Tag Archives: negative energy

Are You Putting Things Away to Stay Organized?

One of the single most important habits that will help you stay organized is to put things away

This is what can happen when things aren’t put away. You lose the use of your kitchen table.

all the time. Putting things away after use is insurance that you will be able to find those things again when you need them. It also keeps your home feeling good, clear of the clutter of things left out in the open.

Everything is alive with energy, positive or negative. A jacket might have positive energy because you love the color, fit and style. However, the energy of that jacket changes when it’s thrown over a chair instead of put away in a closet. It takes on negative energy because it has landed where it is not supposed to be because it’s irritating to see it out of place. It’s energy is similar to that of litter — irritating and therefore negative.

This is what is available if you take the time to regularly put things away. Which space would you choose?

You may know it’s better to put things away, but you keep leaving things out. What are the reasons that you do that? Following are some common reasons that things don’t get put away.

  • It’s easier to leave things out and/or not put them away.
  • You tell yourself you will do it later. But, do you?
  • You think it will take a lot of time to put away.
  • You tell yourself that there are other more pressing things that need to be done.
  • You think putting things away is tedious and boring.
  • You are unaware that you’ve left things out because your attention has shifted to something else.
  • It’s a habit to drop things without thought.
  • It’s a habit to leave things out.
  • It’s not easy to put things away because where they belong is too full of other things.
  • The item doesn’t have a home, a place where it can be stored.

What does it cost you to not put things away regularly?

  • You can’t find things when you need them.
  • You create a space that over time feels chaotic and uncomfortable.
  • You attract criticism from others.
  • The negative energy of the space causes increased irritability between family members.
  • You waste money because you buy things you already own but can’t find.
  • You are less productive because you can’t think clearly in a messy space.
  • As your space becomes more cluttered, negative energy increases and your self-esteem dips. You feel bad about yourself and your space.
  • You create negative energy blocks that distract you from what it most important.
  • You create negative energy that blocks good things from coming to you.

Can you really afford to wait until “later” to put things away? The longer you wait to put something away, the harder it will be to make yourself do it. Make putting things away after use your “must do” habit to keep your life more peaceful and productive.

If despite your best efforts you cannot seem to develop the habit of regularly putting things away, it’s time to seek support to change your behavior. A coach can help you tease out what is preventing you from making the change you want, and can provide support and accountability as you try on new behaviors. Schedule a free 30-60 minute Back on Track phone coaching session to explore how you can develop new habits to keep you organized and on track with your goals.

Have a Good Feng Shui Christmas!

My favorite definition of feng shui is, “arranging your space to enhance your life.” So, you’re

xmas giftprobably wondering how feng shui could pertain to Christmas. Good feng shui is achieved by eliminating things with negative energy and enhancing by adding things with positive energy.  You can take that process and apply it to any aspect of your life, even Christmas.

Feng shui teaches that everything is alive with energy. Everything. So, the common aspects of Christmas, decorating, meal preparation, gift giving, sending Christmas cards, spending time with family, and attending holiday parties and events, have energies associated with them. 

For example, let’s take decorating. Perhaps just saying the word makes your gut clench and you immediately feel overwhelmed by the thought of all the work and time involved in decorating your home.  Decorating holds negative energy and is not good feng shui for you. 

Should you eliminate it because it’s bad feng shui? That is an option. But, another more realistic option could be simplifying what you do. What if decorating just involved removing the cover off of a previously decorated artificial tree and setting out some special treasures, like a family creche or a collection of small Santas? If you found a way to reduce the process both in the quantity of decorations you use and in the time it takes to decorate, wouldn’t the process feel less daunting and more positive to you?

Another way to shift the energy of decorating from negative to positive would be to evaluate the energies of all your decorations and eliminate any that never get used, are broken, hold a negative association, or are annoying to deal with. That would reduce the volume of decorations you handle and your decorations would hold only positive energy. Wouldn’t that make opening those boxes each year a pleasure instead of a chore?

The same process I’ve described above can be applied to every aspect of your holiday experience. If spending time with some family members always stirs up negative energy, you can choose to abstain from seeing them or plan to spend only a short time in their presence. You may exposed to some negative energy if you spend time with difficult family members for even a short time, but you’ll experience positive energy when you go into the situation with an exit strategy. 

