Freedom From Clutter

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Welcome 2015!

Hello and welcome back!

Thankful!

We have  welcomed in a new year and said good-bye to the last. Hopefully you feel a bit more relaxed  knowing there is a reprieve from presents to buy, relatives to see or special places to be. The winter is upon us, and for some of us that means enduring frigid temperatures and being stuck indoors or it could mean enjoying what the outdoors has to offer this time of year. I find it to be a great time for reflection. The perfect time to be thankful for what you do have. To reflect on what is positive and going right in your life, instead of hammering away at what you want to change. What if this is the best time of year, New Years Day, to seek a fresh start by building upon the foundation of what is already good.

Turn it around!

Frustration about not being organized, frazzled at having mismanaged time, and unhappy with how unfocused you feel can be a thing of the past. Shifting your focus is the best way for it to happen. Just reading these words has the ability to empower you and impact you in a positive way! So, hurray for having the courage to recognize what is working and figuring out what you want, and ultimately will, do differently. Frustration can turn to freedom. Frazzled can turn to refocus and redirection toward your priorities. And unhappiness can turn to either happiness or calmness no matter your situation. How you decide to deal with your situation will make all the difference. Placing your focus only on what you do not like will only continue the negative feelings you may have experienced in the past when reflecting on the prior year. The method I suggest could be your turning point!

Take action!

Taking action always comes first and then everything else will follow. Some popular self-help gurus refer to changing your belief or thinking first, or figuring out why you behave as you do. I disagree wholeheartedly. To create motivation, and a confident you, you must first decide what is going well and positively for you right now. What are the areas that you have full control over? Of course it is always you, not others or circumstances. If you are not used to this way of thinking it can feel awkward at first, but be honest with what is going well for you, what you like, and perhaps what would be beneficial to let go of. Now that you know what is working for you, decide what you would like to expand on, perhaps shift and what would you like to learn. In order to get the best bang from your upcoming research and future decisions stay focused during this process. It is wise to take small steps when learning a new way, shifting unhealthy behavior and expanding what is already good in order to savor and enjoy the entire thing. Remember you do not eat an entire sandwich in one gulp you, hopefully, take bites. Decide what one action step you could take today, this minute or hour, toward what you desire or what you would like to learn, transform, or expand on.

Keep it going until…

To claim your desires every day ask yourself, “What can I do today to bring me closer to what I desire?” And then do whatever you decide on no matter what else shows up.  Every time  you veer of course, and you will, as soon as you recognize the slip simply redirect yourself back to what you chose as a priority. When you focus on what you want one day at a time, one action step at a time, the rest, your beliefs, your thinking and attitude will follow.

Happy New Year! May you have all the peace and happiness you desire in 2015!

~Sandy

Professional organizer


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Distractions are clutter too

Hello and welcome back!

Distractions are clutter too.

We all have busy lives or we’re so bored we fill up on nonessential activities. Either way it is  clutter. We distract ourselves because we are fearful something awful will happen if we don’t fill the void with doing or busy-ness. This has cost all of us the most important value-connection with ourselves and with others.

So, how do you decide what activities clutter your life?

Mine were watching TV and eating when I was not hungry. I did these two activities either when I did not want to do or say something challenging, or scary, or when I would be faced with something that would not let me know the certain or specific results I would get. These, however, are all imagined scenarios I created due to an old belief of, it is better to be safe than sorry, cluttering my mind. It was easier to make a bowl of popcorn and lay on the couch watching nonsense TV shows on any given night than connecting with people or doing something I would actually enjoy. I felt TV and food did not judge me or hurt me. Giving into this behavior however my intuition kept nagging at me, that what I was doing was not in my best interest. This nagging went on until I decided to pay attention.

What I knew, but didn’t apply to my own life.

I knew clearing the clutter from your life, the things that do not serve your life in a positive and nurturing way, opens you up for what does. At first, well, okay for years, I didn’t recognize these two distractions as clutter, but realized anything that does not serve, nurture or benefit me, is clutter.

How I started.

