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Isnt time you “Marie Kondo”-ed the Mental Clutter from the “Home” inside your Head?

February 26, 2019

By Catherine Nyika, Holistic Counsellor, Social Worker, Educator and Certified EFT Practitioner

As I write, Marie Kondo Mania is sweeping across the world like a tidal wave and little old Bondi, in Sydney, Australia, is no exception. Just recently I stopped to pick up a girlfriend who had been struck down with the Kon Mari bug, on our way to our weekly social netball competition. As she slumped into the passenger seat I couldn’t help but notice she seemed forlorn, and melancholic. She shared with me she was feeling exhausted, and a tad irritated which is out of character for her. I wondered if the “Super Moon” was impacting on her moods as I also had found myself quite irritated and agitated during the week. “No – I’ve been Marie Kondo-ing my house, it’s so intense”, was the response. As I sighed deeply, out of my mouth came the words, “Oh no! Not you too”!


In case you’ve been asleep the last few months, the famous “KonMari Method” for de-cluttering your life has made it to Netflix with the touching and inspiring documentary series entitled: “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Over the eight episodes of the show, renowned tidying expert Marie tries to help overwhelmed people de-clutter their homes and in the process, their lives too. Each episode follows a different family with varying life stories and situations, desperate to make changes to the chaos of their homes; there’s the ‘empty nest’ couple whose who have spread themselves across the entire house since the kids have moved out, the young couple with toddlers trying to stay on top of the daily grind and keep their relationship alive, and the middle aged mother of adult children trying to move on after the death of her beloved husband. Rather than focussing solely on throwing things away in the attempt to de-clutter, which can only cause unhappiness, Marie Kondo asks the families to hold each item in their hands and agree to only keep those which “spark joy”. 

My friend had spent the day going through the tidying of all her old photography boxes and found herself caught up in the visual reminders of where she “could’ve”, “would’ve”, “should’ve”, and “didn’t” pursue things, people and places in her life. The process of de-cluttering and letting go of the remnants of this time in her life had left her feeling sad and torn between the ‘holding on’ and ‘letting go’. No joy was being sparked in this challenging exercise. So, maybe this because my friend had not followed the Kon Mari ‘ideal order’ in which you tidy up (she had mistakenly placed her photos under ‘paperwork’ instead of ‘sentimental’), OR is it because letting go of anything symbolic, with the love and grace required can just be so incredibly hard?

Similarly to the participants in this documentary who live life inside a house jam-packed with ‘stuff’, many of the amazing clients I get to work with find themselves constantly distracted living a life jammed packed with ‘emotional stuff’ that just isn’t ‘sparking joy’ for them. The only difference is that rather than asking me to help them organise the mess of the house, they take me for a tour around a messy head jam-packed with self-sabotaging, self-limiting and self-defeating internal clutter. This is where I am in my element.

Instead of drowning in closets full of clothes never worn and cupboards overflowing with Tupperware, the clients I see may find themselves drowning in; 

There’s no doubt that living in a home that is free from chaos, clutter and disorganisation offers us a sense of peace and ease, so why is it that we really struggle to establish or want to establish that same sense of peace and ease within our own emotional lives? Just Image the joy that would be sparked by simplifying and organising our lives by getting rid of the mental and emotional clutter of anguish, stress and overwhelm. You know what I’m talking about, the negative inner mind chat you’ve been experiencing every damn day, the voice that tells you; you will never be good enough, that you will be ‘outted’ for the fraud or imposter you are at work, that you are not truly deserving of the good things in your life!

Just like the Kon Mari Method for de-cluttering your home, sometimes all you need is a road map or a formula to help you to de-clutter the chaos in your mind. This is where I turn up to give you that road map necessary to access an emotional and mental breakthrough, and in the process, bring the joy, peace and ease back into your life. That road map is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and it will change your life as it has mine.

