Tag Archives: clutter

Mountains and Avalanches


I was sifting through
mountains of papers
looking for something.
One of the mountains shifted,
sending an avalanche to the floor.
And then in the next second,
another avalanche.
And I said,
Okay, me too.
So I fell to the floor,
lay down on my back,
stared up at the track lighting
on my ceiling.
Here we all are, on the floor.
Now what?
I felt my body was tired.
I didn’t want to search anymore.
I knew that whatever it was,
either it would turn up,
or I would replace it.
So I went upstairs,
and I got in bed,
and had dreams
about mountains and avalanches.

Time to Choose


It’s time to retire to a quieter place;
my body aches from the work I’ve done
and I need some time to recover.
My plan is to slow down, rest.
When I awaken
I’ll face the mess.
Bit by bit I’ll keep what matters
and let go everything else.
Possessions, relationships, thoughts, behaviors,
it’s time to look at all of it and choose.

Strength to Let Go


Ok. Brace yourselves.
I’m almost all the way moved in.
Just one or two more CARLOADS.
I mean…how did I accumulate all this stuff?
People are telling me
Just be patient.
You just moved in.
Unpacking takes time.

And I’m thinking
I have way too much stuff.
I hoping that my letting go muscle
will get stronger and stronger
as I go through this.
I took one carload to Goodwill today…
toys, shoes, baby clothes, rugs,
shower curtains, towels…
and a beautiful (expensive) bedspread
that we got as a wedding present…
I looked at it last night and thought,
I couldn’t possibly take a new lover
into my bed with this thing on it.

(I mean, I’ve been celibate for 2.5 years,
but maybe someday there will be
a lover in my midst…)
And so this bedspread had to go.
I keep holding a vision
of myself in a better place
and I look at these objects
and ask if I want to take them with me
into my future.
If it doesn’t fit with my future vision,
I let it go.
I didn’t realize that I had been working so hard
my whole entire life
to arrive in this moment
with enough strength
to simply let go.

Where We Are


Now that I’ve been
nurturing hope,
“I love myself, I love myself,”
as much as possible,
moving toward
and self-compassion—
I’ve been naturally drawn
to taking better care of my living space.
I’ve been decluttering the house
room by room,
taking trips to the local donation spots,
and each time I release something,
I can hear the house
sighing in relief,
breathing better.
Ahh, space.
If space is really what we need,
why do we spend some much time
accumulating things
to fill it with?
may we stop
acquiring things
just long enough
to take a breath,
look into one another’s eyes,
and remember
where we are.

You Didn’t Know Me


Sorting through years of being together,
so many memories surfacing,
the sentimentality of it all.
When you left,
you took what you wanted
and left the rest,
an apt metaphor for our life together.
Now I’m left to sort through
the aftermath of our togetherness…alone.
Our children’s artwork, books, clothing, and toys,
bits of this and that,
odds and ends accumulated over the years…
You told me I didn’t want to move
because I have so much sh*t
that I just don’t want to deal
with sorting it and packing it up…
You were only partially correct.
For starters…a lot of this is OUR sh*t, sir,
which is what happens when two people
create two children and live together
for eight years.
A part of me doesn’t want to deal with it,
you are right—
but that’s just one part.
That’s the part you knew and criticized,
the one that was never good enough for you.
But I have other parts.
There’s one part who has been
only too glad to purge myself of you,
my body, my mind, my heart, my spirit,
my home…free from you.
There’s another part that is so strong
and so resilient, it has been working diligently
to release, release, release the old
in order to welcome the new.
Another part is really glad for the future
without you in it as my tormentor,
and who looks forward
to (one day when I’m ready)
stepping into the embrace
of a real man,
a man who sees me and loves me
for my power and strength,
my creativity and sensuality,
my generosity and compassion,
my ability to clearly articulate my thoughts and feelings,
my humor and my excitement about life.*
Yet another part is deeply calm and peaceful,
and maybe a little amused at this whole process.
Turns out, sir,
you didn’t know me.
You didn’t know me very much at all.

*Yes, if you had seen and appreciated any of these qualities, our story would have been very different. Your loss, buster. But namaste all the same. 🙏🏻🌈✨

I’m Going In


I’ve been receiving the clear message
from Spirit,
from my intuition,
or maybe from just good common sense
that I need to let go of my old stuff
in order to welcome new experiences
into my life.
I mean,
if my heart is full of the past,
longing for a love that once was,
how can it beat with a new rhythm
for someone ready to share love with me now?
If my eyes see only my past
how can I train them
to look toward my future?
If my body is full of my past,
how can I teach it
to move and dance into a new reality?
I’ve been telling myself
that I was too depressed,
to overwhelmed,
too burdened,
too stressed
to start going through my stuff.
But Spirit has been speaking louder and louder
and now I am finally listening.
I realize that I’ve been scared to look at the piles of things
in my basement,
afraid of the memories they will trigger.
But today I feel strong, ready and willing
to face whatever it is, and clear it out,
so that I can have a new, spacious experience
and welcome what I really want into my life.