As I contemplated the importance of clearing this clutter I began to receive random articles, blogs, and videos on distractions and how detrimental they are to our wellbeing. Do you find this uncanny too, once you become aware of something, accept something needs to change, or action needs to happen, the synchronicity that shows up is remarkable? Love that, anyway… Some articles talked about slowing down to get more into the present moment to enjoy each act alone without multi tasking, some videos said, get comfortable with the uncomfortable feelings that come up when you no longer distract yourself, and another blogger professed by doing less you gain more. All this information intrigued me.

So began my experiment.

All the articles and books I read and videos I watched on distractions I found to be  all true! But, I won’t sugar coat it, when I chose to do differently my mind baulked, tried to entice me and lure me back to the same old distractions. I held strong and committed to de-cluttering. During the experiment I realized I had acted entitled, “I deserve down time”, I would tell myself along with all the excuses I relied on. And I found a little rebellion in me. Structure, I thought, sucked the life out of me, watching TV had no structure. I had to admit TV and eating when I wasn’t hungry also didn’t hold anything positive or beneficial for me either.  Distractions, I recognized, are what sucked the life out of me and kept me from really living. Eliminating distractions freed up space to find things that would benefit me and I would enjoy doing, activities that would serve and nurture me. I no longer wanted to nurture behavior or activities that do not inspire peace and happiness.

How about you?

What do you do during a typical day that distracts you? Today just notice what and when you use or rely on distractions. Tomorrow don’t allow yourself to use these distractions and see what happens.  Please leave a comment and let me know.

Take the leap your courage will see you through.

All my best to you!

~Sandy


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Get out of your own way

Hello and welcome back!

When we believe our negative thoughts and attach our identity to them there is a ripple effect that stretches far and wide. By taking the negative thoughts and believing that what they say is the truth of who we are we bolster the energy behind it which is toxic to ourselves and others. Whenever you feel anything but love, joy, and peace you are living from these thoughts, from a false sense of self. To understand the warning signs we need to recognize when we form any kind of negative judgment, feel strong emotions, and use the words, should, shouldn’t, must, mustn’t, never and always we are building a dam and stopping life’s flow. Labels are another tell tale sign we are in life’s way. The labels we either assign to ourselves or heard from others and believe they are the truth about who we are leads us on a downward spiral and further away from our true selves. When we believe these labels and negative thoughts or the stories our minds spew we doubt our abilities, we second guess our decisions, we make excuses out of fear, we suffer, and feel powerless. These negative thoughts make everything so complicated that we eventually disconnect completely from the truth. Instead of questioning or not believing this insane mind chatter we support this false identity by using emotions to emphasize the truth behind these negative thoughts. “It’s raining, now my picnic is ruined.” Feeding this inner thought pattern means you believe the rain is somehow your or someone else’s fault and lash out. Allowing our thoughts to immobilize us of having a loving and peaceful life permits the cycle to continue going round and round creating more and more inner and outer dysfunction.

For an even better understanding I’ll go back to when the thoughts began. The ego needed conclusions, answers and reasons, to our experiences that we tied strong emotions to. Due to these reactionary conclusions the ego designated a self-image, believe it or not, to keep us safe. What causes us to get in our way of who we really are is when we believe we are this false self and that we need saving. We’ve been brainwashed by our own thoughts. If we all knew the simplicity of life, and how we are here to cooperate and help each other there wouldn’t be all the drama that people have gotten addicted to. We are love, peace, and joy. That is the truth, everything else was made up to somehow protect us, but caused destruction instead.   

The way to get us back to our true selves and release the chaos and stress these thoughts created is to deal with facts only. Leaving off the verbs, the second half of sentences. For example with the above sentence, “It’s raining,” by leaving off the judgment, “now my picnic is ruined”, leaves a gap, it allows an openness, a space for solutions. By not tying a story, verbs, or emotions to the truth allows only the truth to emerge. “It’s raining.” You lessen the hold these thoughts have on you by simply not believing “now it’s ruined” just see it as a story, a judgment, your mind created. The true self accepts the rain and finds a solution or makes the best of the situation. The false self gets in its way with emotions, negative thoughts, and a story. 

