255 Hope Street, Providence, Rhode Island

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My Clutter Clearing Miracle

I married my dear husband, Carl, last year. At 56 years old, this was my first marriage.

For most of my adult life, I struggled finding a soul mate. I was blessed with great friends, professional success, good health, and a beautiful home. While I appreciated all the gifts in my life, I missed the love and companionship of someone special.

I knew why I struggled. My father died suddenly in an accident I witnessed when I was eleven years old. I understood the effects of this tragedy. My underlying fear of abandonment kept me drawn to men who were as emotionally unavailable as I was.

I spent many years in therapy, dealing with issues of unresolved grief and loss.  As I released the pain from my past, I became more relaxed and confident. While therapy helped tremendously, it wasn’t until I deliberately practiced clutter clearing that dramatic changes happened.

I began the process without focusing on how clutter clearing could help me in relationships. I simply wanted to live more lightly and release what no longer served me.

From sages to scientists it’s been said that the Universe abhors a vacuum. For clutter clearing purposes this means that the Universe naturally fills empty space with new experiences consistent with your intentions.

I became obsessed with the process! I devoted many weekends sorting through everything. I donated, recycled or threw away stuff, stuff and more stuff!

One day the thought entered my mind:

“This is the key to finding my soul mate.”

I was on a mission!

I now began looking at all my mementos with a discerning eye. Even though I understood the power of clutter clearing, I still hadn’t taken it to this deeper level.

Here’s what I did:

Old Journals

I wrote in journals for years. Most were filled with pages and pages of pain about yet another failed relationship. Even though I no longer felt the pain inside me as I had in the past, the energy of that pain remained as long as I kept those journals. It was almost as if my pain were an old friend, still living with me embedded in those pages. To have a healthy relationship, I knew I needed to completely release that pain.

I burned the journals in my fireplace.

Old Letters:

My first relationship, in my early twenties, lasted about four years. I hadn’t yet started my journey of self-discovery and felt depressed most of the time. I couldn’t connect on a deep level to this person who loved me very much.

I had saved dozens of letters he sent me. I read through each letter thoughtfully. These letters reminded me of a time in my life when I didn’t like how I felt about myself. I needed to release the negative energy that remained with me through those letters.

I burned the letters in my fireplace.

Something amazing then happened. Within weeks of burning those letters, my former boyfriend contacted me after fifteen years! He had married, recently divorced and wanted to see me. I decided against getting together because I didn’t want to revisit that time of my life. His reappearance gave me an opportunity to continue my commitment to move forward.

One of the profound effects of clutter clearing is that as you release things associated with people in your life, energetically they also experience a shift in their consciousness. Understand this phenomenon as the Universe giving you another opportunity for personal growth.

Symbolic Objects:

In my later adult years I fell in love with a writer. This man was very important to me but could not offer the commitment I so desired. The relationship lasted several years until I finally mustered the resolve to end it.

I burned his books in my fireplace.

Release With Love

I cleared from my life these journals, letters and books respectfully. The process was neither hurried nor haphazard. I took time to read through the material and honored each object.

I planned specific times to light my fireplace. I added these papers to transform them from matter to invisible energy. While I’m not suggesting you follow my exact process, I am suggesting you release significant objects from your life with love and honor for who you were at the time and for the people involved.

Two months later…

On the way to work I normally stopped at Starbucks before my 8:00am appointment. One morning I waited a long time in a slow moving line for my coffee. Worried I’d keep my client waiting, I left. The next morning I’m back at Starbucks at the end of another long line. I noticed the man in front of me also was there the day before. I said, “Hey, you were in the same spot the same time yesterday.”

That was it.

We were together for eight years before marrying last fall.

My invitation to you:

To release excess weight preventing you from enjoying the life you want, commit to releasing items from your life that no longer reflect the person you want to be. As you lighten your life on the outside, you’ll feel lighter on the inside. This lighter feeling intuitively guides you to make choices that support having a lighter body as well.

Begin the process by devoting one weekend afternoon to clutter clearing. Or perhaps two to three weekend afternoons in a row.  Make this time sacred and stick with it. You may notice that once you start, the process takes on a life of its own and you feel compelled to spend hours clearing clutter.

As you release clutter from your life be sure to set the intention to live more lightly in your mind, body and spirit. Then watch the magic happen.

What will you release today to lighten your life?

