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This week we got asked the question: What do you need to let go of to declutter your physical/mental/spiritual space? Do you need to fast from anything specific?

Lets start off with the fact that I don’t like the word declutter, it’s been so overused lately, it’s become this hyped up ‘selfcare’ thing. “Oh I just need to declutter this or that and than I’ll feel good again” – as an act of self-love, just like taking a bath, or doing yoga. It’s not that simple peeps.

Nonetheless, I am sure there are things I could declutter. Take some space from or fast from. I’m thinking of alcohol, snacks, social media, Netflix… These are all quite easy things, something you can literally cut out for a little while. But it doesn’t quite feel right to me. I’m already taking a break from alcohol this month, although the last three days we have had a drink or two… I guess the ‘addiction’ is higher than I expected. It’s not like we (my bf & I) are actually addicted to alcohol. It’s just easy to fall off the wagon. It just so happens that we were feeling good and we thought hey let’s just have a drink because why not. Also because I just simply like the taste of a nice rum and coke or a good beer. Anyway, the thing I’m trying to say here is that I think an underlying thing that overlaps all of these things that I should actually fast from…

What is alcohol, the snacks, social media, Netflix a ‘cure’ for? What is it substituting? What is the real, underlying issue, I should be looking at? How do these moments look when I opt for these things?

It is when I’m working, behind my desk, and not being in a flow and doing something that I have to do but don’t really want to do or when I’m experiencing a lot of stress but having trouble concentrating… That is the moment that I get up and go for a snack. That is the moment, I think it’s a great idea to just hop on IG real quick to see what’s happening. Telling myself and believing it’s actually a good decision, it will give me some new energy and motivation – right?! While we all know it won’t.

It is when me and my partner are sitting on the couch after dinner, both feeling a bit tired and not having a lot of energy, so wondering what we should do that evening… That is the moment we opt for just one more episode or perhaps a movie. That is the moment we are feeling thirsty and thinking ah such a cozy evening on the couch IS better with a nice beer. Telling ourselves, and believing, it is a good decision, it’s just relaxing and it will recharge us for the next day – right?! But we both know it won’t.

These things are an escape. An escape of stress. An escape of pressure. An escape of unalignment. An escape of boredom. An escape of uncertainty. An escape of the lack of purpose.

Which is TOTALLY okay. It’s very human. Even so, I think it’s good every now and then to just take a break from life. But that is what it is and should be, just a break. It’s not an escape. You can’t escape from these things. It doesn’t help you in the long run.

The thing is, we humans and our mental energy… We aren’t batteries: just keep going till we run out and then looking for a way to recharge to get new energy. That is called a burn-out, and not a healthy lifestyle. Instead, we are more like a renewable energy source: energy will create energy. Just like a wind or watermill, moving one thing will give us energy for another thing. But we have to make the waves ourselves. We use energy by doing things, but these things should also give us more energy.

So to come back to the question: What do I need to let go of? Do I need to fast from anything specific? Yes: Escapism.

But better yet: What can I welcome IN? Do I want to make a different choice in anything specific? Yes: Positive Energy.

And no, this is not a switch I can just flip. At least I haven’t found it yet. Sadly. It’s not an easy thing. It’s a conscious choice you have to make EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And that’s hard y’all. But, if you know me, you know I love baby steps. I love easy, simple, so small it’s impossible to not do- things. Realizing what your default choice is now, and why, and then setting yourself up for success. Setting up ‘rules’ that you truly WANT to follow, that make you want to choose the HEALTHY thing. Next time I want to go for a snack as an escape from work and stress, I do 25 squats instead, as a way to make myself feel badass. Next time I want to have an alcoholic drink while me & my bf are sitting on the couch, we switch off the TV and we go outside and find a swing, to make ourselves feel alive and have fun.

Whatever you decide to let go of… make sure it’s a conscious decision. Make sure, it is something that truly feels good for yourself. Make sure, it’s not some sort of escape, coming from a place of ‘have to’, or because it might or might not fix something (spoiler alert: it won’t fix the thing). Make the choice from a place of love. Make sure it because you want to welcome in something new, or you want to make a different choice. Because you feel it’s the right thing to do and you know it will give your psychical/mental/spiritual space a little more … (fill in your own word of intention). Which is the only next baby step you can take.