There are so many lessons learned in life and many originate with our family. I often say they are our greatest teachers. Some say we choose our family before we come to this Earth and that we also have a say in our lessons. I must have been one eager student!
One of the biggest lessons in my life has been to live through the death of my Mother, loosing her to suicide at 15 years of age. That is when she passed, although there are numerous times beforehand that I or we as a family had felt abandoned by her. From what I have heard and what I vaguely recall of that time, was Mom was a point in life where she felt unsupported, and after raising four children and having a husband who often was away on business trips, was someone in desperate search of finding herself.
Suffering from what we now know as postpartum depression, she was treated for mental illness and diagnosed as border line Schizophrenic. She was given all kinds of medications and had to experience brutalizing electric shock therapy. She was a lost soul. I remember sneaking out of the house once, taking the bus across the city and visiting her while hospitalized. The echo of her words stung me to the core; “I have nothing to live for, not even you children.”
Oh, I was confused, hurt, and very angry! How could a Mother say that to a child? I called my Dad to come pick me up, and he was furious that I went there, likely wanting to protect me from pain or sadness yet something in me also searched for the truth. Eventually one gets tired of hearing that you are too young to understand.
So much of my life has been about healing this relationship, and healing myself. Even though I made a conscious choice to never be like her, never get married, never have children, never be creative and vibrant (as she was pre-illness,) what I did was rob myself from many of the greatest pleasures of life. You see, my deepest fear was becoming like my Mother.
Fear. That’s a big one. It prevents us from living and can prevent us from loving. Life has a way of teaching us what we came here to learn regardless of the choices we make. Loosing a parent is challenging under any circumstance. The emotional baggage we carry can become immense. It can take over our lives and make itself present in each and every decision we make. It can steer our career choice, our relationships, and we begin to naturally protect ourselves and others from having to feel this kind of pain.
Letting go of that emotional clutter that I carried, that immense shame, disgust, hate, fear, grief, loss, and abandonment came through years of work and self exploration. Knowledge is empowering, as is acceptance. Perhaps the most healing of all was forgiving. Much has been written about the power of forgiving, not that we have to accept or condone the behaviour of others, but that we detach from the emotional connection to that part of our story.
I can now say that I am at peace and have gained much more compassion for myself and others. I have learned to step back and encourage people to feel their emotional pain and process their own lessons. I learned I cannot heal anyone, they have to heal themselves and their relationships.
What I can do is ‘hold space’ for you as you heal. I can listen, I can empathize and share from my personal learning and training. I can say it’s worth your time to heal the past so you can live in the present and look forward to a future lived in peace and harmony. It may not be your relationship with your Mother that requires healing, it could be anyone, including your relationship with God/ Spirit and self. Soul Coaching® can assist in clearing emotional clutter by;
- Connecting with the Spirit of Water, feel the flow, life force and rejuvenating properties
- Exploring the turning points in your life
- Looking at recurring emotions
- Explore the meaning we give to events in our life and get to the source of that meaning
- Using creative projects to heal / change our personal history
- Identifying what brings our energy up and or down
- Letting go of Victim thinking and choose our life
- Learning to ask questions in a way we get better answers
- Examining how we relate with the word and what our relations patterns are especially in our significant relationships
- We learn to be, watch for signs, and be grateful for all there is and most importantly we remember to love ourselves and others
To change our world, we need to start with ourself. Doing these exercises in the Soul Coaching program can help you step out of old thoughts and patterns and understand that every experience in our past has been an essential part of our spiritual journey. You are not alone, even if it may feel like it. We are all in this journey together, learning, loving and sharing.
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Alberta is where I grew up, in an average middle-class family with a Mom that was wonderfully creative, spontaneous and social and a Dad that was intellectual, logical and reserved. I feel blessed to have a harmonious balance of each of them along with my own traits. I have three brothers, each unique in their own way and doing well considering what we had to face growing up. I cannot tell their stories, only share what I observed and experienced.
We grew up in a great neighbourhood and had all of our needs met. Until grade three where Mom ‘got sick’ and was hospitalized. Dad traveled a lot for his job and my precious Grandmother came to look after us for a while. We also had ladies from the local YWCA stay with us to cook, clean and it was like a rotating door for a while there, as we were very rambunctious children, often referred to as the Chamchuk Tribe.