22 Responses

  1. Debbie

    I was raised by a mother with a serious personality disorder. She was a tyrant and found little value in me. She constantly complained about my looks,weight included, and when I graduated from high school weighing 140 lbs I felt enormous. I have continued to fulfill her negativeness by carry around excess weight for years, and actually hid behind it.
    I will lighten my load by pealing off the layers of abuse she heaped on me. I will attempt to move away from that painful period of my life.

    1. Diane

      Dear Debbie,

      Thank you for writing. There often is a connection between the emotional abuse you describe and carrying excess weight as emotional protection and comfort. I send you encouragement and support as you lighten your load and release the pain inside of you.

      Love and Peace,

  2. Jane

    I recently cleared the clutter out of my bedroom, from the dresser, under the bed, and in my exploding closet. I have not lost any weight, yet, but I did feel like I lifted a load off my shoulders. It was emotionally cleansing to get rid of old things, that were taking up too much space. It lifted my mood, and I think that is a great place to start…all changes begin in the mind right. Much happier since my decluttering.

    1. Diane

      Congratulations, Jane, for beginning this process! Yes, all change begins in the mind. Glad to hear you’re feeling happier since decluttering. As you incorporate this process in your life, you’ll notice your mood shift in positive ways which support your weight release journey.

      To your health and happiness.

      Love and peace,

  3. Marianne McIver

    I am interested in this talk about releasing old recollections. I had recently been thinking about my old journals. I had noticed in the past the tendency to write about pain, but never happiness or contentment . When I gave up chronic unhappiness many years ago, that also ended my need to journal and I focused on enjoying my life. What freedom! When I moved into my new small house five years ago I drastically cut back on books and papers,but kept those journals. I had the idea that maybe my children would want them some day. When ever I have reviewed them, they make me sad to realize how many years I wasted being miserable. It was only after menopause that I discovered how I had suffered from PMS.
    I think I will talk to my daughters about it before I get rid of them. I understand the value of clearing out the negative energy in my space. Thanks for your comments.

    1. Diane

      Dear Marianne,

      Thank you for writing and sharing your story. If your journals trigger sad feelings, let them go. How considerate to want to discuss this with your daughters. When you’re ready to release these journals, do so with love and compassion for who you were at that point in your life.

      Wishing you peace and happiness.



    I never thought of it that way before. I have my old diaries full of hurt and sometimes my bizarre behavior.
    I was so afraid someone would read them that the last time I went away, I locked them up in my car. Why don’t I just throw them away? Burning them seems better. I’m going to do it. It’s been cold here lately, spring hasn’t exactly sprung, so a fire would be nice. Thanks for your great ideas!

    1. Diane

      Dear Louise,

      Thank you for your comment. It seems your old diaries cause you stress and take up too much space in your mind. What a burden! Let them go.

      Enjoy your cozy fire.

      Love and peace to you,

  5. Pat

    I have recently been reflecting upon why my life is in a rut. I seemed to be “out of sync”…nothing at the right time or place. Then a thought came drifting though my mind that maybe decluttering would help get things moving again. Then I opened my e-mail and there was your clutter cleaning article! I think the universe just confirmed what I need to do. I am setting aside next week for a major decluttering project. That should shake things up! If I lose weight as a result then that is even better! Thanks for the timely advice.

    1. Diane

      You’re very welcome, Pat!

      I love synchronicity! Yes, I think the Universe confirmed your intuition. I absolutely think you can shake things up by letting things go. How exciting for you. Enjoy the process and watch your life expand in fulfilling ways.

      Here’s to shaking up your life!


  6. Mel

    We moved last year and I really made an effort to de-clutter and it felt great! I am now ready for “phase 2” and am excited about the freeing feeling it gives me to lighten the load. My husband and I also made the decision to rent rather than own, gives us the opportunity to explore many possibilities in our future without having to worry about selling a home.

    1. Diane

      Thanks for your comment, Mel.

      Congratulations as you move into “phase 2″! It is such a freeing feeling, isn’t it?

      To your lighter life!

