There are many reasons we hold onto things we no longer need. However, over time, all these excessive items can start to pile up and make a mess of your home. Throwing away something you consider trash isn’t difficult, but what if your clutter is made up of things that make you feel more emotional? A cluttered house can increase stress and anxiety—two emotions we don’t want to associate with the items we once cared for. We’ll walk you through how to get rid of sentimental clutter so it doesn’t become a burden.

Determine What You Want To Keep

Many times, when we hang onto something that triggers a memory we love or don’t want to forget, it’s not the item itself we really care about. When you want to get rid of clutter, ask yourself whether the item itself has sentimental value or if the item simply triggers a memory you cherish. If you find that the item isn’t necessary for you to remember those feelings, it’s probably time to let it go.

Don’t Focus on Guilt

It’s often the case that a piece of clutter we can’t let go of is sticking around because we would feel guilty letting it go. Holding onto something that triggers feelings of affection or nostalgia is completely fine, but if you’re only hanging onto it because you’d feel guilty letting it go, that’s not healthy. If the item in question no longer brings you joy, you don’t need to feel guilty about getting rid of it.

Make a Donation Instead of More Trash

Imagining our once-precious items in the garbage can trigger some very bad feelings, but that isn’t your only option. Just because you no longer have a use for something, that doesn’t mean that the item wouldn’t benefit someone else. You could pass it on to a friend or donate it to a local secondhand shop. This way, you can feel good about freeing up room in your place and making a donation that could help someone who really needs it.

Record Your Memories

Knowing how to get rid of sentimental clutter means not getting too attached to specific objects. If the only reason you are holding onto something is that seeing it makes you feel good, take a picture with it, and let the item itself go. Keep records of the object in photos and photo albums so you can always remember the feeling you got from it, without needing to clog up your home with the actual item.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

I am standing in the supermarket line, and I am doing something extraordinary. I am patiently observing the cashier as she scans each grocery item of the customer in front of me. I am, non-judgmentally, browsing the headlines of the tabloid newspapers that are displayed within reading distance.

I am inextricably a part of this life experience, yet not absorbed in it. I am not creating emotional opinions about the people nor the environment which surrounds me. I am not wishing that the cashier would work faster. I am not thinking about my next errand. I am here and now, paying attention to this sacred moment.

The event that I just described is the very essence of mindfulness. It is being mindful of your present situation without forming a strong attachment to it, especially on an emotional level. The concept of mindfulness is simple but can be challenging to execute on a consistent basis due to the busyness of our daily lives. I will help to clarify this practice by sharing another a-ha moment that I experienced while taking a yoga class.

A-Ha Moments

About half-way through today’s yoga class, there was a shift in my perception. My awareness became heightened as I completely focused my attention within the present classroom environment. The moments elongated as I reveled in the simple joy of the experience. Yes, time appeared to be stretching itself to maximum capacity. There was only the uplifting atmosphere and motivating presence of the yoga teacher.

All else was blurred from my perception. I was hyper-concentrated on the here-and-now which was blissful and sweet. Like a light bulb brightening a room, the realization illuminated my awareness. I felt thankful for the gifts that were right before my eyes.

At the very end of this class, we did the final Shavasana pose which consists of lying down on our backs in complete relaxation to rest our bodies after the workout. I have done this pose hundreds of times, but the instructor said something interesting as we were preparing to enter the posture. She eloquently stated, “stillness awaits you, now is the time to lie down in Shavasana.”

The words “stillness awaits you” struck a chord of remembrance within my being. Suddenly, the posture felt brand new. I felt so welcomed by these words that I could not wait to be embraced by the peace that awaited our participation. I thought, yes, stillness awaits us because it is already within us. This is what the instructor meant by “stillness awaits you.” If we take the time to tune into our center, our soul, and our divine spirit, then we will connect to the true essence of our core being which is stillness.

After class, as this awareness was moving through my consciousness, my mind kept flashing back to the days when I first started doing yoga. As a beginner, I was impatient and found it difficult to cultivate a sense of inner peace. It took some time to get to this beautiful feeling that I was experiencing today, but the good news is that it is attainable.

Before fully surrendering to this act of mindfulness, I was in a continual mode of anticipation instead of appreciation, wondering what time the class would be over instead of savoring my time within it. My consciousness was not perceiving this session as a gift to be enjoyed, but rather a chore to be performed.

