Making space for your new life.
We are now in February and many of us have already abandoned our ‘New Year Resolution/s’! Alternatively, if you’ve been following my road-map to creating your best year yet, you have a good template in place for creating positive, lasting changes! (If you would like access to this free video series just email me email@example.com).
You will of course already have an idea of what steps you need to put in place to support the action you want to take to achieve your best life, and have you made room for it to happen? De-cluttering has become such a ‘thing’ in recent years and like everything can be misunderstood and used as a generalised ‘cure-all’ by some! However, if used in a bespoke way to suit your personal needs, it can be useful.
Space clearing helps to achieve clarity both literally and figuratively. How can we make effective choices when there is so much stuff in the way, that we can’t see anything except a jumbled mess? How do we know what choices may be the most supportive for us if we don’t know what works for us and what we need to feel healthy, happy, loved and loving? How do we make room for feeling good about ourselves and others if we are still full of feeling bad about what we do or about the actions of others? How can we expect to feel differently if we keep hanging on to how we’ve always felt?
Part of being in the most productive place to effect positive changes in our lives is to be able to identify behavior/s that aren’t really working for us any more and that we would like to change. Having clarity over what that behavior is attempting to do for us, how it actually makes us feel and how it stops us doing more positive behavior that will support us in achieving what our ultimate goals are, is essential. Often this clarity doesn’t come unless we ‘clear the decks’, move those piles of ‘stuff’ out of the way so that we can get to what is really the heart of the issue. Trying to adopt a different behavior because others tell us we should, seldom works. We have to have that understanding of our own unique needs, to find what will resonate with us and know why it does.
Let’s start with some literal de-cluttering. There are some people who aren’t in the least bit bothered by a build up of ‘stuff’ in the house or office. However I’m not one of them! I know myself well, I tend to hang on to all sorts of bits of information both written and in my head, scraps of paper, articles, saved posts, business cards etc and I used to have them all in an ‘in-tray’ labelled ‘misc’. One of the first tasks of my year is to sort through that and file them in the appropriate places eg Blog idea/health Practitioners/personal health/inspirational quotes etc etc. Some of them end up – on reflection – in the bin too! I do this with my online filing as well. So I can find anything I want immediately and quickly.
I know that I find it hard to concentrate especially on the more labour-intensive or boring parts of my practice, if my room is full of clutter – piles of paper or bulging in-trays. I am also easily distracted by knowing that I have hidden files of out of date cases or marketing material etc and that there is very little available space for any new ideas. I work better in a clean, tidy, organised environment. I’m more productive, less distracted and more open to new things because I have made room for them. So having a physical de-clutter is a must for me, and thankfully because I have spent some time setting up a filing system that works for me, it’s not a terribly time consuming job. I really recommend that you set aside time to do the same for yourself, whether that’s your laptop/PC or phone filing system or your actual physical filing or your household administration.
There can be nothing more frustrating than knowing you have something and not being able to find it – such a waste of time and energy and can easily feed into anger etc. I’m not going to lie to you these tidying jobs can be boring so think about how you work best and schedule it accordingly. Some of us like to finish whatever we’ve started before starting something else, so depending on the size of the task, schedule a chunk of time to devote to it – without risking burn out!
You may find, particularly with the more boring but necessary tasks that you work better by breaking the task into more palatable time chunks and tackling several different areas during the course of a day or a week. Using an alarm clock or app that you can set to go off at the end of an allotted time can be useful here, as can taking a little break to stretch, get fresh air or drink water before you start the next time slot. Whatever is your individual way of working, thinking about it and scheduling dedicated time is vital, as is using your pre-determined ‘How do I want to feel’ and ‘Why I’m doing this’ (see my free video series for an explanation of these).
These are the rudders that will keep you on track as well as understanding the smaller ‘why’s’ ie, why this boring tidying is going to help you on your journey towards making your life better or reaching a particular goal. It certainly worked for me when I realised that I needed to re-enter a huge amount of data onto a platform I use for marketing! I knew it would take me half a day, that there wasn’t any other way to do it quicker or to get someone else to do it! Reminding myself of how much easier and quicker certain regular tasks would be once I had done it, and how much extra time I would have for more important things & how that would get me further towards feeling how I want to feel in my work, kept me focused on finishing. Nb I also allowed myself to spend a little time patting myself on the back for doing it!
It may be that your focus is less work orientated and more self-care based – and I really hope that this comes into everything that you do! The best analogy is a bulging, untidy, un-organised wardrobe. How will you find what you want to wear quickly? How do you remember what you even have? How will you have room for any new clothes that fit with the new ‘you’? We literally have to make space by making some focused decisions on whether to throw away/re-purpose/mend/give to charity/sell it. I actually try to do this process at the beginning of each season & set aside time to do it, with bags for each possible choice. If I haven’t worn something for ages, I try it on then and there and if I still don’t want to keep it on – it goes out either to be sold or given to charity or sometimes to a friend who I know will appreciate it. If you get your friends to do this too – maybe you can all get together and swap items. (providing you don’t just end up with the same bulging wardrobe!!?)
Just as we can make space for new things physically, we can always benefit from de-cluttering the most important and vital part of us – our minds. It is almost inevitable that once we turn our gaze to how we want to feel & what we need to change to help do that, some deep rooted, difficult emotions can come to light. Sometimes just acknowledging these and feeling them and identifying how we want to feel and behave instead, can be enough to nudge them along their way out of our lives. This will depend on how far along we are with our personal journey to knowing ourselves. Most likely if it’s big and very painful you will either only get a vague sense of it or the area it’s in, or you will not know how to process it effectively in order to make space for how you would prefer to be feeling. This is when part of your journey can benefit from asking for and receiving help. Investing in the right kind of help for you, can make the difference between you continuing to do the same things but expecting a different outcome, and being able to clear space to allow new behaviors and new feelings in. Homeopathy can help, QTT personal development methods can help, coaching programmes and/or Mentoring can help – I offer all these. Or maybe you would prefer another Health modality in which case a blog I wrote earlier may help guide you to what feels right for you, (click here to read). Asking for help and receiving it is a vital component for change – if you think about it, by doing so you are acknowledging that there is a different way of doing things or that it’s possible to feel differently. You are making space for possibility, for potentially re-designing how you choose to be in the world and that’s powerful stuff!