Even though I am not a collector of things in general, I still find myself challenged by too much stuff. And where I used to fancy myself some sort of ascetic, able to throw things out without a thought for their future use, in the past few years I've been more cautious. I've given those things a bit more time to prove their worthiness. Unfortunately, my Virgo organizational skills are not nearly so developed as my astrological tendency to disparage the untidyness. I've been literally unable to put these things into order without digging them out of drawers and boxes in their entirety and mulling over their necessity in my life. As this sort of deep ontological reflection on my possessions is very time-consuming, I often turn my cheek on those messes and focus on the things that seem more important in the moment. But I sense the lack of spacial clarity and energetic vibrancy. I'm left unsettled and incomplete. My space does not feel as harmonious as it could be.
If our couches and bookshelves could do yoga, they would call it vastu. The Vastu Shastra is an Indian science of spacial-alignment older than Feng Shui. And the Vastu experts do not have positive things to say about clutter. Kathleen Cox, author of Vastu Living, says that "Physical clutter creates mental clutter, which leads to stress and tension... Clutter is harmful to our health. Vastu helps you determine where the clutter is in your life. Anything that does not connect to who you are, what you love or what you do, and anything that doesn't serve an ongoing utilitarian function, is clutter. It's wasting valuable space."
When I look at clutter in this way, taking on the practice of Vastu in my home becomes an aspect of my own yoga practice. Cleaning the dishes is as useful to my mental health as downward dog and the proper alignment of my furniture becomes as important as the safe alignment of my knees.
Vastu asks us to align our environment for the optimal flow of energy, creativity, and abundance. It is a powerful practice that can re-focus our minds so that our daily tasks are elevated to their own form of spiritual discipline. Every moment counts. So, give yourself a pat on the back if you made the bed today or cleaned off the countertop. It's all baby steps towards awakening to our full potential. Vastu teaches us that every action is deeply meaningful, even scrubbing the grout.
OM Bhagavataya Vastupurushaya Namaha.
I'm going to clean the house now.
*If you would like to learn more about Vastu, I highly recommend starting at Vastu Creations.