Extreme Simplifying 

Have you ever stood there surveying your STUFF and thought something along the lines of “if only I could take a match to it and start over?”

If you have, you are not the only one. I have heard that many times. Of course, we really don’t want our houses to burn to the ground! But, if you have thought that, you are probably in crisis mode and I have a few “extreme” ideas for you.

1) Identify the things you would HAVE to save in a fire. Place it all on the floor of your living room if you need a visual. This is powerful in itself as you start to really notice what is TRULY worth saving. 

2) Take The Minimalists advice and have a packing party. The idea is that you invite your friends over and pack up your entire house as if you were moving. Label your boxes well. Then for 6 months, you unpack as you need things. What’s left in boxes after 6 months, you donate.

3) Clear out a room and only put back what you LOVE or “brings joy” (Marie Kondo). I just had my carpets cleaned and as I was putting furniture back and rearranged it. By doing so, I am now ready to finally let go of an end table, sofa table, a couch, and a huge decorative plate. Three things I no longer have to dust or at least have staring at me saying “you need to dust me”.

If you try any of these out or have already, please leave a comment to let others know how it worked out for you.

Keep it Simple🌸

Keeping it Simple when Life isn’t

Self care.

Self care.

Self care.

That’s what a friend told me after I told her that Life threw a curve ball. And some days, I have to gear way down and chant that mantra in my head over and over again. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of emotions and feelings of yourself and everyone around you. Guilt and anger are typically my go-to feelings which really are the masks for fear and sadness. It’s also easy for me to get caught up in DOING to avoid BEING. Cause in times like these BEING can be so very scary. I literally have this feeling inside of revving up an engine and putting the pedal to the metal to race through a gazillion things and any obstacle that pops up I just run over with frustration. This is how I have dealt with difficult things in the past and let me tell you, it can be costly.

No more. You see, I’ve been doing a lot of internal work since my Dad passed in 2008. It has been quite the journey. I really started simplifying back then. It started with friendships, MNOs, a book club. I tuned in to what was going on inside and what didn’t feel right, I eliminated. I drive people nuts because I always RSVP as a maybe cause I may be feeling it at the time of the invite and then when the time comes, not so much. I may be under resourced and over scheduled. It has nothing to do with “a better offer” it has to do with tuning in and listening to what I need. Self care.

Then I started simplifying with the STUFF. ‘Cause visual chaos caused internal chaos and when life gets chaotic (which it inevitably does), the go-to feelings come and revved up engine roars.  In the past I organized the STUFF. I finally realized that organizing was typically temporary. Inevitably the STUFF would be everywhere again. AND I couldn’t find what I needed which would cause either A) me to go into a tail spin or B) send me to the store to spend unnecessary money. Both costing me time. Which is valuable. Really, who wants to spend their time with all that icky stuff anyway. Let’s not forget time spent organizing, managing, cleaning, or giving up and spending time with resentment and more anger. Not to leave out how exhausting all of that business is which again is sucking up precious time. Again, tuning in to what I need. Self care.

So here I am now, at home plate receiving that curve ball and I’m noticing that I’m ready for it. I’m scared, I’m sad. I still get mad and feel guilt but instead of getting stuck in it by revving up those engines and DOING, I BE with those and ride the waves which then allows the true feelings to come and then I ride those waves. Guess what? I’m still alive after riding those waves. Nothing earth crushing has happened. Better yet, I feel better, stronger, braver, grounded, capable and nurtured. I tune in. I’m more patient with myself and others than I used to be in these situations. I’m asking for help, I’m taking time for myself. I’m going to yoga, I joined weight watchers to force myself to take care of my body (because eating can be another way to DO rather than BE). To keep me tuned in.  No guilt. I talk, I don’t talk. Depends on what I need. I go out and visit or I stay home. It depends on what I need. I listen and when I start to hear the engine rev, I pause and evaluate what I need. Sometimes I let the engine rev to plow through certain things but I know when to stop. Self care.

I owe being where I am to Simplifying. Turning down all the noise from STUFF whether it be physical STUFF, schedule STUFF, or internal STUFF has helped me tune in. It has been preparing me for Life’s big curve balls. I can slow down, I can listen, I can be where I need to be when I need to be there. I can fill up even when Life is draining my tank. I allow myself self care so I can care for my people.

Simplifying is so much more than decluttering and de-owning STUFF. It’s part of taking care of yourself and your loved ones. It’s about thriving in Life rather than just surviving. It’s about being able to respond to Life’s curve balls rather than react to them.

Keeping it Simple.

