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Archive for the ‘Clutter’ Category

Starting at the End

Starting is Easy. It’s the Finishing Part That’s a Constant Challenge

Created with CanvaDo you have projects you start over and over, yet never seem to reach the end? You pick them up with energy high, getting past milestone after milestone, until you run out of steam, far from the finish line.

Cleaning is my albatross, or one of them. I typically start by taking out the sandboxes one by one to clean and refill, vacuuming and mopping floors as I go. I’ll usually get at least the bathrooms and one of the bedrooms done before my energy or attention wanes before I stop short of what I’d intended to do. Sometimes, I even get the living room and kitchen done if I have a particularly good burst of energy, or am into the music playing in my ears while I work.

The one room which, aside from vacuuming and maybe some mopping, gets little of my attention is my bedroom. I’ll de-fur all the furniture in the living room several times before thinking about indulging in some deep cleaning or de-cluttering in that very personal space.

Switching it Up

I realized I leave it for last because it’s a room people don’t typically see. My bedroom and office are at the back of the house and are mostly places where I spend my alone time, so they need only be clear enough for me to do what I need to, right?

This week, I decided to switch things up and am rather pleased with the results. I’ve been wanting to pull up the rest of the carpet in my room for quite some time, but the limited space in my barrels and the amount of energy required to not only pull up the carpet and padding, but detach the tack strips from the floor were often more than I wanted to expend.

Inspiration Trumps Procrastination

But with Thanksgiving looming and a house full of people on the near horizon, I decided it was time to Created with Canvakill the procrastination bug and, as Nike says, just do it. But I didn’t stop there. Once the pieces of carpet sufficient to fill the trash can were removed and the tack strips safely out of reach of the cats, I took a look at the nightstand I’d moved in order to remove the carpet it sat on.

I’d had a bunch of crap on top of it serving no real purpose so I put it all away. I pulled out the wood cleaner and a rag and gave the top, front and sides a good polishing before putting only what was necessary back on top. But now the dresser and the other nightstand looked messy and unkempt beside my newly cleaned nightstand.

The dresser was a special challenge because the dust bunnies behind the mirrors had given birth to several litters since I last saw fit to move everything and clean. Out came the rag and wood cleaner, and I set to organizing and de-cluttering the rest of the wood surfaces in my room as well.

Inspired by the End Result

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sonjalovas/4037482727/in/photolist-79M9Xa-5Gjd5S-eRC2r-71MjKg-fNKbK9-eDXif-cikYGJ-aUh67n-5Gyukb-bkcDiF-97nmjZ-abBz1d-8dVozC-bkgY21-2krwz2-6WZCBb-eTwN23-8vfmQg-bUWvwD-7nyjDz-b2QuMD-63dgyi-aVYczD-4qfrPa-4YBCLw-4tDfAm-hDA2k-8oJ5Xe-mLbU1-m1QVG-8kpaLs-5D1s4V-5yWi1N-ehJ8b3-7eoY4L-7KtRuF-4fihb8-35iwDU-7K2zY-7BKizh-5JM3At-zfgm2o-4qjvXA-7TxL2h-9pvokV-9VD3Hb-7KsvQ6-e1Yp1A-9VAoRV-2N7twUEvery time I walk into my room, I feel not only a sense of accomplishment, but a sense of openness and freedom I hadn’t realized was missing in my life. It started with clearing the accumulation of clothes and junk on my director’s chair a few months ago, but with each newly cleared surface, the momentum and the desire to continue increases.

Sure, I have a lot more to do to get the house ready for visitors, but I feel like starting at the end has been more motivating than anything I’ve done or any plans I’ve made up to this point. It’s as if I’ve proven something to myself, and in the process, shut down a few of those voices which were giving me excuses to leave things as they were.

Battling Our Innate Resistance to Change

Change is a good thing, and it comes in many forms. Whether it’s switching up the order of your https://www.flickr.com/photos/jfolsom/5931303869/in/photolist-a38tZP-dmn34H-a7FwQm-antZ2h-bwzwuR-5stPPH-6EsqoX-T4qUgL-4hmxbh-8MJPmb-fEFoSF-kCt71i-2ikr4t-8MF532-WNwMjy-8tMnKX-fEFoGg-fEXXd7-afuD1a-8MEuUF-95Mr5j-dySrRf-bfNhFR-9oSxoh-5WgF4Q-8MHZfC-7VroTL-9PiLGB-oaW3YQ-K4CQFx-8YSrLp-mSLwB-7VqeAh-5hfnTx-KfhXca-e3u44f-99b5UG-7BeZaD-8MHAVw-kAEoL3-6qZ9C6-5thpD3-ai9p7Z-9gCot5-o8bKtB-5W8sPu-85jA66-6PCR9M-bJ7tue-97oqD4cleaning ritual or getting work out of the way so you have space for more. It might be writing a month’s worth or blog posts or three, scheduling social media posts, creating a price list, or working through lessons you’d put on hold.

Whatever is holding you up, sometimes starting from the part you least want to do is the way to clear the blocks. The thing you’re putting off is standing in the way of accomplishing many other things. It’s an excuse. A safety net. How many times have you told yourself I can’t do this until I do that. But “that” never gets done. Great, now you don’t have to do anything else.

It’s taking procrastination to a new level because you’re creating an excuse for not doing all you can to move towards your dreams. You’re putting the brakes on before you ever get started.

