The Art of Clearing Space

The Art of Clearing Space

by Beth Shaw | 8/03/2017

Space! You need, I need it, your family needs it.  We need space in our schedules to exercise, practice yoga, prepare healthy food and meditate.  We need space to move around and not feel trapped.  We need space to breathe and step away from the hustle of our day-to-day. Yoga gives us both physical and mental space, and guess what, our environment is also in need of this space.

Here are some tips for decluttering:
Visualize and Make a Reasonable Plan
Your home may never look like a pictorial from Better Homes & Gardens, but it should function.  Make a plan for each room. For the purpose of YogaLean, I will guide you through your kitchen in hopes that your new clear space will open the doors to other rooms, closets, or even your car trunk.
Perhaps your kitchen needs a complete renovation from cabinets to counters to paint or perhaps you simply need to purchase functional cooking supplies that inspire you to cook.  Your broken pans and dull knife aren’t going to motivate you to whip up something great for dinner.  But what will? 
Devise a plan and/or list that show you what you need or want to make your kitchen brighter and more functional.  Figure out a shift that works for you and know that dramatic shifts, like a kitchen makeover, do not have to be costly.  

Create a vision board of what your ideal kitchen would look like and what utensils and spices you need to cook seamlessly.  In Part II of this book, I dive into clean eating and foods that will aid your body and mind, make a list of those foods so that you can fill your pantry, fridge, and freezer with them.
Make a list of the foods that make your feel groggy or that you know are bad for you - your secret candy stash, the junk food that you find yourself aimlessly gnawing on in moments of despair, of indulgent Dove bars.  With each item, think about the good of your body and take a note of it.
Clear the decks
In order to get and stay lean, we must be able to continuously let go of things that are not working in every and any way.  Remember that YogaLean is a combination of changing your body and your life.  If you live in a distressed, unclean environment, your body will soon reflect that.  Set an example for yourself. Sentimentality will keep you stuck in the past. To be lean is to let go - again and again - and to stay in the present moment. 
Commit yourself to this project by blocking off a Saturday or Sunday or even take a day off of work and if you’re open to it, grab a friend or two to help out.
Start clearing the decks. If you’re open to it, grab a friend or two and take everything out of your kitchen – and I do mean everything.  Get three large cardboard boxes and label them “Toss,” “Donate,” and “Keep.”  Then clear out all the cabinets, counters, refrigerator and shelves.
This is an important step toward developing Lean Consciousness and is part of the letting go process. Things look different when they are clear. Once everything is out of the space, reassess what you need and what is important to your kitchen.
Toss anything that is old, broken, expired or that you have not used in the past year and/or no longer serves a purpose (i.e. your old Fry Daddy).  Go through your kitchen cabinets, fridge and freezer - toss or donate any food that is composed of white flour, sugar, hydrogenated corn syrup or contains transfat. Throw out any sauces, spices, dressings or condiments that are expired or more than six months old.  FRESH is everything.
Donate what you cannot bear to throw out or canned foods, remembering there is someone less fortunate who may benefit from your donations.  Get rid of anything that is not helping you move in the right direction. You are either moving toward your goals or away from them. Know which direction you are moving in at all times. 
Keep items, tools, gadgets, whole grains, and other goods that will help you on your YogaLean mission to live a healthier better you!


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