All it took was a change in perception for the gifts to be revealed, for the gratitude to be released, for the experience to be relished. In truth, harmony and stillness are an inherent part of our being. These innate qualities are simply waiting to be acknowledged for their wonderful presence, and the tool of mindfulness allows us to be aware of their existence.

The Past

In 2014 and 2017, the cover of Time Magazine highlighted the topic of mindfulness, showing just how prevalent this topic of discussion has become throughout mainstream America. But mindfulness has been around for much longer than our current timeframe. Did you know this topic is one element of the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddhist tradition? Buddhism was founded in approximately 6th century B.C., and here we are, still talking about mindfulness. So what exactly is all this discussion about?

Here is a brief overview of the eight Buddhist practices of the Noble Eightfold Path:

  • Right View – being aware that our actions have consequences. This awareness allows us to possess the insight to karma, rebirth, and the nature of our reality.
  • Right Resolve – having the right intention, i.e. giving up worldly desires such as power and greed to adopt peace, kindness, and compassion towards our fellow human beings.
  • Right Speech – our words have consequences. Thoughtful communication helps to unite others, heal dissension, and move us closer to everyday compassionate living.
  • Right Conduct – living in a moral and ethical way. This step on the path also includes a whole approach to the environment, with right action being taken to safeguard the world for future generations.
  • Right Livelihood – job/purpose/service-to-others. Certain types of work were discouraged by the Buddha such as those dealing in weapons, and those harmful to animal or human life.
  • Right Effort – right attitude. Akin to the strings of a musical instrument, the amount of effort should not be too tense or too impatient, nor too slack or too laid back. In order to produce Right Effort, clear and honest thoughts should be welcomed.
  • Right Mindfulness – All forms of Buddhist meditation help to develop mindfulness; Buddhists train themselves to stay alert to the present experience. They observe their thoughts then release them without judgement.
  • Right Samadhi – a “single-pointedness of mind”; concentrating the mind on a single sensation or object to the point of absorption. All sense of “self” disappears with the subject and object becoming completely assimilated into each other.

Buddha’s Four Frames of Mindfulness

  1. Mindfulness of Body is being fully aware of your bodily functions, your muscles, and your breathing. The breath is an important factor to mindfulness of the body. During meditation, it is common practice to focus on your breathing. This is usually the first “exercise” for training the mind.
  2. Mindfulness of Feelings is the practice of recognizing and acknowledging your feelings without being attached to them. By not attaching to your feelings, you are acknowledging that the feeling or sensation is not a “thing” that you possess. There is just a feeling passing through you.
  3. Mindfulness of Mind is the process of observing mental states as they come and go. Awareness of the mind involves paying attention to yourself in a detached way. Is there calmness, or agitation? Is there focus, or distraction?  Do not analyze your thoughts or form opinions. Simply observe.
  4. Mindfulness of Dharma is being aware of your state of self-realization. Dharma encompasses a wide definition. It has been described as the force which upholds the nature of the universe as well as the ability to enter Nirvana and attain personal enlightenment. To the extent that it can be explained, dharma can be interpreted as both the essential nature of reality as well as the teachings and practices that enable the realization of that essential nature.

The Future

To envision the evolvement of mindfulness, I would like you to imagine a world where humanity is completely in tune with one another. Each person is telepathic which means that we can read each other’s minds and use this ability to create a positive outcome. Being telepathic is a wonderful way to communicate because we would, by default, be mindful all the time. We would not only be aware of ourselves, we would be aware of others as well:  their temperament, feelings, and most of all, their intentions.

The transparency would help to facilitate a world where darkness would not be able to hide because peoples’ true nature would be exposed. How can there be deceit if an individual’s motives are known before he or she has the chance to implement them? Imagine a humanity living in joy, harmony, and unity with one another because the ability to realize such a community will be supported by like-minded people interested in working together for the benefit of the whole.

If you think that telepathy is located in the distant future, then I will refer you to a study done by Yale Scientific in 2015. In this research, scientists were able to transmit words from the brain of one research participant in India to three other participants in France. This study marked the first time conscious thoughts were transmitted directly between individuals, offering foresight into the higher intelligence of the human race.