Simplify to Let Your Authentic Self Shine

See that picture? Often, I would randomly choose this card from the stack offered to me by a parenting coach Hubby and I worked with when The Boys were young. She would say that the card was either saying something truly about you or something that you are desiring. Whenever I would pick this card (which were always face down), she would smile at me and giggle and say. “That’s for sure!”

Flash forward to the other day, the questions “Who are you and why are you here?” were asked of me. As I pondered the first part of the question, trying to come up with something very eloquent, I just shrugged my shoulders and wrote down, ” I am Me.”  Then I thought for a moment and suddenly a gush of things rushed through my brain to answer the second part of the question and here is what I wrote:

I am here to help people. To be my authentic self and help people feel comfortable in being their authentic selves.  I am here to authentically connect with other humans, with animals and nature. I am here to affect change. Maybe not HUGE change, but change nonetheless.

I share my struggles and triumphs not for pity or praise but because I want to help people know that they aren’t alone. Their struggles are real. People that seem perfect, really aren’t so no need to compare. To share that I have these struggles as well and this is what worked for me. This is the progress I made. You can make it to. Not my way, your way. Cause we all have to forge our own paths. To encourage people to be their Authentic selves and to give society’s ideals the middle finger since those ideals are not even close to reality.

In my heart, I believe that simplifying, de-owning, minimizing, decluttering, whatever you want to call it is the process in which to reveal the Authentic self. When the clutter of STUFF from anger, obligation, guilt, sadness, denial, avoidance, fear, busy-ness  is eliminated then your Authentic self can shine through. Is it easy? No. It’s difficult as hell. Because it is a process of peeling back layers and facing up to some internal STUFF we have been ignoring and that need attention. That external STUFF is the symptom of the internal STUFF.

The path is there, it will be found. I’m here to guide.

Keep it Simple

If you are interested in Who I Am cards:

http://www.alovingway.com/cards.htm

Also, if you are interested in the insightful questioner:

http://carriecontey.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Stop the organizing insanity!

Organizing is never ending until the mind frame shifts and you just realize you don’t need most the crap you are trying to organize;)

That pretty much sums it up! Even if you are a hobbyist, if you eliminate at least 30% of what you have, you probably won’t miss it. Even if you do, it would probably be easy to go out and acquire again for that particular project. It seems that typically hobbyists have more on hand than they use. Much is just in case or for the “some day” projects. “Some day” projects are the worst! They constantly whisper to you and then resentment creeps in because “some day” still hasn’t happened because of x,y,z.

The same as for the kiddos and their stuff. Probably won’t miss any of it unless you ditch the precious Puppy that your son has had since he was 2 and has been with him through many boo boos and bedtimes. Not everything they have is Puppy. 

When you feel the need to “organize” STUFF  which I can also call managing crap, pause and look at it all. REALLY look at it all. Why do you have it and do you really need it? Are you holding onto STUFF that is holding you back? Are you an artist with a mental block because you have so many books and paints and canvases that you can’t seem to get past in order to get the clear vision for your next piece?

Think about it.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Sim•pli•fy 

I gave my first real deal workshop last night at my favorite yoga studio. To people I don’t know. Sure, some friends were there but it wasn’t in my house doing me a favor and letting me practice on them. 

I needed to write notes and an outline so that I could hopefully stay on track. Since this was an introduction, I had to come up with a definition. I liked it so much  I decided to document it and share.

What does it mean to “Simplify” according to me:

The letting go of ALL things that no longer serve you or bring you happiness and joy in order to create S P A C E in your physical environment, your schedule, your mind and your heart. Examples: relationships, activities, thoughts and ideas, beliefs, and of course your possessions. 

Think on that. What needs to be let go of to create that space? 

 

Kondo’s order of “Tidying”

As I am gearing up my for my Facebook Simplify Group’s Spring Flinging, I figured Kondo’s order of “Tidying” would be a good place to start. I, myself, recommend to start with the easy stuff and work your way to the hard stuff as you hone in your de-owning skills. She also believes that is the way to go but she gets more specific. Her order goes like this: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, then sentimental items. She recommends doing it by category rather than room as you can have things from the same category in various rooms. Then things get more complicated than need be. With her clients she gives them a deadline to gather all items from each category from the entire house and lay them down individually. You must hold each item and ask if it brings joy or not. If not, toss. If an item of said category pops up later on, it get’s tossed as well. Apparently it didn’t spark enough joy to be remembered in the first place.

So, I am challenging my group to begin their Spring Flinging based on Kondo’s categories. Start with clothing first. Clothing has sub categories: tops;bottoms; jackets, coats and suits; socks; undies; bags; and save accessories for last.

Start Flinging!