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SPRING CLEANING WITH FENG SHUI

Not enough room for your yoga mat? It's time for a spring cleaning to create a yoga/meditation space in your home. If you have trouble clearing clutter, cleaning, or getting rid of things, the book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston can help. In this remarkable best seller, Kingston describes the practical, as well as spiritual benefits of clearing clutter and cleaning. Although, there are many books on Feng Shui, the Chinese art of placement, and it's relation to spiritual and emotional well being, Kingston's latest book is unique in that it only deals with how junk affects people.

I am a pack rat and come from a long line of pack rats, always picking up interesting knick-knacks from garage sales, inheriting unwanted things from friends, or buying the latest gadgets. My collections of funky purses, rapping barbies and old record albums started to literally get in the way of my yoga practice. If you can't find the floor, yoga is pretty much impossible. This book was a revelation to me because it goes right to the heart of why we collect to many things and then have trouble getting rid of them.

As a culture, Americans have a propensity for being overzealous consumers and consequently we have far too many things. Kingston has lived part time in Bali for over twenty years. Her first hand experience of Balinese culture has influenced her work as a healer and Feng Shui practioner. Balinese people live quite contentedly without a dependence on an over abundance of material objects. For example, Kingston sights that while most Americans several knives, a Balinese household usually contains only one knife. Ask any four year old to cut a pineapple and you will see how well he handles the knife. The unseen world of the spirits is universally recognized in Bali. The sacred aspects of one's physical dwelling are never taken for granted, alters and offerings to various deities are present in every house.

In the seen world you have a messy garage, in the unseen world you have a nasty habit that you're having trouble letting go of. But, it's not about being perfect, if you have a project and you need to spread your work all over the kitchen table, it's OK, just don't leave it there for two years. Make sure to continually get rid of things you no longer need or love.

Clearing clutter is all about letting go and more importantly the fear that keeps you hanging on to people, things, ideas, places, etc. long after it's time to let go. We are afraid to make mistakes, we are afraid there may not be enough of someone or something. The lack of faith in the universe implicit in hoarding and gathering begins to repel what we need and want, conversely taking a load of old stuff to the Goodwill or the dump attracts people, places and things that resonate with our present vibration. Kingston admits she was a skeptic when it came to Feng Shui and clutter clearing, but she has seen results over and over again.

The book gives practical advice on cleaning and clearing out closets, basements, drawers or whatever area needs clearing. Done in the right frame of mind, housecleaning can be a meditation. After cleaning you feel refreshed, rejuvenated. As it relates to yoga and meditation, clearing a physical space dedicated to your practice also clears a spiritual, emotional and psychological space. A dedicated practice space, diminishes the possibility that you will become distracted before you begin. As you practice yoga and let go of old patterns, release tightness in your muscles, strengthen your body or mind, do the same for your practice space, make it bright and clean, adorn it with fresh flowers and enjoy it.

Written by: Elise Collins


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