It's been a long, weird month away from my business and from you, my amazing tribe. I've had a few personal emergencies that threw me totally off my groove and left me putting out some fires - including, at one point, a full-scale top-to-bottom cleaning of my apartment! I suppose it's only fitting, with Halloween and Samhain (the New Year for a lot of Pagans) only a week away. And it's left me thinking about clutter of all kinds: the physical kind, the mental, and even the spiritual.
You don't have to be a hoarder - or someone in a long-time battle with cleaning, like me - to suffer from a buildup of junk. We're reluctant to get rid of things that no longer work for us, to create new systems for our lives, to streamline the world we live in. In honor of the upcoming new year, here are five ways you can cut down the clutter in your life - and feel like you're getting a whole new start!
1. Keep, Store, Toss
Everything has a purpose, but sometimes it can wear out its welcome. Go through your house and take a look at what you have in storage, laying around the house, or in your closets and dressers. Decide what you use all the time, what you need to put in storage (for me it's the books I can't bear to get rid of), and what needs to get donated or thrown out.
2. How's That Working For You?
But this isn't just about physical "stuff"! Spend about a week keeping track of your day, from what you do at work to how you spend your evenings when you've got a moment to yourself. Where are your breaks too long, or too short? Is there a way to cut down on the time your work takes? How effective are you at what you're doing, and is there another way to make it easier?
3. Make Some Sacred Time
It might sound ridiculous to add one more thing to a packed and overwhelming day. But if you're reading this blog, chances are you have a spiritual path you follow and you know how important it is. Set aside ten minutes for some kind of daily ritual: meditation, exercise, yoga, daily devotions, or prayer are just a few of your options. Taking time out for your connection to the Universe gives you clarity and discipline, and most of all, it lets you know you're part of something bigger than yourself. You matter, and we all need that reminder sometimes.
4. The Power of Three
At any point in time, I've got twenty different things I keep meaning to get to "someday". The trouble is, those "somedays" can clutter up my mind and leave me distracted with half-baked ideas, vague plans, and guilt when I don't achieve half of what I wanted to. Pick just three things to get accomplished in a day, and make them your goals. If your goals are long-term, pick three small things you can do to accomplish those goals. Write them down, put the list somewhere you can see it, and commit. When you're done with that list for the day, you can tack on more if you need to, but this will help keep your life streamlined and clear.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help
It can be hard to ask for help - but sometimes it's what we need. When everything gets overwhelming, there are places to go. Life and spiritual coaches can help you get a handle on the day-to-day. Friends and family can give you a new perspective, or just a sounding board if you need it. It's scary to admit you don't always "have it together", like you're making yourself vulnerable and opening your life up to visitors all at once. But sometimes, just getting it all out in the open can leave you feeling clear and refreshed. And two pairs of hands can work much faster than one.
Here's wishing you a happy, healthy, and clutter-free week!
Well, we're at the end of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and I've successfully written 31 different posts relating to Tarot, history, fear, motivation, diversity, creativity, and my continued ridiculous love for Leonie Dawson
This is a huge thing for me, because while I love my blog to pieces, and I love everyone I've met through it, sometimes I slip up. I don't write a post every day, so I write extra posts and backdate a day or two. I don't always promote every post perfectly. Some of my ideas have been great, some not so great. I could write for a month or ten years, love it no less, and still have it be a learning process. So accomplishing this, having everything to show for this month, is a big deal for me.
Why would I tell you this when I'm a life coach? When I use my gifts as a Tarot reader, along with creative exercises and a guiding hand, to help others to learn, plan, expand, and grow? Because it's okay.
I have ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. That means things like schedules, repeated tasks, and details are sometimes difficult for me. I've had to learn, over a long period of time, that Getting Stuff Done and Being Organized doesn't come as easily to me as it does to other people.
That means I've done more to learn how to make it happen for me, what works and doesn't work, what fits into my personal rhythm and needs. And that means I've learned how to make mistakes: with acceptance. Understanding what happened, and how that's where I'm at. Resolving to take what I've learned, and try again tomorrow.
I've had times in the past where I'd decide that overnight, I was going to be a master of everything. I'd plan to work my tail off until my house was sparkling, my eating habits were flawless, I'd accomplished four or five different projects and still have time to read a book about spirituality or self-development at the end of the day.
That just doesn't work
. Even when I finished most of what I planned to do, I was exhausted. The things I loved felt like chores, items on the checklist of life rather than something that could genuinely benefit me and be enjoyable. And the stuff that wasn't so great? I'd punish myself over it - until I learned that not only was this biologically supposed
to be difficult, but learning it was a process
So I set a few things to do each day. I broke it down and made it simple for myself. I slowly chipped away, and I kept moving forward. No punishment, no judgement. If I had an unproductive day, I'd look at what happened, and I told myself I'd do better tomorrow.
And when I got the website made, the class finished, the story written, I'd be able to look at it and say: "I did that."
Congratulations to everyone else who completed the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and to anyone worrying about what they haven't accomplished: nothing is impossible. The only way you could ever lose your way is to stop moving completely.
When talking to a friend about some tough memories, she said something to me that I have the feeling is going to stick with me a long time.
"What's the story you're telling behind that?"
We all have stories, she explained. Not the stories that really happened, the ones that are actually a part of our history. But the stories we tell ourselves, the ones that come up in our memories and play tricks on us.
"I wasn't good enough, so I failed."
"Their lives are perfect; I wish I was like them."
"I ruined everything, and now they hate me."
Maybe, as an anxious or sensitive person, you actually say it in those words. Maybe you don't realize that's the way you see it, but you might as well be saying it in the back of your mind. Our lives go through a filter, where we see the circumstances as a play - and the ending is whatever we decide to believe about ourselves. And often, the impressions we leave are strong and can be unforgiving.
Look back over the stories you tell yourself, and find one that stands out as an old regret. Then rewrite it. Pick out the parts where you did well, and the parts where you could have done better. Then rewrite the ending. Create the final act where you release your pain, climb the next hurdle, prove yourself and believe you deserve it.
You're already writing your story. Empowerment just means consciously creating a new chapter.
A lot of people look at Tarot as a way to go deeper into their own lives. That's what I do: helping people shed light on the patterns and energies in their lives, giving them a better look at where to go next. But what I love about the cards is they can be so versatile. Sometimes even a day-to-day question can get you strikingly specific results.
The time I couldn't get in touch with a friend, for instance, so I consulted the cards and drew The Moon (needless worry) and the Four of Wands (a celebration). She was at a festival that day, and couldn't get to her phone. Or this weekend, when my computer was being an absolute delight, and I hadn't heard from my tech support forum of choice for hours. The Magician told me I had the tools I needed to tackle it myself, and while I didn't fix everything, I did manage to get my Internet back online.
Of course, it's probably not always going to be effective if you rely on a deck of cards to tell you what to have for dinner tonight. But it makes for an interesting way to flex your reading muscles. Part of being an effective reader, after all, is letting your intuition stretch you just beyond the classic meanings of the cards into a new mode of thinking. (How would you use the cards to decide what's for dinner? Six of Cups means a favorite childhood meal? The Tower means something spicy with bold flavors?)
It's not good to let Tarot do all your thinking for you, of course, and it's an easy trap to start relying on it too much. Ultimately everything should rely on your own decisions and common sense. But give the Tarot a spin for an unusual question sometime, and see what muscles it flexes in your mind. It just might surprise you.