Energizing Surroundings Feed Your Soul: Podcast Ep. 5:2

Welcome to Season 5, Episode 2, which accompanies Chapter 5, Section 2, “Prioritize Energizing Surrounding.” In this episode, I discuss:

  • clearing clutter
  • using colors to change your mood
  • allowing energy to flow, and 
  • enjoying nature.
Energizing Surroundings

You will love this episode because we will connect the space around you to your mental well-being in a way that helps you maximize it in your favor. Learn why it is important to clear extra clutter (because it pulls you down.) Then, get inspired to use colors to express and alter your mood, get energy flowing, and spend time in nature.  

Colors can also be an essential way to surround yourself with happy energy. Bright colors can be cheerful, whites may feel sterile, and blues can be calming. Another way to have an active energy flow is to move things around. Even when you don’t get rid of items, use the decor in your house to express the intentions you have for your life. Change this when intentions and focuses change. Lastly, ensure you get time in nature since there is nothing else that is as transformative. 

“It’s hard to get organized and feel safe when you have excessive clutter. And so you attach to things, pull things into you, and keep things and can’t get rid of them. When you relax your mind, automatically, you start letting go of items in your physical space. And if you clear your physical space, it has the same effect of helping your mind clear as well. In this episode, we’ll focus on ways to clear the clutter in your physical space because that will positively impact your emotional wellness.” – Dr. Jodi Aman

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Transcription of the Energizing Surroundings Feed Your Soul Episode:

Hey, you’re here with Dr. Jodi, and this is Season 5 of the “Anxiety, I’m So Done With You” podcast. This podcast is a teen and young adult guide to Ditching Toxic Stress and Hardwiring Your Brain for Happiness. If you’re new here, grab a copy of my book, Anxiety, I’m So Done With You! because this series is going section by section through it, going a little bit deeper, giving more examples, and telling more stories. This season follows Chapter 5, “Self-Care is the New Health Care.” This book promises to ‘hardwire your brain for happiness.’ This season I deliver on that promise. We focus on seven essential happiness-generating habits, contexts, activities, and practices for you to incorporate into your life to stay healthy, positive, and resilient to whatever life throws your way.

There’s a myth at play if you’ve been feeling bad for a long time. You might think that happy people are lucky and that you are not; that you are different. While context matters to your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health, your context is only partially determined by privilege, genetic expression, and random luck. The rest is determined by you. In this season, I show you how to harness that “you percent,” decolonize your self-care, and let your highest potential shine through all of the gook in your life. 

Thank you for listening, subscribing, and leaving me five stars on Apple Podcasts. Also, come hang out with me on YouTube and TikTok @DOCTORJODI where I give you practical tips for your brain, body, and spirit. Please spread the word about this book and series because mental health problems are skyrocketing, and I need you to help me turn the tide.

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Welcome to Chapter 5, Section 1: “Prioritize Energizing Surroundings”

We’re talking about your physical space. What you have around you in your physical space reflects what is in your mind. Also, what’s in your mind gets reflected around you. People who have a cluttered mind often have cluttered physical surroundings. Their home, their room, their bag, or whatever it is, reflects their mind. It works both ways. Sometimes a cluttered house creates that cluttered mind, and sometimes that cluttered mind creates that cluttered room. 

It does that because it’s hard to get organized and feel safe when you have so much clutter. And so you attach to things, pull things into you, and keep things and can’t get rid of them. When you relax your mind, automatically, you start letting go of items in your physical space. And if you clear your physical space, it has the same effect of helping your mind clear as well. In this episode, we’ll focus on ways to clear the clutter in your physical space because that will positively impact your emotional wellness.

How many of you have spent energy thinking about or trying to clear your clutter? You may have heard somewhere that clearing clutter helps or you may look around and be like, “Ah, this is overwhelming. I want to get rid of stuff.” This is the thing: everything that we have, every physical item that we have in our home or in a room or in our bag or on our person, has an energy attachment to it. That means it takes up a little bit of energy space in our system, in the energy system of our body. I avoided “of our body” at first because it’s beyond the body, more like the mind (consciousness). It’s about our energetic bandwidth. 

