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What I know:

It isn't about our stuff.
It's about our connections.

Bigger. Better. More.
Rarely is.

Our best lives create space
in our homes and hearts
for the people and activities
that make us genuinely happy.

You must be present to win.

Try a brain dump

Plans, worries, what if’s, should, could, have tos, want tos, and all those other thoughts scurrying around in your brain.
Many of them on a continuous unhelpful loop.

Try this:
Write them down.
Yup, get them out of your head and on to a piece of paper.
(Sure, you could do a Word document or fill up a Note on your phone as an option too)

Don’t filter yourself, or judge what you’re writing, or deny which thoughts 
have been overwhelming or agitating you.
This is an opportunity to declutter your mind.
Make some space.

Once you’ve made your list, set it aside.
Take a break.
Breathe.

Later, come back and look at what you’ve written.
Again with curiosity, not judgment.
Maybe just having written it down might be the relief you need.
Maybe it would be helpful to you to go over the list and see which things 
need your immediate attention.
Which things you can set aside for a while.
Which things you’ve just been ‘shoulding’ on yourself about.  Ewww…

Perhaps this list will generate a manageable To Do list for you.
Perhaps you will see that somethings just need a phone call or an email to get settled.
Perhaps some themes will be apparent regarding real changes you’d like to create for yourself.

Just as decluttering and organizing our physical spaces 
has a positive impact on our surroundings and lives,
decluttering your brain will do the same thing.

Identify your weakness

(Chocolate obviously…)

With regard to your things and clutter; is your weakness:
Acquisition?
Disorganization?
Difficulty getting rid of things?


One of theses areas is probably a more significant struggle for you than the others.
Understanding which of these actions you are most challenged by will help you focus 
your attention and intention on that aspect of the process.
Enabling you to make some small, but powerful changes.

Challenged by Acquisition?
            Try not shopping for a week.
            (Trust me, Amazon will still be there) 
            Drive past the garage sale. 
            Ignore the ‘clearance’ table. 
            Leave your credit/debit cards at home.

Feeling disorganized?
            Start by establishing homes for the things you use every day. 
            Put your keys in the same place. 
            Set up an area to deal with the mail. 
            Don’t put things down, put them away.

Can’t seem to let go?
            Think of who you know that really could use the item, right now.  
            Stop giving Justin Case room in your closet. 
            Acknowledge that was then, this is now; and purge accordingly.


Merely paying closer attention to your thoughts and actions will help you change your behaviors.
The more frequently you exercise your new options, 
the faster you’ll turn your weakness to a strength.

Some days will be easier than others, 
some parts of the process more of a challenge depending on the items involved.

Living a less cluttered, more organized life is a practice and process.

Choices

By renaming or reframing how we look at choices in our lives
we are often able to change our behaviors and our attitude.

Choices reflect actions we have decided to take.
Obligations imply a sense of doing because of someone else’s ideas and expectations.

Acting from of sense of I want to do this because it is important and valuable to me,
helps reinforce our sense of control and reminds us that we can be in charge of how we spend our time and where we put our energy.

During the next few days, think about what behaviors are a result of choices you are consciously making.
Catch yourself when you get a sense of doing something because you feel it is expected of you, or you think you should.

Choose to live the life that expresses who and what you value.
Choose to spend time with people (socially distant, of course) who lift you up.
Say no to obligations.
​Say yes to choices.

Do what you can

Do what you can,
with what you have,
where you are.  
Theodore Roosevelt


These are overwhelming times.
The guidelines and protocols surrounding the virus.
The shifts in social awareness around justice issues.
The continuing polarization of political ideologies.
Economic uncertainty.
(not to mention the pile of unfolded laundry on the dryer)

It is challenging to know what to do, how we can help, 
what our contribution can be, and how to feel calm within all the storms.

Wanting to save the world, 
care for others and make decisions that support our own well being
can leave us feeling unable to make any decisions.
Pause.
Breathe.
Admit it’s challenging.
Take another breath.

Start small.
Trust your heart to lead your actions.
Do what you can.

Clearing by Martha Postlewaite

Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there,
patiently,
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.