I was the fat kid, the sister that my brothers and their friends laughed at, teased and bullied. Just some of the names I was called were Big Bertha, and Sherman, names referring to guns and an army tank! I had struggles learning math and was called pathetic. As we grew up, we were more than often unattended, unsupervised and perhaps looking back… unloved. We acted out in our own ways. For myself there was self-medicating so I could sleep and stuff all my emotions deep down inside. I had the most brave and courageous face on the outside, but the inner me was a mess. I never felt safe, was frightened and terrified most of the time. I got beaten up, beaten down, and each time I got myself back up as no-one was there to help me. I grew so good at acting, my Dad thought everything was okay. But it wasn’t.
By the time high school came around I had already experienced my parent’s separation and inevitable divorce despite their true love in the early days. My father’s dating and living with numerous women over the years, each with their own way of not responding to us in a healthy manner made me even more bitter. I had been taken against my will by my Mother, along with my younger brother, to live in a town far from my Dad and other two brothers only to be brought back and dropped off three months later when she couldn’t manage us. I had been hospitalized for months with what turned out to be Rheumatic Fever and missed half a year of grade 7. My mom was too ‘sick’ to visit me, I felt abandoned over and over again.
Three years later, it happened. We got the phone call one late afternoon and were told by Dad to stay home until he got back. I intuitively KNEW what had happened just before the phone rang. Mom committed suicide. I could feel my connection with her torn out of me, like another piece of my Soul taken, that would never be returned. I was lost and encountered many more self-defeating behaviours through my teenage and early adult years.
I fell into the role of surrogate mother for the family and even more resentment grew. What I did not have in my life was a support system. I did not have a female role model to admire or learn from. I felt like I was processed through a cookie cutter world where everyone was taught the same thing, did the same thing and somehow grew to believe that everything would fall into place. I was told what I could and could not express, I was told how to feel or not feel. I didn’t have goals, and probably the biggest lesson of my life was learning I had choice and figuring out there were three ways to ‘manage’ anything in life. Leave, which I did a lot of. Accept, which I did little of, and Change.
Change became my modus operandi. I often questioned that ‘there must be more to life than this’ and my searching continued. I began to pay attention, watch and observe and my entire life became my case study. I worked hard constantly growing and evolving in my career and I played hard being very social and got involved in many different activities, yet something was often missing. I finally came to realize that something, was my Self.
I feel like I have learned from the outside in, only because my walls were there protecting me from outside forces. Yet it was the forces from within that really controlled me. I went through numerous times in life, where everything came crashing down on me and each and every time, I rebuilt it to an even better life. I became a master of transformation, until one year when I felt like I lost everything and was only inches away from losing my life. I lost a love I thought I would be with forever. Then on the day I moved provinces I lost my precious Grandmother and 9 months later lost my father who had become my best friend in life. I lost my new job, I lost my identity, I lost my social circle, I lost my home having to downsize, and my brand new vehicle due to financial constraints. My foundation crumbled. I lost faith in everything. You could say I was mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, socially and financially bankrupt.
As a child, I was sent to all kinds of traditional therapists that are supposed to help, but they didn’t. No-one worked with what was truly missing; a piece of my Soul. I had often dabbled in Metaphysics, Shamanism and Soul Retrieval, went for all kinds of readings and healing, studied Psych-K, looked deeply into my belief system, and found my endless supply of self-help books could have started their own library! Yet it wasn’t enough.
You see, I didn’t listen to the whispers. Therefore, I had to hear the screams. I was so involved with outside forces, and work, work, work… I forgot who I was on the inside. Maybe I never really knew? I never took the time to learn what I valued, or what I was passionate about, or what my gifts are. I was forced not only to slow down, but to literally stop. I became deathly ill, and physically weak, I thought I was dying. I was diagnosed with FMS/CFS in 2005. These were some of the darkest of the darkest days I have endured. Alone, far from home and lost in a health care system being thrown around like a rag-doll nobody wanted.
I took a few years off work to focus on my healing then enrolled in a return to work program where I created my first vision board. The vision I held for myself was one of balance and harmony; it was peaceful, Zen like, quiet. I would be helping others to feel this peacefulness inside and outside. It was about ease and comfort, acceptance and grace. I wanted no-one to ever have to feel like I did. I wanted to cure what I called “Spirit Sickness!” I wanted to help others become authentically whole.
During this program, I learned that I wanted to work for myself and be my own boss. I wanted to work with passion and purpose. I remembered my past love of Classical Feng Shui and how I had used these practices to shift energy in spaces and thought that may be my direction again. Having attended a Feng Shui conference in Orlando in the past, where I met and adored Denise Linn, I decided to look into her Feng Shui program called Interior Alignment® Instinctive Feng Shui and was super excited to see her new program, called Soul Coaching®! It was everything I wanted to create for others and it was right here in front of me. I took the training and have been practising Soul Coaching since 2008. Working with Denise was a blessing, I finally had someone who believed in me. And I began to believe.
