Spring Cleaning has long been practiced in many cultures, some believing it it originates on the Persian New year named “khooneh tekouni” which literally means “shaking the house.” Everything is thoroughly cleaned and polished. Others believe it goes back to the ancient Jewish observance of Passover and traditionally, the Catholic Church cleans the altars and everything associated with it on the day before Good Friday. In North America, it usually began in March as the coal furnaces would be turned off and it was warm enough to open doors and windows.
Spring is my favourite time of year, it’s like a New Year and Back to School, another time to re-invent your life, and your space. I love to watch buds form on trees and tulips begin to peak their way out of the ground. People come out from winter’s hibernation and it feels like an empowering time for transformation to occur. It’s when we plant seeds, nurture them, and watch them flourish in the months ahead.
Connect to the energy of the season – Open your doors and windows and welcome in fresh air and new energy.
Clutter gets in the way of cleaning and negatively affects our energy on so many levels. Make a decluttering plan and stick to it; allow yourself more time than what you think so you always complete the task. If this feels overwhelming, commit to 10 – 15 minutes daily to start. Start small and work your way up. Focus on your INTENTIONS for cleaning, i.e.: to create a sacred space with life enhancing energy…
Set up your Clutter Clearing system; get boxes ready for consignment, donation, sell, and recycle / trash and perhaps one for items that need repair (or keep a notebook handy!) Decide on rewards for when you are completed, or celebrate each milestone. Combine efforts with a family member of friend to keep your intentions clear. It is much easier going through a friend’s stuff than your own, so find a gal pal, involve the family, intake your partner and keep each other focused on the task.
- Put on some funky music on and get to it! Make this as fun as you can!
- Take before and after photos to keep you motivated.
- Once the clutter is removed, clean your space with earth friendly products.
- Organize your space so there is a space for everything you do keep.
- Bring in fresh flowers, healthy plants, candles with fresh scents and IN-JOY your new space!
- Then PREVENT clutter build up by only bringing in items that you use, love or need.
I would love to hear your tips or what worked for you!
~ Kelly Chamchuk
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.
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.”
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,