Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. This past year, I experienced the deep truth that this statement holds. I realised that a cluttered physical environment is a reflection of a cluttered mind; and a cluttered mind is what I had. I also realised that the opposite of the earlier statement was also true: Decluttering physical space brings about the decluttering of mental space to a great extent.
Here’s my story of how a simple act of decluttering outer chaos, brought inner calm:
Until a few years back, I took immense pride in being messy. I would boast to my friends saying: ‘You think you are messy? You should see my room, there are clothes everywhere!’; as if it was something to be proud of.
The ugly truth is that I have been a messy person all my life. I had excessive shopping habits, was disorganised and careless and a serial procrastinator… all these flaws and more. I should probably stop listing those and leave you with a visual of a very messy, cluttered and overcrowded room of a shopaholic. As you can imagine, there was no hope for me. Or so I thought.
Why all that clutter?
Until I met my beloved Master, I never truly realised that the problem was within. In fact, I never saw any problem! Come to think of it, we fail to realise how much we are holding onto mentally, physically and emotionally. The things and clutter we accumulate, we simply dismiss it as a lack of space for all those things we ‘need’.
Except that when it comes to the mind, we are creating excess baggage; mental and emotional. I had this habit of holding onto things in case I needed them in the future, you know, just in case.
Recognising that (much later, of course), I realised that our mind also holds onto our experiences, hurts, tendencies; and somehow basking in this misery, gives us comfort. Thus, our physical surroundings end up reflecting our state of mind.
Hold on inside, hoard on the outside.
The tipping point
What inspired me to transform, then? Well, the true magic happened a few days after meeting my master, Om Swami. After a meeting with him, something within me wanted to change. I thought to myself, He is within me and seeing it all, can I truly let my loving Guru witness this mess? Can He live in a messy home? Thereafter, I started clearing up the mess.
How to declutter?
This was only the beginning. Gradually, I started undergoing an intense mental transformation. Something wonderful happened. With the help of two of His very wise devotees — a successful US-based dentist, and a
Delhi-based inspirational housewife (that could even be a book title:)), I started clearing out my mind.
I dropped unnecessary thoughts, situations and emotions. I concluded that I needed to empty my mind. An empty mind leads to a clutter-free life. Dwelling on the past was a thing of the past and my worries were surrendered at His divine feet.
In the first 6 months, I started disliking a messy sight, I couldn’t stand it. Then, I became absolutely allergic to clutter. A massive decluttering process happened in my life. I craved for empty spaces around me. I gave away bags full of clothes and shoes (still giving away), and even ‘decluttered’ my hair!
My phone also went through a process of tidying up. We unknowingly hold on to so much virtual clutter. The wise dentist (a saint, she is!), imparting our Guru’s precious teachings, gave me a great tip to help declutter my social conversations: As soon as you’ve replied to a text on WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage, etc., delete the conversation immediately. It takes a great deal of courage, and almost a leap of faith at first, but the rewards are promising.
Within and without: It’s interlinked
And so my clutter-free life began with a clear mind. I am now mindful when shopping, and I maximise empty spaces.
Our Divine loving Master, Om Swami, has mentioned it several times in His discourses, His blog and in his newest Audible series ‘Din Ki Shuruaat- Om Swami ke Saath’ (what better way to start the day, eh!): Declutter your life and your mind, you will see the difference for yourself.
Within and without —it’s all interlinked. I believe, through divine grace and willingness, our whole world becomes clutter-free, when we refuse to constantly house thoughts, people, situations in our minds. (How? For another time).
A clear, empty mind truly gives rise to a clutter-free physical reality. As a messy gangster would say: “Dig that mess yo! For real!” Go on, try it for yourself, it gives immense freedom, I have lived to tell the tale.
Note: Deep gratitude to Swami g and Anu who helped me grasp much of the above concept and then I was able to write it out, through His grace:)