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 Home As Sanctuary
 
Here are a few inspiring passages that touch on the multi-dimensional layers involved in getting rid of clutter and transforming the home into a sanctuary:
 
From the website "Daily OM:" 
"A Living Dwelling Creating A Beautiful Home" (February 9, 2007)
 
The homes we occupy are seldom ideal. A space that satisfies our basic needs may nonetheless leave us wanting where location, décor, or style are concerned. Yet every home has the potential to be beautiful. When we fill our homes with love, we transcend worldly factors such as market value and design. Our conscious, loving intentions can literally transform the spaces in which we live, dispelling any lingering unharmonious energy and replacing it with an ethereal beauty that is felt rather than seen. Our homes become spiritual dwellings that feel soulful and alive. Regardless of their outward appearances, they radiate love, making all who enter, including ourselves, feel instantly welcome.

Turning a space into the beautiful outward expression of your inner warmth is as easy as projecting love into it. When your intentions are sincere, you can infuse the walls of your home with your energy, your emotional sensitivity, and your generosity of spirit, turning it into a haven of affection, joy, laughter, and togetherness. It is up to you, whether you want your personal spaces to be peaceful and quiet or lively and inspiring. Begin by cultivating awareness within yourself. This will allow you to see your home as an integral part of your existence rather than somewhere you simply return to at the end of each day. Consider how you relate to each element of your space, and remind yourself that every room in your home can serve a purpose in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Finally, lovingly thank each room for providing for your needs. As you become more mindful of the manner in which your home contributes to your well-being, you will discover that, more and more, you want to love and be loved by it.

Appearance and other superficial qualities can be deceiving. An aesthetically beautiful home can prove unwelcoming. And a home that seems mundane in every characteristic can be as comforting and cozy as a beloved relative or friend. When you nurture and care for your home as if it were a loved one, it will absorb your tender intentions and project a love so touching you will soon come to feel a great affection for it. 
     
 - http://www.dailyom.com/articles/2007/6940.html
 
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"The Weight of Objects Clearing a Space for Change"  (July 14, 2011)
 
In life, we tend to have an easier time acquiring possessions than we do getting rid of them. Just as we harbor emotional baggage that is difficult to let go of, our lives can tend to be filled with material objects that we may feel compelled to hold on to. Most people are not conscious of how much they own and how many of their possessions are no longer adding value to their life. They fiercely hold on to material objects because this makes them feel secure or comfortable. While it’s true that the ownership of “stuff” can make you feel good for awhile, it seldom satisfies the deep inner longings that nearly everyone has for fulfillment and satisfaction. It is only when we are ready to let go of our baggage and be vulnerable that it becomes possible to recognize the emotional hold that our possessions can have on us.

It’s not uncommon to hold on to material objects because we are attached to them or fear the empty spaces that will remain if we get rid of them. Giving away the souvenirs from a beloved voyage may feel like we are erasing the memory of that time in our life. We may also worry that our loved ones will feel hurt if we don’t keep the gifts they’ve given us. It’s easy to convince ourselves that unused possessions might come in handy someday or that parting with them will cause you emotional pain. However, when your personal space is filled with objects, there is no room for anything new to enter and stay in your life. Your collection of belongings may “protect” you from the uncertainties of an unknown future while keeping you stuck in the past. Holding on to unnecessary possessions often goes hand in hand with holding on to pain, anger, and resentment, and letting go of your material possessions may help you release emotional baggage.

When you make a conscious decision to fill your personal space with only the objects that you need or bring you joy, your energy level will soar. Clearing your personal space can lead to mental clarity and an improved memory. As you learn to have a more practical and temporary relationship to objects, positive changes will happen, and you’ll have space to create the life that you desire.
 
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An article for Natural Awakenings magazine, written by my friend, Helen Slomovits. "Simplicity is a State of Mind"
 
....(Practice) releasing...what we no longer need, and opening ourselves to receive the gifts of this moment....(N)ature keeps its beautiful balance and harmony through continual cycles of giving and receiving, releasing and filling.  In this harmonious cycle, what is no longer needed by one being is gratefully used by another.
 
     Nature shows us that, while it may be wise to put away a few nuts for the winter, there is no need to hoard, nor to become weighted down by things we might need one day. Instead, we come to understand and trust that life will provide for us if we keep emptying ourselves to make room for these gifts. Following nature's example we stay light and flowing.
 
     (We can say) "I choose to let go of anything that does not serve me now." 
 
     This simplicity may manifest spontaneously as our personal environment becoming more spacious.  Things that we use, or love, will not be buried in a mass of objects from the past or those filled with negative associations that drag our energy down every time we look at them.  Clutter expert Brooks Palmer makes it very clear:  "Remember that nothing is sacred, except you."  You are what matters, not your stuff. As we truly understand and embrace this concept, it becomes clear what to keep and what to give away.
 
    Yet simplicity is not about being the one with the least possessions. Some people naturally love to have and care for more material objects.  Excessive worrying, thinking replaying of past events, too much busyness and so many activities that there is no space or time for reflection--these are the more insidious forms of clutter.  The key to simplicity is to have around us and within us only what currently nourishes, what is useful now, what makes our energy sing.  The rest can be released into the great cycle of life, leaving space for the new to enter, whether it be in the form of creative inspiration, time to be with loved ones, or new material things that serve our current purposes.  Being open to life in this way, in the present moment, is the greatest simplicity.
 
 
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