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Gaylah Balter

Clearing Spiritual Clutter
by Gaylah Balter

As you turn your mind toward spring and the sure to follow spring cleaning that might include a garage, a back entry, or a front porch, add something new to your usual activities. Look a little deeper, go inward and reap the benefits of some spring cleaning for the soul. "Why, you ask, would the soul need any spring cleaning?" As our daily life unfolds we lose track of our soul’s needs. Why? Noise, clutter, stress, or life chaos seep into our life and dim our ability to care-take our soul. Would a spring cleaning help to bring some light to the situation? A lot of spiritual clutter accumulates in the soul which interferes with achieving a full and satisfying life for yourself. I will explain shortly.

Gardening with Soul by Gaylah Balter

What is the soul and why would it need or benefit from some sort of cleaning? We think of the soul as a timeless, eternal, or divine aspect of our persona. Denise Linn, says, "Soul is a word we use to describe the central or integral part of something; it is the vital core. In its most profound sense, it also describes the essence of every human being."

How would I go about spring cleaning my soul? First, I will introduce you to some concepts that you might never have associated with spirituality or your spiritual bank account, and then I will show you how to go about the process of spring cleaning the soul and why it’s so important.

Let’s look at some aspects of spiritual clutter first. Here’s a quiz to get you started:

  1. When I look at my physical clutter do I understand how my mindset, emotions, and lack of self-nurturing have contributed to the mess around me?
  2. Do I understand the interconnection between the physical clutter in my life and the mental, emotional, and spiritual issues that are present?
  3. Do I have a hard time breaking habits that no longer serve me?

What is spiritual clutter and why do I have to be concerned about it? It is the inability to nurture and support your purpose in life and prevents consistent and conscious behavior and decision-making. It limits your ability to fully develop values and actions that are in sync with your innermost desires.

Here are some things to do that will get you thinking in the right direction. Go over these and refer back to them when you need to.

  1. Take a positive attitude towards life.
  2. Learn to forgive and forget.
  3. Let go of past experiences so they don’t continually go round and round in your mind.
  4. Learn to let go of past grievances, bitterness, and resentments.
  5. Become aware of how your inner world is not sync with the outward manifestations of your life.
  6. Learn to take risks.
  7. Decide to live in a manner that is consistent with your desires, goals, and values.

It is important to take responsibility for your cluttering ways. The truth is simple. You have spiritual clutter in your life because you have given importance to other matters rather than taking care of the status of your surroundings, your thoughts, or your behaviors. Honesty with yourself and your goals is one of the most important things to begin to do. Are you living your life in accord with your goals, desires, and values? When you don’t, tension and anxiety take over your life. These spiritual issues have kept you depressed and drained of the ability to think positively. Restoring consistency between your outer and inner worlds will help resolve all forms of clutter, restore your personal power, and elevate your self esteem.

Frances Vaughn, in The Inward Arc remarks, "A genuine confrontation with the truth … demands authenticity and personal integrity. When one feels one way and acts in another, one creates conflict rather then coherence and experiences stress and disharmony or dis-ease."


  1. Think more positively.
  2. Seek the valuable lesson in all situations.
  3. Simplify your life.

These are deposits for your spiritual bank account. As you visualize what you want your life to look like, more ideas will present themselves. Be sure to write these down and post them in places where you will see them often.

Spring is the time changes are occurring all around you in nature. You can use this energy to help you make spiritual changes for yourself. Phrases such as, "It does a soul good and its food for the soul" describe what you can look forward to. Set aside time to write down goals you have been thinking about for some time.

Clean Your Clutter by Gaylah Balter

Now visualize what your life would be like if you instituted some of these. Would you begin to attract the friendships you desire? Would you feel less guilty because your values have not been expressed in your everyday decisions? Would you have more energy because the bitterness and old grudges you hang onto would no longer weigh you down?

The changes you institute will be noticed by other people; so be prepared for comments suggesting you are different, happier or have more energy.


  1. Write down what you are most longing for.
  2. Do a lifestyle survey.
  3. Evaluate your time commitments.
  4. Deal with unresolved conflicts, angers, and hurts.
  5. Where has your life clamored for de-cluttering?

Speaking, Thinking, and Acting:

The ways you speak think, and act impact every facet of your life. It is important to look deeply into how you speak, think, and act. In addition, your body hears everything you say and can pick up some negative images from your speech patterns. This could influence your health.

