Wednesday, November 26, 2014

`The Need for Space

One of my clients told me a great story about her five-year-old son. He said to her, "Mommy, I need your help. When I look in my shirt drawer, all my shirts start talking to me, and I can't find the shirt I want to wear. I want to wear the shirt with the quiet pocket (without a logo)."

She realized she needed to help him clutter bust his shirt drawer of the shirts he didn't like and wear.

I love her son's words because they are a great description of clutter. Clutter are the things that distract from what serves us. They are noisy inside and outside of us.

The thing is we are trained to need more than we actually do. We are sold on the idea of our happiness being dependent on having particular stuff. You can see that in the ads for Black Friday sales.

But deep down we crave space, both inside and outside of us. The space to experience, to feel, to be. That space is our peace of mind.

No one is going to sell us space. So we have to create this on our own.

We get this space for ourselves by questioning what we bring into our lives. And by questioning what's already there.

Monday, November 24, 2014

What Makes You Come Alive

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

--Howard Thurman

I have a voice.

It’s so weird to say that because normally I feel really quiet.

But with the stuff I write about – with clutter busting – it feels so big to me. Sometimes I get scared. It’s bigger than what I’m used to. And at the same time it’s exciting. I think with my clutter busting audio book just coming out, the challenge is learning to be comfortable with this part of myself – my voice.

I can relate to a lot of my clients because a lot of people I work with feel that they’re hiding behind clutter. It’s unsafe for them to come out. I want to encourage them to come out because that part of them that’s hiding, the quieter part of them, is beautiful, powerful, amazing…it’s like they’re getting rid of the weight of the clutter and they’re radiating out. They’re coming to life, no longer held back.

It’s exciting to them; and it’s scary too. I can relate to both.

When I first recorded the audio book about a month and a half ago, when I first started reading the words I thought it would come out as a quiet, Eckhardt Tolle voice. “You're the oneness, the oneness is everywhere…”

But I started reading my book and it’s about, “You are buried alive. Let’s get you out of this rubble! Let’s take these huge things off of you so you can stand up again!”

It has to be a strong voice. There has to be power in it so it can inspire people to be un-buried alive. And to come alive.

The kindness was there, but the strength and the power were there too. And that’s what surprised me.

But then I realized, that’s what it takes to get somebody out of a trance – out of hypnosis. That’s what happens when we’re stuck under our clutter. We’re hypnotized.

So then I started feeling like – okay, this is appropriate. This is right. This product is going to do its job.

Initially when I first wrote the book, I thought, “I’ll write it as if I were speaking to someone directly, even though I was typing it out.”

So I feel like the audio book is a fulfillment of my original intention when I started the book. And I love it. And the people who have been listening to it are telling me about the positive experiences they’ve had while listening to it. They’re being inspired to let things go, and that’s very fulfilling.

The next powerful thing for me to do is to talk about this book and let people know about it. There’s a part of me that’s a little scared about that as well, a little uncomfortable. Because I’m used to being quieter and smaller. But it’s too hard to live that way.

I want you to know about this audio book. There’s a lot of love in it, there’s a lot of kindness, and a lot of inspiration. If you haven’t gotten it yet and you’re curious, I hope you take a chance and order it. If you do, I know it will make a very powerful, positive difference in your life. It will help you remove the people, things, activities that don’t support you so that you can come alive. That’s what this is all about.

Click the images below to order the audio book,

Friday, November 21, 2014

Letting Go of Perfection

My client was getting rid of clutter, but chided herself for not letting it go fast enough. She sounded deeply sad when she said, “I feel like I should be doing more.”

I said that she was mistaken. The clutter she was letting go of was enough. She was doing what she could. And with each piece that went, she was removing something that was keeping her from enjoying her life.

I said what wasn’t serving her was needing to be perfect.

The desire to be perfect is a strong force. It influences us all in different ways. A lot of times, we don’t even realize we are being fueled by the need to be perfect in a particular area of our lives.

This need for perfection can run us ragged because underneath is the feeling that something is wrong with us.  We need to accomplish a particular thing in a certain way or we think we will be lacking. And not only will we be aware of this, but others will see we are not enough too.

For years I was fueled by the ideal of being more social. I would go to parties, or dinner get-togethers, and tell myself that I would talk to people and enjoy myself. But since I was a kid, I’ve felt out of place and withdrawn at gatherings. I would try and talk to people, but it was a strain. I was uncomfortable.  Afterwards, I would be exhausted.

I’m a private person and I’m happy by myself, or with one or two close friends. But still I wanted to be other than what I was.

Recently I went to a dinner party of about twenty people. A half hour into it, I was so uncomfortable, I asked the host if I could go downstairs and play the guitar that I had spied coming into their house. She said yes.