Make it easy

Help yourself be successful by making it easy to take care of the mechanics of daily living.

Instead of dropping your cozy clothes onto the bedroom chair;
put hooks on the back of the door so you can easily hang them up as you take them off.

Have a donation bag near the dryer so you can easily add unwanted clothes to it ​as they come out of the dryer.

Open your mail over the recycle container so you can easily drop unwanted mail as you open it.

Keep your grocery list on your phone so you don’t have to remember to take a paper list with you.

Set up automatic payments through your bank for reoccurring bills.

Keep a few clean garbage bags in the bottom of your trash cans so you can easily change them when you remove a full one.

By eliminating steps-both mental and physical ones, 
and changing a few small habits, you can simplify your life.

Choose to make your life easy.
You’ll be happier and more content.








Paying the price

“People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. 
And they pay for it very simply: by the lives they lead.”
James Baldwin

How you think.
What you value.
Who you esteem.
Where you spend your energy.
When you say yes, or no.

You pay with every choice.
Make sure your choices rest lightly on your head and heart.

One small space

With everything going on in our lives and world right now; it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
Decluttering and organizing don’t seem like very high priorities.

However, outer order can often result in inner calm. 
Taking a few minutes to bring a small amount of order to our stuff
can result in feeling less anxious about life in general.
Not to mention, the little boost of happiness you’ll get when
you can find something when you need it!

You don’t have to organize you entire office today.
Start by emptying the pencil cup and tossing the pens that don’t write,
the nubby little pencil, the odd items that somehow randomly ended up in the cup.
Maybe organize your top desk drawer.
Again, toss the dry pens, the markers that don’t mark,
the sticky notes that aren’t sticky, the odd chunk of staples.
There is probably a drawer organizer underneath all that random stuff.
Use it.

Tackle one shelf of a book case.
Books are meant to be read.
If you’re not reading the books, they are just paper and ink.
Give them to someone who will get lost in the stories like you once did.

One cup, one drawer, one shelf.
Tiny little bites.
Small doable projects.
Create spaces that support the calmer, more organized life you want.

Life is short.

“Life is short. Live accordingly.”Patti Digh

(And time flies, whether you are having fun or not)

Although it may feel that our choices are currently limited, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
Perhaps fewer distractions or temptations means we can focus on who and what we truly value.

We can’t have it all: Where would we put it?
We can’t do it all: No one has that kind of energy.
We can’t be it all:  Our job is just to be our best imperfect self.

Every action is a choice.
Every decision is an opportunity to walk your talk.
Pay attention to where you are putting your thoughts, your time, and your money.
Tune into your self talk.
Make sure you are being as kind to yourself as you would be to a friend.

Pause.
Trust your own wisdom.
Make is your best life, ever.  

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  Mary Oliver

Every dollar you spend.

Every dollar I spend is a statement about the kind of world I want
and the quality of life I value.
www.newdream.org

Spending more time at home this past few months has lead many of us to change
how and where we spend our money.
Maybe we are shopping less,
or having more things delivered,
or not going and doing things we used to do.
Due to unemployment or a reduction in work hours
some of us may not have as much to spend as we have in the past.

This is a great time to pay closer attention to what we are purchasing,
as well as where we are making those purchases.
To consider not just the price we pay but the cost.
Who benefits?
Who are we supporting?
When does spending a bit more now actually save us money in the future?
What impact does our choice make in our community and to the environment?
How can we align our spending habits to reflect not just our financial priorities
but the quality of life we value?

Here are some ideas:
Consider buying less. Period.
How many ____________ is enough?
Buy fewer things of better quality.
If possible, buy the things you know you use in quantity.
It saves on packaging and repeat trips.
Support local businesses when possible.
If you like where you live; spending money in your own community
keeps the majority of that money in your own town.
Think about the why of your purchase.
Are they needs, desires, shoulds, habits or distractions?

I believe we all want to live lives of integrity.
That we’d like our homes to reflect who and what we value.
To that end, let us use the power of our money to support the people, businesses 
and causes that make that life possible.

To live content…..

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, 
and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, 
and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, 
act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, 
with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. 
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. 
​This is to be my symphony.”
William Henry Channing