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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.

Gifts

This cartoon represents one kind of ‘gift’.

Perhaps during this time of uncertainty, adjustments and evaluating
who and what’s important in our lives, we could give ourselves a gift.
The gift of Forgiveness.

Forgiveness.
Think of it as letting go of some emotional clutter.


Accept the fact you can’t change the past. 
No matter how many times you go over the story in your mind, 
no matter how righteously indignant you are about how you were wronged, 
no matter how many people might agree with your version of the event, 
no matter how long ago or how deep the hurt: You can’t change the past.

Just so we’re clear:
Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, or  pretending that you weren’t hurt by what was said or done, 
or that a relationship wasn’t changed or  been damaged by what transpired.

Forgiving does mean that you can reclaim some emotional space in your life.  
You can learn from what happened to set some clearer boundaries with people. 
You could consider that it might not have been about you at all.
It was their stuff, and you just happened to have caught it when they were throwing it around.

Just as physical clutter takes up space in our lives; emotional clutter gets in our way too. 
It usually isn’t as obvious as the piles, stacks or over flowing basket but 
still keeps us from having the life we truly want. 

Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. 

It might be easier to clean out a junk drawer, 
consolidate your collection of coffee cups,
or even get started sorting old photos, but
forgiving someone will make space in your life on an entirely different level.

May we all be safe.
May we all be kind.
May all our hearts be filled with loving kindness.

(Oh.  And may our supply of chocolate be never ending…..)

Two Minute Rule

Now, more than ever, having a home that is uncluttered and organized will make life less stressful
and the mechanics of daily living easier.

Between working from home, managing the kids, prepping meals, trying to fit in exercise,
or creating a quiet moment or two alone-things are challenging.

You could tackle your closet, reorganize the pantry, sort your sock drawer,
clear out under the bathroom sink, or finally deal with the junk drawer.
All great projects.

But hey, let’s be realistic and start small and manageable.
Let’s try just one slight change in behavior.

Although right now it seems time is stretching out endlessly before us, we still need to manage that time.
A simple approach to that, and a basic of an Organized Life is:
The Two Minute Rule.
If you can do something in Two Minutes or Less: Do it now.
Put the dirty dish into the dishwasher.
Hang up your coat when you come in from walking the dog.
Put the folded laundry away.
Sort the mail.
Send a text to let someone know you’re thinking about them.

Get into the habit of dealing with things right now.
If it’s an unpleasant chore, you’ll be done with it in less than two minutes.
Instead of it hanging over your head all day.

One small change.
One big difference.

Oh, and don’t worry, I have lots of ideas to share about tackling the closet
and rearranging the pantry!

During this time of uncertainly, please be gentle with yourself
and kind to others.

(and keep washing those hands!)

What if…

I received this from a friend and thought I would share it.

There is so much fear, and perhaps rightfully so about COVID-19.

And what if..

If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, 

That there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work…

That all is interconnected.

What if the virus is here to help us.

To reset.

To remember.

What is truly important.

Reconnecting with family and community.

Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break.

Parts of China are seeing blue skies and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.

Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time)>

Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.

An invitation to turn inwards-a deep meditation-rather than the usual extroverted going out to self soothe.

To reconnect to self, what is really important to me?

A reset economically.

The working poor.

The lack of healthcare access for over 30 million people in the US.

How hard does one need to work to be able to live, and have a life outside of work?

And washing our hands, how did that become a ‘new’ thing that we needed to remember.

But, yes, we did.

The presence of Grace for all.

There is a shift underway in our society-what if it is one that is favorable for us?

What if this virus is an ally in our evolution?

In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life, to be less impactful, more kind to our environment.

An offering from my hear this morning.

Offered as an another perspective.

Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution.

It was a time for change, we all knew that.

And change has arrived.

What if…

Gutpreet Gill

Dig a little deeper

We’re all pretty aware of what’s in the first three inches of our cupboards or cabinets, a drawer or a stack of papers.
But what’s in the next three inches?
When we move past the items in the front, those things we use most often, wear most frequently and left so we’d be sure to find them; what would we find?
Food we’ll never prepare, expired medications or supplies, a sweater with padded shoulders, ​an over due bill or over looked check?

This week, try digging a bit deeper.
Choose a cabinet, drawer, or pile of papers and sort through it.
What really needs to live in that place?
What needs to be donated or tossed?
What paperwork needs a few minutes of your time and attention?

Spend a few minutes digging a bit deeper personally too.
Are there activities you might be willing to step away from?
Judgments about yourself or others that you’d be willing to let go?
Kind thoughts you’d be willing to articulate in a note to someone special?

It’s good to have important things up front and accessible,
and it’s wise to be aware of what we’re holding onto a bit deeper too…..

You make all the choices.
Choose people, activities and things that support the life you really want to be living.
Consider what’s possible. 

Change

“Things do not change, we change.” Henry David Thoreau

How often do we wish situations in our lives different than they are?
How often do we want someone else to act or respond in ways that we believe would be easier for us 
and ‘better’ for them?
How many times have we thought when this happens
or that changes then I’ll do _________?