In my Sydney and online based Holistic Counselling and Coaching Clinic, The Inner shine Clinic, I often talk to my clients about learning to “come home to yourself” – a self that feels at peace, at ease and de-cluttered from outside unhelpful noise as well as internal negative dialogue. Of course we all walk around with our wounds, our memories, our traumas and our losses. We then make sense of our lives through our live experiences, helpful or otherwise. It’s natural and normal but just like your physical home, things get messy and chaotic when you don’t make the time to go through all the ‘stuff’ you have stored up inside your mind. Many of the experiences, labels and beliefs we keep stored up in the attics of our mind have been stagnant and gathering dust for some time. Even when we no longer need to hold on to the stale old energy, deep in our sub-conscious we believe there is actually a benefit to holding on, to staying small, to staying stuck to the mental clutter. It takes courage to transform and burst out of the cocoon, new, raw and vulnerable – sometimes if feels safer to stay stuck where we are!

I want to share with you my ‘takeaways’ from my own recent Kon-Mari experience because I believe it highlights why de-cluttering for peace and ease should be about the ‘inside job’ rather than how things appear aesthetically on the outside. Like many other women around the world, I caught the Marie Kondo virus. It was a mild case and to be honest I got only as far organising the clothes for the family (which took me two whole days), before I decided to chuck in the towel. I found myself getting annoyed, overwhelmed and irritated, thinking “what’s the point”, “nobody will appreciate my efforts” and “it will all be a mess again in no time”. Also, surprisingly there arose in me some deep seated, suppressed angry towards my partner who I told myself, didn’t feel a calling to do HIS share of the load because he believes the tidying and organising is MY DOMAIN. The noise in my mind told me he was only willing to cheer me on from the sidelines. This internal dialogue inside the messy house in my head was too big to contain; very quickly I perceived that my core need for gender equality was being deprived, I felt triggered, out of control and I was fast running out of ‘joy’ for the project. My powerful mind in just one thought had convinced me that my partner was out to cause me suffering! Like many things I’ve had to face in my life, my mind wanted to give up before it got too hard, to throw that unwanted emotion on the pile of mental clutter building up in my internal home.

Fortunately I have in my back pocket the powerful tools of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to use as a road map for organising my mental anguish. EFT helps me stay curious to the strong emotions that I experience. It enables me to radically shift my stressful beliefs about my life and other people rather than internalise negative belief systems that are unhelpful and usually have no proof to validate their perceived power over my life.

Stagnant clutter whether it is energetic, emotional, mental, physical or spiritual, can prevent you from creating the life you want and deserve. Through the gentle process of EFT we ‘tap’ on a series of nine points that activate key body meridians. By giving voice to the tape that’s already playing out in your head while tapping these specific points, you can release tension related to those repetitive negative thoughts. When you can welcome a nurturing place in your mind where you have permission to acknowledge the struggles and stress in your life, with out criticism or judgment (as you do in an EFT session), you will respond to inner healing processes more efficiently and productively. Once you are able to release anxiety in relation to the issues that distress you, you too will have room to reframe the issue, see it from a fresh new perspective and see a way to move forward instead of staying stuck and punishing yourself with unhelpful internal dialogue.

So can you admit that all this noise in your head and all your past pain in storage in your heart don’t “spark joy” in your one beautiful life? Time to realise that your internal wellbeing is far more important than the appearance of your external home.

So why do you stay stuck in the emotional clutter, when you could Marie Kondo your internal home too? Now that the house is organised, it’s time to become practiced at the art of organising mental and emotional clutter. Open the door to the clutter and blockages inside your busy mind and asked yourself if certain feelings, issues or people in our lives are truly sparking joy OR if they need to be gently thanked, let go and removed?

If you would like to:

Then it’s time to experience my favourite strategy for clearing your mind clutter and other negative  emotions, quickly and effectively. Head to the website homepage to book in at The Inner Shine Clinic to learn the Emotional Freedom Techniques that will finally set your mind free. Availability for new clients now:https://www.theinnershineclinic.com.au

* Images courtesy of Unsplash.com 

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