Move from one season of your life to the next. Learn how to turn over a new leaf, declutter and shed your possessions. Simplify and lead a happier life.
I am always amazed how nature changes so quickly from the grey winter landscape to the succulent greens early in the spring. Trees believed dead after winter, with totally bare branches, all of the sudden pushing the most intricate little leaves.
There are so many things that we can learn of deciduous trees. How do they manage to survive the harshest winter and spring back to beautiful trees, covered in lush foliage in spring? Most of you probably know what deciduous means, but for those in doubt:
The definition of deciduous is, “falling off or shed seasonally or at a certain stage of development in the life cycle”, The Merriam – Webster dictionary.
Leaves produce food nourishment for the plant during photosynthesis. Converting air and water with the sun’s energy into sugar, to feed the plant. As the weather becomes cooler in autumn, deciduous trees draw out all the energy stored in its leaves and shed their leaves to conserve this energy during the harsh winter months and enter a period of dormancy. With the first rains in spring, water becomes available to the plant, new leaves grow and the cycle starts over.
Some of my clients go through a season of dormancy. Something happened in their lives, which made them listless. They merely gave up on trying to do, or to change anything in their environment, resulting in their homes and lives being in disarray and leaving them in total overwhelm and depression. Has this happened to you at any time?
Unfortunately we are different to trees. We do not conserve our energy during this time but fall deeper and deeper into darkness, not realising that there is help out there. Fortunately others have the resilience to spring back and start a new happier life. Are you one of those that just spring back or do you have difficulty in moving on?
Why is it so difficult to move from one season of your life to the next? Nature does not – and continues year after year! – Naturally –
Each person is different. Everything we own requires our energy whether it is to put it away or to clean it. It might be difficult to let go, carrying stuff and mental attachments which no longer serve a purpose. Hanging on to clothes that no longer fit, because you paid so much for it or you perhaps, may just fit into it again one day! You hang onto items just in case you might need them again!
You diarise more than you can do in a day, overly cluttered with mindless draining activities, obligations and commitments. Be kind to yourself and only committing to the important and making time for family and friends.
Are you doing this unknowingly to shield yourself from moving on?
What to keep?
As the tree draws out nourishment and water from the leaves to preserve energy, so you should keep what you love. When I downsized I sat down and made a list of each room without being in it, to see what I really loved.
Remember the tree only keeps what it needs for survival. We have become so materialistic that it is difficult to tell what we really need and what we love. If you love everything, love has no longer meaning. Be ruthless but be mindful with your sentimental items. Rather keep memories than mementos.
Learn how to shed and simplify
Turning over a new leaf means to change something or start fresh. De-cluttering is not only about throwing things away or letting go, but becomes a new opportunity for self-discovery and growth towards a new, richer more connected life.
Being organised and knowing where to find things reduces stress, saves time and money.
Ask yourself these questions to help you with the process:
- Do I still love or need this, is it still functional?
- Would I ever buy it again if I didn’t have it?
- What do I want to achieve?
- Have I used it in the past year?
- Is it really garbage or can someone else use it?
- Do I have another one that is better?
- Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it?
- Does it make me feel guilty or make me sad?
- What is the worst that could happen if I would get rid of it?
Make a conscious decision of what you want
As the tree draws nutrients from the leaf for it to be able to rest. You should commit to the process to let go. Make the changes that you want to see. Study your attachment to each item and make decisions. Edit your possessions, like turning over a leaf in a book. One leaf at a time.
Discover what is important in your life by shedding the old and obsolete. Lead a new more fulfilling life with the things that you love and doing the things that are important to you.
Share your goal with friends and family to encourage and support you. A professional organiser can assist you too, in lending the support and hands to get stuff done.
New leaf new life
There will be no regrets after all the work of decluttering to create your new life. Feel lighter, have peace of mind, be more energised and have more time for the things that really matter.
Remember to shed every season to complete your cycle of renewal and in between use an “out box” in which you gradually pack stuff you no longer need or want to be donated to a worthy cause.