      Love and Peace,

  7. Christina

    What an OMG moment I have just had reading this email! I don’t always have time to read your emails/ newsletters, but something made me stop and read this morning. I am a 43 year old single mum and work full time. I have never managed a relationship longer than 3 months – ever! My sons father was a ‘friend’ but now chooses to have very little to do with him. Even when I was slim something stopped me from having successful relationships. Unlike the tragic death of your father I truly cannot pinpoint anything in my life. I have always had a great relationship with both my parents. I do know that I developed a habit in my teenage years of if I didn’t have a boyfriend I would put on a bit of weight so I had an excuse. Then I would loose the weight – still no boyfriend…so I would put on weight. Since I had my son 8 years ago I have been covering myself with “protective layers”!! and now I do actually have a weight problem. And over 40 its not so easy to just loose!! Anyway – your email about decluttering really resonated within me. I know I have a couple of journals – esoecially when I was pregnant and in the years that followed. So it is all going to start this weekend. I will let you know :)Thank you. Christina. Mudgee. NSW. Australia

    1. Diane

      Hi Christina!

      Thank you so much for writing. I can feel your enthusiasm! Yes, release those journals and whatever else reflects difficult times in your life. And remember to do it with love and compassion for yourself and others involved.

      I’d like to offer you another suggestion. Instead of “And over 40 it’s not so easy to lose” weight, how about, “Even though I’m over 40 I will lose(or ‘release’,if that word resonates with you) this weight.” If we tell ourselves something is hard, it will be. If we tell ourselves something is easy or that we are capable of doing it, it becomes easier and we rise to the level of our capabilities. I’m 56 and it would be a lot harder for me to manage my weight if I kept telling myself it was so hard! Our words create our reality.

      Thanks again for writing and please keep me posted on your progress!

      Love and peace to you,

  8. Adrienne

    I’ve actually began clutter clearing a month ago, but did not continue with it following my short vacation time from work. The lack of consistency and follow thru is evident in every area of my life. There are lots of “almost” or “not quite” areas. Today, I release every hinderance, every distraction, and procrastination, and I embrace my new uncluttered body, uncluttered home, uncluttered life!

  9. Mi


    Thanks so much for writing this. It’s exactly where I am at in my life right now. I have this feeling to purge and clear things from my life but when I try to actually do it – feelings of guilt and shame come up. I also have a huge box of old journals from when I was in 4th grade! I also have papers from all my college classes, yearbooks, awards etc! I’m so tired of carting it around with me but feel I don’t have the strength/will to get rid of it. I have this question about “Why should I?” and “Will it really make a difference?”

    I have this feeling associated with the stuff that “I had to save it to remember myself and nobody else will watch over me if I don’t” I still have such a strong attachment to the journals. I think they are beautiful and represent my growth and expression and a way to honor myself when nobody else would. I got to really “see” myself through them. Also, sometimes I think about, “what if I am old and alone?” – I can read them and remember – I can have some attachment to things that are familiar. I see this dynamice clearly.

    I’m not sure how to get to a point where I am willing and ready. Also, it’s daunting to think about going through all of them and reading them – would take months! Thanks again – this was much needed for me

    1. Hi Mi,

      You’re welcome! And thank you for your post. Take your time. You need to be ready to do this and once you are, it takes on a life of its own. When I first made a commitment to declutter my life, the entire process took about two years. Now, it’s a way of life.

      One of the best books on the subject is, Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston. This gives you a deeper understanding of the power of the energy imbedded in the objects in your life. Reading this book is a good first step.

      Thanks again for writing and I wish you all the best. Warmly, Diane

  10. I have been watching Hoarders to remind myself how bad clutter can get!So I have been getting a lot of my clutter gone.However some of it is on the front porch,waiting.I have found that I cannot go through it again once it is in the bags.My sister and I have to donate and go through my mom’s things.She has been gone for two years next month.I don’t want to leave my children this chore.I have to cheer myself on,it is not an easy task.I have done this once before,10 years ago.Believe me stuff is easy to replace!

    1. Hi Connie – May I support you by cheering you on as well?! Congratulations on what you’ve accomplished so far. I also understand what it’s like to clear out a parent’s home. Sounds like you’re doing a great job with it all. Agreed – once it’s in the bags, best to leave it be! I wish you well. Warmly, Diane

  11. Deb

    I have 50 years of writing, maybe more. I started writing at a very early age.
    I started to go through some of it awhile ago but stopped. I did find a letter (which I shredded) which completely changed the way I looked at a certain relationship. I did not remember the letter as it actually was, so re-reading it was powerful.
    I love your advice about being gentle.
    I don’t know where you are located, Diane, but do you ever have in person contact? thanks so much.

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