By Ranjini Banerjee August 2009 When you de-clutter your living spaces, you free yourself of the toxins in your body and eliminate the debris of outdated thoughts, feelings, experiences… you clear the spaces around your soul. Clarity – a term next to purityA clear sky, a clear heart, a clear mindset, clarity in vision and of course, clear soup, all depict a sense of simplicity and transparency. If we appreciate clarity then why don’t most of us imbibe the quality when it comes to our emotions? Pent-up and amalgamated feelings are like influenza to the mind and soul. They curb the breath of love in oneself. If we can’t bear a congested chest and nose even for a few days, how and why do we live with a congested mind for years together? Releasing and clearing of suppressed emotions can do so much good to us as well as to our loved ones around us. We can then open up a passage for more love to flow into our systems and be free to give and receive. I tried a simple exercise recently in a desperate attempt to release the anxiety that constantly plagued me: I thought of all the negative feelings thriving inside me and imagined them to look like tar. Then I visualised myself collecting all of this black tar and making a ball out of it. I then kicked the ball hard in my mind and released it in the sky where it eventually exploded. It felt like a humongous weight was lifted off me. – Jasleen Bhalla (television producer) Learning to let goCleaning my cupboard allows me to empty my emotional waste. It makes me feel lighter and freer. Listening to spiritual music, and doing shavasan helps me relax and let go of worries that build up during the day. Writing a problem on a piece of paper and burning it or tearing it up helps let go of it. Speaking to a tree also helps me lighten my heart, when I can’t speak to anyone else. A walk on the beach allows the sea salt to cleanse and charge me up. Walking in the park, or a wooded area, or playing with animals have similar effects. Ira Gandhi, Mumbai Detoxification for the three doshas Boil two quarts of water, and add the herbs listed below. Let this steep for about 15-20 minutes. Strain the water and drink through the day, especially 15 minutes after a meal. Vata: ½ tsp cumin seed, ¼ tsp ajwain seed, ½ tsp fennel seed Pitta: ½ tsp cumin seed, ½ tsp coriander seed, 2 fresh mint leaves Kapha: ½ tsp cumin seed, 1 clove, 1-2 slices fresh ginger root Add a leaf or two of tulsi to the water for all doshas. Tulsi is known for its ability to cleanse the physiology off environmental toxins. Clear emotionsDr Deepak Chopra gives a seven-step process for emotional clearing • Take responsibility • Sense where in the body the emotion is • Define the emotion • Express it • Share it • Use a ritual to release it • Celebrate On a clear day you can see forever. This is one of my favourite movies. I like it not just for its story but also because the title makes me feel nice. I like the word ‘clear’. To be clear means to be free from the smog of unconscious living. It means shining the light of consciousness on to your every thought, word and feeling. To be clear is to be transparent, pure, crystalline. Dianetics and Scientology are a set of ideas, beliefs and practices relating to relationship between the body, mind and spirit. It was developed by L. Ron Hubbard who was a science fiction writer. He defined a ‘clear’ being as one who is free from the negative influences of his own reactive mind. He therefore suffers no ill effects caused by unwanted engrams, emotions or traumas. Such a person is said to be in control of their mental energy or thoughts and can think clearly and rationally even in circumstances which in earlier times had caused them severe trauma. And isn’t this what we all aim to be – a clear being? What stops us from achieving this enviable state of clearness, of pure essence? Just as undigested food creates toxins in our physical body, undigested thoughts, feelings, experiences and reactions, create toxins in our mental and emotional bodies and block our energies. In order to get clear, therefore, we need to clear up! Cupboard wisdom Life reflects our thoughts and emotions. The resemblance between our state of mind and our environment is uncanny. I am not known to be the most organised person. Each time I opened my cupboard, the clothes would come tumbling out! I had to simply grasp whatever I could lay my hands on. My life was like my cupboard – chaotic, jumbled and without definite direction. Too many issues just kept tumbling out one after another and I dealt with them erratically. I simply grasped at whatever life tossed at me. However, God works in strange ways. My decision to finally organise my cupboard wrought magic! I discovered a powerful mantra which can turn around one’s life. The mantra was ‘clearing’. As I cleared my cupboard, I noticed that