I am currently writing this entry from my Nana’s house in Palolo Valley, Hawaii. I love visiting all of my family on Oahu, but when my Grandma invites me to stay at her house I automatically cringe. She's always been the messiest, most disorganized, and cluttered person I know.
When your home or workplace is cluttered and messy, your mind can’t help but reflect what your eyes see. Our natural condition of the mind is in a peaceful state, but modifications of the mind or citta vrttis disturb that peace. By de-cluttering your home or workspace you are in essence practicing yoga and clearing your mind of any chatter. According to the second Sutra of Patanjali, this is called yogaś citta vrtti nirodhah, translating to, “The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga.” As Patanjali says, “If you can control the rising of the mind into ripples, you will experience Yoga.”
Here are a few tips to practice yoga off your mat and de-clutter your space:
1. Tackle one section at a time
Decide on a part of your house or workplace to de-clutter. Looking at the entire picture may be overwhelming and you may give up before you even start. Once you pinpoint a place to start, focus only on that area until you are finished.
2. Have a friend help you who will give his/her honest opinion
Whenever I go through my clothes, I only end up cleaning out maybe two or three things. When a friend is present she is the prosecutor asking me, the accused, “When was the last time you wore that or used that?” Which leads me to my third point and final point…
3. Let go
De-cluttering can be an emotional experience. You are letting go of what you had and it may seem like you are losing so much. Yet, the truth is you are gaining so much more space and peace of mind knowing that you let go of extra baggage that you no longer need.
There is a Sanskrit saying, “Mana eva manusyanam karanam bandha moksayoh,” translating to “As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.” If you feel as if you are cluttered, you are cluttered. If you feel refreshed, you are refreshed. By letting go of these physical attachments, you can start to liberate and gain control of the distractions of the mind. In essence practicing yoga.
Hi, I'm Lauren and I am here to support people to find freedom in being authentic and the power to carry that out in their lives and community. Writing is one way I like to explore that for myself. Here is my archive of reflections.