I recall how challenging it was for me to sit each day and was graced by the energy of the land to make my last steps to my room each night. I know there were many in the Spirit world working with me each day and night. Much healing and growth occurred at Summerhill Ranch and continues today. The Soul Coaching program is timeless. Connecting with the community has brought many new friends and I was given the opportunity to mentor in Denise Linn’s online groups. I felt I had a purpose once again.
My health has improved over the years, it morphs and changes each day. Having learned how to ‘pace’ myself, set healthy boundaries, and find things that nourish my body and soul is today’s modus operandi. I’ve let go of who I thought I ‘should be’ and have become more of who I am. At one point I was experiencing vivid dreams explaining how I was connected to people in past lives; they were here to teach me and equally important, what I was here to teach them. I could see how we are all connected. I spent time meditating, all to connect deeper with myself and Spirit. I continue to use tools from the Soul Coaching program in my life today. I also completed my Feng Shui training becoming an instructor of the Interior Alignment® program and continually learn and grow personally and professionally.
As I evolve, my life choices are now based on passion, following my instincts and I see value in everyone and everything. I know that our mess becomes our message. I also know without a doubt that things happen for us, not to us. I have learned to let go of past baggage and only carry in my heart and home, what I want, need and love. I have learned to process my emotions, express them, set them free. My life is a work in progress and I see all those lessons (and many more not mentioned) help me have deep compassion for others going through their own ‘stuff’.’
Clearing emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical clutter helps align us with our purpose. Discover and love our authentic self, and release limiting beliefs and fears which in-turn increase self-esteem and confidence. I have learned to gently let go and create the life I desire, while bravely facing fears and boldly stepping out of my comfort zone. There is nothing I love more than seeing the lightbulb come on for people, being a part of their ah-ha moments and watching them evolve, accept and learn from life lessons, embrace change, and become all they want to be and more!
This is WHY I do, what I do. The truth really does set you free. I have been able to take my life experiences, my interests in Feng Shui, Space Clearing, and Energy Work and blend them with the empowering Soul Coaching program to assist others to create sacred space in their lives and homes. We all deserve it. It doesn’t matter if you work from the outside in, or the inside out, what matters is that you do the work.
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There is potential for a lot of uncertainty in our lives right now; and it can cause us to get out of balance very quickly leaving us feeling fatigued, unfocused, preoccupied and may even move us from a state of love into a state of fear. There are things that we can control in life and things that we cannot; I encourage us all to focus on what we CAN do.
Our racing thoughts, limiting beliefs we have about our own power, lack of focus, lack of concentration, worrying all the time, and the uncertainty can be draining. We can become stuck in our mindset, not open to others viewpoints, values or beliefs. This could leave us feeling trapped and block the healthy natural flow of life force energy.
In Soul Coaching® we refer to this as Mental/Intellectual Clutter. For inspiration, mental clarity, freedom, perception, communion, and communication we practice embracing the Spirit of Air to assist in clearing these cobwebs of the mind giving us better capacity to discern, analyze, evaluate, and judge. The Element of Air also allows us to see situations from a higher perspective, like a birds eye view of life and what is occurring around and within.
“Though seemingly subtle and unseen, Air is composed of the most rarified energy fields, and we are in constant communion with the vast universe through our breath. With every breath you take, you are inhaling air that has been in every nook and cranny of our world, from the dry region of the Sahara, to the heights of the Himalayas, to the lush and humid Amazon rain forests. The breath that you just took contained at least four hundred thousand of the same argon atoms that Gandhi breathed throughout his life. The air that you are breathing now has been in me, and the breath that I am taking now has been in you.” ~ Denise Linn
10 Ways to Align With the Spirit of Air and Clear Mental Clutter
- Become aware of the air around you, the winds on your face; feel how it touches you face, your skin. Spend time in your day focusing on your breathing. Take deep breaths and hold them, then release pushing all the air from your lungs. Check in with your breath throughout the day, see if you are holding it due to stress, or breathing at a natural pace and flow.
- Spend 15-20 minutes in the meditation practice of your choice. Just observe your thoughts without telling need to fix or change anything.
- Make one commitment to create positive change, something you can keep and maintain by blending it gently into your lifestyle.
- Become aware of your thoughts, observe the words you choose to use; they both hold powerful energy and can be changed to ones with higher vibrations.
- Examine your core beliefs; see if these are really who you are now, or have been engineered by others over your lifetime.
- Schedule time each day to relax and unwind preferably in a space that feels sacred to you.
- Limit the use of all electronics at least one hour prior to bed; choose to read an inspirational book or listen to soothing music while soaking in an essential oil and Epsom salt bath instead.