I had held on to old things – clothes that I had outgrown, accessories that I no longer use, and things I no longer needed. An unhealthy emotional attachment or perhaps a deep-rooted insecurity about letting go, kept me in their grip. The clutter prevented the onset of newness. A simple cupboard clearing session helped me realise that I had let go of much more than just old clothes. The clearing brought about drastic changes in my life. I felt more organised and more open. I welcomed all the new things which life had to offer and there was a definite sense of space and expansiveness of thought, feeling and emotions. The intricate relationship between a physical clearing and my mental, emotional and spiritual health, got me thinking about the various aspects of our life where the act of clearing can make a major difference. Clarity is crucial if we want to live our lives to the fullest. And clarity is a function of conscious living. Becoming conscious of the inputs we take in, in the form of experiences, reactions, and thoughts is tantamount to spring-cleaning our inner selves. Instead of unwanted feelings and thoughts embedding themselves and causing us discomfort, we use awareness to imbibe their message and free ourselves of them. In the same way, conscious eating will help us to have what is right for us which means what can nourish us and enhance our health. Living like this, we lead updated lives, always in the here and now, instead of dragging our psyches over several time zones, some parts of ourselves deadlocked in childhood, others in a failed marriage and so on. But of course, there is one more task we need to ongoingly undertake, which is to eliminate the dross already within us. To detoxify ourselves and return to clarity! The journey we take will resemble the various layers of the coconut. The husk symbolises our personal spaces, the hard shell our physical body, the succulent meat represents the emotional and mental bodies, and finally the pure clear water symbolises the soul. Each layer must be cleansed and when all is harmonised, the clear waters of the soul will bathe the mind and the body and transform it into its own essence. Clearing the space Our personal space, be it at home or work, reflects who we are and also our mental, emotional and psychological framework. A cluttered desk reflects a disorganised worker while an untidy living room can speak volumes about the homemaker! Also, it is a popular observation that visual perception of open and clear space opens up our minds and related thought processes. Ritualistic cleaning of the home is a part and parcel of many cultures and traditions during important festivals. While the Bengalis utilise their New Year’s Day to clear out their homes of all negativity, the North Indians have Diwali earmarked for this exercise! It is believed that clearing your living space of clutter invites wealth, luck and prosperity. So why wait for a special day in the year to invite good luck, when you can do it right away? Leena Thakkar, a Mumbai-based businesswoman who maintains an impeccable home and person, shares, “I clean my house regularly. Some things I do on a daily basis, like dusting, because I don’t like dust or clutter. I regularly de-weed my plants and free them of dead leaves. I get rid of old newspapers and magazines on a monthly basis. I try not to accumulate anything in excess as that creates negative energy. I have fixed days for washing my bed sheets, curtains, etc. Before I sleep I review my day. I go through all the things that happened and see what made me happy and what didn’t. I see how I reacted and if I could have done it better. I clear my emails and SMSes regularly while travelling or watching TV. I constantly strive to stay free of clutter.” Cellphones, computers and laptops have also enhanced our concept of space and where there is space – clutter is bound to catch up. Hundreds of phone numbers using up the space in your phone’s memory card and computer hard disks crashing with data overload are a common phenomenon. We keep storing those numbers and information in the belief that some day in the future it might come in handy, but surprisingly in most cases it never does! “I have lost my phonebook three times in a year,” says Som Banerjee, a media professional. “I was angry and upset with myself. I thought of all those people whom I might not be able to contact. I painstakingly collected most of the numbers. Only to lose the phonebook again! When it happened for the third time, I noticed a pattern. Each time some numbers got lost from my phone, I was, in a strange manner, also clearing out my connections with people who did not matter any more. I would always get back the numbers of people with whom I regularly kept in touch and who mattered to me, but
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