I went downstairs and played guitar. I was in peace. It was just the songs and me. A few minutes into it, an older woman came out of a room and passed me. She gave me a knowing smile and went into another room. I was intrigued.

Later I went upstairs and asked the host who the older lady was. She said it was her mother. Her mother was an introvert and kept to herself. She said parties were torture for her. So she was happy to let her mother do what she wanted.

I realized I could do the same for myself. I didn’t need to be perfect amymore. I felt the heavy clutter of the perfection fall away. I was happy being myself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back Audiobook Now Available!

The Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back audio book, narrated by yours truly, is now available! Click on my pic to order your copy.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Taking Back Your Life

My client came across a piece of electronics that she’d been hanging on to for fifteen years. It didn’t work well back when she originally bought it. She no longer had a need for the item. But she felt that she had some control in her life by hanging on to the item.

I said the truth was that the item had control over her. The clutter in our life has control over us. It’s like being a slave to these things. It’s as if we’re hypnotized to put our stuff’s needs before our own. It’s not wrong on our part. It seemed like the right thing to do.

It went unquestioned.

For a lot of us, the things, people, and activities in our life go unquestioned. There’s an assumption that they’re supposed to be there. And then over time what happens is we start identifying with what’s in our life. It feels like part of us. We protect what’s “us.”

That’s why it can be difficult to even take an honest look. On some level it would feel like removing a part of your body.

I told my client that based on her actual experience, this piece of electronics was not a living and supportive part of her life. It was actually an intruder and freeloader. It wasn’t bringing her any tangible benefit. It basically sat there, taking over her ability to decide for herself, and wrecking havoc on her peace of mind.

I said it could feel strange at first to be this honest with yourself. That’s because you’re not used to thinking of yourself as separate from the things, people, and activities in your life. Society puts a lot of value on what’s in our life. We judge others and ourselves on what we surround ourselves with. We’re taught that our fulfillment is dependant on our stuff.

But that way of thinking is a trick.

What makes us happy is to remove what’s not serving us. Clutter distracts us and takes away our self-connection. Our self-connection is our source of joy and peace of mind. It’s the source of our fulfillment.

That’s why I encourage the honest, matter-of-fact look at what’s surrounding you. That’s how you take your life back. You take it back in pieces with each piece of clutter that goes.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Clutter Busting the Nightstand and Under the Bed

I'd like to venture into the land of your nightstand and the area under your bed. These are two common areas where clutter loves to accumulate like fabric to a lint screen. Today's clutter bust is especially important because we take the things that are near us into our sleep. Clutter disrupts our sleep. Chaos takes away our peace of mind.

So let's take a look at the nightstand first. Have a bag for trash, one for charity and another for recycling. Take everything off your nightstand and place them on the floor. This also includes the items in drawers. Spread the items out so you can see everything. Pick up the first item. Ask yourself, "Is this paper conducive to sleep?" "Does this book have a calming effect on me?" "Do I need this photo?" "Does this magazine make me feel irritable?" "Can I let this go?" "Do I actually listen to these CDs and do they relax me?" "Do the batteries work in this flashlight?" You are taking care of yourself by asking thorough questions.

I've had a number of clients have ten or more books on the nightstand, or on the floor and under the bed. When questioned, they often realize that they don't need the majority of them. Questioning wakes up a part of us that's gone dormant. When we get overwhelmed we often think we need more things. We are looking for things to make us feel better. But it turns out, going the other way, eliminating unnecessary stuff gives us our strength back.

After going through the nightstand items, put things that you are keeping back in a way that makes you want to curl up in bed and take a leisurely nap.

Now pull out everything from under the bed. Continue to ask of each thing, "Do I love you or can you go?" I once had a client who had so many items under her bed that it was hard to pull them out. We actually had to lift the bed up to get to them. It turns out they were gifts that people had given her that she didn't care for.

When you're done, put nothing back under the bed. It's best to have this space open and peaceful.

The main thing you want to do is keep the space below your bed empty, and to keep the minimum amount of things next to your bed.

After you've done this clutter bust,  and when you go to bed that evening, turn out the light, lay quietly in bed, and feel the space. Feel the new peace that you created. You're learning to have an awareness of your space. Feeling at home in your living space will make you happy.

If you need assistance with the clutter bust, check this out.

(This has been a clutter busting repost blast from the past!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Okay, bye"

My client was feeling stuck and protective about stuff that wasn't actually serving her. 

I said, "You're here to take care of yourself, not your things."

She took a moment to think about it, and then said, "These things steal my present moments over and over again. It's cruel."

She became unstuck and began to toss the things that previously had a hold on her. She cheerfully said, "Okay, bye" with each thing that went. I said that was her new mantra. 


It's looking like the Clutter Busting audiobook will be coming out next week. I'm working with a programmer to make sure the downloading works perfectly. I can't wait to share it with you!