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Everything Matters

All of the little things you have, even those scraps of old receipts that are crumpled and you can’t even read them because they’re faded so much, every single thing takes up some of your energy bandwidth. We don’t want to do that anymore. That wastes energy that you could be putting towards something that you want to do. And this isn’t woo-woo; this is real science. Studies conducted in California (The Science Behind DeCluttering) discovered that the more cluttered a house is, the more cortisol the family has (the family who lives in the house, even the children).

As you might suspect, the female head of the household has significantly more cortisol than the rest of the family when a house is cluttered. So the more clutter, the more cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone. We don’t want more cortisol when we don’t need it. We want it when we need it. Right? We want cortisol when we need to protect ourselves or save ourselves in a dangerous situation. We don’t want it because there’s clutter around. 

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Marie Kondo Method

There’s been a phenomenon with the Netflix series “The Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo is a Feng Shui expert and organizer from a Netflix series. On the show, families invited her into their homes to help them clear their clutter. And she’s just a really beautiful human being. If you watch any of her shows, you really feel that just gorgeous energy about her because she’s grateful for everything. She’s grateful for everything! And it comes out in her personality.

Marie Kondo encourages families with a specific exercise when getting rid of stuff: to thank that object. So say they were trying to go through their clothes and get rid of old clothes. Every single item that they decide to get rid of, they thank it for participating in their life. So a closure ritual happens with each thing as that energy detaches. It’s so beautiful. You have to watch it. 

When you decide what to keep, what to give away, what to get rid of, she has you hold each object and feel if it’s life-giving to you or if it feels like it’s zapping your energy and taking away from you. This interests me because I believe that we are all naturally intuitive. We all can read our energy and read the energy of people around us. Some of us are more sensitive to others, and people can build that skill. (BTW, I teach people intuition. I have some adult and teen intuition training classes on my website). But she has you feel it. So you’re building your skills and your sensitivity in ways that could help you.

Many of us are sensitive. 

This means we feel other people’s energy, positive and negative. When it is negative, it affects us by stressing us out. However, we can block it out. (I also teach people how to block it.

So, Marie Kondo has you hold the object and feel if it gives you, or zaps, your energy. So that’s the question. Does it bring you joy or pull you down? I invite you to do this exercise with everything around you. Sometimes your stuff is nice, and you want it, but it zaps your energy. When that happens, give it to somebody else that it might uplift. 

And listen, if people give you gifts – this is the myth, really – if people give you gifts, often you think you have to keep that because “somebody gave it to you.” Okay, some things are special, work for you, and feel good to you. Keep those. Sometimes people miss what would work for you. They’re not great gift-givers. They may have great intentions and they might be beautiful people and they may, you know, really be thoughtful about the gifts that they give you, but it’s not something you would want to keep. Youc an get rid of it. It is not your responsibility to keep something that somebody gave you. You could keep it for a while or do something else with it or give it away. However, please don’t keep items that drain your energy just because someone gave it to you. Someone else might like it. 

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In an old blog post, I delineated eight tips for clearing clutter that I have used for 20 years to keep my house uncluttered. 

And it is a funny day to do this episode, to be recording it, because many of you know, my dad just passed away, and we’ve been cleaning his apartment. And so right now, my office is unusually and significantly cluttered.

Dr. Jodi’s 8 Tips for Clearing Clutter 

1. Touch things once. 

When mail comes in, don’t stick it in a pile. (Many of you are young, and you’re like, “What? I never get anything in the mail.” But if you are an adult listening to this, or if you’re a teenager, an emerging adult, you are starting to get mail because you are participating in all of these things and you end up getting mail.) Touch it once. Open it, put the envelope in the recycling, and do what you need to do. If you have to pay a bill or if you have to answer somebody, do it right away. This practice keeps the stack of mail down. 

When your stack of mail gets bigger and bigger, it can become overwhelming. We’re just talking about mail as an example here, but it could be anything. Anything you bring in when you come in the house, for example, whatever you have in your bag. Touch things once in your bag, and put them where they’re supposed to go. Have a place for everything and put things where they go. On the top of my stairs, I leave things that have to go downstairs, and on the bottom of my stairs, I leave things that have to go upstairs. So when I go up or down, I bring the items with me. 

2. Two hands in, two hands out. 

My brother-in-law worked for a restaurant, and that was a rule there. Anyone who went into the kitchen had to have two hands full of empty dishes. Anyone who came out of the kitchen had to have two hands full of plates to deliver to diners. And so “two hands in, two hands out.” When I go up the stairs, I bring something up. When I go down, I bring something down. If I go to this side of the house, I bring something, that side, I bring something. One little thing at a time adds up, so I don’t have to set aside time to clean the whole house. I’m constantly, as I’m doing other things, bringing things where they belong while I’m going to that corner of the house. Two hands in. Two hands out.

