Excerpt from Breathing Room, by Dr. Melva Green and Lauren Rosenfeld.

This is a sorting exercise unlike any you have tried before. Rather than sorting things into “give away” and “throw away” piles, you are going to sort them according to the emotions they bring up in you.

Get four pieces of paper. On each one, write the name of a consuming emotion: worry, guilt, regret, fear. (There are more than just those four, but let’s start there.)

When you pick up an object, hold it to your heart. Your heart chakra is a sensitive energy center, which allows you to feel the energy of the object. You might like to practice with something you truly love and treasure. Pick up that valentine with the handprint on it that your child made for you or the quilt that your great-grandmother sewed for you. Hold that treasured object and really feel the flow of that sustainable energy to your heart. If you close your eyes and tune in, you will be able to feel it flowing—the energy of love, happiness, and kindness. You will feel uplifted and strengthened.

Not every object is going to do this for you, though. In fact, objects that carry negative energy will make you feel drained when you bring them near your heart. You may feel a twinge. You may feel a wrench. You may feel a terrified fluttering, akin to a trapped animal. You may feel a subtle sickness. You may feel a sinking sensation.

Once you have these sensations through your heart center, you are onto something. Look at the four pieces of paper you have laid out on the floor. Which pile does this item belong to? Once you let go of it, commit to letting it go for good. There is absolutely no need for you to keep any of these emotions lying around your home. They are draining you and your environment of your precious energy.

Just how much of your stuff are you hanging on to because of guilt, regret, worry, and fear? It is important to have an awareness of how much physical and emotional space these specific emotions take up in your life. If we are to work toward decluttering these emotions, we must first take stock of how much power they have over us.

Now remove those items. Donate, recycle, or trash them. It’s up to you—but you must commit to getting rid of the consuming emotions that are eating up your life energy!

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