- Journal your thoughts and cares away and/or create a Bedside Altar to place your prayers each evening, recharge your jewelry or malas, or place an inspirational card to focus on as your drift off to sleep.
- Turn down and soften the lighting in your space. Create a lovely ringtone for your phone alarm so you wake up gently in the morning. Give yourself enough time so you don’t feel rushed.
- Create a morning routine to carry you through the day; breathing, yoga, gentle stretching, writing about your dreams or any other activity that keeps you feeling connected to your soul and the beautiful and gracious divine source within.
When we invest the time to really observe our thoughts, values and beliefs, we begin to know ourselves at a deep level then begin to attract others who feel the same. We can also observe others while still respecting that they too have values, beliefs and thoughts that may differ from our own. From there we can find common ground on which to build healthy relationships, vibrant communities and even global harmony.
Let go with love.
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Today marks the completion of my personal 21-Day Soul Coaching® Clutter Clearing Quest. I was truly amazed at how deep I went with this program as I am often clearing clutter while in other programs I mentor in or facilitate. I feel if one is always clearing clutter it may be the time to ask where does this clutter come from? Most don’t, yet some people feel good around clutter, they have their stuff and their memories right there in front of them. They can reach out and touch them at any time and hold them. This may bring a certain kind of comfort. And that’s okay. These things are likely objects you love and items you want to keep around. Sometimes having someone come in and help you stage or display them will make a world of difference.
Other times, we have stuff that we have a challenge with letting go… The item may feel like it has a soul, as do many objects, especially ones connected to childhood memories. I know this, as I finally (after years of trying) have let go of my beloved stuffed polar bear Nanook. He has been in the family a very long time and was extra special as he was hand crafted by my Mother about 40 years ago and he is literally loved to peices. He was gifted to my Grandmother, and then passed on to my Dad and it felt like the lineage should continue.
At one point a year or so back I had thought repairing Nanook was the only option. I had a seamstress sew him up after I had placed all kinds of beautiful healing stones and crystals in him. As I did this, I also set intentions that this healing would go back to my family for generations and generations, to the beginning of time. Yet sadly, Nanook continued to wear away… to disintegrate. The simple truth was he was deteriorating, his sheepskin fur was wearing thin and he was coming apart at the seams. Could this be a metaphor for some area in my life or was this more a symbol of the past and my childhood? I had to ask myself some deep questions and came to the conclusion that if this were actually a living creature, it would now be his special time to transition back to the Universe. With that thought in mind I was able to let him go.
I gently removed the stones and crystals from Nanook and thanked him for all the times he was there when others were not. I told him how precious his life was, to me and to the others he blessed during his time here. I felt so much gratitude in that moment. I cleansed the stones and put them on a little keepsake bag to dry, soon to be re-purposed by welcoming them to my collection. It’s true that when you are clutter clearing the less you physically hold the object, the easier it will be to allow it to move on. I feel like I have symbolically let go of my childhood. I feel empowered having made the decision after years of wishing I could. I feel lighter, the space is brighter and I trust Nanook will have a marvelous time in a different form. I know his Spirit has moved on to a higher realm and he is happy.
I will continue with my deep inner and outer clutter clearing, as each time I remove and release just a little bit more as I ask myself the Quests’ challenging questions. See, we do what are ready to do; we let go of what we are ready to let go of and if you feel you are ready, you are. Sometimes you may need inspiration, time and organization skills, and sometimes you just need courage and a non-judgemental understanding of the meaning of the object(s). That’s what worked for me.
“Where intention goes, energy flows.”
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What exactly is hidden clutter? It is all that we keep behind close doors. Sometimes it’s our thoughts and beliefs, sometimes it is physical clutter. It can also be emotional clutter, even Spiritual clutter. The issue with hidden clutter is that even though the doors or cabinets, cupboards and drawers are closed and everything looks alright or perfect from the outside, there is often a mess behind those doors. I love the saying “Your mess is your message!” What is your mess saying to you?
Mental clutter can be cleared by looking where you are at the moment and taking an honest assessment of your life. If we are going anywhere, we need to know where we are, right? Clearing your mental clutter is important, especially if you want to create sacred space in your mind for new thoughts, new beliefs and new behaviours. Yes, you can change your beliefs! First you might want to recognize how the ones that no longer serve you draw unwanted energy you are not looking for into your life. Sometimes your beliefs may be contradicting, again perhaps blocking you from moving forward and being all you can be.
