Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (TLB)
Your body is a temple; this includes your mind, heart and spirit. When your body is not aligned with God’s divine purpose for you, you may experience confusion and uncertainty, not knowing which way to turn. When this happens, it’s time to acknowledge the clutter that’s blocking your clarity.
Here are some steps to help you clean out your temple and clear out the clutter.
To clear the clutter, you first have to acknowledge that it’s there. This step can be difficult if you have become so identified with your wounds that you don’t even recognize them. When you say things like, “I’m a failure,” “I’m not good enough,” or “I’m broken,” these are signs that you have become identified with your wounds. Feelings of inadequacy are cluttering your thoughts and preventing you from taking action that can change your life.
One helpful strategy for overcoming mental clutter is to take an inventory of your thoughts. When you are faced with challenges, what do your thoughts tell you? Perhaps you can identify with these common patterns of stinking thinking.
Your external environment is often a reflection of what is happening within you. So, when your mind is cluttered, you may also feel disorganized and clumsy in your work and relationships. If this sounds like you, now is the time to pause and identify anything that is not bearing fruit in your life.
You’ve acknowledged the clutter, now it’s time to do something about it. Choice is the precursor to action. You can choose to live with the clutter and continue to live in suffering, or you can choose to clean your temple and clear out the clutter.
This step requires intention. The desire to be well begins within you; and you have to want change badly enough to do what is necessary for your healing. No one else can do the healing for you.
Mean what you say and stand firm on what you believe. Once you’ve made a decision to change the trajectory of your life, you may find yourself falling back into old thought patterns and behaviors. It’s important to give yourself compassion and gently remind yourself to get back on track.
While your transformation will have ebbs and flows, your decision must be firm and grounded, or else risk the clutter returning. Remind yourself of why you’re cleaning your temple in the first place; perhaps your health is declining, relationships are suffering or your spirit is fading. Whatever the reasons are, write them down in a journal and come back to them whenever you need inspiration.
This step is always the hardest because it requires continuous effort. It’s easy to say we want improvement and then collapse with frustration when we face obstacles. When clearing out your clutter, you may find that you’ve formed attachment with your wounds. It can be painful to let go of toxic relationships and walk away from secure, yet unfulfilling jobs. Remember that pressure and pain is a natural part of the growth process. As you overcome these challenges, you are simultaneously creating new habits and thought patterns, so the next time you have to make a tough decision, you’ll be better equipped.
Perseverance is key in your healing journey, so it can be helpful to connect with people or engage in activities that inspire you to continue on your path to healing. You’ve spent so much of your energy taking care of everyone else, now it’s time to reclaim that energy and take care of you.
Fill up your temple with wellness, nutrition, exercise, and prayer. Be mindful of what you consume, including what you watch and listen to. Make sure you are digesting positive content that is aligned with your spirit so as not to invite corruption. This is the step where you begin to design the life you love by curating physical, spiritual and mental health.
You don’t have to be alone on this journey. That’s why I’ve created the Life by Design Network, a sisterhood of women who are committed to healing and designing lives we love. I invite you to join us as we continue the conversation.
For more on this topic, check out the 4 Stages of Self-Awareness. This four-week virtual course is designed to help you reclaim your power, align with your purpose and live a life you’re proud of: fearless, free and fulfilled.
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