Do you ever wonder if there’s a silver lining to the junk? A golden nugget of truth hidden in the boxes? A teeny magic message that will arise from the mess?
I get it, I used to think that just letting go of stuff would translate into magical results all on it’s own. A very black and white scenario: you let go and you receive, BIG TIME. And yes, there’s a sizeable connection between letting go and letting in. I’ve seen it over and over:
~Let go of 20 boxes of old paper→new job opportunities start arriving
~HANDLE the chaos in the basement→eat well, start a walking program and lose 15 pounds
~Clear out junk room (I mean craft room)→ daughters start inviting friends over to craft...FUN!
~Shred threatening emails from ex→ accept marriage proposal from boyfriend by the weekend
~File the piles of papers on and around your desk→ win award for most productive manager
These are a few examples from the real lives of my clients, and maybe you’re saying, “It’s too good to be true!” Truthfully, these astonishing results have always seemed a little cheesy and “off” to me, even though I have been a witness to them over and over. I’ve pondered what the magic *really* is many, many times. What is the missing piece?
The real magic lies in the act of choosing.
With each decision to keep or not keep (and this includes thoughts, relationships, beliefs, ideas, and STUFF) we get to CHOOSE what defines us in the moment. Every single little thing that we make a decision about (or don’t make a decision about)...whether it’s junk mail that arrives every day, the piles of dusty, crusty who-knows-what, relationships or beliefs...as we sift and sort, we are not just saying Yes to what stays or goes, but we are saying Yes to ourselves.
Each YES is a moment to say, “Yep, that’s me!”
Every NO is the chance to say goodbye to an outdated version of you.
As we sort through the clutter we face each day--emotional, spiritual, intellectual and physical--we discern and constantly create and re-imagine ourselves as we evolve and grow.
So, finishing the decluttering process? Not going to happen! It’s a constant aligning with who we are. Right now. Right now. Right now.
And the more aligned we are with our authentic selves, the more the good stuff shows up in our lives.
The process of decluttering is our chance to really take a good look at Who. We. Are.
~Beer Can Collection?
~Boyfriend that lays around on the couch every weekend?
~Rat’s nest of receipts from the ‘90s?
~Grandma’s fine china with matching crystal goblets--place setting for 12--beautifully boxed?
~Old ideas about career? Life?
Our physical stuff defines us more than we know, it’s a living, breathing journal of our lives.
So, Spunky Declutterer, If this inspires you to think of your clutter “sessions” in a new way, less about tossing the junk and more about uncovering yourself, let us know! We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Lots of love,
PHOTO CREDIT: http://freehdw.com/wallpaper/forest-sunburst-57739.html
This lion has a choice...she can scatter her energy and move in short bursts 12 different ways OR, she can FOCUS and use the same amount of energy to move forward...in ONE direction. YOU can use this lion-like focus to make progress in your space, with your stuff, too!
I have a client, Sunny, who has been paralyzed FOR YEARS by her stuff. She says “I take a bag to the donation center just about every week but it doesn’t feel like there’s less stuff in my home.”
So, we made a plan. A focused plan. Start in the bedroom because nothing is more important than sleep--and it was the most chaotic. Your sleep can really be interrupted by crazy energy in the bedroom. (She lives in Kansas City so we have a weekly Facetime date.)
This is her EDITING PLAN:
Choose a starting place! Pick a manageable starting place. Something you KNOW you can complete. And then feel good about. A dresser, your nightstands, or your media cabinet (VHS or 8-tracks, anyone?)
Cut out distractions! Turn your phone and laptop OFF. Lock them in your car or give them to your neighbor. Put up the ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ sign and set a timer for 1 hour...2 hours if you’re brave. (Even with my support, 3-4 hours is all anyone can tolerate in one session.) A ticking timer (like an old-school wind-up one--remember your phone is in the car) is a very good audio reminder to stay on track. Physical and mental wandering is NORMAL as you practice this skill. Do not leave the room, make piles by the door for when your time is up. THEN, Close the Circles!
