Clearing Clutter as a Path to Better Sex – Part 1
by: Leslie Blackburn
In this two-part series, we will explore how clearing clutter from your life leads to better sex, more vibrancy, and more clarity. Releasing things that no longer serve you opens Space to move energy through your body, helping you open up to receive and share your vital life force. It also creates room for the relationships or opportunities you seek. Let’s explore how.
What is Clutter?
Clutter can express as the piles of physical stuff sitting in your home or at your desk that is taking up Space but not adding value to your life. Clutter also has an energy and time aspect. Things we do to distract ourselves, kill time, or waste time also clutter our energy field.
Let’s explore two main types of clutter: Time and Space.
Time clutter happens while watching TV, “killing time,” or “wasting time.” It’s doing random things that don’t really serve a purpose or feel that good other than to distract us from ourselves and what’s really going on with us and our experience.
In my upcoming book, Sacred Sexuality: Listening to Our Bodies, I share the story of how twenty years ago, I finally recognized my relationship with TV was a major time clutter and how I finally let it go.
My partner Dixon, who is the nationally touring musician of Dixon’s Violin, shares a similar story. Over a decade ago, when he was still in corporate life, Dixon also watched a lot of TV. He noticed that as he released this cluttering time-killer, it allowed him to really explore himself.
At first, this was hard— it meant there was Space to look within and see the things about his life that felt hard to change. As he did, it freed up creativity in his music, and he was able to move from playing notes on a page to improvisationally creating music for live audiences.
Developing his signature improv style with the digital violin was a critical part of Dixon’s journey as a full-time musician. On stage, he describes how he wishes to share his soul and inspire his audiences. Releasing time clutter helped open the path to a new and more satisfying career.
There are many kinds of time clutter. Clearing it opens Space for personal growth and stepping into one’s power. It also leads to better sex, better connections with others, more intimacy, and better connections within.
Space clutter is the physical stuff in our lives that we hang onto beyond its useful time. This can include boxes of old papers and files, clothing, dishware, trinkets, and more.
I notice that some people have more proclivity for hanging onto things than others. Some of this may be passed on inter-generationally: I have felt threads of this tendency in myself coming from my grandparents living through the Depression-era. When my grandmother died, we found food dating from the 1950s in her deep freeze. For many people in the Great Depression, survival was dependent on saving things.
Both clutter and decluttering tend to involve emotion. Real urgency motivated my grandparents to save everything they could. The tension was passed on through her descendants to me. Until we recognize this, we don’t even know why we need to save something, and yet, we’re saving it. The feeling that we need to do so is often rooted in the past.
Another way I noticed my own unhealthy pack-rat qualities showing up was with a sense of: “If I destroy these documents or get rid of this box of stuff from college, then somehow that part of me, that phase of life, disappears. If I do this systematically, I am going to erase myself!” Over more than a decade, as I did serious phases of clearing physical clutter from my home, I noticed a lot of emotional overwhelm. I know I am not alone in this.
Because of this dynamic, going through the decluttering process involved body-level fear. Although I was rationally aware that I would survive discarding some stuff, it felt like I wouldn’t. It didn’t feel safe to my system. When that happens, it’s common to override the body and ignore its messages. When the body talks, we need to listen. So I listened. This brought up a real question: “What does my body need to feel safe as I clear this?”
As I discovered ways to support myself emotionally through my clearing process, releasing clutter from my life became much easier. I also collected some tips to help you on your decluttering journey.
Clutter Clearing Tips
Don’t try to bite it all off in one chunk.
It doesn’t need to happen all at once. For me, decluttering involved quite a spiral of unwinding layers: layers of emotional content, things held back and stored in my body, and my sexual energy. Things felt heavy. They weighed on me.
Not doing it all at once and taking baby steps helped me. This is not true for everyone — some people do it all in one big chunk. Listen to your body for your pace. Dixon taught me a lot in the clearing clutter phase and has definitely moved through many cycles himself — he’s made DEEP cuts. For him, his body was alright with, “Ok, it ALL goes!” So he did!
Take baby steps if you need to, and listen to your body. Here’s a way to do that:
Decide on one chunk.
Example: Kitchen clearing. I noticed a bunch of stuff stored in the backs of my kitchen cabinets. Items seemed to get hidden back there and then multiply when I wasn’t looking. Suddenly I had fifteen small, trinkety glasses I didn’t need anymore. Does this sound familiar?!
Instead of going through and pulling out only the things you don’t want, decide on one chunk — in this example, the dishes-and-glasses cabinet —and then…
Pull EVERYTHING out.
