House Clearing with Purpose 

Energetic Responsibility at Home – Spaciousness & Simplicity or Clutter & Complication?

Imagine you feel you know all there is to know about yourself, then something happens to remove the blinkers from your eyes and totally exposes how you’re truly living. This is my story.

I’ve known for a few years that I’ve wanted to do something to my flat, but I didn’t know where or how to start. I had lived in the same place for over 25 years: a lovely one bed in London in a neighbourhood I’ve come to love. On the surface there appeared to be order, but was there?

With most of my stuff hidden from view in cupboards and storage boxes, I convinced myself there was, as I wasn’t forced to look at or deal with it every day. I was not a hoarder. I did not have a problem. And yet the flat felt stagnant and full… something was not right. I believed all that was needed was a face-lift, re-decorating and additional cupboard space.

It is often said that when the pupil is ready, the master appears, and so it was for me. Guided to seek help, I sensed the person best suited to support me, but didn’t contact her for two years. When I did, it took another six months before we finally met.

In the meantime I started the process of clearing one cupboard in my bedroom containing photographs, letters, cards and mementoes spanning 60 years. It was an emotional journey as I re-visited different stages of my life and the various guises adopted along the way: girlfriend, partner, radical black activist, feminist, silk screen printer, carnival mass parade dancer, devoted martial arts student, yoga student, Hindu guru devotee, management consultant and tutor of many subjects. I went through everything and set aside items still relevant or loved for myself and family. Three black bin bags of discarded waste or re-cycling sat before me. Feeling virtuous, I emailed my teacher to be and confidently proclaimed the clearing almost complete and that I was ready to meet her.

When we met I found out how deluded I was!

My original call was for support with home design and re-configuration. My practitioner very gently and honestly shared her way of working, what felt true for her and would best support me. I felt intuitively to go with what was offered. Her approach took me back to the fundamentals: it was clear, unequivocal, direct and loving. Above all, she had the sensitivity to feel where I was stuck, a warmth and a way of phrasing questions that compelled me to feel more deeply. She steadily took me a through a process which supported me to feel the true impact of how I had been living. At this point I still had no idea what was coming, and how deep we would dive. At the end of the first session, the blinkers were off. I felt raw, exposed. My life had been changed forever.

The simple yet profound method was designed to bring awareness to the degree in which I lacked self love and because of this was not truly living my fullness, but had accumulated a mass of possessions as a substitute. I discovered the scale of the task, and the process became symbolic of my life and choices.

Did I choose truth, beauty and love, or neediness, recognition and disregard? I was presented with energetic responsibility in a very practical and real sense. As I felt the neediness behind many of my purchases, it became much easier to discard them. It was a revelation to feel how much of what I had accumulated was superfluous to need, not true and not serving. At the end of the very first session I felt drained, raw and vulnerable, yet inspired. For example, I discovered I only needed 10 of my 30 plus jumpers. And the ten I chose were those l loved. The rest were re-cycled. Once the clearing was complete, clothes and other items were placed in my wardrobe. It felt spacious, everything visible, loved, beautiful and ready for use. My heart expanded and felt light.

I learned that everything has its place and to return it to that place after use. This meant no longer spending time fishing for things but to know exactly what I had and where it was kept. Nothing remained under the bed, on the floor, above cupboards or behind doors.

This was the first of eight sessions: bathroom, hallway, living room, office, kitchen. One face to face meeting, seven via Skype. The process remained the same – to work in a way that allowed me to see the ‘big picture’ and feel the particular cycle and pattern I was in that had inhibited me from connecting more deeply with how I was living and feeling. The process was exposing, at times brutal, as I struggled to let go of things, resisted and clung to beliefs held for decades. All these items – clothing, bags, shoes, bedding, linen, fabric, jewellery, cosmetics, folders, files, laptops, computers, phones, crockery and more, most superfluous – had become a form of protection. Protection from how I truly felt about my life, regrets, disappointments and sadness. On the surface all was well and resolved, but I needed to physically discard the past and its related emotions before I could move on.

In the final stage I re-placed items after feeling the true value of each. This was very powerful. I got to feel the loveliness of items I chose to keep. This process, that seemed to be about my home, revealed to me the many times in my life I’d settled for less. I was inspired to break this pattern and begin to bring love into my home and life.

