This is a bi-weekly blog from our good friend Penelope Miller. She is a professional organizer and coach. We will add to this blog every other week so check back regularly.
Penelope Rose Miller
Organize Me Penelope
Love the space you are in!
AWARENES: seeing things as they truly are.
This first step may seem to be obvious but you would be surprised at how skilled we are at not seeing things as they truly are. So this step is about really seeing things and then getting playfully curious. What are you noticing now… that you have your awareness goggles on?
What about your SPACE/LIFE are you absolutely in love with? Let’s hope there is something…If not then let’s start the process of visioning and creating. What about your space needs some tender love and attention?
Be a private investigator in your own space. Why is that no longer working for you? Exactly where does the system break down? Or perhaps there is a complete void of any system. How do you feel about your possessions? Do they possess you? If so how would you like to change that dynamic?
Now listen to your resonance meter… What stuff do you have that you love and that represents the person you are today?
In return what other things are holding you back or just don’t speak to you any longer?… Can you give yourself permission to evolve and let it go? Can you get comfortable with letting things die in order to get the chance to sprout new and alive energy?
I want you to be a ruthless editor in your own life.. Commit to seeing things as they are and if they are not up to par taking the steps that will then get them there.
The first step truly is just bringing your awareness in and seeing what is right before you… Now you can move in a more intentional and concious direction, towards the life you want for yourself. You have each moment of your life to tune more into it. You space is just the beginning!
Now that we have awareness it is possible to see that we have choices.
We make choices each second of our lives. What to wear, what to eat, what to think about ourselves and other people, how we spend our money, how to spend our time. Choices are a currency we use all the time.
We can choose to be any role in our life. We can choose the victim role or we can choose a more victorious role. The point is the choice is always ours.
Life is one choose your own adventure story. The trick here however is to choose an adventure. It can feel as if there are so many “what it’s” that a choice is impossible. Sometimes this perspective is quite paralyzing and harmful. We close up and self doubt creeps in and we do nothing which inevitably makes us feel worse.
Leaning towards movement usually helps. Starting the flow by choosing to do something usually shifts all the negativity into new and useful energy.
An example of how this is applied to something we are thinking about is:
What if we changed the “what if?” to “why not?” This really transforms the stewing of self doubt into seizing the golden present moment. Why not just do your taxes now or why not just call that guy you have been putting off? Bypass your excuses and your storyline and keep it moving.
The booby trap of the choice is the excuse. Excuses are things we say that make it possible to not own our choices in life. Even if things are out of our hands we still make a choice in how we will then deal with them.
Make a choice now in how you want to live your life. Are you going to make a choice to move forward or two steps backward? If the law of gravity pulls you back which it might at times will you then make a choice to kindly pick yourself up and keep moving towards your goal?
Awareness is the air. The air all around us. Then choice comes into the air and can be likened to a spark that comes alive. After that we need commitment to be the fuel for choice and create a slow burn.
Commitment requires trusting yourself. Trust yourself. You can do it. Commitment is like a friend whom wants the best for you and sees all of your potential.
Commitment comes from within yourself. We often live the life we think we ought to live or should live which makes committing quite hard. I challenge you to make it easy by living the life you want to live and being your own internal guide.
Create structure to keep commitment in the forefront. Reminders of why you are committing to something in the first place. A screen saver on your phone…A rock in your pocket.. A picture on your bathroom mirror or fridge. Something that will trigger your resolve to your goal.
Create support around your commitment. Tell your family, friends, co workers, and community what you are committing to. This may seem scary because there is a chance we will slip back into our old patterns and we do not want to be seen as a failure. However failing is just part of the human experience and there is freedom there. There is so much learning to be had from failing, and it is exciting when we allow ourselves that opportunity as opposed to trying to be perfect and feeling like a fraud.
Knowing that you probably will slip back into old patterns can be assuring if you have the ability to not go down the rabbit hole of self deprecation but rather get back to it. The key here is non judgment. It is hard being human so be kind to yourself in the meanwhile.