Empty out everything from this chunk of the kitchen and move it to a staging spot— in our case, the dining room table. Not just one or two things, but everything. There is something that happens when you pull everything out all at once. The energy breaks up a bit, and this gives you a chance to free the items from your Space.
Make a choice.
Next, decide what stays and what goes. Select ONLY those things to keep that are intentionally going to stay.
Listen to your body.
As you engage with this energy, watch your body position. Dixon was also helping me see this. He would notice that all of a sudden, I had curled down into a ball, and I was reading something I filed away back in 1983. I was touching it, reading through the details, and it was sucking me back into the inertia of a past time.
When you notice this, stand up and move and release from that draw. There is a kinesthetic memory that happens when we touch things from the past that can feel overwhelming and suck you back in. The way out is to notice and move your body.
Call in an Emotional Support Crew.
Having someone watching, supporting, and doing a lot of the touching and moving of things through this process with you can be very helpful. Dixon had been in my life only a few years as I was unpacking and unwinding stuff from decades prior. Dixon’s support helped me see things from an impartial point of view.
I call this your Emotional Support Crew — people you trust who are not tied up in the emotional content you are going through. Call them in advance to be there with you. They can help you see things in a new way, one that is not embroiled in some past memory. There are also people who help clear clutter as a profession. Explore asking for the support you want.
Take a picture.
Consider taking a digital photo as an alternative to storing the physical item if it is something that you want for a memory, yet it’s no longer serving in your life. This can honor its memory and give you Space to let the item go.
It was tender for me to remove some stuff, especially some big stuff, and I wasn’t so sure I was ready to let it go. For some of the bigger items or emotionally charged ones, it felt overwhelming — like flighty terror in my body, traumatic responses. In those cases, rather than telling myself, “Just toss it anyway! Rip it off like a bandaid!” I found I needed to stage it.
Staging means putting an item aside for a bit before deciding for sure whether it leaves. I designated a spot in the garage for this purpose. If, after a little while, I didn’t notice it missing, I could come back to it and see, “Oh yeah, I really don’t need this.” Then, it was easier to finally let it go.
The key here is to move the item from its original spot. It starts the energy shift that needs to happen, breaking up the inertia that holds things in place.
Create a ritual to let it go.
Remember: honor this as energy. Continue to do your own human homework in your life and with past relationships, make peace, and invite forgiveness for yourself and others. This is all part of what creates the possibility that you can let some of this stuff go now. And this process can work both ways. Sometimes letting go of stuff is where forgiveness and peace start to open up.
Treat the clearing as an intentional ritual.
I have found having four intentional piles helps me:
- Recycling – Stuff that can go into the recycling bin
- Donations – Lots of different donation paths.
- Re-file – Sometimes, in this process, I find something in one room that actually is useful but needs to be in a different room or Space to fulfill that purpose. “Oh wow! That was here? You are going somewhere else.” I encourage you to make sure this is a particularly tiny pile. If you haven’t noticed it in years, maybe it doesn’t need to stay.
- Waste – What is literally going into a landfill? I try to keep this pile small, if possible, repurposing or recycling if it’s an option. That said, I have also made peace with throwing things out if needed. If the energy required to repurpose or donate becomes overwhelming, then maybe this is the case where I am going to use the landfill.
All of these are wonderful tools to help your process. Here are two more:
Once I decide to start with a chunk of decluttering, I tend to get overwhelmed, trying to do it all at once. Sprinkling in short breaks as needed to move, breathe, drink water, dance, and sing helps my body process and feel revitalized for the next step. It becomes a much more enjoyable process as I acknowledge and celebrate my forward momentum.
This brings us to the final and most important tip:
Phase 1 is complete. Now you can do a Happy Dance and celebrate that you have cleared some things. Yay! Joy! You can feel new space opening in your home, in your body, and energy field — the Space you need to feel more vibrant and alive.
Join us next month for Part 2 of Clearing Clutter as a Path to Better Sex, where we explore inviting your sexual energy to be cultivated in new ways.
Leslie is a queer, white, omnisexual, polyamorous, ecosexual, kinky, genderqueer supporter of all beings to be authentically who they are and uses the pronouns they, them. Their work blends Sacred Sexuality, Ancestral Healing, Grief & Emotional release, and Anti-Racism work to support collective liberation, self-awareness, vitality, empowerment, and joy. Leslie stewards the land at One Space: a private sanctuary, home, Temple, and community space on four wooded acres in Ann Arbor, Michigan. www.LeslieBlackburn.com