When I was a young girl, I thought a lot about Love. I was surrounded by it. I could see it in my parents eyes when my Dad came home from work and how Mom greeted him. I could see it in my Grandparents, in Aunts and Uncles, neighbours, and siblings. Then something happened.
People began to fall out of love, get divorces, even die, and family units broke down. I remember my neighbours, two people I adored and friends of my parents. I thought they had the perfect marriage, until one day, they decided to divorce. It really blew my mind at the time, as they seemed so happy, so content. I thought if it happened to them, it could happen to anyone.
I wondered what love really is. I wondered why does it end. I wondered how can love turn into hate? I concluded that perhaps they were not in true love after all, that maybe it was something else that brought them together. I didn’t want to believe that the fairy tales of life could have anything but happy endings. Yet, they did. Over and over, and I got through them.
I guess deep in my heart, in my core, I held a belief that if you love, it cannot die. It cannot change. This belief has stuck with me and has helped me through some really tough and trying times. You see, for me, if I can continue to love, even though circumstances change, behaviours change, proximity changes, values change, beliefs change, communication breaks down, hurtful things are exchanged, the love can still remain.
Life can bring us all kinds of clutter. It can bring us all kinds of thoughts and emotions. It can get pretty damn confusing at times and cause us to want to escape the hurt, the pain, and sometimes, the truth. We begin to react and build our walls, we shut ourselves off, we blame, we may even strike out in anger in one form or another.
I often think of that song ‘Love Hurts’ by Nazareth; you know the one,
Love wounds and marks
Any heart not tough or strong enough
To take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain
Love is like a cloud, it holds a lot of rain
Ooh love hurts”
And yes, it seems sometimes that is true. Yet once we clear the clutter from our hearts and get to the real core of the matter, it usually is an opportunity for spiritual growth. Sure, our human selves may not want to do it, or fear doing it, or even feel the need we don’t have to do it, however I believe sometimes the Universe, Source, God, whatever name you want to give to the higher power, wants us to have this experience.
What I have learned over and over in my lifetime, is; “It is not what happens to you that matters, it is what you do with it.” Along the same lines, I also believe; “Things don’t happen to you, they happen for you.”
So, what do we do when life can bring us so much pain? Mother Theresa had it right, she said “Love them anyways.” I believe that. I believe the love you hold does not turn into hate, we just have clutter to remove, and the love is still there. It may be stifled and squashed, deeply hidden under the mental and emotional gunk, yet it is there.
So how do we remove the clutter, you ask? We do it through honest exploration of our feelings, open communication, forgiveness, and finally acceptance. We look for the lessons, and even the blessings. We learn to let go and not hold onto things that cause us hurt, or pain. We learn to focus on what is good, instead of what is bad. We realize we all here to experience what life brings us and that we are in this together. We learn that what we are feeling, is spreading out into the collective consciousness and only we have the power to choose what energy we share with the world. We learn to choose love, no matter what.
My challenge for you is to take a moment and look deep inside your heart and see if any clutter may need some attention and loving care.
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Clutter in one’s life appears in many forms. Clutter is unhealthy for us as it blocks CHI (energy) from coming in to our lives. People begin to feel unorganized, unfocused and a lack of clarity for the future when surrounded by clutter. How does clutter appear in your life? For me, it is in the form of paper! I have endless ideas and thoughts and love taking notes when attending workshops. There is just something about writing with a pen on paper that feeds my soul.
Yet, even items that fed our soul at one time in our life, may not be what we currently need and are certainly not helping to manifest our future desires unless we love them, use them or really need them. My journals did not fit in to those categories any longer. I knew I had to clear them, and I had to honour the past and find a loving way to let go. I also knew there was some wisdom in those pages that I wanted to keep for future writings and so this 21 Day Soul Coaching® Clutter Clearing Quest began…
I often suggest to clients to take a before photo to keep them motivated and focused on their project. Focus on the feeling of having it done! It is also a wonderful idea to decide when you are going to achieve this and determine how long you will work at your project and I decided to give myself one whole week to get ‘er done. Now, usually… I am one who feels it all should be complete in one giant swoop (and have in the past been so disappointed by my failure to achieve results with that belief.) As I teach, I also learn and grow and have discovered the productive experience of pacing.’With pacing, you can get it done, have some enjoyment along the way and not burn yourself out in the process.