Here is a formula for any thing you want to be better prepared for or whatever you find undesirable and want to change without using a story or emotions. By using the five “W” words; why, what, when, where and who to your planning or desires. Use it, apply it, practice it until you simply plan without excuses, or self-doubt, or second guessing yourself or getting wrapped up in stories and emotions.

I’ll give you a general example. Let’s say I want to plan Thanksgiving. Why am I planning? I am planning for the Thanksgiving holiday. When? Two months from now on Thanksgiving Day. Where? At my daughters house one hour away. What? I will bring dessert, I’d like a new outfit, and would like to bring small gifts or plan activities for the children. Who? There will be eight adults and four children. And since I’m bringing dessert I know one loves pumpkin pie and another likes apple. No emotions involved, just a simple plan. I can now get out my calendar mark the date and make a list for the needed purchases I can pick up over the next couple of months.

 

Let’s say your planning for a new job. Why am I planning? I am in the process of getting a new job. When? My desire is to have a new job within the months. Where? Anywhere that is fifteen to thirty minutes travel time, one way.  What? I will spend one hour or less today updating my resume and print off several. I will search the area for possible employment opportunities until I find one. Who? I will let others know of my search. I will use a hiring agency if necessary.   

Notice how emotions don’t play a role when  you use this formula. There is no talking yourself out of anything. It is action oriented versus emotionally driven. Give it a try. What do you have to lose, except the stress those negative thoughts create! Hooray! 

Peace ~ Sandy

Copyright 2013 by Sandy Lucas

     


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How to Find and Keep Love!

Hello and welcome back!

I am starting a new mini-series. I wrote a book and decided to condense the chapters, give you a small sampling, of what I wrote (FREE). I am sharing what I learned about love. Although this focus is on an intimate relationship, “How to Find and Keep Love”, like everything I write, these strategy’s and suggestions can be applied to all areas of your life. I hope you enjoy it! With that said… Have no fear, I will be back to focus, once again, on organization and living with efficient habits quicker than you can finish your to-do list! 

I found love later in life, age 49, and wanted to share what I did with anyone seeking love, whatever your age. The one major lesson I learned; you can’t change your situation without changing yourself or your approach. The following is what worked for me.   

The first thing is to write a list of at least ten must have’s you want in an intimate partner. If you’re at a loss, write out what you absolutely know you don’t want and figure out the opposite. Once you have your list, set out to be that person. That’s right you go first, you start the courtship. Like I said you have to change yourself or your approach to have something different. 

In your list, don’t pick something you can do for yourself, such as make you happy. It is unfair to give another the responsibility to change you or your moods. What you do want, however is a relationship that is compatible to your life style. Let’s say you want someone with a fit, trim and healthy, body, but you are sedentary and prefer the local burger joint to the gym.  This may not be the best combination. Or let’s say you are more of the homebody type, but you put on your list a socially active person. Be honest and ask yourself if you’re looking for someone to pull you out of your rut. Influence is very different than change. You may already be with someone who decides to get fit and that may influence you to get healthy yourself, but it isn’t the reason you got in the relationship. It would be better if you tried  something new or different before you assign it to a future partner. Sometimes we romanticize about something foreign to what we are familiar with, and sometimes there is a reason we haven’t pursued it. Set yourself up for success leave the fantasy behind and focus on what you are actually willing to participate in and what clicks with you today.  Also, by getting clear on your top preferences you avoid settling on a sort-of-maybe-kind-of match.  

If you want someone with a good sense of humor find ways to laugh every day. If you want a family oriented person, spend time with family or visit places where families frequent. If you want a healthy and fit person, get yourself on a healthy regimen. If you want a partner with an adventurous spirit start creating and fulfilling escapades now. Perhaps you want someone financially independent, are you? Maybe you want a partner who is confident, go tackle some of your fears and watch your confidence level soar. If you want romance, light a candle every night, listen to Barry White, buy a bouquet of flowers, indulge in a luxurious bath and read romance novels. Or linger over Love cards at the store and picture yourself feeling that way toward your partner. Remember, you need to change yourself or your approach to transform your situation from what you don’t want to what you do. Now, go tackle that list!

Peace ~Sandy

Copyright 2013 by Sandy Lucas