Creating clear and positive ways of speaking is the result of the inner work you are doing. Language is always the result of your thoughts, habits, and inner directives and has the power to influence you and others positively or negatively. Could you change, "I'd kill to have that" to "I would really love having that."

You attract what you think about. Think more about the abundance in your life and not the lack.

Meditating, praying, spending time in nature, and finding a like-minded spiritual community are all ways to begin to find spiritual sustenance and bring the action part of the process to your everyday life.

When the motifs of your life consist of random choices or a lack of conscious living, then your thoughts, actions, and decisions create barriers to the free flow of energy. This in turn brings stagnation and blockages to the easy and clear flow of energy that can invigorate and nurture the soul.

Sometimes we allow our fears to dominate our choices. The near relative of fear is a high level of anxiety and stress as well as mental upset. Feed your mind, body, and soul with positive messages that work to allay the anxiety and stress that builds up. A student of mine noted, "I’d remember the anger. I was hanging onto negative energy. Am I living in the past or am I living in the present? Clearing out clutter means accepting yourself, where you are in your life at the moment … it eliminates guilt and embarrassment."

Here are some other questions to ask. They will get you thinking about goals you might want to achieve or some that you have put aside in the past.

  1. What areas of your life feel overextended?
  2. What creates the feeling of being overwhelmed?
  3. Do I feel trapped in a lifestyle that doesn’t suit me?
  4. Watch to see where you are being pulled in two directions.
  5. Are you secretly afraid of slowing down, because that will mean getting to know yourself better?
  6. Do you stay busy in order to stuff your feelings and ignore them?

The soul is fragile and needs nurturing and care. We tend to neglect its needs as we dash about working, playing, and taking care of our responsibilities. Spring forces us to look at, focus on, and experience change. It is also a good time to look at our inner landscape; take note of our souls’ needs. Spring cleaning aims to dust off accumulations of grime, set things in order, and restore the former brilliance of objects and ideas. We can apply these concepts to our soul searching activities. The author William James observed, "The greatest revolution of my life is the discovery that individuals can change the outer aspects of their lives by changing the inner attitudes of their mind."

The soul loves active participation in the goodness of life, its spiritual pursuits, and the ways we have of feeding our core, our essence. If we rush about, live with too much stress, and give chaos a home in our lives, we deny our soul its path to help us fulfill our purpose in life.

Soul searching is good to do occasionally. Clearing the cobwebs of old habits, mind sets, and tapes needs to be done every once in a while. Taking a thorough look at our lives, goals, and values is good to do. Spring cleaning for the soul will undoubtedly cause some emotional upset as you clear the dust and debris of old thoughts, language habits, and ways of acting. This will go away as you reap the benefits of the changes you have instituted and your life will surge forward with lots of positive energy.

I love spring and the new vistas that it brings to my life everyday. It makes me look inward and see where I can jostle up the cobwebs a bit, make some long desired changes, and be kinder to myself. All this feeds the soul. You won’t regret taking the time to do some of the exercises I propose. Good luck on your soul journey and happy spring cleaning.

© Copyright 2005 Gaylah Balter.  All Rights Reserved. 

Gaylah Balter
Gaylah Balter grew up using acorns as dishes and talking to the massive oaks under which she played. Sitting with her dog Pal on the hill outside her home she chatted with him about all sorts of things. She used to pick the irises and lilies of the valley that grew on the property where she lived, and she talked to them as well. It seems she was always talking with some part of the natural world.

As an adult, Ms. Balter traveled to many faraway places and lived the ordinary life of most people, marrying, working, raising two children, divorcing, and discovering more about herself. She became an occupational therapist, educator, meditation teacher, and massage therapist, specializing in energetic techniques for healing.

She now lives in Olympia, Washington, and has what she calls her ‘English Cottage’ with a window in her living room looking out onto the expanse of her garden. She enjoys her meals there and gazes out quite often with her treasured dog, Joseph.

Gaylah is active in social action and environmental organizations and has participated in numerous projects to lobby governmental agencies and increase public awareness about important Earth issues.

Ms. Balter is the author of two books, Clean Your Clutter, Clear Your Life: A Practical Manual Using Feng Shui Principles and her newest, Gardening with Soul; Healing the Earth and Ourselves with Feng Shui and Environmental Awareness. She is a Feng Shui consultant and teaches classes on meditation, Feng Shui, cleaning clutter, six healing sounds, and gardening with Feng Shui. Visit www.learningtreebooks.com.




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