The biggest revelation was my lack of awareness of how I had been living. Without realising it I had chosen to see what I wanted to see – not the whole, not the true big picture of my life.

What was called for was a new perspective and willingness to discard all that was superfluous and untrue. Instead of bulging kitchen cupboards, I now have spacious cupboards and two empty ones. One wardrobe is no longer needed and will be dispensed with. Sixty years of photographs, the equivalent of five bin bags, reduced and lovingly held in a single, beautiful folder.

Spaciousness allows the new to be brought in and lovingly chosen.  

 Without realising it, I had: 

  • Become a consumer addict and accumulated things I didn’t use or need (3 dinner services, 3 vegetable peelers, 2 blenders, 2 sewing machines and more).
  • Adopted a ‘just in case’ approach to life and bought extra just in case something got lost, broken, or there was a natural disaster or war!
  • No sense of what I had because I had accumulated so much and couldn’t ‘see the wood for the trees.’
  • Held on to items I didn’t like or use because someone dear to me had given it to me.

Self-expression at Home

Our home is a representation of our body. What does it say about me if I only express from the surface, not my deep true self? What does it say about me if I keep things hidden away behind closed doors? This process opened me up to a whole new way of being.

Our homes, like our bodies, are vessels of self-expression and should be regarded with utmost sacredness.

I have huge appreciation for myself for being prepared to dig deep, clear what needed to go and in doing so, expand my awareness and understanding.

Thanks and gratitude to Jenny Hayes. She guided me to clear my home with true purpose and understand that the process was for me and an expression of love. She inspired me to embody spaciousness, purpose, simplicity, order and love into my life.

This blog is inspired by and dedicated to Serge Benhayon.

By Kehinde James, London

Related Reading:
Making Space
Cleaning Up My Mess – True Self Care or Keeping Up Appearances
De-cluttering my Flat and my Life: A Forever Deepening Amazingness

508 thoughts on “House Clearing with Purpose 

  1. This whole process sounds like a transformation and what a blessing it was. Being settled with spaciousness and not wanting to fill it up but to enjoy what this space offers you is a huge healing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a cleansing and clearing you have had Kehinde! As you describe it I can feel my own clutter and how it is a reflection of the way I live my life at all levels, and the depth understanding and awareness open to us. It feels like you are healed of so many past behaviours and do not need to go there again.

    1. Thank you Joan, It certainly was transformative and, and incredibly healing with many past behaviours and attachments discarded forever.

  3. I just love seizing the moment to re-imprint and it doesn’t have to take ages, like yesterday just sorting out the bin-liners drawer, foil, cling film and so forth, and I keep the labels off the rolls of liners so it is easy to re-order online at the supermarket instead of searching through them again as they can all look so similar at a glance. For instance do I like drawstrings or tie handles?

  4. It is so great to just have the things we need and love in our house and no excess of ‘stuff’. It makes life much simpler and a lot of fun too.

  5. “…Our homes, like our bodies, are vessels of self-expression and should be regarded with utmost sacredness…” Yes, the space we live in is an immediate reflection of the way we live with or without regard of ourselves.

  6. I love the honesty and detail to which you describe the process; it is real and relatable and makes me reflect on how I am living and considering a de-cluttering myself. Obviously it is so much more beneficial and also on many more levels as I have been aware of before – very inspiring.

  7. Whenever we clear anything, whether its a cupbaord, a room, a garden or our workplace, there is always an energetic shift that allows the space for so much more to be delivered. We should never underestimate the significance of this when its done with purpose, regardless of how small the task in hand may be.

  8. I’ve observed a kind of control behind the attitude of wanting to have everything that I might need in a house. The ‘just in case’ or not wanting to ask for something when the situation comes. With this attitude I fill the space where I live with things that are not really needed, and I’m losing the opportunity of opening myself to spontaneity or a sharing with others. Now that I know about this pattern, I’m working on it to be more confident and open to ask for something for example to a neighbour, and I’m enjoying the opportunity of connection with others. Every situation offers to us so much to learn, grow and share. I’ve discovered that I have very lovely people around me and this is something really beautiful. I used to think that I had to do everything alone, and this is not the case. In every interaction there is a lot to share. So less things and more connection is a good choice to make.

