By Mileni D’Alberti

Life just gave you a blank page book where you will be the lead actor and author. Good luck! We are all at the beginning of another new year, full of enthusiasm and good intentions. We all want to make sure this year will be a good one. Making new plans, writing our goals, swearing that we will quit smoking, and even making a point of exercising twice a month is part of this renovated spirit. How about your house, the place where you live most in life?

Have you thought about “cleaning the area”, getting rid of junk and things that don’t work anymore, or that are unnecessary? What’s more important- have you questioned how much this pile of stuff is affecting your life?

The Feng-Shui followers, for example, state that mess is the number one enemy of prosperity. According to this ancient Chinese tradition, to keep things we don’t use blocks the energy flux around us and makes the environment heavy, which potentially brings diseases, emotional imbalances, and financial losses. This includes old newspapers, obsolete books, clothes we rarely use and especially utensils, and – much important – broken electronic equipment.

On a personal level, I do not know if I buy the Feng-Shui ideas. As a scientist by profession I am skeptic about beliefs involving occultism and ideas not scientifically proven, in general. But also as a scientist, I know that human beings are made of energy. And from this concept, energy from other people and objects affects our own.

Energy is like electricity: invisible, without smell, but try to put your finger on the electrical outlet… obviously it can be felt! However, the effects are subtler. Many times we are in places full of negative energy, things don’t happen, and we cannot figure out why. It is not a coincidence that you work better in a clean office. I get rid of the paper pile on my desk and I immediately start to think better. There is a very nice sensation when we get rid of useless things! The difference is in the air, literally. Mess makes the arrival of new things difficult because it ties our space, time, and attention. A Chinese saying addresses the subject: “To have much is to be confused”.

Take note of how your office or bedroom “strangely” reflects how you are feeling inside.

In a broader sense if reflects your life. I can mention my friend Hannah, with her bedroom exhibiting signs of being hit by Hugo Hurricane. This is her life, her “normal” mental state. The good news is that by organizing the environment we gain more control over our well-being. From that point things flow with less resistance.

Objects we keep also symbolize our memories. To keep ties with our own history is good and healthy, but only up to a certain point. When we live out of locked memories we do not open space in our lives to the new. Each thing has its value at a certain time, but we have to leave behind what is passed. The same way we feel attached to old objects we are also unable to discard of old feelings, fears, and obsolete ideas. If we can say farewell to the contents of our drawers eventually it will be easier to discard old feelings.

Be as it is… these mental ponderings show how we are connected to “material things” and how it can control our lives. Do not wait too long to put detachment into practice. Get all your junk into a big box and carry it to the nearest trash dump with a smile in your face, or have a garage sale next weekend (whatever is left, take it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.) and feel energized!

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