Break it down! If you choose the dresser, start with the items on top--edit and refresh. Next the top drawer. Then the second drawer. Work your way to the bottom drawer. One at a time. If you do this work in distinct sections, you may find the challenge very do-able. Fun, even:)
Finish with a flourish! When your timer rings, Close the opened circles: take the trash out, put donations in the car, and CELEBRATE!
This is your secret sauce for progress--COMPLETE and CELEBRATE.
If you’ve picked a small manageable area, then completing it is a breeze. How will you celebrate? Fresh flowers for the dresser? A walk in the sun? A phone call with your funniest friend?
Powerful Focus is an amazing tool to use as you make progress in your space. If you need support staying on track or finishing what you’ve started, contact me, I would love to help.
PHOTO CREDIT: quoteswell.com
Have you given any thought to the “spaces” in your life lately? The in-betweens, the pauses between “doing”, “busy” and “crazy schedule”? What do you call it? Down time? Breathing room? Savasana (hello, yogis!)? Napping? Meditating? Staring at your coffee cup? Walking the dog? We aren’t robots designed to push the “GO” button and never stop until we fall into bed at night. We have to have rest and space, it’s critical to our thriving.
It’s where the inspiration happens, it’s where the gifts pour in, it’s how we get creative, and how we receive. And it doesn’t stop with white space, it extends to the spaces we live in, too.
If you really want to “Make Space” here are a few ideas:
Make Mental Space. Time is speeding up. People are sleeping less and doing more. Our brains are pulled in a zillion directions: texts, email, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, kids, activities, news, netflix. It’s harder to focus. And stress is on the rise; as a society we are not any happier. It’s so easy to keep adding one more thing to the *doing* side of the equation. But, that energy has to come from somewhere and our lives may be taking a direct hit as a result. Try this: Take a deep breath when you get that revved-up-social-media feeling, or if your mind is about to short circuit, get outside to the closest scrap of nature you can find, take your shoes off if you can, and breathe. Just that...simple.
Make Space in Your Schedule. Even if you’re a high-powered corporate exec, put some time on your schedule, hour-long chunks in your calendar, for “NOTHING” or make up a secret code like, “marketing training” so that you know that it’s time to breathe, listen, tune in and trust. Back to back meetings and clients, schedules without white space and calendars without time to think will lead to burnout, lower productivity or any other number of “dis-eases” caused by the stress of it all. Do not over-ride your signals for rest, food, & fun! And if you have to intentionally schedule space into your calendar every week for these things then do it!
Make Space in Your Home. Our homes are a metaphor for our lives. So, if there is craziness in your schedule or you’re pushing through your day like an over-caffeinated monkey, then your home is probably reflecting how you are feeling. Are there piles of junk mail and catalogs waiting for your attention? Do you have to shove stuff into the closet when friends stop over? Is your garage so full that your car has to chill in the driveway or on the curb? Is your basement so stuffed that the thought of moving (for the job of your dreams) makes you sweat? Attend to the things you own (statistics say on average we Americans own 300,000 items!) edit out those that do not lift your energy or make you grin from ear to ear, and leave some open space EVERYWHERE. Leave at least 10% space on the shelves, in the drawers, the closets, and storage spaces. Feng Shui wisdom says that if there is no space and the energy in your home is crowded or stagnant then new ideas, creativity, inspiration and the many gifts of life will not have room to flourish.
Make Your Space Beautiful. A gorgeous space will feed your soul and your life in ways you might not even be able to imagine right now. Placement of furniture and art, attention to energy flow and balance can invite rest, connection and ease. What if your sofa was so luscious in color, shape and texture that you HAD to sit down as soon as you got home (and couldn’t get up because you were so relaxed)? What if the art in your home flooded you with delight whenever you walked by (and put a little spring in your step)? What if the energy of your kitchen felt so good that you and your sweetie found yourselves cooking together more often (and then actually ate together, too)? Magic like this (and more) can happen from infusing beauty and bliss into your home.
What’s one small thing you could do this week to create SPACE? And what’s one thing you could do to beautify your space? Take a little action and note the difference. Those small changes? They add up.
PHOTO CREDIT: sciencefocus.com