    1. Amparo, it is powerful to become aware of our patterns as you have and reach out for help. There is learning in every activity when we are open to see. ‘I used to think that I had to do everything alone’, I can relate to this and like you discovered there’s strength in asking for help and opening ourselves to others.

  9. ‘Our home is a representation of our body.’ This says much, but interestingly we don’t approach our homes with this awareness, although it makes sense as a bigger reflection of our choices and the way we live.

  10. Just reading your blog makes my body feel like it has had a spring clean too… Its quite amazing isn’t it, (and yet obvious at the same time), the symbolism and energetic relationship between our house and body … I Am very inspired now do a spring clean of my own simply from how it feels in my body through reading your blog.

  11. The level of detail you were prepared to go Kelinde to is inspiring. The home is a great reflection for how we are living in our bodies and it is an empowering process to clear out and simplify…ongoingly.

  12. When I bring purpose to anything I do it immediately creates space for more to follow, it does not matter if it is clearing out clutter or putting out the bins.

  13. Surely an example of the more there is to life in even the most mundane of things and thus bringing to life the quality it needs to have for us to be who we are.

  14. Love having things in their place it brings such a great foundation for us to then be very steady in our selves as there is less opportunity for that feeling of chaos.

    1. Me too Vanessa – I need things to be in their place and love the feeling of space and order that it gives – if there is ever chaos in my home there is also chaos in my life.

  15. ‘On the surface there appeared to be order, but was there?’ – A question that could be applied to many different areas in life, we learn from an early age that it serves us to show the world a facade and not the truth of who we are, which is why we see it as normal to have things hidden or tucked away in the material aspect as well as in the physical, emotional and mental or any other aspect of our life.

    1. Very true Eva, children are naturally open and expressive, something happens as they get older, these qualities shut down and the facade begins. Symbolic to have few cupboards in our inner and external homes. To have everything, clear, accessible and transparent simplifies life, supports us to flow with life rather than against it.

  16. I am in the process of preparing for a move and there are boxes and things in disarray all over the house. I find it discombobulating, not at all great and I literally can’t wait to be in a space where everything is ordered again!

  17. Knowing that clearing out the house brings spaciousness and simplicity as you describe Carmel, encourages me to get on with it and complete it. We all can feel how the state of a messy room affects us, it is brilliant to have been given a bit of a nudge from you to get it done, thank you.

  18. A probably unexpected way of getting to know oneself better, but it makes sense to look at the result of our way of living to get a reflection of how we live and from there having some distance to look at ourselves.

    1. Yes Alex, it was an ‘unexpected’ and profound way to know myself more. Always worthwhile to pause and feel spaces we live in and how they speak to us. Once we clear one area, another presents itself to be examined. We also need to be aware of the ways in which we clutter our bodies with distractions: food, TV, radio, chatter, rather than fully embrace spaciousness and stillness in our inner home. This is the next for me.

  19. Great to come back and reread this blog.. everything in our home is there in order for us to give a reading on what is there to be felt. How amazing to be able to read where we are at on a very practical level.

  20. It’s such a great feeling when you have a huge clearing out of stuff from your house. Not only does it create physical space but a huge energetic shift as well as making way for what is next.

  21. ‘It was an emotional journey as I re-visited different stages of my life and the various guises adopted along the way: girlfriend, partner, radical black activist, feminist, silk screen printer, carnival mass parade dancer, devoted martial arts student, yoga student, Hindu guru devotee, management consultant and tutor of many subjects’. There are so many cycles we can move in and out of. Some healing, some harming, but all we can learn from and be inspired to step into one’s potential, making it real.

  22. ‘ On the surface there appeared to be order, but was there?’ A great question Kehinde, and to be applied in all aspects of our lives.

  23. Kehinde, I love this title; ‘Energetic Responsibility at Home – Spaciousness & Simplicity or Clutter & Complication?’ I know how very different these two ways of living feel, I feel deeply inspired to clear my home, knowing that this will allow more clarity and spaciousness in my life – very beautiful.

  24. Everything has a place and there is a place for everything. This is something I have found is a natural ‘rule’ that can be lived by, not in a way of controlling or being in control, but in a way that allows the natural flow of things.

  25. Awareness comes from allowing ourselves a stop moment. From there our life can change dramatically if we so choose it.

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