These three bags of notes and journals were blocking the floor in my bedroom closet. Now, for me this is the energy of Family on the energy map in Feng Shui called a Bagua. When the energy is blocked in this area, one may feel disconnected from Family, Community, and other influences from the past and I was feeling this deeply.
I was working on letting go of the past and manifesting the future of my dreams which included feeling closer to my Family, being connected with my Community plus inviting future possibilities and opportunities in to my life! This trapped energy felt heavy, made me tired just to look at it, plus it made it challenging to get my clothes out of the closet which meant my washer, dryer, shower curtain rod and chairs became my new closet. Not so inviting for others who came to my home but most importantly, not the energy I wanted to have in my space. Clutter can snowball into others areas of your life. So look for the root cause of your clutter!
When I began, I held each journal to my heart, thanked it, and flipped through them recalling that period of my life. I had pages that jumped out at me with little tidbits of wisdom or mentioning books, movies and people to research in the future. It’s funny how often we write something down and never look back it for reference. This occurs about 80% of the time! I felt the need to carry this project even further by keeping only those pages or parts of the pages I wanted for future writings and shred the rest. I was so glad I gave myself the week to accomplish this task as now I had to get an accordion file, and divide these pages into categories then file them appropriately!
Then the shredding began. There is something so cathartic about this process, especially when intentions are used. With each and every page (sometimes up to about 8 at a time as that was the limit of my shredder) I fed it and fed it, feeling lighter and lighter as I progressed. At times the feeder would jam and I would look at what the page said and laugh. It seemed the Universe was working me and sometimes gave me a little extra to pay attention to before I really let go of it. I examined some beliefs, some memories, and explored a whole bunch of various feelings. I smiled, I cried, I laughed, I got angry, I bashed, I blamed… Then I would take a deep breath and forgive myself, honour that part of my life, cherish the memories and all those lessons I had experienced along the way.
Taking the binder and coiled covers to the trash and dumping the shredded paper in the recycle bin was also moving and profound. I pay attention to signs along the way and for me this realization meant so much. Some things will be permanently gone from my life yet the wisdom that something discarded could be transformed into something even better, perhaps cherished, loved and used in the future was such a pleasant way to complete this task.
Thank you for reading! Stay tuned as the Quest continues…
What area of your home or life is your clutter blocking?
What does it feel like?
What would you feel when it gets removed?
How will your life be better?
“Where intention goes, energy flows.”
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Forgiveness comes in many packages but always from the Heart. ~ Image by Kelly Chamchuk
Today I woke up with a long ‘to do’ list and at the top of that list was forgiveness. ForGIFTness. That was the word that came to mind. Because the other thing on my mind recently has been family photos after seeing so many beautiful photos pop up on Facebook posted by Friends; photos of them as young child with Santa, photos of them in their teens, in ‘Throwback Thursday” and so many beauty-filled images of families together or loved ones past that they are choosing to honor during this special Holiday Season and Christmas Time.
The top of my ForGIFT list is my youngest brother who shortly after my Fathers passing decided to destroy all the families photos my Dad had so neatly categorized for each of us and stored in his lower dresser drawer knowing this day would come. My outrage was not only for him intentionally destroying this lifetime of family history but also because I saw the packages there the day prior and decided to wait till tomorrow to gather them up and hold them as precious. Something was screaming at me to do so, my intuition, my soul; yet I choose not to listen because of the duties of the day and the rest of the clutter clearing I was involved in to prepare the home to be sold. Timing was everything and I learned that ‘lesson’ that hard way as I do most things in this lifetime.
Imagine my surprise coming back the next day and seeing the drawer completely empty and when asking my youngest brother where the photos were, hearing the simple emotionless reply “Gone.” I had no choice but to remain super calm even though my rage was burning through me like a wild woman; “Gone where?” I questioned hoping they were only relocated to another area but fearing the worst as his behavior at the time was erratic and unpredictable at best. I still cannot recall his exact words but they were either ‘burned’ or ‘taken to the dump’ or both. I do recall it being an act driven from Anger and recall thinking how much he must hate what this represents; family, childhood, self, us, for him to not only destroy his package but all of ours too.
One of the greatest and most powerful healing tools ever is FORGIVENESS; what I am now calling ‘ForGIFTness.’ It is truly the greatest gift you can give yourself. It brings peace where there was once rage, calm where there was once chaos and where there was once hate, you can replace it with another great healer – Love.