Commitment then begs for sweet discipline to keep us on our paths. How can discipline not become hard and rigid but rather a guide in keeping us on the road to where we want to travel.
Commitment is truly a transformative experience. Actually doing through action what you have been longing for in this life is incredibly powerful. The texture of your life will change and you will be a different person for it.
Nobody is Perfect
For eight years I have been called to the side of the overwhelmed, the disorganized, and the unfulfilled, with hopes that a professional organizer and coach can get them back on track. AND IT HAPPENS…Time and Time again. We get to the heart of the matter, whether it is paralyzing perfectionism, permission, or placation.
As a human, I know that feeling overwhelmed is absolutely a terrible, sometimes paralyzing experience. It is no wonder nothing gets done when we have no idea where to begin to place our energy and focus. It is hard enough to get by without all the added pressure and stress we put on ourselves to have the perfect life with the perfect family, blog, and facebook pictures to show others that we have all of the above. We are now keeping up with the ‘Jones’s’ more than ever with the side effect that we are suffering more than ever. We have lost our own internal compass and have traded it in for external approval.
My motto of late has been, “It’s hard to be human.” Saying this daily allows me to loose my ego and accept my vulnerability. It also invites compassion into the lonely place we all experience. Upon meeting my client, one of the first statements is “You have permission to be disorganized and imperfect”. My clients need to know that there is no such thing as a perfect home or life, and trying to attain it will only make you crazy and unhappy. This permission helps my client to realize the trap of perfectionism.
I then say, “I have the same permission.” Because my clients need to know that in spite of my title as organizer/coach I am NOT super human. I have dropped the notion that I can keep everything scheduled perfectly, never be a minute late, become too sick to work, have ironed clothes, perfectly quaffed hair and never use a swear word. All my clients who know me are probably laughing at the expectations I secretly have for myself. These standards are unrealistic, somewhat boring and way too much pressure for anyone to take on.
My goal is to be fully present. This requires me to lean into an overwhelming or less than stellar feeling. It is scary and uncomfortable. However my experience is that going towards the fear releases its power. I don’t have to run. I don’t have to give these feelings the ability to swallow me whole. I know that all I have to do is get out of my own way and to authentically engage with my world as it is. Just as it is. From this realization, spaciousness and new ways of coping seamlessly appear.
Sometimes what we are so desperately seeking is right under our nose. The most needed remedy is to take a deep breath, ground back into ourselves and take another look at the situation. Asking, are we making things harder than it needs to be? If the answer is yes, then wondering how can we make our lives easier? I have found that just by dropping expectations, my brighter light shines for my clients lives.. my families lives.. my friends lives and my life. This authenticity illuminates an imperfect, more lovable, coincidentally happier, and more attainable version of ourselves.
Straight up Tips to Getting and Staying Organized and Sane!
1. Set big picture goals. Create a realistic deadlines and share this list with someone that can hold you accountable.
“Set goals not for the outcome itself.. But for who you get to become in the process.” Jim Rhone
2. Now that you have bigger goals lined up allow for baby steps to walk you through the process. Breaking down bigger pieces into smaller more manageable bite sized snacks helps to not be overtaken by the overwhelm factor and indigestion.
3. Group like things together and put all those things in the same home. All the tribe people live in the same village mentality. The home is the container of your choice. Position the home as close as possible to where you use the items. Put the items you least use in the least user friendly spot saving the prime real estate for your everyday treasures.
4. Create an intuitive based filing system so that even filing can be fun. This is the home for all of your papers. Remove your name from mass marketing mailing lists as less incoming paper means less to process.
5. Become a ruthless editor of your space. Keep a donate bag or box in the hall closet or somewhere handy so you can purge your things often. Use the one in/one out rule. If you get a new book you give away an old book and so on.
6. When you are shopping have a conversation with yourself. It all starts outside your home and the first step for this is becoming aware of what you take into your home.. Your body.. Your energy.. Your thoughts..