Becoming a Minimalist for Thyroid Health
I hate having too much stuff around me! Now that I have finished with one lot of education and am about to start on the next leg of my journey, I am taking the opportunity to go through my study and clear out some clutter.
Warning: Stuff Clearing is addictive!
It’s quite addictive this process I find. Once you start in one room, you can’t help but think of all the other areas in your life that could use a good cull. And it feels so good when it’s done, doesn’t it?? Makes you feel clean inside and out!! Sometimes, though, it is hard to let go of things and it can get out of perspective what stuff is actually important and what stuff is not. We have always sold excess stuff at swap meets and given things to goodwill shops. I can only imagine the amount of stuff that would be filling these walls if we hadn’t. But now it is time to get a little more serious. Now it is time to part with bigger things, seemingly precious things, what-if things and sentimental things.
Is Stuff more important to you than Experiences?
It reminds me of a conversation I had many years ago with a friend. My husband had been working away and our little boy was growing by the minute. My husband was missing it! So one weekend we made the wild decision to sell the house and buy a caravan so that we could go with him to work. When we first announced this plan, I really don’t think anyone believed that we had actually ordered a caravan. It was May and it would not be ready until December, so most people, I assume, just thought the idea would fizzle out.
A few months later we traded in our car for a 4WD, which you need when you are about to take possession of a rather large caravan. Well, that was when the disbelief started. Comments such as “Oh? You really are doing it then?” started coming in. We were very excited by the whole process, so a lot of the negative comments just passed us by. We knew we were doing the right thing for our family.
But What About Your Stuff?
But then came this unexpected comment from a friend of a friend at a party. “But what about all your stuff?”. She was seemingly horrified that I could go without all my “things” for an indefinite time-frame. This was very curious to me as I was not getting rid of it all (mind you, we did get rid of many unnecessary items); we were simply putting it into storage. But what I found most strange was that “the stuff” could be considered more important than me being able to sleep beside my husband every night, or my son being able to see and cuddle his father every day.
It was a great process, getting rid of all the “crap” and packing up the rest. In the 4 years that followed of being all together as a family, we remarked quite often that had the storage shed burnt down then we really would not have been that devastated. Apart from sentimental items, there was really nothing that couldn’t be replaced. It was such a free feeling.
Getting rid of stuff can improve your health
Part of healing your thyroid or your health, in general, is about a simple, clean, uncluttered environment to live in. How can you possibly feel motivated and happy if you are weighed down by every item you have ever been given or purchased? Detoxing the house you live in, is just as important as detoxing the body you live in. How can you walk into your kitchen every morning and consider making yourself a healthy nourishing breakfast if there are bills or household stuff all over your kitchen bench?
Letting go of Past Lives….
No, I don’t mean in a metaphysical way. In my current lifetime, I have been a dressmaker, a jewellery maker and a cake decorator amongst other professions. My cupboards still hold the ingredients of these little lifetimes, partly because they are items that never go off, partly because I may use them again, and partly because I still love all the bits and bobs that they contain. Maybe there is also that part of me that does not want to let go of how much I enjoyed doing each of these things. But, they continue to sit in the cupboards…..unused!
We have been in our current home for 2 years now, and I have not reached for any of the above items in this time. I even take clothes to be mended to the alteration shop instead of pulling down the sewing machine! In fact, some of this stuff has been in boxes since we travelled in the caravan, and that was 10 years ago now. So do I really need to have all this excess stuff? Or could they be traded for a weekend away, or a mystery flight or any number of other experiences I might like?
Getting realistic about letting go….
I have dozens of cake tins, cookie cutters, flower moulds and so on. Likely thousands of dollars worth. My thought process is always “I would never get my money back” or “I’ll use them when I make family and friends celebration cakes”. Getting realistic about it, in the 5 years or so since I stopped making cakes I’ve maybe made 2 or 3 celebration cakes. And could I hire those tins and equipment from the cake shop for the weekend? YEP!! So it is not like I will never be able to bake again.
Am I ever going to get out the beads and make a necklace for myself again? Unlikely – I don’t really like costume jewellery these days, so why hold onto hundreds of dollars of supplies? Can I go and buy some beads and make something in the future if the mood strikes me? Of Course!
But the bottom line is, my big hairy dream is to travel and write. To travel the world and experience different countries and cultures and to write and inspire people to have simple health, simple lives and simple joy. So how does holding onto equipment from previous lifetimes get me to my big hairy dream? They don’t, so it now becomes a test of faith, a test of my belief in my own dream. Do I want it enough to part with these everyday things? Do I want to make the leap from Big Hairy Dream to Solid Plan and Checklist?
Where do you start?
You start with the room you spend the most time in, be it your bedroom, kitchen, lounge room or study; this is the place to start simplifying your surroundings. Throw things away, wipe things over, make the room pleasing to your eye. What is your big ass, pie in the sky goal? This is the subject of another post, however, it is worthy of mentioning here. Mine is to travel all over the world staying in beautiful hotels. So, I have set up our bedroom to remind me of a lovely hotel room. It makes me feel peaceful and indulgent all at the same time and reminds me of my goals.
What are your goals? How can you make over your favourite room to inspire you to keep working towards those goals? What stuff can you throw away right this minute that will lower the clutter ratio?
My Favourite Organising System
Have you read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UP? Also called The Konmari Method, this New York Times Best Seller walks you through the magic of clearing the clutter. Her motto is “If you don’t love it, don’t keep it” and shows you how to systematically go from room to room, making it a home full of beautiful things instead of stuff. It even shows an amazing way of rolling your clothes in your drawers so that you can see every item at a glance. Pure genius I think!!
What would you Swap your Stuff For?
So what would you happily swap “stuff” for?
A Houseboat for a week?
A Health Retreat at The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Centre in Arizona?
2 weeks volunteering at The Gerson Clinic in Mexico?
A Family Reunion?
A massage every week for a year?
3 months volunteering at an orphanage in Bali?
Maybe it is just paying off credit cards and loans to experience the freedom of no debt.
There are so many amazing things you could do, and everyone is different. The end result is a life made more simple because there is less “stuff” in it, and a life made richer for the new experiences. What’s the old saying? “You can’t take it with you when you go”, but I personally believe your soul takes memories with you.
What are you willing to trade?
Love & Hugs