The ‘Divine’ Art of Culling

With the new year upon us, I am culling my life ridding it of tangibles alongside old beliefs. A reprogramming so to speak. Recognizing that my parents imparted to me the best they knew despite the fact it may not have been ideal for my growth. I’m grateful I’ve not lived through the Second World War or the Depression, and yet it is part of my narrative. Fortunately, over the years, I had the presence to release this, making room for beliefs that are in alignment with who I am, void of the influences of my parents. Deprogramming is as necessary as culling one’s linen closet. Filled with dated linens, patterns, and sheets. Like beliefs, it mirrors a different time.

It was sobering to me a few years ago how overdue I was in sifting through our stuff when I found the Leapfrog warranty that belonged to my 24-year-old son. With kids, hostess gifts, birthday’s, things accumulated and permeated into every crevice of our domicile. Belief systems are no different. We hold tightly on to things we believe to be true when it’s only habit and familiarity nothing more. Many, like superstitions, are fueled out of fear. It’s when we state an intention to unload the weight of nonserving beliefs and open ourselves to what we don’t recognize daring to feel that energy, that our greatest expansion exists. When my convictions are challenged I know I am growing even though the process is uncomfortable. Resistance staunchly stands guard, pulling me back as I consciously open myself to move forward.

At this stage in life, I desire to be lighter. By carrying less weight, physically, mentally and emotionally I know that culling will assist in that process. For me, it’s like going on a ‘stuff’ diet. You bare witness to visual evidence of how much you’re unloading. The organization that results from these actions is pay off all unto itself. Belief systems are no different. If we emptied a significant portion of our hard drive and declared ourselves void of fear filled with love we would feel lighter, more authentic and energetic. It is the metaphorical unloading of crap. Serving no purpose except to weigh one down as you move forward through life. For some, the weight of both the tangibles and beliefs can become paralyzing. It is an art to cull one’s home and one’s temple.  It must be done mindfully and with respect.

The basement for us is the last station before it leaves the building. Once something has found its way down there it can sometimes linger. Leaning on the inside of the basement door waiting to see daylight on the other side where its new existence eagerly awaits unless of course, you have a garage. That is the purgatory stage in culling. Where it sits and rots, and you discover it years later because you’re fed up parking your car in the driveway. Tired of how the garage is being held hostage by stuff. You reclaim it only to discover your ‘things’ have become spoiled from being exposed to the elements, so you discard them. It’s easier that way because the choice is made for you. The same is true with beliefs. Like things, it’s occupying space in your subconscious instead of your garage. You’ll experience in time how the old beliefs no longer support your progression forward and that it’s easier to release them.

I started culling several years ago one shelf at a time. I knew it would take months, but I didn’t figure it would take years. I’ve carefully culled and don’t regret one item that has left our home. I stopped buying storage bins aware they are an illusion to create more space so one could store more stuff. I’m living dangerously, donating it all, mindful not to consume as I once did.

It has become easier for me to do the same thing with the programming that my parents lovingly exposed me to. Their existence was complicated, and with the meter ticking on my life, I would prefer to live it through the lens of a belief system filled with liberation and joy. I did manage to live that way while they were still alive. They couldn’t understand me but as their health declined they were receptive to my perspectives as it appeared to bring them peace and comfort. All I did, was clear a path for them to release their negative beliefs so they could see the light that they always had through the eyes of their child.

The notion of emptying ones home and electing not to store anything anymore anywhere can be demanding. I wanted to be motivated by it, so I chose to do it in small batches. Once both my parents passed I could comfortably own my convictions without having them challenged. I opted to make a grocery list of sorts holding on to the ideas that resonated and taking a pass on others. It helped me to honor not only myself but the highest part of each of my parents. I became present to what surfaced for me, noticing whether I operated from a belief system outside of myself or from my Higher Self. Like the clutter, I attacked the beliefs, in the same manner, chipping at it regularly.

I am shocked to discover that I have furnished and clothed a few second-hand thrift shops. It had me examining just how little we need to have an abundant and awe-inspiring existence. My Universe has expanded as I shifted my belief system.  No longer clothed in a curtain of oppressive and limiting thoughts, space is created to experience life in a new way.  In that practice, age vaporizes and possibility along with new beginnings move in.

Eliminating the perception of value was crucial in the process. When we perceive value, we are hesitant to let something go. I was stuck on the stuff that belonged to my late mother. A ridiculous number of delicate cups and saucers that could outweigh our son’s enormous lego collection. Upon her passing, I couldn’t part with all of it immediately recognizing its value to her. I also thought she might spite me. As absurd as that all sounds there’s a belief in there and it governed my actions. So I held onto it for no good reason except guilt. Another useless belief. Once I realized that these possessions were fading in importance, it was clear to me to revisit my mother’s stuff from this new perspective. I was able to eliminate her things in the same tide of surrender I released my own. I only kept a small embellished handkerchief and a darling embroidered dish towel.

At this juncture, I don’t want to spend one moment of my life looking after stuff. I want to know where everything is and be able to retrieve it quickly and easily. Interestingly, the culling exercise makes you feel like you have more not less. Your wardrobe is tight and functional; every piece is premium. Your linen closet is straightforward, even that nasty everything drawer in the kitchen which is the last bastion of anything starts to make sense.

I had all of our kids cull through their stuff. I’ve also shed the entire storing mentality. Having an excessive number of paper towels, bleach and Windex stored in some crevice of the house because it was on sale. That had legs in the sixties for my folks alongside the plastic covered furniture we had back then, but not for me now.

Form and function have always been my motto, and I believe that simplicity is not understood. Nothing is simple including life. Simplicity is a process whereby one takes something complicated and distills it into the highest form of itself, void of its complexities. Then you see it for what it is. You can walk around the entire thought or space unencumbered. That is what ‘Divine’ culling of our home and my soul has become for me. Navigation in finding my light and feeling the exhilaration against a backdrop of joy, not stuff.

I highly recommend it.


Some Facts:

80% of what we keep we never use.  National Association of Professional Organizers (hereafter referred to as NAPO)

Getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in the average home. National Soap & Detergent Association

We wear 20 % of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest hangs there, just in case. NAPO

25% of homeowners polled with two-car garages, fill it with so much stuff, they can’t park even 1 car inside and 32% fit 1, but not 2 cars inside. U.S. Department of Energy

Home storage products have become a $4.36 billion industry.  Newsweek

On average, we spend 6 minutes looking for our keys in the morning. IKEA

The average American wastes 55 minutes a day (roughly 12 days a year) looking for things they own but can’t find. Newsweek

Americans waste more than 9 million hours each day looking for lost and misplaced articles.  American Demographic Society

There are almost 40,000 self-storage facilities in the United States.  The demand for storage doubled from 1994 to 2004. The Self Storage Association