What I usually do is get outside of myself and use empathy, compassion and understanding for the other person and try to see where they were coming from. What was he feeling that made him do such a harsh act? How angry and deeply grieving was he to lash out in this particularly symbolic way? Was he in total shock or had he snapped in to some Psychotic state? My love for my brother overshadowed all else and even though I felt so much anger, what won was the love. Yes, I was extremely angry, actually in a state of rage, but I saw a fear in him that was way bigger than us both and choose in that moment to let it go. I forgave him.
Yet something did stay with me all these years… I miss those photos terribly. I yearn for them. I want to look at those images. I want to see myself as a child and see my family when we were together and young and happy. And I cannot. I noticed that although I am no longer holding any blame towards my brother I am however holding blame towards my self.
Today what I need to let go of is that I didn’t trust myself enough to grab those images in time. I did not listen to my self and my guidance. Today my forGIFTness is aimed towards me. I choose to believe that I managed the best I could at that most challenging time under very stressful circumstances. I was reminded of so much in that moment; you cannot control others, hold near what is precious to you, don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today, love trumps anger, things are just things, and it is okay to let go.
So, how do you forgive? Great question asked by many and here are some things you can do for any people you are gifting this to including your SELF.
- Realize that your hate or anger does not affect the other person; it only affects you and may even manifest itself in physical symptoms and likely will affect your life, your relationships, even your career and all you do. Anger and revenge are like poison in our systems.
- Notice if you are the type of person who seeks revenge. Revenge is all about getting even. Find your peace in that there is no ‘even’ and that life is not always fair; lessons come to us for us to learn from them. Acting out towards another is again only harming yourself. Choose to be happy instead, choose peace instead.
- Make a list of what you did learn, or what good came from it, however painful the incident or event was, there is a ‘positive spin’ you can put on it. Bottom line, you are here and alive and even if there is much work yet to be done, that’s a great start. You are precious. Be gentle on yourself and give yourself all the time you need for healing to occur.
- Allow yourself the time to completely embrace all of the emotions you are feeling, even the ones we refer to as negative; they are just emotions and they are yours so therefore they are valid and should be honored. Once you allow them to bubble up, you can release them and be free of them. You do not have to agree with or condone hurtful acts, just feel how they affect(ed) you, feel the places in your body where you hold the emotions and let them go, then send in some soothing white light and sparkles to fill the space.
- Send warm blessings to all involved so they too can experience peace, calm and forgiveness. All of this can be done ‘privately’ – there is no need to involve the other person(s) in your forgiveness unless you feel you want to and it is safe for you to do so. This is an exercise in grace purely for you.
- If you are a person who seeks forgiveness from others for something you may have done or caused, all you can do is ask. Be genuine in your request and speak from your heart focusing on your concern of what harm may have been caused to the other person(s) involved. You may not always receive forgiveness when you ask for it as others too need their time to heal but you CAN forgive yourself and become a wiser more loving person at any given time.
Who is on your ‘ForGIFT’ list this year? Give them and your Self the best gift ever. The gift of Forgiveness, one of the greatest gifts of all.
In luminescence and Love,
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Clutter Clearing During the Holi-Daze?
Can one really clear clutter during this mind boggling time of activity; with all the meeting, greeting, eating, shopping, decorating, baking, giving, and maybe even gratefully receiving too? Oh, and did I even mention clearing some negative thoughts, stagnant emotions and those non-serving beliefs? Whew! Well YES!!! Clutter clearing during December can simplify this time of your life, bring focus to what is truly important to you, and even set you up for wonder-filled year to come. Take a moment to reconnect with what this ‘time’ really means to you and create the feelings to go with it. Just because everyone else’s head is spinning does not mean yours has to! There. It IS that simple and Santa will not put you on his naughty list! What is this time about for YOU and how are you choosing to celebrate it? With family and friends, in a peace filled loving moment holding candles at the top of a snowy mountain? Near the Oceanside walking the dogs greeting the others out doing the same? Volunteering for others less fortunate? Being secret Santa to those who really need something and never telling anyone? Maybe something traditional, something your family has trusted in for generations, the tried and true? Perhaps you are looking to do something new… Whatever is going on in your life, ‘commitments’ and ‘obligations’ aside; how you feel while doing it is up to YOU. Set some clear intentions and go for it! Be awareof your thoughts and mindful of the emotions as they steer you and guide you to where your heart wants to be!