It Doesn’t Matter Where I Sit


The piles of
the stuff we had moved
during our move
that hadn’t yet
been put away
in our new home
were weighing heavily
on my mind and heart and soul–
and they were just looking terrible,
sitting there, doing nothing,
out in plain sight.

I was wanting a bright
to create a place to sit with my family
and perhaps share
a moment of meditation.

This morning,
I said,
Okay now,
let’s just do this,
and I began moving the stuff.
I moved the piles out of my chosen corner.
I vacuumed, mopped,
and felt full of hope and promise
as I surveyed the luminous space.

Then lunch,
and things went downhill from there.
Both kids were fussy, needy,
vocal, pushy with each other,
whiny to me.

By mid afternoon I was losing it
and by bedtime
I could barely contain my fury.
I was just glad my husband came home.
Glad to take a shower.

The consecration of
my chosen space will wait
for tomorrow.
Tonight I sit in the makeshift space
in my bedroom
right by my closet doors.
Earplugs, hat pulled over my eyes,
old kitty caterwauling,
none of this matters.
It doesn’t matter where I sit.
I just matters that I sit.

Sorting Out My Life


How many of you are good at letting go of clutter?  I mentioned a while ago how I come from a long line of clutter bugs, and how I have a natural tendency to hold on to lots of random things until they start to pile up around the house and it becomes obvious that some decluttering is in order.  We have come to such a point in our house, and the better part of this past week has been spent pitching things that have no obvious use, sorting through clothes that the kids have outgrown or clothes that are simply no longer being worn, taking a good look at things that I have held on to for years and asking why they are still in my life…

And I am exhausted.  Each object I keep in my life has some kind of sentiment attached to it.  In spite of all of the books I have read about the importance of clearing clutter, I don’t seem to have developed a natural ability to just not accumulate it in the first place.  With two young children added into the mix, I have plenty of excuses for not keeping up with my possessions and routinely sorting through my stuff and doing clear-outs.  Going through bursts of clutter clearing like I have done the past pew days leaves me feeling positively wiped out on every level–physically, mentally, emotionally.

And yet I’m excited at the same time.  Every time I do a good, honest purging of my possessions, it is as if my whole life has room to breathe again.  My living space is more vibrant, energy flows more easily, and positive coincidences crop up with noticeably greater frequency.

In my personal journal writing, I keep asking muses, divine helpers, guides, teachers, guardian angels to be present and assist me in discerning between what is no longer useful and what is truly beneficial to keep in my life.  I pray for the courage to let go of the memories that some of these objects represent…past relationships, experiences, feelings that I had back then.  I know that letting go of the past leaves more space for me to be in this present moment, but I also am acutely aware of the comforting feeling that some of these things give me, just to have them, even if they aren’t immediately useful.

I noticed today that I really do have a thing about rocks…I have rocks from France, from California, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Italy, Turks and Caicos, India, Scotland…I can look at each rock and remember where I picked it up or who gave it to me.  This one came from a river.  That one a beach.  That one from a mountaintop.  This one from a friend…And rocks are heavy.  Do I want to hold on to them and eventually move them into a nice new house when the time comes for that?  And if I don’t hold on to them, what could I possibly do to honor their existence?  Surely I wouldn’t throw a piece of the French Alps or the California coast or the Italian Dolomites into the trash.  Surely they deserve some beautiful resting place…beneath a tree maybe, or in a flowing river?

My journals were mentioned in a previous post–I have boxes and boxes of them, chronicling decades of my life.  Do I want to hold on to them and move them when the time comes?  Yes, I want to hold on to my journals.  Should I question this wanting, or can I just allow myself to have it, despite how heavy those boxes are?

Who here is really good at decluttering?  Who here understands the psychology behind the accumulation of possessions, and can offer some words about how you give yourself space in which to create, to express, to feel and to know this moment?

Any words of advice?  I have many, many nooks and crannies to sort through before our house is anywhere near presentable.

And by the way, we’re planning to put our house on the market this coming Wednesday…


When I close my eyes and become still
When I let go for just a moment of everything outside of myself,
When I come home to the center of my being,
I remember:

Everything I need is exactly where I am.

As I begin to create more space in my life,
in my mind, body, and spirit,
I become excited about the potential for fresh, new experiences,
and yet…

Change is so scary. Uprooting is scary. Letting go is scary.

But does it have to be that way?

Divine Spirit, guide me back home to myself.
Help me to carve away the excess so that I can
penetrate to the deep core of my essence.

Help me to remember that the real treasure
cannot be held in my hands,
only in my heart.

And help me to laugh as I let go,
Like a child who throws rocks into a pond
and PLOOF!
delights in the sound of splashing,
and then silence…and endless ripples
radiating from the center.


Note:  I wrote these at 7pm at Sprout Salon in Hampden, where my husband works as a stylist.  I brought the iPad and typed away while my hair was processing.  I just didn’t want to be rushing later in the evening, trying to publish some crap just before midnight.  And actually, it’s just before midnight, and I’m wondering if this writing is crap.  Oh well. Post for the day. Check.


