Starting Fresh 12: Activities

Each blog post until the end of the year, I will focus on a particular area of clutter, to help guide you in removing unwanted things, activities, and people from your life. The goal is to start 2013 clutter free!

Today's blog post is about the activities in your life.

When we take an action that supports who we are in the moment, we feel alive and invigorated. But some actions that used to support us may no longer be doing so. They end up depleting us. The same goes with activities that we've never truly enjoyed. It's worth taking a closer look at the activities in our life and see what no longer fits us.

1. In the midst. When you're in the midst of any activity, take a moment and ask yourself, "Am I enjoying this? Does it make me feel good? Am I excited about it? Or would I rather be doing something else? Is what I'm doing creating any tension in me?" It helps to see how something effects us in the midst of what we're doing. You're not looking to see if you are right or wrong for doing it, or if the activity is good or bad. You're only looking for the effect it has on you. 

Initially it may be hard to part with an activity you've been doing for a while that no longer supports you because you remember how you used to love doing this thing. It can help to know that you honor that activity by letting it go. You're thanking it for the joy it brought you, and leaving yourself open for new activities that can nurture you.

2. Planning. When you're planning to do something, occasionally ask yourself, "Do I want to do this? Am I okay giving up some of my time for this activity? Or would I rather not do it?" It's your time. Your time is money. It's important to remember that you get to decide how to spend it.

I remember a client coming across a piece of paper that he had saved for a particular workshop that was coming up. I asked him, "Do you want to go to this event, or not?" He said, "I was feeling like I should go, but why? I'd end up feeling like I wanted that piece of my life back." He tossed the paper. 

3. Retrospect. Now and then check in with yourself after you've finished any activity. How are you feeling? Do you feel energized and satisfied. Do you have any regret? Do you feel depleted? Sometimes when we're in the midst of doing something, we may not notice if it's serving us because we're focused on the activity. Afterwards, becomes possible to notice the effect.

I had a client who was hemming and hawing about what to do with his saxophone. So I had him take out the instrument and play me a song. When he was done, I asked if he enjoyed playing it. He checked in and realized that he felt unsatisfied. He ended up donating the saxophone to a school.

4. Something new. When a new opportunity to do something comes up, check in with yourself and see how it feels. Imagine you are at a new restaurant and you see this activity as an item on the menu. Wold you order it? My publisher recently asked me if I wanted to get involved with a particular spiritual weekend event. I went to the website and checked it out. I couldn't figure out what it was all about. For me that meant that I wasn't interested, and I told my publisher no.

5. Taking a break.  My girlfriend just asked me to add asking yourself in the midst of an activity, "Do I need to take a break?" I think she noticed that I was starting to get a little frazzled as I was writing this....I just got back from a break and feel fresh again!

Please write and tell me your experiences clutter busting your activities; it helps inspire people when you share.

If you have trouble and get stuck, feel free to call me at (310) 903-1041 to arrange a phone clutter busting session.

Also, if you find yourself benefiting from this Starting Fresh Clutter Busting Workshop and you want to show your appreciation, you can make a donation through the donation button on the upper right sidebar.