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3. Do your dishes as you go along

You can think of this metaphorically, or you could think of this literally. Do your actual dishes as you go along instead of saving them for days or saving them for a whole day when it is so much harder. Motivating yourself for a task is more energy when you’ve left it. This could also be a metaphor for other clutter. When you come home, put away everything that you brought with you right away. Empty your bags before you get lost doing something else. You’ll feel better, clearer, and more organized. Being organized builds confidence. 

If you leave a whole pile of stuff at the door and go in and get a snack and do whatever, later on, it’s just going to be overwhelming. When you just do a little bit at a time, it’s easier. 

4 Complete projects, close circles

When you start a project, it leaves an open window. It’s like a tab open on your computer. And the more tabs that are open or the more apps that are open, the slower the system runs. It’s the same. The more open circles you have in your mind, the slower you run, right? You’re going to run inefficiently. It takes a lot of your bandwidth because you’re attached to each of these open circles. Close some circles! Get them off your plate so that you have more energy for the things you want to do.

Some of those projects you want to do, and when you complete them, you feel good about them. Then you can celebrate yourself. This raises your self-esteem. It’s a good idea to do close circles by completing projects.

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5. Deliver right away. 

Say you have something of your friend’s. They left something at your house, and you want to return it to them. Give it to them quickly. 

When you pack a bag of clothes and things to donate, donate it right away. Don’t leave it around to add to it. Deliver it and start a new one when you have more items to give away. There are bins where you could put clothes in many church parking lots. It doesn’t matter if once a month you take a bag to one of these places; you don’t have to wait six months to get five bags and then go. You can take one bag! When you do that, it’ll give you the energy for the next task. 

The more you do and the more you see what you’ve done. (Not, like “Do, do! Do, do!” I’m not pro overworking, but when you accomplish something you’ve set off to accomplish, it gives you the energy for the next task. When you notice that, you’ll see yourself as someone who accomplishes things. That’s invigorating!

6. Let go of perfection.

Don’t do everything. When it comes to clutter, don’t think you have to do everything. If you did, it would decrease your chances of organizing until you have all the time in the world to do it perfectly. Perfect isn’t real. Perfectionism hurts you. Don’t try to do everything. Don’t expect your room to be perfect. Just do one thing. You just want to do something. Use the “Two hands in, two hands out” practice. Do one thing and the next thing later. If you leave your room to go into the kitchen to get a snack, bring those empty plates from yesterday or from earlier this morning. Don’t leave your room to go into the kitchen without bringing stuff from your room that goes into the kitchen. 

Just do one thing. Your room won’t be perfect. However, if you have this habit of always bringing stuff with you when you go, it stays manageable, organized, and uncluttered. Most importantly, it never gets overwhelmingly cluttered. When you decide that you’re cleaning your room, it is so much easier. In summary, don’t try to do everything. Let go of perfectionism. It does not serve you. 

7. Limit the use of coupons. 

People who were dealing with excess clutter, who had a lot of stuff, were often people who collected coupons. When you collect coupons, you buy things because of the deal, even when you don’t need them.

You excuse the expense because you are “saving money,” but all too often you spend money that you didn’t need to spend. If I end up getting a deal on something I happen to already want to buy, that’s great. But if I were attached to the idea of coupons, I would spend more money on things that I didn’t need. They would clutter up my house, and I’d have to deal with them again later. So limit the use of coupons! 

Coupons are a marketing tactic. The stores win; you do not win. They’re getting you into the store, buying more stuff you don’t need. If you’re trying to clear your clutter, clear coupons. Coupons used to be paper, y’all. Now they’re all electronic on your phone. And that’s great that the paper is not adding to the clutter. It also can be great if you catch a sale on something you were buying anyway. Perfect. But, don’t fall for buying stuff that you don’t need. 

8. Make recycling easy. 

Many things can be recycled that are not recycled. Instead, people throw them into the garbage. When you make recycling easy for yourself, it will be easier. For example, we keep a paper bag in our closet that takes all the paper and cardboard recycling. That way, we don’t have to walk out to our recycle bins with every little piece of paper.