If you hate certain types of holiday parties, you can choose not to attend them and instead plan time with people you really want to spend time with. If preparing six dishes for your holiday dinner is very stressful to pull off, you can reduce the number and prepare only those you love the most or that are the easiest to prepare. 

If you hate shopping and wrapping presents, you can give gift cards or order items online complete with gift wrapping. If you hate the addressing Christmas cards and often don’t get the job done, but still feel guilty about not sending them, you can switch to sending e-cards online or you can just decide not to send them because the whole process generates too much negative energy.

Having a happy holiday season is a choice. What can you do this year to improve the feng shui of your holiday activities and traditions?

Clutter Clearing: Making New Life & New Growth Possible

African violetRecently I bit the bullet and re-potted my very special African Violet. It had once been a healthy, lovely plant with dainty white flowers constantly blooming. Over time, however, having been in its pot growing like a weed, it had lost its loveliness and leaves began to rot and fall away. It was clearly time to do something to save this favorite plant. So, I took the plant apart and set each of the separate sections in water to develop roots for repotting.

As I was pulling it apart it occurred to me that what I was doing to bring new life to that plant is not unlike what I do with clients as we clear clutter. We pull apart piles of their accumulated stuff. Left alone those piles would only become more static, their energies more toxic and off putting. Accumulations of negative energy attract more negative into the lives of my clients. By pulling their clutter apart, making decisions about what is still worth keeping (alive) and what no longer serves them (dead), and creating a new order with what is left, we change negative energy, comparable to the rot of the plant, into positive energy, like the three new plants that were created from the struggling old plant.

Clutter clearing is an opportunity to remove the rot and create the conditions for new, healthy growth and blossoming. Sometimes you must dismantle what is to make new life and new growth possible.

5 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Quit Clutter Clearing

2012-08-06 16.04.46Clutter clearing is a complex process. Many people try to start and very quickly flee to the sofa, shopping mall, or anywhere but in the middle of their stuff. What makes that happen? Following are 5 ways to guarantee you will quit clutter clearing.

1. Start with paper. Paper is one of the hardest things to clear because every piece of paper requires that a decision be made. You’ll wear out your brain very quickly doing paper. It ranks up there at the top of the list as one of the most boring things to clear. And, it takes forever to clear enough paper to see that you’ve made any progress. If you start with paper when it’s not the only thing that needs to be cleared, you set yourself up for discouragement, frustration, overwhelm and failure.

2. Start with little things. Like paper every little object requires that you make at least one decision–keep it or pitch it. Every little thing is alive with an energy that talks to you. A collection of little things to sort is very noisy and overwhelming. And, like paper, you’ll have to make a lot of decisions before you’ll see and feel tangible results. You are more likely to quit first!

3. Start in the attic, garage, or basement. Attics, basements and garages can be the dirtiest areas in the home, especially if they are used primarily as storage areas. The negative energy of dirt will deter even the most conscientious and determined soul. They are also dump spots, places where people throw things that they don’t know what to do with, things they don’t want to make decisions about, or things they don’t want to deal with at the moment. As repositories of stuff that’s not used very often, the energy in those spaces can range from very static to very chaotic and overwhelming. Also, attics, basements and garages aren’t places where you spend much time. Unless they are the last areas that need clearing, starting in those complex caverns of negative energy, places where you won’t see the results of your efforts, is another great way to guarantee that you’ll run for friendlier, more rewarding areas to work or the sofa.

4. Start with anything that has strong emotional associations. Most people quite naturally avoid clearing things that bring up strong negative feelings like sadness, grief, regret, embarrassment, or anger. But, if you are unconscious that a particular item will stir memories of a loss, failure, loved one long gone, or precious memory, and suddenly come face to face with feelings you are unprepared to face, you are very likely to halt in your clutter clearing tracks.

5. Start anywhere with no plan. If you just dive into the clutter clearing process with no thought given to how you will do it and where you will start to achieve immediate positive results, you are very likely to start in the areas that scream the loudest, those places that have the most negative energy and are the most difficult to do–like paper and little things. That is a setup for failure.

