Is Clutter Clogging your Energy Pipeline??? Better Health is on the Other Side of Clutter!
I want to preface this blog: if you’re not getting a message from you that you are weighed down or bothered by clutter, don’t should yourself into clearing things because you think it’s the right thing to do. If something here resonates though, I invite you to keep investigating your clutter.
Our clutter comes in all shapes and sizes and takes up real estate in our lives. Sometimes we see it with our eyes (tangible). Other times, we feel it; in or on our bodies (stuck energy or extra weight). Or in our hearts (holding onto resentments). And, in our minds, we hear it (mental and emotional chatter). (Heck, if it’s physical clutter that’s been there too long, we may even smell it! Ewwww!)
Our thoughts about our clutter can zap us of our energy and drain us emotionally- which then, adds another layer to our mental clutter because we feel guilty for being so unmotivated. Our enthusiasm can get dinged without us even knowing what’s going on. In a nutshell, clutter is a distraction that keeps us from our brightest and most energetic selves. It can take our power away.
For me, distraction can show up as confusion, procrastination, overwhelm, self-judgment, doubt, and fear. All of these things lead to INDECISION. Yuck. INDECISION, to me, is just more mental clutter!
Here’s what i know:
Staying confused has allowed me us to stay stuck. Do I keep it or throw it away? I don’t know where to start. What if I don’t pick the right coach? If I initiate the prickly conversation, will it make things worse? I want to forgive him/her/them/myself, but…
Procrastinating has allowed me to stay stuck. (Perfectionist thinking has been a big part of my procrastination in the past.) I have so much to sort, and I don’t have matching tubs for storage yet. I might not do it right. My vision isn’t clear yet. What if I start and don’t keep going? I can’t start until everything is laid out just right, etc.
“I’m overwhelmed” used to keep me stuck. When our calendar is cluttered, we get stuck on auto-pilot and feel like life is out of control. Another contributor to mental clutter, right? I’m a firm believer in honoring time to pause and keeping white space in my calendar so I can stay away from thoughts of overwhelm.
Self-Doubt and judgment definitely kept me stuck in a loop of not-helpful thoughts–->not-helpful actions (What we think about, we bring about!)
Does this feel true for you?
Where are you undecided and cluttered?
Will you allow yourself a closer look at where your clutter may be keeping you from your healthiest self?
What could open up for you if you started addressing your different areas of clutter?
In my opinion, there isn’t a downside to addressing our clutter. The work of it is rewarding in itself (a big ‘ole pat on the back always feels good!) and we create space for so many things that help us feel better.
It’s a practice (like exercise and good nutrition) that we can become better and better at, using the momentum of good feelings to keep us on our path!
The biggest one-liner I can offer for this “practice” is, (like exercise and good nutrition), clearing clutter isn’t an all-or-nothing event.
The 2nd one is: your clutter didn’t happen overnight. It’s a lifelong accumulation of beliefs, influences, and circumstances that you can now start to observe, sort, and make new choices about.
To get you started clearing, treat yourself to some clarity with this free guide and these first steps:
(Mind mapping is one of my favorite ways to keep ideas simple. I put this Challenge Guide together for my private FB Group. It includes the benefits and feelings that we’re looking for when we declutter, gives you visual examples of breaking down projects, and includes some templates for you to print and use!)
1. Big Brain Dump= Write!
As fast as the thoughts come, write about whatever clutter you’re wanting to clear. No rules, don’t have to be in order. As long as you can read what you wrote, it doesn’t matter if it’s messy. Just get it from your head to the paper. (Your brain might offer up “Helllll no!” Too hard! Don’t have time for this!, or This is dumb!”, keep leaning in…)
2. Observe=be the OBSERVER of the thoughts
Here, you’ll just be curious. No judgment. Tune in to what you’re feeling in your body, it will tell you more.
3. Coach=If these thoughts were written by your bestie, what would be the easiest first step to take?
The quickest wins can build momentum, so staying with small tasks first can be really helpful.
4. GO!=Take the tiny action steps. CELEBRATE your wins, no matter how menial you think they are. It’s progress if you set the goal and did the thing!
5. Repeat= Set up next tiny action steps, etc.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
Example of a brain dump for a cluttered office: My office is crazy-messy! Too many papers. I don’ have a filing system, don’t know where to start. Old files need to go but need transferring to digital, first. Boxes-o-books, so many dang books, I may want to read them again! Write Pro’s/Con’s of getting it done or not dealing with it. Questions to answer: Who’s affected by my moods when I feel bad about the state of my office? Am I losing money being disorganized in my office? Would I have more time to do _______ if I felt like this wasn’t hanging over my head?
Examples of first action steps: Take 10 minutes to throw away papers that are definitely not necessary to keep (the no-brainer ones that for some reason are in your pile). Take 10 minutes to find at least 5 books that you know you’d like to give away. Clear 5 items off your desk that don’t have the same meaning they did when you originally put them there.
Example of a cluttered mind/overwhelm: I’m working too many hours. The kids have so much going on there’s no time for me. I don’t know what to do with my food plan, it’s all over the place. My exercise is so sporadic; I’ll never get into a routine! My schedule is crowding me out, I’m so tired! I need more time off but I can’t afford it, I need the money! My house is a mess and I feel like there’s not enough time to deal with it!
Examples of first action steps: give yourself some love and permission to step back and breathe. Take a 15-minute walk by yourself (no music or anything, give your mind some space). Look at your calendar for the month and find at least 3 things you can cancel or reschedule (without guilt)! Ask the family to help you for 10 minutes for a speedy pick-up session where everyone grabs as many items as they can and puts them in their place. When you’re waiting for kids (sports practice or pick up or drop off zones), take a peek at Pinterest for healthy recipes. Pick foods that make you feel good and avoid the ones that steal your energy or make you feel too full or bloated. Try to stay away from negative money thoughts (I was way too good at those for so long and when I told myself I was tired of the struggle, things started changing!)
Example of thoughts about sentimental clutter: I’ll feel guilty if I get rid of grandma’s china, she wanted me to have it when she died. Little Johnny’s artwork was so sweet (Kindergarten-9th grade stack), I just can’t get rid of it. I’m afraid if I get rid of my dad’s clothes, it’ll be like I’m letting him go all over again. Action steps that have helped me with these types of things: ask: Would grandma want me to keep these purely out of obligation? Would my dad give me a hard time for thinking/worrying about this? (Both answers were adamant yes’s, it was like permission to let them go with love and appreciation.) The best one for me has been: Would I want my boys to keep my stuff out of obligation? (More permission.)
I hope this post has inspired you to get some clarity and clearing going! Please be sure to share it with the women in your life that you know are working towards more peace and calm. If you haven’t already joined my private FB Group, please do now! We’re talking about our thoughts affect our health, hope you’ll come to play!