PSYCHIC CLOSET CLEAR OUT: ROOM FOR A WHOLE NEW ME

If the contents of your closet reflects who you really are, what to do when nothing’s working any more? Call in your friend Psychic Betsy to help intuit what should stay and what really needs to move on.

“Who IS she?” Photograph: Megan Gustashaw

The past two years have been a time of major transition for me. A move to NYC, a radical change in my daily working life and a slow and steady slide to the other side of 35 are the obvious, surface things. But internally, things have been shifting too. With Pluto (planet of transformation) squaring Uranus (the future, individualism, radical and progressive ideas) since June 2012, I get the feeling I’m not the only one (you can read more about THAT whole situation here) but one of the major tell-tale signs that I’m no longer the woman I used to be is that peering into the labyrinth that is my closet, I often can’t find anything to wear.

In fact, it’s more like taking a trip down memory lane in my Facebook photo archive. That dress I wore to rave the summers away in Ibiza. The jacket that felt so sharp when I landed my first proper newspaper job, but which I haven’t actually worn since 2007. If what’s in our wardrobe is really a reflection of the person we are, at times it’s been like grappling with a case of multiple personality disorder. I look inside, and it’s like…who IS she?

It had got to a point where I’d just wear the same things ALL THE TIME, waiting for precisely the right meeting, party or dinner date when a 1980s sweater covered with gold sequins would obviously be just the thing. In the meantime, with so many perfectly good clothes waiting to be worn (I mean we’re talking a lot of designer goods here too people) I hardly felt justified buying new stuff to bridge the gap. Clearly, it was time for the closet clear out to end all closet clear outs. But where to begin?

Ruby, are you in there?

It makes me look like Kate Moss, right?

Our personal style is ruled by Venus, and in my case that comes with a serious case of Pisces sentimentality, not to mention a heady dose of fantasy and self-delusion (of course I looked like Kate Moss circa Glastonbury 2005 in that vintage beaded vest). I was going to need external help with this – and who better than my friend Psychic Betsy? A gifted intuitive who specialises in finding practical tools to aid in your personal and spiritual development, I felt that with her help I would finally be able to cut the crap and find the real me.

Before she arrived, I did a brutal edit – anything I hadn’t worn for 12 months or more was up for the chop, as was anything that had been making me feel like an imposter in my own skin. Together, we then did a short meditation to set an intention for the session – basically, to make space in my wardrobe for the new, updated Ruby. We also visualized all the clothes I got rid of finding their way into the hands of women who would rock them like they deserved to be rocked.

And as we began working through the pile, several things quickly became clear. No. 1 – I am no longer the good time girl who danced her way through my 20s and early 30s in a blur of cocktails and fashion forward frocks. “’I used to wear this in Ibiza’ is coming up a lot,” Betsy pointed out. And having got deep into a decade-long love affair with the infamous party island (to the point I even edited a magazine there for two whole summers), there was obviously part of me that still felt very attached.

Taming my inner hedonist has been a conscious choice – mainly because these days I want to be more present for the highs that show up in my life – “but I don’t want to say goodbye to the fun times forever,” I whined. The answer from Spirit? “But you have fun in other ways now, and don’t you need new clothes for that?” Sayonara, frilly pink mini dresses and tiger print crop tops.

The old me: cocktails and frilly pink frocks

It also became obvious that in certain cases my “sentimentality” was masking some serious lack mentality. We unearthed numerous “placeholders,” things I was hanging onto for dear life because I might need them one day – rather than setting the energy in those particular items free to come back to me in new and frankly waaaay cooler form. Now this was a concept I could get my head around. But in some cases, saying goodbye to things that had been with me for years was as painful as kicking old friends to the curb. “So take a photograph. That way you can keep the energy of them close, but make room for new friends too!”

Anything I spoke about in the past tense was also a straight up “NO,” but of course there were some things I was seriously on-the-fence about. “So let’s do a little intuition 1-0-1,” suggested Betsy, who then had me close my eyes and picture another woman wearing and loving the item in question. “How does that feel, in the space right below your belly button?” Well good, actually, expansive and happy. “And now imagine yourself putting it on.” Stifled, stale and tight. This was getting easier by the minute.

As little as an hour later, virtually everything on the pile was ready to be packed up and shipped off to my local clothing exchange store – save for a few items I had got a very strong sense I should pass on to my friends Gabby and Gala (the three of us recently formed a sort of fashion maven holy trinity on an impromptu trip to Gabby’s favourite store, Reformation, on the Lower East Side). Maybe it was Betsy’s presence, but I just *knew* they’d love them.

The sense of clarity, lightness and relief I’ve been feeling since has been liberating to say the least – as a friend recently confided to me, “purging (as in, energetic purging) might be my secret favourite thing.” Of course there are huge gaps in my wardrobe that now need to be filled, but how much fun is THAT going to be? And of course, there’s a fittingly serendipitous P.S.

When I took my haul to the exchange the woman next to me was unloading a job lot of Helmut Lang samples, including just the black jacket to replace my faded “placeholder.” I walked out wearing it, with a cheque for $142 in my pocket for the rest of my swag. And when, the next day, I found myself with five minutes to spare in Soho, I wandered into the Jerome Dreyfuss boutique. I’ve been on the hunt for a new wallet, as Gala has a theory that an upgrade can help attract abundance into your life.

#abundance

And what do you know, after weeks of searching (it had to be red and the right size for my mini Marc Jacobs handbag – not an easy score) it turned out they had just the thing. But it was from last season so they had to fetch it up from out back, and it also happened to be on sale. For precisely $142.

Betsy Cohen is available to assist with your psychic closet clear out too! To make an appointment, go to www.newyorkcitypsychic.com