I’ve recently been examining my life on many levels and feeling the need to simplify and pare down. A big impetus was working through Lisa Baldwin’s course last month – The Gentle Art of Clutter Clearing. I signed up thinking I’d do some decluttering, but I came away with a much needed new perspective. And yay for that!
One of the many helpful things Lisa encourages one to think about is finding the treasures in your life. The things that truly enhance your being, either through beauty or function or meaningfulness.
With the mantra “only treasures” in my mind, I recently finished painting a bedroom in luscious colors that delight me. And before bringing anything back into the newly painted space, I carefully scrutinized it. Was it a treasure? Only those things that passed that heart test came back in.
The space is truly lovely now. Not just with the colors that charm my senses, but the energy of a space where everything brings pleasure. I’m committed to approaching each area of my home this way.
And isn’t this truly the way we want every area of our lives to be, not just our homes? Sometimes we hold on to stuff way past the time it serves us – we do this with objects, with relationships, with patterns of thinking. But when you come right down to it, is there any reason we shouldn’t have only treasures in our life?
Releasing objects is easiest. And hopefully they get recycled to new homes where they can be treasured anew. Releasing relationships that aren’t treasures is harder of course, but your heart knows when it’s time, and you can do it with grace, and love, and blessings. Releasing patterns of thinking is hard too, but it’s the kind of good challenge that leaves you feeling so much more expanded afterwards.
So maybe it’s time to blow some fresh air through all of your life . I certainly know it’s that time for me. What will we find? Do you recognize the treasures in your life? And do you have time and space to be grateful for them? And what are you ready to release?
This is a perfect mantra. For me, it feels absolutely full of appreciation and reflection. It helps me to see the treasures that are around me now – the people, the relationships, the gifts and situations and things.
And it also helps me to gently hunt for things that aren’t treasures, and to feel more ok with letting them go.
Because the idea of being surrounded by only treasures? Delicious. And perfect. And inspiring.
Thanks for this post. And thanks for being one of my treasures.
I keep the following quote in my kitchen:
“If you want a gold rule that will fit everything, this is it:
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
— William Morris
I usually approach decluttering with questions about whether I really “use” or “need” something. I’ll have to start putting my possessions to the treasure test and hopefully I’ll end up with rooms as lovely as your newly-painted bedroom. Care to share a peek?
Deborah, a most important treasure yourself! I wonder what colours you chose also? Something in a lovely lilac? 🙂
Thank you for this delightful reminder and I’ll carry it with me as I am also recycling and decluttering at this time preparing for a big new chapter in our lives.
Wonderful insights, Deborah! You’ve given me a lot to think about. There were a couple of times in my life when I moved cross-country, and since moving things is so expensive, I got rid of 2/3 of what I owned. I felt so free when I settled my much smaller store of possessions in that it was blissful. But to extend that realization to the whole of one’s life is bound to make us feel unfettered and peaceful. I’m so glad you went to that workshop, and that you shared your epiphanies with us. Donna
Such a lovely and thought-provoking post. But I think I must not be “there” yet. I know how good it feels to clean out a closet and send a bunch of things off to Goodwill but I still have a hard time getting rid of much of my material possessions. I guess when I think of sending them on their merry way, I all of a sudden think of them as treasures again, something I may not be able to do without in the future and may regret not having anymore.
I can probably release certain relationships easier than things. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound good but I think it’s true. And patterns of thinking? I’m not sure I can tackle that just yet either.
But your post certainly gives one a lot to consider.
@Fabeku – Thank you dear friend – you’re most definitely one of my treasures too! One of the things I find most satisfying about this “just treasures” mantra is the somewhat unexpected blossoming of gratitude that seems to be ever growing in my life. There is such a beautiful sense of delight when everything is something to truly savor.
@Mary – What a great quote to have in your kitchen as a constant reminder. If I’m remembering correctly I believe William Morris said that, and I’d have to say the Arts and Crafts folks knew quite a little bit about beauty.
@Pat – You have one of the best eyes I know for heart treasures, hands down! I hadn’t considered taking photos, but I’ll have to do that and post them.
@Tammy – LOL. My office is lilac; this room is pink with a wall of vivid magenta and then a wash of gold on various furniture. I’m excited for you and your upcoming next chapter – good luck with the task of bringing only the best along with you!
@Donna – Moving is indeed good incentive to pare down. I’ve moved enough myself to not enjoy either the packing or the unpacking of the boxes anymore. But it is a bit like having a fresh canvas and that’s always fun. Unfettered and peaceful – YES – that’s very much what I want in my life.
@Candace – It’s interesting how we all dance with this differently. And of course, I think everything is on a continuum that we slide back and forth on also. For example, you’ve seen my studio. And you know there are a WHOLE lot of things I consider treasures there that apparently seem more like clutter to everyone else.
Still, it’s my intention to tackle that room too, and we’ll see how much gets released. I expect I’ll be posting about it, probably as an ongoing project because it’s a space that holds lots physically and emotionally for me.
Deborah – I am decluttering and absolutely LOVE the “treasures” thing you wrote – what a beautiful way to go about putting more energy into what you want as opposed to concentrating on what you DON’T want..same end product, but whole different process…I like your way of thinking!!
Karen, YES! It really does feel like a different process when you focus on what you want instead of what you don’t. Good luck with the decluttering, and I hope it’s an all-around-feel-good project.
I LOVE the idea of only having treasures in your life. That’s so beautiful. Thanks for your article.
@Nicci – thanks for stopping by and commenting, and my wish for you is only treasures in your life!