May 25, 2009

Guest Blogger: Tracey Clark (founder of Shutter Sisters)



In theory, the idea of clearing out the old to make room for the new makes perfect sense. I believe that energy moves about freely when there is proper space to do so. I have experienced the freeing feeling of sorting and cleaning. I know that when you let go of something that is no longer serving you that often something wonderful comes along in its place. Even still, after first hand experience, it is easier said than done.

There are times in my life when I have been unstoppable, even super-human in my efforts, energy and enthusiasm to make changes, clear the clutter, purge and process. But there are other times—like recently—when every effort feels so difficult; excruciating even. The letting go of stuff is exhausting enough (if you saw my office, closets and garage you’d know what I mean) but beyond that, it’s the soul clutter that’s got me feeling debilitated.

Since the work of it all feels too overwhelming to face, my hope is that I continue my baby steps toward order (even in the tiniest little snippets) the rest will follow. In other words, my plea to the Universe is for much needed help. My hope, my wish, is that if I continue to slowly, deliberately clear the clutter around me, my efforts will be mirrored in my soul. I can only try. And hope.

When I think about it too much, I get paralyzed, afraid of letting go. Or perhaps it’s fear of what’s to come. Fear of failure? Fear of success? Fear of being totally naked and exposed, stripped of all my external and internal cover-ups? I have no idea but my guess is it’s probably a little of all of that. Regardless of what demons I am up against, I know it’s time. I feel it in my bones. And I know that if I truly believe everything I have always said I believe, I will keep moving forward trusting that when I ask for help, and keep my heart open to it, help will be graciously given. After all, a dandelion is never asked to do its work alone. It’s the gift of the wind; the nudge of gentle breath that helps it let go of what it’s holding onto. And we all know what’s possible when it finally lets go.

Tracey can be found taking small steps toward clarity at Mother May I and sharing the images and stories that guide her on her journey at Shutter Sisters. Self-portrait above captures her amidst the literal clutter in her closet..

Posted on May 25, 2009 12:52 PM

Something tells me 'the good stuff' shrubya was expecting to see was along the lines that there are billions and billions of evil brown foreigners speaking ungodly languages scheming to destroy America. The news that the world beyond American borders is already mapped, not full of demons, and not (at that point) entirely hostile must have come as a complete shock to him.

Posted by: Dual sim cards at June 2, 2009 12:18 AM

All that being said, Frau as a general description for lady/wife seems to date from the nineteenth century, when it replaced "Weib." There is a famous medieval poem by Walter von der Vogelweide in which he boasts that the peasant girl whom he fancies is better than any "frouwe" (which used to be applied only to noble-born women).

Posted by: ztc mobile phones at June 2, 2009 12:05 AM

On one occasion, I hit the road in an old station wagon with two toddlers, a bub in my tum and just the belongings that could fit in the back of the car.

Posted by: Stainless steel Cufflinks at May 31, 2009 11:48 PM

I feel ALL THAT here. It's so hard to simplify sometimes. I get so overwhelmed so quickly, yet stay unproductive in clutter.

Posted by: Rose at May 29, 2009 08:29 AM

Maybe "Organizing for the Spirit" would help.
I wrote it for people like you. :-)

Posted by: Sunny Schlenger at May 27, 2009 09:14 PM

Tracey, you have put into words what I (and apparently, so many others) are facing right now, in our very own lives. I totally get your "need to purge" - I usually spend my computer time surrounded by piles of clutter that I know just saps me of energy, liveliness, creativity. I know from experience how wonderful a cleared off desk (and library table, and shelves) can be -- and yet, it's often SO STINKING HARD to let it all just GO. It's also hard to trudge through the sifting & sorting. Actually, the TOSSING feels quite nice. What we know to be good for us, we do tend to fight. Like when we were kids. I don't know. But the part you wrote about the "Fear of being totally naked and exposed, stripped of all my external and internal cover-ups?" - that is what resonated with me the most. It's true. It's about being vulnerable when all that is stripped away, leaving us exposed. A clean desk or art studio? OH NO, now I have to "produce" something all that much more amazing, because there's no more clutter as an excuse for my mediocrity. thank you, Tracey. you rocked this topic. and my world, today. - Davielle

Posted by: Davielle at May 27, 2009 08:59 AM

im' with ya baby!
my energy.
my clutter.
my fears.
my soul.
all of it .. right there in your tapped words.
thanks for giving it to print!

perhaps a new trend? self-portrait of self in literal clutter of closets!??

Posted by: Kat at May 26, 2009 11:51 PM

well hello, beautiful you. those eyes! it's true.

as usual you are putting words into what i have going on in my gut these days. you are much more eloquent, though. thank you. making room, making room....

Posted by: amy at May 26, 2009 10:54 PM

Tracey...I so love the way you write, the way you express yourself, your voice. And, dang...those eyes -- the most beautiful blue!!

Posted by: Mariella at May 26, 2009 09:05 PM

Wow. I am writing and doing a lot of art about this very topic right now. Clearing out, purging, sorting through items, relationships, old beliefs. Thank you for this.

Posted by: Mal* at May 26, 2009 08:05 PM


I just love reading your thoughts. When reading, I feel I'm in a warm, familiar place. Thank you for sharing them.

Posted by: Monica at May 26, 2009 07:24 AM

i so get this.
and i love you.
jen gray

Posted by: jen gray at May 26, 2009 05:57 AM

look at those eyes...

Posted by: SistaKt at May 26, 2009 12:10 AM

look at those eyes...

Posted by: SistaKt at May 26, 2009 12:10 AM

Wow Tracey. You mirrored my thoughts and feelings and put it into words for me. I'm in the same situation right now. Atleast I know I'm not alone. Love ya girl!

Posted by: Chris at May 25, 2009 09:56 PM

There have been several times in recent years that I have shed everything and started entirely anew. On one occasion, I hit the road in an old station wagon with two toddlers, a bub in my tum and just the belongings that could fit in the back of the car. Several years later, I left my husband and moved into a house of my own with only the bare essentials. Seriously, four cups... four knives, four forks...
The freedom of living with only what matters is unthinkably good, the discovery of self is mind blowing and the chain of events that is unleashed when you fully let go is nothing short of miraculous. Don't be afraid.
Wishing you some gentle winds of change (although gale force tends to work best for me!) XX

Posted by: The Waterhole at May 25, 2009 08:18 PM