Nor do we have to have these huge, dirty recycle bins in our kitchen. We just put it in that bag. It’s easy and accessible; it’s right there for us. We also have a plastic bag in the same cupboard where we put all the plastic bag recycling. In my city, we can’t put that in our recycling bins. We have to take it to a retail store to drop it in that box outside the store that says plastic bag recycling. 

It’s worth it to me to take this step to avoid it going into a landfill. Once a month, I take it to the store when I’m going to the store anyway. It’s merely a tiny effort since we have a system in place. Have a system for the other recycling, too (the cans, bottles, and all that kind of stuff), so you don’t have to cross the house with every can or leave a big pile of cans in your kitchen. Make yourself a recycling system. 

I’ll leave you here for this episode. That wraps up Chapter 4, My Time To Shine. In this chapter, I have given you the tools to embrace your whole self. You are embracing your humanity by accepting yourself: your hopes, dreams, skills, commitments, and values, and also your vulnerabilities, mistakes, and shortcomings. You are human, and that means you are not meant to be perfect. We usually have it the wrong way around thinking perfect opens access to your hopes and desires, but it is the opposite. Perfection is limiting. It makes you rigid, anxious, and focused on things that don’t matter, taking your attention away from things that do. It’s mistakes and discomfort that enhance your learning, therefore unlimiting you. 

Allow yourself to be human. Embrace this humanity. Humans are pretty cool, smart, and resilient beings. We are capable of so much. It is easier to tap your huge potential when you stop trying to be perfect and allow yourself to be who you are meant to be.

There you have it; the eight ways to clear clutter and keep it clear in your home.

Color matters

While I’m not an expert on colors, they are frequencies, literally. Frequencies are energy. Some frequencies are healing or harmonizing frequencies. Other frequencies are upsetting, like a loud, disruptive noise.

Beautiful melodies can calm the body, affecting us physically. Everything’s a frequency. We can feel it. Our heartbeat, our very heartbeat. Right? Every object in the world, has a frequency. Bananas have a frequency, colors have a frequency, and apples have a frequency. Some are negative, like smoking, and damage your body. 

Colors are frequencies too. There’s a whole science of colors, and I am not an expert like I just said. So go ahead and look this up online! Some colors are calming, so they suggest putting them in different office buildings when that is the goal. Different colors have other effects. Bright colors are cheerful, blues are calming, and reds might evoke passion or other intense emotions. Colors do a lot. Think about how you can use that in your favor when deciding what you want to wear, what bedspread you want, the color of your room, or your bag. Anything that has color could affect you. And it’s a way of expression.

We use color to express our gender and personality. When you have a room colors that align, are bright, or calming, it matters. Be intentional about color, look up color’s meanings, and have fun using color to affects your mental and physical health. If you’re choosing a color, why not make a choice that matters to you? 

Colors affect people differently in various contexts. For example, I have red in my house. I love red. And, when I was first married, we had a red bedroom. Our whole bedroom was bright red. It was really funky. 

My home

When people come into my house, they often speak of a physical and emotional response to the atmosphere in there––the energy in the house. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is that it is uncluttered, and nothing blocks anything else. The energy flows nicely. One of the things I do to keep energy in flow is by moving things around occasionally. 

We used to tease my mom when we were little that she was a “rearrange-aholic” because so often, she liked to rearrange the furniture to see if she could make the room look a little bit better. So I grew up with that modeled to me–that feeling and sense of, “Hmm, what else could you do here?” I have good memories of that problem-solving, fun, or aesthetic interest in creating a more inviting or comfortable space with what I already had. My mom would do this all the time. And so I got this from her. 

I move around furniture and knick-knacks. I call my knick-knack designs “tablescapes” or “counter or cabinet-scapes.” Even the beds have a “bedscape,” which is how I decorate with pillows on the bed to make it look balanced and pretty. 

A tablescape is what you put on the coffee table. I often featured something, some symbolic or spiritual thing, intentionally centering it in the room. Sometimes I change it depending on the season, or life events. So if somebody in the family won an award at school or something, I might display it. If there’s a holiday, obviously, that’s going to affect the decor. I also have some altars around my house that I update and change frequently to keep the energy from stagnating.