WHEN IT COMES TO TIME…
Photo by Kelly Chamchuk
When all is said and done, it is not the ‘things’ you purchased or that the tablecloth was perfectly pressed that people remember; it’s the TIME you spent with them, the JOY you brought to their life, and the LOVE that is shared. Clutter clearing creates sacred space for that.
Choose your time wisely and please remember those who may not have much time left, you never really know who they are. Love everyone!
Consider joining a baking circle with friends or purchase your homemade goodies from a local Farmers Market, do we really need all those sweets? How much is enough? Stick ‘em in the freezer. Done.
Edit your contact lists; are these people in your life or do you feel obligated to keep in contact? Do they keep in touch with you or is the effort a ‘one-way’ street? People can be clutter too, especially toxic ones.
Many people have gone to the newsletter or e-mail format for keeping in touch however a special handwritten card for people who mean something says so much, you already know who they are!
If it is too late to do your ‘editing’ this year, each month take one section of your contact list and by next year, it will be ready. If you don’t have a computerized system, create one in the same manner. It is okay to print the mailing labels; the message inside should be handwritten though, including a personal note especially if sent with a generic letter.
Hire a student or virtual assistant for the database or paperwork, then do what you love instead.
Limit your activities; you do not have to attend them all, unless you want to of course! You choose! Become friends with the words “Thank you so much, I’d love to however…”
Know when to hire a driving service to save time, move friends, family and yourself safely and yes, even save money, maybe life’s, especially if there are ‘spirits’ involved!
Take advantage of the super sales, save $$ and create a suitable gift cupboard for upcoming celebrations in the New Near. Consider shelf life, storage space, fashion trends and purchase generic gifts that anybody would love!
Learn to see things differently; some items such as beautiful scarfs, unique containers, or flowers serve as the gift & gift-wrapping at the same time!
Give the gift of TIME; create coupons to spend with the people you love, doing things you enjoy!
TIPS ON DECORATIONS…
Photo by Kelly Chamchuk
As you go through your decorations, take time to decide which ones personally mean something, if you don’t loveit, loose it. Invite the family to get involved, put some music on, grab a bevy and IN-JOY the process.
Use a decoration instead of a bow on a gift, bottle or bag. Try wrapping using plain brown paper or even the newspaper, tie with raffia or nice ribbon, insert a fresh clipping from an Evergreen Tree; the gift looks awesome, smells great and is very ‘Green!’
Trade ornaments with friends and their friends at a Vintage Tea Party
Donate quality re-useable ornaments, lights, faux trees, to families that are in need through various community programs
Create ‘starter boxes’ for family members soon to be leaving home and going out on their own
If ‘downsizing,’ take all your true treasures and incorporate them into a wreath or two that you can display with love. Give the remainders to family and friends or donate them to a favorite Charlie Brown Tree.
In your ‘Golden Years?’ Gift your vintage pieces to those who will appreciate the stories and memories that come from your heart while you are here to enjoy the smiles and appreciation on their faces.
Just starting out? Consider using live décor that will remain throughout the year such as bamboo and hang just one awesome ornament from it.
Bring in times from nature, moss in a bowl with a few decorative balls, pine cones stacked in an empty vase, fresh branches from your local market and then recycle back to nature afterwards in a compost!
Purchase live potted trees that will be replanted and decorate with objects from nature or string popcorn or other edibles such as dried cranberries.
If your décor is up and looking absolutely gorgeous already, congratulations!!! Perhaps save this article and consider these options as you are taking them down in preparation for next year. It’s never to late to de-clutter your life and create sacred space for time, love and newness to arrive.
Focus on your intentions and what you want to bring in to your life, keep those feelings vibrant and make them real! Be clear on what you really want, because we create what we think. I will be thinking love, peace and abundance for all.
Kelly Chamchuk is a certified Soul Coaching Master Practitioner and Trainer and Interior Alignment Teacher offering programs, workshops, retreats & guided meditation services – one-on-one, in groups and online, plus produces products and that help you create sacred space in your life and home.
©Kelly Chamchuk 2011 | www.kellychamchuk.com | email@example.com
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