Why set yourself up for failure? Now that you know not to start with paper, small items, items with emotional content, in the garage, basement, or attic, or with no plan, where do you start? With a plan to clear big things from high use areas that will produce visible results quickly.

The Feng Shui Benefits of Anchoring Rugs

Rugs that slide around are irritants! And, they are safety hazards. However, until recently most of my scatter rugs slid all over the place. In the busyness of life I kept procrastinating doing anything about that problem. That all changed when Mom was getting rid of a non-skid rug pad. It was free and it was in my hands. That reduced two blocks to solving my rug slipping problem–no cost and no hassle finding the right type of pad.

As I often do when I make a change to my space, I thought about the feng shui implications of my actions. Rugs that slide around are sources of negative energy because they are often askew and look messy. My dogs tearing through the house keep my rugs at odd angles despite my repeated efforts to straighten them. Even more significant is that rugs that move convey the energy of shifting sands, impermanence, and instability. Having that energy in my home attracts more of the same into my life. It also makes it hard to feel secure, safe, and grounded. And, of course, they are a safety hazard because rugs in motion can slide out from under you, resulting in painful falls and possible injuries.

As I put the rug pads under the rugs I immediately experienced a feeling of well-being, like something that was very wrong had been righted. It seemed like a miracle that the rugs no long moved–even with dogs darting around. A part of me that had been on high alert calmed down. With that source of irritation gone I was no longer distracted by the negative energy of scattered rugs. I hadn’t even been consciously aware of the energy cost of that distraction until I eliminated it.  What a pleasure it was to feel more relaxed and able to settle down to work in my office.

As it turned out, the week following the rug anchoring was particularly difficult for me. There was a major family drama and my beloved Macbook died. As a small business owner who uses her computer daily for writing, slide programs and communication with clients, having my computer crash was like having a rug pulled out from under me. I am happy to say that I was able to navigate the rough waters of family conflict and purchasing and restoring files on my new computer (a completely new experience) with minimal challenge. And, when I needed a little extra help, I was able to find it. I am sure having my rugs well anchored provided me with energetic support and positive energy to face two major challenges.

Anchor your moving rugs and reap the benefits of greater safety, a greater sense of security, peace of mind, and an increased ability to navigate whatever challenges come your way.

Who’s Winning? You or Clutter Clearing Overwhelm?

Perhaps one of the biggest barrier to clearing clutter and attaining a relatively clutter-free lifestyle is clutter clearing overwhelm. A person might have the best of intentions to tackle their clutter, but when they approach the task they find themselves feeling completely overwhelmed. And, when they feel overwhelmed they come to a complete stop and/or run in the opposite direction. When they shut down, the overwhelm is winning.

What’s triggering the overwhelm? You’re probably thinking, “Well, duh, it’s the enormity of the task. What else would it be?” Looking at the enormity of the task most certainly is one aspect of what triggers overwhelm. But, there is another way to view the causes of clutter clearing overwhelm. When spaces are cluttered, the clutter itself is a source of negative energy. It feels really bad. Negative energies tend to repel us. Not only is the energy of the clutter negative, but it also talks to you. It says nasty things like, “If you weren’t such a slob. . .” or “If you were more disciplined. . .” or “You’re really hopeless at getting and staying organized.” That abuse that shows up in your thoughts contributes to feeling overwhelmed. And, finally, when a space is cluttered, the sheer number of items talking to you at the same time can be overwhelming. That’s not even considering the fact that every item requires that a decision be made about whether to keep it or pitch it, and if kept, where will it go?

As you can see, clutter clearing is definitely NOT for sissies! If you find that clutter clearing overwhelm has the upper hand, despite your best intentions to defeat it and be successful in your clutter clearing efforts, it’s time to get some help to better arm yourself to tackle your clutter and manage the overwhelm. You’ll notice my choice of words, “manage the overwhelm.” Overwhelm is a normal part of the clutter clearing process and can be managed. As I’ve discussed, both the size of the task and the energy of the clutter can shut you down in a heartbeat! You can give in to its power or make a decision to learn a different way to handle it. It is possible to win against clutter clearing overwhelm!

Stay tuned for my next post which will outline some of the most effective ways to manage clutter clearing overwhelm!

