It has been scientifically shown that our physical environment has a direct effect on our mental and emotional wellbeing. The practice of Feng Shui has been around for centuries, but only recently have scientists been able to track how certain environmental factors affect us. Clutter is one of the many environmental aspects that can shift how we are able to function and express ourselves creatively.
In Feng Shui if there is clutter on a desk, it is said to relate to frustration, fear of letting go and a need to control. You may think that if your desk were clean that would actually mean you have to be in control, when in fact, when you are able to put things away and let them go - either from your home or at least from view to a place they belong - then you create more ease and flow in both the room and in your life.
In Charles J. Limb's study conducted on six full-time professional jazz musicians it was revealed that “When they improvised, [their] brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal and lateral orbital regions were far less active – and another brain area, the medial prefrontal cortex, was more active” (watch ted talk, see study). The regions that were less active relate to the parts of us that consciously monitor, evaluate and correct. De-cluttering your work area is a simple and effective way to help your brain move towards improvisation and creative flow.
Clear the Clutter Step-by-Step:
- Find a space that needs to be de-cluttered. Start small. Choose something that is manageable even if it's just part of the bigger picture. Often it's easy to do more once you're on a roll, but don't get ahead of yourself!
- Envision that space cleared and organized. Close your eyes and see it! Breathe deeply.
- Turn on some music. This is optional of course, but music gets me moving and keeps me on track. Plus, dance breaks are helpful with any project!
- Choose your reward. This can be a simple creative project, a bath, a good meal, you name it, but it's nice to know you have a treat at the end, especially if it involves enjoying the space you've just cleared.
- Hop to it!
- Have as least two bags or boxes ready one for throw away items and the other gifts.
- Get a friend in on the fun and take turns helping each other make decisions about what to keep or what to get rid of.
Break that cycle of blockage and let it all flow!
Let me know how it goes along the way.
For even more creative love, check out my online workshop series this month: Creative Renewal.