Closing Thoughts

In the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness is seen as the practice of being aware of the present moment in a non-judgmental manner. It is bringing one’s complete attention to the here and now by observing the experience without forming opinions about it. From my perspective, this is mindfulness in its purest form: simply being in the present, alert and aware, yet releasing all preconceptions and expectations.

In our current world, mindfulness is alive and well. The great quality about mindfulness is that it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of religious background or beliefs. We can all benefit by feeling appreciation and gratitude for the everyday gifts that life has to offer: relishing the warmth of the sun on a cold winter’s day, hearing the unexpected laughter of a child, or savoring the stillness during a yoga class.

There are endless opportunities to be mindful of the moment, mindful of yourself, and mindful of others. If everyone practiced the concepts of this technique, our planet would reflect more harmony and prosperity for all of humanity. In the future, there will be additional ways to practice the art of mindfulness, ones that are in concert with our higher-self and elevated states of reality.

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes, MHA is the founder and owner of Inspire Your Journey, a holistic wellness company. She is a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, and an Independent Distributor with BEMER Therapy and Healy World.  She lives in Massachusetts.  

When I saw my niece perform her balance beam act for her gymnastics meet, I was astounded at her ability to sustain her inner poise. Watching as a spectator, it is blatantly apparent that the beam is narrow. It is only four inches wide. For the gymnasts, it takes a great amount of concentration to stay aligned and upright throughout the entire act. As my niece was placing one foot in front of the other, I thought to myself, “Isn’t life like a balance beam act?”

When you are centered and in-sync with yourself, you have the capability to make decisions from a place of inner power and stability. Like a gymnast walking the balance beam, it takes a conscious effort to remain within this empowered state of mind. But the more you practice getting in touch with the core of your being, the easier it becomes to tap into this essence and realize the benefits with greater consistency.

Living in a World of Duality

Duality is an instance of opposition or contrast between two aspects of something. As hinted by the word “dual” within the word itself, duality refers to having two parts, often with opposite meanings, like the duality of good and evil, peace and war, up and down. Duality has technical meanings in mathematics and physics. Quantum mechanics has shown us that light can behave as both a particle and a wave. As Albert Einstein wrote:

We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do.

There are tangible dualities that run throughout all elements of our lives. From physical sensations (hot vs. cold), emotional states (happy vs. sad) to personality traits (ambitious vs. ambivalent). To demonstrate the importance of balancing our dualistic natures, let’s compare the Type A and Type B personality types.

Type A and Type B Personalities

  • Type A people are known to be high-achievers, competitive, status-conscious, and proactive. Taken to the extreme, the Type A personality may display free-floating hostility, a hair-trigger temper, or high stress due to competitive drive.
  • Type B people are known to be less pushy, reflective thinkers, even tempered, and creative. Taken to the extreme, the Type B personality may become too lackadaisical, carefree, or indecisive.

Three Hikers and a Mountain

Three hikers were getting ready to hike a beautiful mountain in Washington State. The skies were clear and the temperature was perfect. One of the hikers, Type A, was determined to reach the top of the mountain in one hour. Another hiker, Type B, wasn’t concerned about reaching the top; she just wanted to enjoy the journey. Balance, the third hiker, had a plan. She would arrive at the peak within three hours, leaving ample time to enjoy the experience.

Type A achieved her goal in one hour. She hiked briskly with her eyes glued to the ground, intent on the placement of her feet. The wild roses that were blooming in full grandeur escaped her attention. A majestic bald eagle released a high-pitch cry and flew above her head. Type A continued with steadfast conviction, never looking towards the sky.

Type B reached the top in five hours. She enjoyed seeing the delicate flowers, gazing at the bald eagle, and listening to the soothing streams. But she was too carefree with her time. It was starting to get dark, and she placed herself in a dangerous situation of not reaching the bottom before dusk encroached upon her.

Balance reached the top in three hours. She enjoyed the journey but was aware of the bigger picture. She was cognizant of the fact that she had to leave herself enough time for the return hike as well. This idea of being mindful of the entire experience is a perfect example of balance. Appreciating the value of life while cultivating ambitions gives you the best of both worlds.

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes, MHA is the founder of Inspire Your Journey, a holistic wellness company. She is a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, and an Independent Distributor with BEMER Therapy and Healy World.  She lives in Massachusetts.  

 

Reference

Harrison, David (2002). “Complementarity and the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics”. UPSCALE. Dept. of Physics, U. of Toronto.