Tuesday, April 30, 2013


In a class on spiritual development several years ago, I remember claiming that I had almost no clutter left.  I’ve had to laugh at myself many times since then, because, except in the world of politics, a less accurate statement could not have been made.  In fact, it has been only lately that I have gotten to some tightly held, hard-to-let-go-of stuff that has been stagnating in the back of my closet since the hippie days of youthful adventures. 

It really isn’t surprising that over the years the bulk of shopping mistakes, office apparel no longer needed, styles outgrown, items less than inspiring, has found its way to the Hospice Shop or Survival Center.  These things carefully encased in plastic, however, are a different category altogether: long-dormant items representing a time of life that is gone but not forgotten – a time close to the heart.

How fortunate that a light-bulb went off over my head not too long ago, and I realized that my very dear friend, Carolyn, might provide a solution and a reason to let go.  Carolyn has found many new sources of creativity since her retirement, among them building twig furniture, crocheting and, most recently, weaving.  Some of her projects involve taking old clothing, removing the seams, cutting up the material into strips that are then crocheted into rugs; or woven into runners, mug rugs, placemats, and so forth.  What better use for my beloved old wardrobe than to be reborn as something that I can actually use -- and enjoy!

So, the first set of clothing went off to Carolyn’s studio in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and has returned as a table runner with a moon-rising-over-the-mountain theme.  I was so inspired by the colors, texture, and shapes of the completely new design before me that I sent Carolyn another set of outlived apparel, this time from my dancing phase of the mid-nineties.  The theme for the current project is water.  Without planning it, I am amazed to discover that we are working our way through the Feng Shui elements. Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal are all finding expression through the combination of my re-purposed fabrics and Carolyn’s loom.

As a Feng Shui practitioner I have to take my own advice on clutter-clearing.  It’s important to go slow and be kind to yourself, because when you’re working with your “stuff” you are working not only with the physical item, but with the energy behind that item.  If you are not ready to deal with an item – don’t.  There will come a moment when it will be just right to let it go.  In that letting go is freedom and rebirth, and a promise of something new that more truly reflects – and nourishes -- who you are now.