Waiting for things to change is just that, waiting.
How much of life do you want to spend waiting instead of being?
Waiting for everything to be perfectly lined up before you move forward?
Waiting for someone else to do the work so you won’t have to?

Only you have the power to change your own behaviors and habits. 
You get to choose what’s important in your life; which things have meaning,
what activities to spend your time engaged in,
and which relationships feed you head and heart.

Take one small step in the direction you want o move.
Trying taking one small dream off ‘hold’ and see what might unfold.

“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol

That was then. This is now.

 “That was then. This is now” is one of the things I say to my clients.  
(In my least Bossy voice, of course)

One source of clutter comes from holding on to items connected to a life we no longer live. 
(Or ever did for that matter)
Supplies for a hobby we stopped engaging in years ago. Sports equipment from an activity we abandoned. Clothes from a different body or life style.  Supplies for a Do It Yourself project that will never happen.

We want to believe that our lives, tastes and commitments haven’t changed. 
That we have the same bodies, abilities and interests we had two, five, or ten years ago.
What’s true is that isn’t the case. 
If those hobbies and activities were important to us, we would be making time and room in our current lives to do them.

Take an objective look at what’s living in your closets, 
stacked on your shelves,  
or piled in the garage that no longer has use or meaning in your life.  
Get rid of the unused, excess, nagging, guilt inducing stuff.

If you’re not quite ready to let go of things (or is it what they represent that has the hold on you?); 
set yourself a deadline. 
If you haven’t pulled out the yarn, played tennis, or refinished the chair by X date, 
be willing to admit it and let the items go.

I invite you to take look at what you’ve been holding on to 
that no longer serves the life you want to be living now.
Admit that yes, you’re done with that hobby, activity or project.
It’s okay, really.
Give the supplies, equipment and clothes to people who will use them, right now, 
for the lives they are presently living.

Your letting go will create space in your house and life; physically, mentally and emotionally. 
You’ll have more room for this life, the one you’re engaged in right now.
Make that life a reflection of the people and activities that feed your soul and fill your heart.

More storage?

You didn’t need more storage.
You need less stuff.

(Oh.  And organized clutter, is still clutter…….)

Do you need it?
Use it?
Value it?
Does it help you live the life you say you want?

Be grateful.

Nowhere to go.
No need to sit cross legged for twenty minutes, or make a list of blessings.
Not even anything to say.

Just be with a feeling of gratitude.  
For everything you already have.
The people you love.

Act grateful, right now.
And in the car later.
And when you’re getting ready tomorrow morning.
(And when you’re tempted to complain.)

Consider the good, the true and the beautiful in your life.
Hold that thought.

If you’re not grateful for all that you currently have,
how will adding one more thing make a difference?

It’s okay to ask for help. Really.

Here’s a surprise:  You can’t do it all.
(And even if you could, why would you want to?!?)

Asking for help doesn’t make you helpless or weak or not a tough guy/gal.
Allowing other people to assist and perhaps teach you, can open your life to new ways of doing things.
And create time to focus on the people and activities than give your life meaning.
Accepting help will relieve some of the pressure and stress around making your home and life
look and feel comfortable, and supportive to you.

Whether it is someone else doing the vacuuming, finding a parenting class, 
asking for a referral for a good therapist, 
or requesting your family members to put away their own laundry:
Asking for help gives you more space and time in your own life.

Your universe is available to help and support you.  
Go ahead.  
Ask.

Winter coats

No, I’m not talking about the cute little number with the fur collar and deep pockets hanging in the hall closet.
I’m talking about the items in your refrigerator that have furry little green or white or blue coats on them.
The mystery blobs, the jars you opened months ago, the hard, dried up chunks of cheese, or the four bites of leftover chicken you were going to toss into a salad-two weeks ago.

Clutter doesn’t just happen on chairs or in closets, garages and desk tops.
Anywhere in our homes where we have things we’re not using (or eating), 
things we don’t need, (giant economy on sale size) 
and are keeping out of guilt or obligation (I really should eat those leftovers for lunch) we have clutter;  
including our refrigerators and freezers.

Just as things migrate to the back of our closets, items disappear to the back of the fridge 
and into the freezer.
It’s hard to wear clothes we don’t know we have, and difficult to eat food that we don’t remember we’ve saved, especially if we don’t really even like it. 

If the truth is you never eat leftovers, stop putting them into containers and stacking them in the fridge.
(That realization may lead to you being able to purge your cupboard of excess plastic containers too!)

If certain vegetables always end up as limp slimy messes, buy less.  
The monetary savings of buying in large quantities is only economical if you actually eat the food.

(And don’t ask me to taste that off smelling milk to see if it’s bad……..)

Emptying, sorting and eliminating the clutter from refrigerators and freezers 
will make meal preparation easier, help remind us which foods we really do eat and enjoy, 
and help us better manage our food budget.

(Oh, and you can let go of the winter coats in the closet you’re not wearing too)