Pink Hair

My husband the hairdresser
adorned my hair with hot pink dye on May 10.
after two weeks of shampooing,
wistfully watching the pinkest water run down the shower drain,
my hair has faded
like cherry blossoms fade
like the first blush of spring fades
like the sunrise fades.
I want the hot pink back in my hair
So I’m at the salon
to be readorned with the pinkest hot pink
my husband will mix and apply the color
and my hair will be pink again

Thank god for my husband.


What Will I Do With My Journals?

I’m thinking about all the stuff I have,
and what that would mean when we move.

what will I do with my journals?
I have documented a lot of my life
and I’m hesitant to just throw it away

whenever I pick up one of my journals and read a little
I’m happy to see the insights
I had at the time the journal was written
I’m happy to see some universal wisdom shining through
the pages I wrote,
even when I was young, there was still some wisdom
my writing space has always been a sacred space
and so my writing is sacred

so what would I do with my journals?
any ideas?
they are heavy, and there are many of them
boxes upon boxes of them
decades of journals
what can I do with them?
I don’t want to throw them away
I want to catalog them, organize them
I want to have them in reach to refer to now and again
I’m glad for my drawings
I’m glad for my musings
They are proof of my travels
They are proof of my passions
They are proof that I was a person back then too

I can’t just throw them away.

Salon Poetry



It’s 11:26 pm, which means I have around 30 minutes to construct and publish my post for the day before it’s tomorrow.  I wish I would’ve started my writing practice earlier this evening, but I was too busy obsessing over a raw foods cookbook that I swore I lent a neighbor who swore she returned it to me but which I cannot find anywhere in my house–and believe me, I looked.  In the process of searching for the damned book in multiple rooms of the house, in boxes, in closets, on shelves, behind other books–I came across loads and loads of crap that I never use, and I was reminded that the clutter gene runs deep in my family.

If I should ever fool myself into thinking that I have escaped from the idiosyncrasies of my family of origin, I only have to stop in any room of my house, take a good look at its contents, and see that no, indeed, I have not escaped.  My father’s hoarding has infiltrated every aspect of my life, and as much as I try, I haven’t been able to claw my way out of it.

I would like to escape.  I imagine ridding myself of everything that no longer serves me and living in a bright, airy environment, surrounded by things that I love, things that are useful, things that evoke positive  thoughts and feelings when I look at them.  I have imagined this way of living for nearly two decades, and I have yet to realize it.

Oh, the number of times that I have prayed:

Dear God,

Thank you for assisting me in letting go of what no longer serves me, that I may have the space to welcome what I truly want in my life…

What am I afraid of?  Why do I hold on to that slip of paper, that shirt, that pen, that ball of yarn, those books, those journals, the climbing gear, the shoes?

Am I that stuck in my ways that I can’t just let go?  What am I so afraid of?

Twenty-two minutes to midnight…I haven’t sat for my evening meditation yet either.

Time for a poem and a quick meditation before it’s tomorrow.


I found myself hurrying again out of habit today,
then stopping myself and reminding myself that no hurry was necessary.

When I would relax for a moment,
the panic would set in, and say,
“No, this isn’t right! You must be tense,
you must hurry, or something bad will happen.”

When I would catch myself in the act of such thinking
it was almost funny to notice how this war just keeps going on,
without end
I was amused to see that in fact
I could just slow down and actually enjoy the drive to the grocery store
I could in fact enjoy the grocery store with my son in the cart,
just wheeling along
I could actually enjoy the drive to my daughter’s school
on the way to pick her up.

I could just…enjoy.
I could, you know.

I explored this idea many times before,
and still it keeps coming back and asking
for more exploration:

What is wrong with simply slowing down and enjoying this life?
Why does each moment have to be a race to the next thing?
Why has this hurry sickness become so normal in my life
that it feels threatening to let it go for even a moment?

And how about the irony of being a yoga teacher with road rage?
This is why I have no “Peace, Love, Happiness”
No “Yoga”
No “Namaste”
No “Coexist”
No “Lovingkindness is My Religion”
No, none of those bumper stickers on my car

What a joke that would be, darting in front of someone so that they could read,
“Visualize world peace”
on the tail end of my car as I impatiently zoom around them
sometimes cursing,
sometimes mentally flipping them the bird

The irony of hurrying to my writing practice tonight,
just like I hurry through the day,
a sense of guilt
a sense of regret
a sense of not good enough
the perfectionist in me is screaming right now
not enough time to refine, to proofread, to edit
never enough time for perfection

The sadness of leaving myself very little time to just be
Sadness at seeing how I avoid the one thing that can restore me to sanity

Oh dear…patience I guess
I can’t hurry healing or enlightenment either
maybe this was all meant to be this way
maybe I have all the time I need to wake up
maybe it’s okay that my house is disorganized and cluttered
maybe it’s okay that I’m a yoga teacher who gets stressed out
maybe it’s okay to be imperfect, to be human

It’s 11:55.  Time to publish this imperfect poem
written by this imperfect human.