Friday, April 8, 2016

The Wild Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring clean like you are packing to hike the Pacific Crest Trail

Have you read the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed?  If not I highly recommend you do.  This book is an excellent guide for understanding what is essential to pack on your travels.   Cheryl needs a change in her life and decides to walk the Pacific Crest Trail- alone.  Along the way she discovers what's truly important and what isn't.

Cleaning out and letting go is tough but maybe a shift in perspective is just what you need this spring.  Wild is fun read and a good metaphor for de-cluttering.  As you read, substitute your home for her back pack.  What is essential and what is dead weight?

Before hiking we need to pack.  You don't take everything you own.  There is critical selection process.  You ask questions.  What do I truly need?  What do I truly love?  What do I feel obligated to take? Ask Ask Ask

 I loved the beginning of the book.  Cheryl has filled her huge back pack with life's "essentials".  She can barely even lift her pack and yet plans on walking the Pacific Crest Trail trail. It is a humble beginning.  But as she travels she lets go, gets stronger, lighter, braver and much wiser!

 How far do you want to travel this year?  How light to you want to live?

Spring is the season to get our packs/homes ready for our travels.

Spring Packing tips.....
    *  Pack light- a light and well packed backpack is essential for a successful trip
    *  Start by taking everything out of our pack
    *  Clean your pack- get rid of all the dust bunnies, gum wrappers and broken sticks
    *  Organize your essentials- you need to be able to find your matches in the dark
    *  Ask a zillion questions- be ruthless as you assemble your essentials
     * Take with you only the things your truly need and love.  Be clear and focused.
    *  Finish the process.  Put your pack back/home back together again.
               Complete what you start.

 Your journey will be so much easier when it is light and well packed.
            Begin walking.

As always I wish you happiness in your travels, your cleaning and clutter clearing.

We Make Our Own Happiness

Dairy farming is hard work.  It is a 365 day a year job.  Twice a day you milk cows.  In between milking you fix fence, plant crops, feed cows...etc.  Both of my grandpa's were dairy farmers:   Grandpa Alton and Grandpa Biddie.
This week I got to thinking, both of my grandpa's made music as they worked.  Grandpa Alton whistled, Grandpa Biddie hummed.  Even though the work was long and hard, I never had the feeling they resented the work.  They seemed to enjoy the day.  They hummed and whistled along.

My grandpa's were good teachers.

When you start your spring cleaning or clutter clearing or anything you may hesitate on, try humming or whistling while you work.

Don't take my word for it, watch the science of happy.  It's a good watch.

To watch Dan Gilbert's TED Talk- The surprising science of happiness Click Here

As always I wish you great happiness and health in your daily life,

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring Cleaning is Good for the Soul

 There is magic in cleaning and cleaning out.  Maybe you have read the best selling book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up".  But have you experienced the refreshed-rebooted-clean slate-new beginning feeling of a cleaned out space?

You can't read about this experience, you must live it. We think we are present - awake and yet we are creatures of habit.  My shoes go here.  This lamp sits against the west wall.  I drop my right shoulder when I type.   Tuesdays we have chicken for dinner. I have a cup of hot water in the morning. Afternoons is when I walk my dog.

We are wired to create natural habits.  But these habits or our daily norms also become our blinders.  When you have a old pile of books or a procrastinated project, the longer it sits the more embedded in your norm it becomes.  We stop seeing what we see everyday.  Life gets stagnate.  Life gets stuck.  We get stuck.  Dust bunnies rule.

Spring cleaning shifts this stuck rut.  When you clean your home.  You refresh your space.  You shift and move what has been stagnate for a year.  When life moves, life looks different.  

When I work with a client to clear their clutter, there is a palatable shift when old stagnate heavy habits and things move out and away.  The room feels lighter, the color's are brighter, life seems easier not so heavy.  Breathing expands.  Fresh energy fills the space.

Lately it seems, I am constantly having conversations with others in transition or wanting to be in transition.  There is a desire to live our life's purpose.  A stuck life feels bad. It depletes and diminishes.

That's the bad news... The good news is this:
       The simple act of cleaning our your clutter- your over stuffed, your unloved, unused, unfinished and untouched... gives your spirit, your soul a little breathing space.
        When you deep clean a space- take everything out and wash, rinse and dry every little corner -you bring fresh energy into your life.

Call it a metaphor, magic or a miracle but cleaning and cleaning out are powerful partners to finding your way in this life.  Maybe this shift will lead to a new path or maybe it will give you a new way of walking on your current path.

Once one part of your life starts moving and flowing there seems to be a lovely side benefit of flow and movement in other parts of your life.  

Clutter clearing simplifies our life.  It give us clarity.  It give us a re-boot.  By clearing our clutter we create flow in our homes.  Flow is movement.  

Clean out your garage or desk.  Or clean out your your inbox, calendar or your to-do list.  Sometimes we just need to stand back, lighten up our normal and then look at our lives from another perspective.

As always I wish you a happy and healthy life.