“Our internal space has to be given the same level of respect and diligent attention as the external…”
Clear the Clutter Clear Your Mind
These are the words spoken by Oprah Winfrey in her March 2015 issue of her magazine. The topic: How to get your life organized by removing the clutter from your life.
If you have ever read her magazine, then you’re familiar with her article, “What I Know for Sure” that appears on the last page of every issue. This is her personal “aha” moment…a moment when clarity is revealed, whether with something specific or general.
In speaking on how she “decluttered”, she shares not only of the tangible clutter that was organized – coordinated closets, more organized cabinets with labeled spice containers – but also of the internal or mental clutter, that can have a negative effect on our mental and emotional well-being.
So in discussing how to get your life organized, we’re going to take a peek into some things that may have been overlooked, those not-so-noticeable areas in our lives that may sabotage our efforts to get our lives organized.
No Ph.D. Required…
As with so many things that can be out of order in our lives, it starts with an emotion. Granted, for some of us, it can just be a matter of being too lazy to really set aside time to organize and clean. But for others, that cluttered room or closet may stem from something deeper.
In examining how to get your life organized, let’s take a look at some of the not-so-obvious elements in our lives, that may contribute to the clutter, thus leading to chaos. To embrace the motto “clear the clutter clear your mind”, we’re going to dive in and examine our E.M.O.T.I.O.N.S. behind some of the things in our lives.
Environment: Whether you live in a studio apartment, rent a room, live in a condo with
3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths, or a beautiful split level house, how do you really feel about your environment. If you think that you place is just too small and cramped, you may have thought, “why should I bother”, so you never really make the effort to keep things tidy.
Sharing an apartment has its advantages and disadvantages; of the latter, perhaps boundaries haven’t been established, and no one wants to speak up and be labeled the “bad cop”, so things stay in a state of disarray.
For others, you may still be on that dreaded keeping up with the Jones’ merry-go-round; so there never seems to be enough stuff. If you don’t think about how you actually feel about your environment, it’ll be difficult to come up with a solution.
Mental State: Debt…health issues…job insecurity…a new relationship…moving…baby on the way…new pet…new business venture…the list is quite endless because stress comes in both negative and positive forms. Whether “good” or “bad” our mental state can drastically affect how well we’re able to maintain order in our surroundings, whether at home or at work.
Being able to set aside time – whether in the morning, a few hours after work, a long weekend or a week’s vacation – it’s important that we don’t just “push through” but take time, to distress and make the necessary adjustments.
Opportunity: What are the opportunities that we allowed to pass us by…which ones did we squander…what are some of the opportunities that we should just let go…
Talk: What we speak, may not be the first thing that comes to mind, when we think of bringing order into our lives, but it should. There are millions of people, in sales, who are familiar with the classic book, “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” by Shad Helmstetter Ph. D.
In sales, if you fail to speak the “right” words to yourself before meeting with a client, it’s unlikely that you’ll be the right words when you sit in front of them. I’m not referring to vulgar or obscene talk here, but rather, talk that may beat down, rather than lift us up. To clear out the clutter from our lives means to remove and trash any negative talk…even if no else hears it but us.
Intuition: Spirit…energy…gut…sixth sense… Most people accept that there’s something internal that gives us “signals”. letting us know when we should just be still, be alert, or just run and run fast! Whatever name you choose to give it, listen to it, embrace it, follow it…take the time to examine what your beliefs are, and whether or not what you’re doing is in alignment with your true or authentic self.
Obligations: Ah yes…this could be a tough one for many of us. We want to keep our commitments, but how often have we double booked. You know…said “yes” to helping someone move, only to find out that you promised to help with a baby shower that same day…for the same time! To lend a hand to help our community and loved ones is always a good thing, right? It’s a great thing…until it’s not…
If we overextend ourselves, we leave ourselves feeling physically and mentally drained. Most of us are able to discern what we can and can not do, in terms of physically; but knowing our emotional limitations…that could take a lot more work.
There’s something I came across recently that is really so powerful: Know how to say “no” without giving an explanation. Whew!!! That’s a tough one!!! I can’t say that I’ve mastered this one yet, but I have made improvements.
If just saying “no” makes you too uncomfortable, find something that works for you. In figuring out how I can prevent myself from overextending myself, I came up with 7 simple words: I’ll have to get back to you. To lend a hand is great just make sure that you’re not neglecting what’s really important…you.
News: Of course we need to know what’s going on in our communities, state, country, and the rest of the world. But do we really need to know what’s going on 24/7? I mean, if your profession requires you to be “in the know”, that’s one thing, but for the rest of us, all of that news – most of which is negative, depressing and outlandish – could prove to be damaging in one form or another.
There’s a saying: pick your poison. Figure out how you want to receive the news – early morning, midday, late night, the Internet, newspaper, magazine – then give yourself a time frame, and stick to it.
Receiving all too much information will definitely make you much more informed, and perhaps even win you some admirers at the next dinner party…but at what cost…
Self-Image: How do you see yourself? Really? Is your self-image positive and uplighting or one that’s negative and pessimistic. It’s possible that your place can be neat and orderly while maintaining a negative self-image, just as it’s possible that the opposite can be true: that your place is in disarray but you have nothing but love for yourself. Remember, we’re talking about putting some order in your life, so this is definitely an area that could use some scrutinizing.
This was a more serious article than my usual, but I think it’s always good to take the time to evaluate what’s going on in our lives. “Without change, there will be no change.”
I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave your comments below.
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