Emotional clutter wants to be felt, to be honoured and truly, it does want us to release it, so both the energy and our lives can move forward. Releasing items with love is a great practice to consider. After all, things come in to our life for a reason, a season, but not always a lifetime. We can choose what we want to let go of and what we want to keep. Our souls love Clutter Clearing at all levels.
Spiritual clutter exists when you grow up in an environment where you were taught what to believe. Honoured traditions are beautiful and should be respected, yet as your own life is lived, you find some aspects may not be working for you and you may want to let go of some traditions, some beliefs and explore or embrace another spiritual practice. Perhaps you would like to create your own ceremonies and rituals and daily practices that truly feed your soul?
Do you have clutter in your life? Image by Kelly Chamchuk
Physical clutter means something too. It means you either have too much stuff, nowhere to put it, a system not in place to manage what is needed, guilt to keep something someone has given you that you may find challenging to surrender plus an array of other feelings, emotions and beliefs. So over time, that clutter builds up and up and up. Perhaps you feel you do not have time with all else that is going on in your life?
So, what CAN you do? You can begin. That’s it, just begin. Start small by clearing out for 10-15 minutes per day or create a list of spaces you wish to clear and ensure you jot down when you will do them. Give yourself more time than you think you need, so you can actually accomplish the task. Too often we believe it can be done much quicker than it takes leaving ourselves disappointed and frustrated. Committing to the process will help you get it done! So will making it enjoyable for yourself. Invite the family or a good friend to assist, hire a coach who knows about working with clutter and make it FUN!
Turn on some music that really stirs your soul, grab a glass of your favourite bevy, and make a plan. Know what you are going to do in advance. Envision it done and how you will approach the project. When you can see it in your mind’s eye, you can do it! Get your trash bags, your donation bin, even your ‘for sale’ bin for collectible items or valuables that you would like to put online or for your upcoming garage sale. Choose the time you will begin your cleaning and go for it. Get that shredder revved!
Then focus on how wonderful the space will feel once cleared. Invite those long repressed feelings to surface as you clear! Really feel and embrace your feelings… and if by chance some tears fall, some belly laughter or the odd shiver or two occurs, trust that what you are doing is for your best future possible and give your soul the time it needs to process those feelings. No bashing is invited to this party! Let those emotions bubble up and out; what is important is that you are clearing them, you don’t even really have to consciously know what they are about. It’s okay. You are doing great!
Imagine the fresh and clear feeling! Image by Kelly Chamchuk
In smaller or confined spaces, I suggest taking everything that is moveable out, then only bring back in what you love, use and really need. Ask yourself some questions as you edit each item;
When was the last time I used this?
Is this item in good repair?
When can I see myself using it again?
Has this objects’ time in my life expired?
Do I experience positive memories in association to this?
Where else could this item go to be cherished by another?
Is the right space for this item?
I like to clear the space energetically and set intentions prior to arranging the objects back in to their space. I used Frangipani incense plus a tea light candle conducive to the more relaxed, calm and peaceful atmosphere I imagined for this tiny office space.
Organization is key to keeping the space maintained and clutter free after your clearing. Ensure there is a space for everything and everything in it’s space. Before you bring something new in, ask yourself if there are two items you can remove to make space for it? Labelling wires or colour coding them to your devices is a great method of keeping them organized. There is tuly no need to hang on to them unless you use the associated device. Ensure that old equipment such as computers, lap tops, cell phones have your information cleared by someone in the know before you recycle. For this clearing project, I felt the lighting was poor and it felt dark and dingy so I added a set of lights under one shelf, will use a black felt marker to cover the cord, and ensured there was a spot for everything. The boxes are all label clearly, containing all objects in the same category for easy access. All items such as Birthday and Thank You cards are all in one box, another will have Camera equipment, charger, filters, and all items pertaining to that. Various papers are stacked for easy access.
Everything in it’s place… Image by Kelly Chamchuk
Space clearing the area once your clutter is cleared is a lovely practice to welcome in the new energy. Depending on what physical area you cleared, you may want to add fresh flowers, burn some incense, smudge the area with sage or even give it a nice spray of your favourite essence. For this project, I arranged a simple Buddha, a tea light candle and some crystal points; all items I love to create a Mini-Altar. Once your own project is complete, spend a few moments with your fresh clean space feeling gratitude and imagine beautiful white light beaming in to you, then out to your space.
Once all the clearing is done and complete. Celebrate! Take a lovely epsom salt bath with your favourite essential oils in it and imagine that all you cleared comes out of your body and flows lovingly down the drain to be brought back to you in amazing ways. You will feel so much lighter, more organized and the bonus is you are creating sacred space for the new to arrive! What is it you would welcome in to your life at this time?
“Where intention goes, energy flows.”
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