Your house, body, and bags

Basically, everything, your whole house, can be considered an altar to good energy, happiness, or things that bring you joy. Think about that. Also, the jewelry or clothes you wear! Your body is a temple, so wouldn’t your jewelry be a decoration on an altar of your higher self? How you want to express yourself in your house is the same, and your room and your bag, too. 

Your bag? It can get really cluttered. It can get very, very cluttered. Try to maintain it. Keep it clean because it is an altar to your tasks, your school goals, your job, and other intentions. Think about everything as an altar to this life––to what’s important to you. Photographs represent people you love or great memories. Symbols, like elephants, can represent things you want to bring into your life, like Divine Love. Do you have any elephants in your house? And what do they mean to you? 

Move things around according to the season or to, what you’re highlighting or what’s important to you in the moment. If you are starting a new relationship or want one, you might put symbols of love around, like birds in pairs around or little hearts.

You could think about the season of the year, but also more than that. Think about what kind of season it is in your life. For example, my husband just retired, and we have the goodbye cards from his team hanging on our fridge and an award he just received on a shelf in the dining room. And, when my daughter graduated from high school, we had little mementos from her time in school displayed at different places around the house—that kind of thing.

Healing Through Nature

We’re almost done with this episode, but the last thing I wanted to mention is nature. When you’re thinking about energizing surroundings, you want to make sure that you spend some time in nature. If you are in a city and you can’t be outside, take some rocks inside your house. I have rocks under my desk that I could put my feet on. Or you can have plants because plants bring nature inside. They help you connect. You can breathe near the plants and talk to the plants. But I also spend a lot of time outside.

If you’re in an urban area, find some green space. There’s usually green space somewhere in an urban metropolis, and hopefully, you have something near you, even if it’s a little tree. When I spend some time in a city, a tree coming out of the sidewalk is where I make my daily gratitude offerings. 

I offer a bit of water, tea, food, or a flower to the ground in the morning around gratitude or an intention for the day so that my gratitude and or intention blesses the Earth too. So everything I do, I would like to have that blessing overflow onto the Earth, my community, my family, and more. The practice helps me feel connected with my surroundings.

Also, when you walk in the woods, it can be altering. It’s energetically altering for that day but over time it’s sustainable because, if you often take walks like that, it becomes a touchstone for you. Then, you’ll be able to connect with being in nature when you close your eyes. And it’s so profoundly healing. They’ve done a lot of studies about being out in nature and the effects that that has. Find some time outside if you can!

Take this as an invitation to ask, “What gives me pleasure?”

Take this as your invitation to relook at plants and see if they fascinate you when you look closer, just like they fascinate me because aesthetic beauty heals. Beauty is relative, so it depends on your tastes and your preferences. But if you’re pleased, you heal. I will add to that invitation because I want you to look at your surroundings. Take a look at what you think is beautiful. You could look at plants and see if you fall in love with them like I do. But take a look all around your surroundings and see what it is you do like. 

What gives you pleasure? What makes you say, “Wow, that is beautiful.” If you’re sitting and looking at water or sunset, or the sky, and it is beautiful, you are profoundly altered by that in positive ways. (It doesn’t feel profound all the time. Sometimes it feels subtle.) 

When you look at a sunset, you realize that the world is bigger than you. Your small problem seems smaller, and you might feel better and have more hope. Beauty brings us hope. It makes us feel worthy. It’s interesting. There are so many things outside of us that reflect our worth. If you’re looking at a sunset, you’re might think, “How do I get so lucky to look at this beautiful thing?” It could be unconscious or conscious, but it can fill us up. We have the benefits of feeling that worthiness when we see something beautiful. So I offer that to you.

Thank you for reading

Thank you so much for listening to this episode about prioritizing energizing surroundings. I’m so glad that you’re here with me and this podcast, “Anxiety, I’m So Done With You!” 

Are you done with your anxiety? I hope you’re feeling good now that we’re bringing some happiness habits into your life. In this episode, we talked about 

  • clearing your clutter
  • colors
  • moving things around, and 
  • enjoying nature. 

Get ready for Episode 3: Prioritizing Movement. I got a lot for you there. In the meantime, subscribe to my channel. Leave me a comment, leave me five stars on Apple Podcasts. I’m looking forward to seeing you on episode 3 about prioritizing movement. Read or listen to that, and I will see you there. In the meantime, hang out with me on YouTube and TikTok at Doctor Jodi

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