Heritage Behavioral Health Consultants
Heritage Behavioral Health Consultants

Decluttering Life

By Julie Summers, M.A., LPC–S

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As one who’s never had much of a green thumb, sometimes I think I may be a bit overzealous in the springtime. But I love getting out in the yard, cleaning out the flower beds, seeing which plants survived the winter, and pruning in preparation for the new growth. The purpose of pruning is to encourage the production of fruit, right? Without pruning, there will seldom be any fruit.

When I think about the simultaneous obligation and opportunity of clearing out the horticultural clutter and the dead of winter, I always think about the parallels in my life.

  • What needs to be dug up and disposed of?
  • What is getting unruly?
  • What is getting in the way of fresh growth?
  • Are the branches of my life going in too many directions?
  • What may need to be trimmed back?
  • Are some weak branches at odds with the stronger, perhaps more vital ones?
  • What is cluttering up the space of my life, stealing oxygen and time and daylight?

I ask myself…

  • What can I let go of to make room for new growth?
  • What do I need to do to create a space for fertile growth?
  • How do I allow adequate sunlight and proper nourishment?
  • How do I create the elusive balance of work and rest, of action and reflection, of creativity and refilling a balance that inevitably falters in time and needs attention with each changing season?
  • Let me challenge you to relate the idea of pruning to your life. Try this journaling exercise by filling in the blanks below:

    “The part of my life that needs pruning is ____” (then keep writing); “It feels wonderful to let go of ____” (then keep writing); “I have a hard time letting go of ____” (then keep writing); “I feel motivated to clean out my personal weeds when ____” (then keep writing); “I can already see the new shoots emerging for ____” (then keep writing).

    By embracing the opportunity to snip away some ugly weeds (toxic people) here & there, trim away some dying leaves (distractions), and even clip off some healthy branches, too (perhaps by finding power in the word “NO”), you may just be AMAZED at the fresh growth waiting to emerge!

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  1325 Campbell Rd
  Houston TX 77055
  Phone: 713-365-9015
  Fax: 713-365-0632