A secret about clutter: this morning’s meditation insight

My friend is putting together a class on clearing clutter, and this perennial struggle has been top of my mind.  Then this morning, my meditation gave me an unexpected insight into the piles and disorganization we call clutter.

As I sat in meditation enjoying an unusually deep peace and nothingness, I began to see myself sitting at my desk, as if my eyes were open.

Oh dear.

I’m still in the throes of removing the large desk (and emptying seven large drawers) in my office. Stacks of paper dot the office countertops as well as my massage therapy table.  Evicted empty drawers huddle in one corner.  The shredder has been throwing a week-long confetti party on the far side of the room.  And a few accretions of miscellaneous… I’ll be nice — stuff… are now seeping across my desk like a glacier field.

As I “saw” this (with eyes closed), I could vividly feel how stressed I used to get about clutter.

Clutter used to drive me nuts.  Whenever I needed to concentrate or start a new project that required thinking or creativity, I would instantly become super-distracted by things out of place in my environment.  (Coincidentally, I lived a fairly ordered but cluttered life, so there was lots to be distracted by.)  The piles around me would scream: “You don’t have time for THAT, you have to take care of THIS.”  And send me reeling into uncertainty.


But this morning, in that lovely meditative place, I felt my old reaction with compassion and love.  (Awww…)  Then the stressed feeling faded completely, and I was looking at my office clutter while once again feeling that kind of deep peace you can only experience far out in nature or in meditation.

Peace? Amidst clutter like this? But… yes. I could feel Peace in the desk, in the papers, in the… stuff. Peace. Stillness. The scene suspended itself, as if it was waiting for me.  And I got it: clutter is OK.  Clutter doesn’t matter.  Only what I thought and how I felt about clutter made it miserable.  Inside the clutter is stillness.  Inside me is stillness.  Inside each atom of clutter is Tao, Presence, or God.  Inside chaos is the deepest Peace.

And I can (and may) find that stillness, in the midst of any chaos.

I sat with that for a while, until I felt I could reach it again in a non-meditative state. Even now, hours later, I feel deeply peaceful.

Do I still want to create systems so clutter does not build up in my life?  Of course. But this I know: should clutter creep up on me, like when I’m moving furniture around or when I get too busy to file for a while, there will be stillness and holiness in the center of that clutter.

Today I activated this insight by plopping my laptop on top of the clutter and peacefully writing this out for you.

How can you find Peace and Stillness in your clutter?

© 2013 Daria Boissonnas