If you’ve been reading my Monday mailings regularly, you know that I tend to write to you about what I’m discovering in my own life because, after all, I’m on this journey with you. I’m quick to admit that my own life is a “work in progress” and happy to share the discoveries I’m making about my own challenges and foibles with you.
My belief is that, if the topic is real for me, it will strike a chord with some of you as well. Today’s blog is no different – it’s all about clutter. And, like the anonymous quote reminds us, clutter isn’t just “stuff” – sometimes clutter is:
- A postponed goal or intention – something we’re “always meaning to do” but it never quite gets the level of priority that allows us to complete it.
- A neglected conversation – something that needs to be said, but we avoid it because it’s so difficult.
- A delusion about how life really is – often represented by the things (or clothes) we keep because we dream of going back to the past they represent. It’s hard to be honest with ourselves about how much our lives have changed.
- And then, there is the debris – the actual “stuff” that visually and literally accumulates in our life and spaces, distracting us from what’s really important – standing between us and the life we want to live!
I know for myself; I have clutter in every one of these categories – how about you?
The very definition of self-care asks of us that we take action, and that the actions we take do for us what no amount of avoidance behavior can do.
Avoidance behavior comes in many shapes and forms as well. It can include:
- Always being “busy” – which serves as a useful distraction to keep us from our bigger goals and priorities. Busy is a choice; the opportunity to be less busy is available to each of us.
- Skirting around the truth – ALMOST saying what you mean, ALMOST touching on the delicate subject, ALMOST confronting the elephant in the room – it’s an avoidance.
- Putting it off ‘til later – and of course, later never arrives. When the truth we need to admit to is that we don’t WANT to do the thing we persistently set aside OR that doing it, actually finishing it, is for one reason or another frightening, threatening or scary for us. Fear stands in our way, represented by clutter.
- Numbing – this is another avoidance behavior – many things can help us “numb” ourselves so that we simply “forget” what we intended to do or accomplish. We can numb with substances (yep, drugs and alcohol come to mind), with food (engineered to change our brain chemistry) and even with entertainment, like television. Numbing puts us in a kind of “sleep-state” allowing us to disregard what matters to us.
The self-care actions we take need to feed our souls, nourish our bodies, nurture our spirits, or replenish our relationship with ourselves! What might those actions need to be?
What must you DO in order to clear your life of clutter & move toward the life you WANT to live?
For me, the list is short. This coming week I need to:
- Make room for the life I want by clearing all the horizontal spaces on the main floor of my house where visually & literally, debris has accumulated, adding to the weight I feel all around me – this will energetically change my space!
- Ask for help! For me this means having my work reviewed by friends – asking for feedback so I can move through a project that’s gotten bogged down, stuck in the quest for “perfect” when what I really need is progress. My friends will give me the honest feedback I need in order to move on to completion!
- Part with the past – some of my reluctance to get rid of “stuff” lies in the mistaken belief that I’ll “need” the things sometime in the future. The truth however is it is very unlikely that an object I’ve not used in five years will suddenly become one of high-utility for me ever again. I need to tell myself the truth!
Clutter accumulates in our lives in many forms, and in all honesty, it’s not just the stuff on the counters and floors, but anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.
I wish you any small success that moves you toward the self-care you need in your life this week. I’m right there with you, let me know if I can help!