10 Tips to Make Christmas a Clutter Free Event

 

 

‘Tis the season to be giving, receiving, and decorating. That means that you will be giving and getting “stuff.” You will also be pulling decorations from their storage places. When “stuff” is moving you have an excellent opportunity to commit to 1) not creating clutter in your home and the homes of those who receive your gifts and to 2) clearing clutter every step of the way.

Following are 10 tips to help you make your Christmas a completely clutter free experience:

  1. Pull out ALL your decorations and evaluate each one. Toss every item that you no longer display EVERY year.
  2. When doing your Christmas cards, either send all the left over cards from previous years to eliminate your supply, or just pitch or donate the extra cards.
  3. Throw away small bits of wrapping paper you have been saving to use for just the right tiny package, but never seem to use, especially the pieces that have gotten scrunched.
  4. Clear out cruddy Christmas bags: those that have taken a beating; those that don’t reflect your taste, and those that are just plain ugly.
  5. Clear crushed bows and snarled ribbons. And, clear out ribbons altogether if you’re like me and, despite your best intentions, you never make or take the time to add ribbons to your packages.
  6. Make your gifts to others items that can be consumed and/or that are perishable, like candles, candies, fruit and baked goods. Consumption or time will assure that those gifts don’t linger long enough to become clutter.
  7. Give gift cards freely. People love to do their own shopping or enjoy a free coffee or meal out. Besides, gift card clutter is smaller and less annoying than ugly sweater or useless knick knack clutter.
  8. Evaluate each gift you get with the Love It, Use It or Lose It method. If you don’t love it or use it, lose it! Express appropriate thanks to the giver and then either regift it, donate it or pitch it. It’s the thought that counts and unwanted gifts only hold negative energy in place.
  9. When it’s time to put new gifts away, take the time to clear clutter in the area where the new gift will be stored. Release the old to make room for the new.
  10. When you put decorations away, take a good look at each item and consider the time it takes and the process involved in putting it out and taking it down. Pitch anything whose significance or beauty do not outweigh annoyance factor.

If you do any of the above actions, you will be doing your part to make the holidays a joyous, peaceful time instead of an overwhelming event to survive. Make clutter clearing a new focus of your holiday activities. It’s the best way I know to feel in control at this busy time of year.

 

Want Clarity About Your Goals? Wash Your Windows!

How clear is your view of the new year?

Are you struggling with making an important decision? Want clarity? Wash your windows! I’m not kidding! The windows are the eyes of the home. If your windows are clean you can see clearly. When you can see clearly, you can think clearly. I am living proof!

For months I have been struggling to get clarity about the direction to take with my business. My coach has made several suggestions. They were good suggestions, but they didn’t resonate with me. I ran numerous options through my head, over and over. Still, I couldn’t get clear.

Then one day, while flopping around in my “not knowing” state, I looked at the windows in our home and shuttered. They were filthy. They hadn’t been cleaned since we moved into the house seven years ago. Every time the sun shone through them I was reminded that they needed to be washed. My thoughts also went to, “But, we can’t afford to have it done.” Talk about scarcity thinking! Yes, they were large expanses of negative energy.

Both Bob and I HATE doing windows. And, the cost to get them washed always seemed to be more than we could manage. That day, as the sun streamed through the accumulated grime of too many seasons of pollen and dust, I made the decision to call a window cleaning company to get an estimate. To my surprise the cost was reasonable! I immediately scheduled the window washing. That simple action cemented my commitment to clarity.

My car windows were also filthy. Smudged with dog nose prints, I felt irritated every time I got into my car. One day I couldn’t stand it anymore. I drove to the closest grocery store and bought window cleaning wipes. I cleaned my windows right there in the grocery store parking lot. I couldn’t tolerate the lack of clarity a moment longer.

The day after I washed the car windows I met with a woman who helps me with marketing my programs. As we talked I was amazed to find that I knew exactly how I wanted to change my business and what projects I want to pursue in 2012. It was as if a dam had burst and the ideas came pouring out. After my marketing friend left, the ideas kept streaming out into a mind map and outline of my plan. I also felt a physiological rush of energy that couldn’t be explained by caffeine. The coffee I had that day was decaffeinated!

