our bodies to handle, we become overstimulated by this energy and are unable to process it. Rather than this energy raising our vibration, our vibration is lowered to match the muddy energy of the room we are in. The excess throws us off – we might feel distracted, overwhelmed, or unproductive when our environment is filled with extraneous energy.
By reducing the amount of stuff in our home, we are ridding ourselves of excess energy. The extra space will allow positive energy to flow freely and increase our vibration.
This is not to say that all decorations and sentimental items are bad and you need to get rid of them. In fact, the opposite is true. If you truly love an item and it brings value to your life, having it on display will bring joy and raise your vibration. It’s only when the volume of these items gets out of hand that they become a problem.
Consumerism causes feelings of inadequacy and guilt
Perhaps even more critical to our spiritual well-being are the feelings of inadequacy associated with excess.
We live in a world that constantly tells us that we aren’t “enough”: skinny enough, pretty enough, smart enough, fashionable enough. The list could go on forever. Society trains us to believe that we need to reach unattainable goals set by the media and large corporations.
These messages of insecurity are intentional. Companies know that they can take advantage of our insecurities by promising their products will make us better in some way. If we buy their diet smoothies, shoes, or throw pillows our lives will magically be transformed into the dream fantasy we’ve always wanted. We’ll join the class of people who are “enough” in society’s eyes.
When we buy these items, we’re often let down because they don’t dramatically change our lives. We’re still the same person, just with a new fancy doughnut maker that we don’t have room for in our cupboards
Beyond that, we somehow feel as though the problem is us. The person in the commercial feels wonderful after getting their new doughnut maker, so why don’t I? Clearly we have something terribly wrong with us if the doughnut maker hasn’t transformed our lives the way it does for everyone else.
The doughnut maker was never going to transform anyone. That was simply a marketing tactic created by the company to encourage us to buy more: the doughnut maker didn’t fix our life, but maybe the deluxe pizza oven or popcorn popper will.
Obviously this is an exaggerated, silly example, but the message rings true regardless of the item.
No matter what, buying things won’t make us feel better about ourselves. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with you the way that you are.
Learn to love yourself instead of relying on the quick high of a new purchase. True happiness comes from within and you will flourish once you realize this.
Love what you have
Minimalism sometimes gets a bad rap. People assume that it means all white, sterile rooms with no personal effects. Or that you can only own three books, 2 forks, and one pair of jeans. Or that all of your possessions must fit into a studio apartment with room to spare. Or… you get the idea.
Minimalism doesn’t mean any of these things at all, unless you want them to.
Truth is, minimalism is about what you want it to be. It looks different for everyone.
At its very essence, minimalism is about only keeping the things that you love and are useful to you. As Marie Kondo says, every item you have should spark joy in your life.
If you don’t love it and find it useful, it is simply taking up space and lowering your vibration.
Minimalism and spirituality truly do go hand in hand in this sense — keeping only what you love and what serves you in your life is a good policy to live by both spiritually and physically. In doing so, you’ll only have things that bring positive energy into your life and raise your vibration.
Additionally, you’ll be more likely to use and take care of what you have when you truly love your possessions. You’ll also be less likely to over consume and buy things that you don’t truly need. This mindful consumption of goods is great for both your wallet and the planet!
In closing, minimalism and spirituality are closely entwined. Only owning things that you truly love and want to use or see in your daily life will help you to live a more spiritually fulfilling life. Living a high-vibe life should be a goal for all of us, and decluttering our living spaces is a tangible way to contribute to this.