Friday, January 30, 2015

Moving Through the Force Field

The resistance to clutter bust can feel like a force field that you can't penetrate. You see all the clutter, you want to do something about it, but you can't find it within yourself to make the change.

I worked with a client by Skype today who felt this stuckness amidst his stuff. He said that he had been afraid to really look deeply into what was there. He was feeling guilty because he thought he should have been able to do the clutter busting on his own.

I said that’s normal. He was feeling overwhelmed by the presence of all the clutter. As a whole, it shut him down. That’s the power of clutter. It creates a stagnant fog that saps your energy. It’s like having an allergic reaction that weakens your mind and body.

I said it helps to recognize what’s happening. You can get the strength to begin the clutter bust by being aware of how it’s hurting you. That it’s not you being weak personally in anyway. But it’s like you’ve been drugged. It’s an outside influence that’s negatively affecting you on the inside.

I had my client go to the murkiest of the clutter: some old filing cabinets that were hidden in his closet which he hadn’t looked in for years. He felt trepidation to open the filing cabinets.  I reminded him that was the effect they had on him.

My client opened the filing cabinet. I told him to only consider one thing at a time. This would help him focus and shut out the thick influence of all the other papers. He found a folder that had some old high school and college transcripts. He felt overwhelmed and wasn’t sure what to do with them.

I asked if he had any need for the transcripts. He thought about it and said he didn’t. He surprised himself by letting these papers go. He said, “This feels good!”

I said that’s because he got a piece of himself back.

He moved on to the next folder. He had a similar experience. He said, “Old crap – not necessary!” and tossed out the whole folder.

From this point on he moved at a brisk pace. Within a half hour he had cleared out two full file drawers. He was astonished and empowered.

I've seen a lot of people move through the stuckness by starting in a simple way that was possible for them. I encourage you to find a way of starting that is within your means. It's a gentle way of moving forward.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slowing Down

My wife and I recently realized that we've been working six days a week (we're both self-employed) and it's exhausting. Even in that recognition, there was still a feeling that if we take away a day of work, we'll get "behind" where we think we should be.

We got in clutter busting mode and began questioning our self-imposed calendars. We discovered that no matter the intention, feeling overwhelmed or exhausted doesn't feel good. It hurts. That pain distracts from our enjoyment of life. We were striving for imaginary benefits at the cost of our well-being. Nothing is worth the cost of hurting yourself.

With that recognition, we've started to slow down. I took yesterday off. I felt my body and mind begin to restore. My wife asked herself to stop working at 6pm instead of working until 10. I cradled her in my arms as we snuggled on the couch.

Jamming our lives full of things and constantly pushing ourselves beyond our capacities means we often miss out on life right now.

All of us need spaces of rest and quiet. We function better when our homes and our lives are simpler.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Secret

What is the secret to letting go of clutter? The following is an excerpt from the audiobook version of Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back.

Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back, read by yours truly, is available for download here. 

"Your audiobook absolutely rocks!!! What a life and relationship saver!!! You're a miracle worker!!"

“I'm enjoying listening to the audiobook in the car or when I'm clutter busting at home. I really love how you approach clutter-busting from the inside out-- and importantly from a place of compassion and kindness

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bucketfull of Ick

One of the participants at last Sunday's Clutter Busting workshop brought with her a box of old journals. She said they were over a year old and she never revisited them. I asked her to read one of the journals to herself. She looked tired and emotionally heavy as she read.  I told her that she looked like she was in pain.

I said that since the journals were no longer an active, living part of her life, and didn't make her feel good, would she be okay about letting them go. She said she felt resistance, but wasn't sure why. 

I said that something can be a helpful part of your life. But then at some point, it isn't anymore. It actually starts to cause harm. It can be hard to let the thing go because of the powerful memories of how valuable it once was. It can feel like you are throwing out something that is essential. But based on your actual experience in the moment, that's not true.

She reflected on her experience and said when she wrote in the journals, they helped her process difficult feelings. But now they just reminded her of old pains. They felt like a, "Bucket full of ick."

She let the journals go. Her face brightened up. She looked free.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Simple Solution

Sometimes clutter can be something so simple that we don't see it.

If we are hungry, tired, or thirsty, our mind can get the best of us and we can create problems that aren't there. We'll try to solve what's wrong by more thinking, and it gets worse. 

But all we need to do to feel better is have a drink of water, eat a heathy snack or meal, or take a nap. It can really be that simple.

Your mind might think otherwise. That's because the mind likes to think it's in charge of the body (and everything else.) But the mind's well-being is dependent on the body's needs being met. If the body is depleted, the mind will feel off-balance.

Give it a try. The next time you feel mentally out of sorts and overwhelmed, get a drink of water, eat something healthy, or take a nap. And see how you feel. Chances are mind will get quieter, and things will start to feel right-sided again. 

Just so you know, I know this from personal experience. There have been times when I felt things were "wrong." Everything seemed off. And then I got the feeling to eat, sleep, or drink. Once I did, things felt right. The circumstances didn't change. I just took care of my body.


This morning I was interviewed on Conscious Talk Radio. I talked about the deeper aspects of how clutter affects our lives, and how to let go of that clutter. Here's the link. At the bottom of that page is the link to listen. My part of the show begins at 36:30. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Welcome to 2015!

Stop a moment. Take a breath. You know what? It's good to be here. It's quite an accomplishment. 

Now take a look at this blog post which I wrote that is featured on the New World Library's website:

Starting the New Year Fresh

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Your attention on your life

We can get used to living in chaos. It can seem normal. It can be easy to believe when a lot of other people are living this way.

But I encourage you to question it being okay. And to take a look around at your life and see what is the source of the discord. What's ill-fitting? What's not feeling right? See what comes up.

Your attention on your life is like water and fertilizer for a plant. You will start to come back alive. You will start to have clarity.

This will give you the strength and inspiration to begin to remove what's in the way of you enjoying your life.

Start to take that look.