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Is Your Life Like a Messy Room?

Written by: | Sunday, April 22nd, 2012


You’ve seen the TV shows of hoarders and people with too much stuff. Or maybe you know of people whose houses are clutter magnets – stuff everywhere. It is hard to find a place to sit or even lean without needing to move things.

Besides being a culture of “stuff,” our clutter is very telling about how we live. Is your life like a messy room? Stuff everywhere, no direction, clarity or order? Is your mind cluttered and distracted?

Author, spiritual teacher and psychotherapist Sylvia Boorstein says in her book, Happiness Is An Inside Job, “The living room of my own mind, unless I keep tidying it, is not a relaxing place.” In other words, when our minds are full of clutter, we can’t move or think clearly, easily or sanely. When our minds are loaded with clutter about hurt feelings, things that did not go right, problems and challenges, we don’t create any space in the mind to search for solutions or ways to live our best lives. It is too crowded in there with all the wrong stuff – stopping us from having room for the right stuff.

So back to the cluttered living room. When there are too many things – too much clutter – it is hard to bring anything new – better – into the room. Our minds and lives are the same. When we are stuck in a story of what we are supposed to be or do, instead of creating the space to explore what we are great and passionate about, we don’t make room for something better. And every day just goes by without any change – any improvement. And you know the saying, you don’t get this day back.

So, what do you do about it? Clean out the clutter. Here are some ways to get started:

1. Keep a clutter journal. Start to record when you see yourself getting stuck in a situation that isn’t for you. It may be a job you hate or feel unqualified to do. It may be a relationship that is unfair, unhealthy or unproductive that needs to either be improved or terminated. Notice your physical space and assess how much clutter is there. See what is and be able to label the clutter in your life – this is a starting point.

2. Create a vision. Define what you want your life/work to be and build a one-week plan. One week only – nothing more. What specific things can you do just this week to start to refocus on where your work/life/faith, etc. needs to be for you. Small steps. Look for immediate progress. This gives you the courage to keep moving and to see some instant successes. Next week, build another one-week plan. Develop some momentum.

3. Tidy your space. Clean up your physical space so your mental and emotional spaces can also have room. Throw things you don’t use or want away or donate them. Buy a shelf, container or folders to organize your papers, books, and personal items. Define when you want to have your space organized – and do a little each day. Make room for you and the life you want in your physical space.

The moment I started taking more control over putting things away, making the bed, throwing the laundry in the hamper, filing papers and organizing my space – I found I had more room. More room to move, to think and to allow things to happen.

As I cleaned my external space, I could more easily move to my mental and emotional space. The more space I created, the opportunities appeared to build what I wanted in life – not to just accept what happens. Clarity creates focus. Focus allows us to build our extraordinary lives. We can’t do or be extraordinary in the middle of clutter.

Good news should always be shared. Ending the clutter so new opportunities and possibilities can appear is great news. Please share this with someone you know who can benefit from it. And contact me to learn more about de-cluttering and other Greatness Coaching techniques to help you build a life you love. Be well. Be great.

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