Day 96, and my current obsession is clutter.
We high functioning alkies, in order to remain high functioning, become masters of prioritisation. We identity all the really important plates and we make damn sure that we keep them spinning.
Much of this is about external appearance. If everything looks as if it's in control then we can kid ourselves that it really is. We're like swans - apparently gliding effortlessly over the water, but in reality paddling like crazy through all the fish poo.
So I would like to bet that many of you have homes that look, on the surface, in pretty good order, but if you look in the cupboards, under the stairs, under the bed or in the cellar they are stuffed with clutter.
When you're drinking a lot you simply don't have time to deal with loads of stuff, to work out where it goes or what to do with it. So you shove it in a drawer and pour another glass of vino. Am I right?
And, here's the spooky thing, didn't we do exactly the same thing with our minds? Oh dear, here's a little emotion that I don't really like and don't know what to do with. Shove it in a recess and pour another drink.
So when we get sober we start clearing out all those rejected and neglected emotions that haven't gone away but have sat there getting mouldy and making us all sluggish and dysfunctional.
It's no surprise, then, that we start feeling the need to do the same thing with our environment. Our gardens (see Gardening) and our homes.
The link between our spiritual selves and our surroundings is the basis of feng shui. I have to confess that I'd always filed feng shui in the 'life's too short for all that up itself nonsense' drawer. But now it makes total sense.
Here's what feng shui has to say about clutter: Clutter is low, stagnant, and confusing energy that constantly drains energy from you. Depending on the feng shui area of your home and where your clutter is located, it can also negatively influence, or even completely block, the flow of energy and events in many areas of your life.
Funnily enough, the two areas of my house that I've started decluttering first are my kitchen and the entrance to my house. Having done some (quick) research I've discovered that the kitchen is the area which is related to your health, especially your liver. How spooky is that?!?
And the entrance to your house is known as the 'mouth of chi' and where your house gets its 'energy and nourishment.' If your 'mouth of chi' is all blocked you're screwed (executive summary).
Now, if you've only just quit drinking and are still in that slight-state-of-shock pink cloudy state, then do park all this and come back to it in a few months time. If, however, this is ringing some bells with you, then here's a link to how to clear your clutter with feng shui.
But, because I'm feeling generous and giving today, I've done a SoberMummy summary:
1. Don't try to do it all at once. Take one small area at a time and spend no more than thirty minutes on each session.
2. In those 30 minutes separate all your clutter into 3 piles: 'keep', 'bin' and 'don't know'.
3. Only keep stuff that you love, or is useful and you have a place for. If you don't love it, or have no use for it and nowhere to put it - BIN IT. (N.B. by 'bin' I obviously mean take to the charity shop/recycle or sell!)
4. Take the 'don't know' box away for a few months, then go through it again doing 'keep', 'bin', 'don't know' until it's eventually empty.
This process is hard work - physically and emotionally - but hugely rewarding. According to feng shui, we are like plants, and we cannot grow without space and light. Clutter saps health and vitality, restricts finances and stifles relationships (apparently).
Let it go (oh God, now I've got that terrible 'Frozen' song in my head for the day) and feel the energy flow.
Since my decluttering frenzy (before I even read all the feng shui stuff), I've created my little herb garden outside my front door, plus a tank filled with the children's tadpoles (which I now think of as my equivalent to the koi carp pool!).
By the front door I have a hook for the dog leads, and pegs for all the children's school bags. And all those bowls filled with bits of stuff have been emptied out and categorised.
I have a long way to go, both with the physical and the emotional clutter, (I haven't been anywhere near the cellar - known in our house as 'the pit of despair'), but I can see chinks of light starting to break through.
Happy Friday everyone!