It’s the perfect time to get clarity about where you want to go in the new year. And, it’s also a great time to get your windows washed, since we’re about to head into the season of cold temperatures, gray days and challenging weather. You don’t need the irritant of dirty windows. Commit to clarity! Get your windows cleaned and watch your vision of the new year crystalize!

Clutter Clearing: The Importance of Accountability

You’ve decided that this weekend you’ll tackle the clutter in your bedroom. You know it’s affecting your ability to sleep peacefully. When you wake to it every morning you feel like such a slacker for allowing it to sit there and grow day by day. What a great way to start each day!

The weekend comes and once more you wake to your personal clutter nightmare. You tell yourself you’ll do it, but first you’ll have a cup of coffee and read the paper. Then you get a phone call from a friend asking you to go to a craft fair. The bedroom is waiting. You told yourself you’d do it this weekend. But, there’s always Sunday to get to the bedroom clutter. And, after all, you do want to have more work/life balance! Off you go with your friend. The bedroom clutter goes untouched for one more day.

Sunday arrives. You groan as you crawl out of bed and again look at the clutter. Today is the day. But, first you must go to church and then have brunch with friends. When you get home your husband wants you to help him with a project in the garage. To keep the peace and make progress in the garage you table the bedroom clutter clearing project for later in the day. Then the children need your help with a school project. The next thing you know, it’s time to make dinner. Once again, the bedroom clutter remains untouched. You tell yourself, “It’s gone this long. It can wait one more week.”

Sound familiar? Other than doing taxes or going to the dentist, almost anything is more appealing than clearing clutter. Clutter that has been sitting for any length of time has a static energy that makes addressing it seem like moving a block of cement. It’s energy is so negative. Moving it requires making so many decisions. That takes energy and focus, both of which are hard to come by in lives filled to the brim with activities and obligations. No wonder clutter clearing seems so overwhelming!

So, how do you make yourself do it? One way I get myself to follow through with onerous tasks is to tell another person what I intend to do and ask them to hold me accountable. What does “hold me accountable” mean? The way they hold me accountable is to check back with me to see if I did the task, to remind me that I thought doing it was important for my well-being and peace of mind. Holding me accountable is not nagging me, berating me or shaming me into doing the task. It is simply to ask the question and remind me of my intention.

For some reason when I tell another person I am going to do something, I am less likely to blow off the task. Who can you ask to hold you accountable for tackling a clutter clearing project in your home? Make sure whomever you choose is a supportive, loving person, not someone who will give you a hard time. It’s even better if that person also wants to make progress in some area of his/her life and also needs help with accountability. You can then be accountability buddies.

If you find you have difficulty identifying a good candidate for an accountability buddy, I will be offering a new accountability opportunity in the new year. Look for future posts outlining the details of The 12 Months of Clutter Clearing Challenge, a special program designed to help people get clutter clearing done.

Stay Organized Even When Hit By a Hurricane!

There is still much external chaos here in Richmond, VA, the remnants of Hurricane Irene’s wrath. The damage done by high winds and fallen trees is visible everywhere. Some people still have no power, phone or cable service.

It is impossible not to be affected by that chaos, those disruptions to day to day functioning. The energy of brokenness abounds. Most of us are unconscious of the effect of that negative energy. We are too busy trying to get back to normal in our homes, with our work, with public schools opening soon. There is also the uncertainty of when services will be restored, when school will start given the delays caused by the storm.

When things feel so out of sync, when the negative energy of brokenness is everywhere, it’s very easy to let your day to day maintenance activities slide. After all, you have no hot water, why bother washing dishes. Those dominant negative and unsettled energies attract more of the same. They stress us and make us less likely to attend to cleaning up, putting things away, maintaining order. It takes extra energy to make yourself do the things that you would normally do to maintain order in your home.

If you follow the lead of those negative, chaotic energies, you’ll find yourself inclined to ignore tasks you know you should do. Do them anyway. Consider them an investment in restoring order. So, you can’t make the power come back on any sooner. You can’t get cable up and running. You can’t get the tree branches hauled away soon enough. You can maintain order inside your home. You can process your mail. You can hang up your clothes even if you can’t do a load of laundry. Resist the urge to stop because the power is out or your yard is torn up by a fallen tree. You’ll be glad you did when you are enjoying a calm order in your home environment instead of a nightmare of your own making!