Starting with the Least Appealing

https://www.flickr.com/photos/funnybusiness/3503946843/in/photolist-87XXr1-87XZPQ-6kCDjB-2M1zdU-21ukmo7-o6vHsS-87ULKc-87XTkL-87Y3bu-87UGPM-87Y4kq-2EeDrw-7fF1mf-87Y8QS-9MnMAZ-DpnEKh-7kNkRC-87UZma-87Y5qASo for once, start at the end—with the pesky, unpleasant thing you’re using as an excuse to keep you from shining like the star you are. Get it out of the way for once and for all. Leave room for the things you get done without a second thought, and the end will become, not that onerous task you’ll do anything to avoid, but a beautiful, clear space you can fill with anything you want.

More and more, I hear about how de-cluttering your space de-clutters your mind. I stand before you as living proof it’s true. The more spaces I’ve cleared in my office, my bedroom, my garage—all over this place I call my home, the more clear I become on things which are important to my future.

The Proof is in the Pudding…er, Unblocking

I’ve written more in the last couple of months than I have in the last 6. I’ve set a schedule to finish the re-write of my memoir. I’ve pulled up carpet I’ve been looking at for at least a couple of years. I’ve removed the dust of ages.

But most of all, I’ve become clearer about who I want and need to serve, and how I’m going to go about doing that. I had to clear a lot of crap to get here, and the clearing is far from over. Some of the roadblocks are finally gone, though. There will certainly be more, but I’ve proven to myself that if all else fails, I can start at the end and clear the block first. After that, moving forward is a great deal easier to accomplish.

Check out my Facebook Live where I talked about turning things Inside Out and Backwards.

Growing the List of Gratitudes

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for more cleared spaces in my home.
  2. I am grateful for a plethora of tasks still to be accomplished.
  3. I am grateful for a new perspective I found by starting at the end.
  4. I am grateful for deadlines and schedules which I can and will honor.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; ideas, insights, support, friendship, joy, love, extraordinary life, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws , of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward.;

A Clear Space Equals a Clear Mind

For the last week I’ve been finding ways to avoid writing. As mentioned yesterday, my excuses and methods are many-faceted. I thought simply breaking the spell by writing a blog post yesterday would do the trick, but today I discovered there was more to the problem than simply being unable to put fingers to keyboard and type something meaningful.

I woke up this morning after the best night’s sleep I’ve had in awhile, in spite of a howling wind which ripped a limb off my tree and had the cats racing around the house in a tizzy. I further delayed the commencement of writing by making a healthy brunch and doing my daily exercises.

As I continued to procrastinate and waste time, I looked at my desk and realized the cluttered, dusty mess was inhibiting my creative process more than I realized. desk-and-suppliesAn hour later, everything that was on it is in it’s proper place and the dust and cat fur have been removed, albeit temporarily (Dylan has already taken up residence, demanding skritches and spewing fur across the newly-cleaned surface). Now I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m writing a blog post which won’t be published until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. In other words, I’m making use of the “publish later” feature on my blog site.

While writing yesterday, I realized that writing regularly must include a post to at least one of my blogs, and starting my writing day with that post is a good way to clear the cobwebs. I’ve also learned while participating in a weight loss challenge that getting up from the computer every hour is just as important as sitting down and getting my work done. Thus, I’ve reminded myself to turn on the mindfulness clock app so I hear a loud DING when I’ve been sitting too long. It occurs to me that hourly reminder will serve just as well to get me writing in hourly chunks and I won’t need to remember to set a timer any more.

To make a long story short, I’m continually reminded that mental blocks are often connected with clutter in my physical environment. Clearing one quite often unblocks the other.

I actually started the clearing process earlier this week when I finally emptied my current year filing cabinet and started files for 2016, enabling me to finally put all of the documents which had been accumulating in a folder into their proper places. I’m seeing benefits to this almost every day. The folder isn’t taking up space on my desk or giving the cats yet another pile of papers to fling from the desk top. Even nicer was how quickly I could put the random bits still littering my desk into their proper places without having to wrestle a folder in and out of the drawer. As much as I hate cleaning, I love the way organized feels. I’m also grateful for the fact that I am still physically able to do my own cleaning, and when I’m mentally deficient, cleaning is a great way to unclog my brain and give me some much-needed exercise.

If cleaning your environment isn’t enough, it may mean you need to clear the energy as well. I keep a salt lamp (an incredibly thoughtful gift from a friend) on my desk, but don’t always remember to turn it on. (Writing this reminded me it was overdue). But the rest of the house gathers both helpful and detrimental energy as well, so a thorough smudging (in my case, with sage grown in another friend’s garden and bundled by her loving hands) is often called for. I’ve heard it should be done at least once a month, though I tend to wait longer. But I rarely have visitors so I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that negative energies don’t enter my home as often.

Thinking about it, I realize those energies can easily attach themselves to things I bring into the house like groceries and cleaning supplies, or to me from people with whom I’ve come into contact. I can even bring them in when I have negative feelings about someone or inadvertently indulge in negative self-talk.

This is a good place to end today’s chat as I need to do some smudging. Be well and clear those energies and clutter. Your own energy will thank you. When all else fails, sit down and love your cat, your dog or whoever shares your space.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for those de-cluttering urges.
2. I am grateful for the energy and flexibility to do my own housework.
3. I am grateful I can recognize when the energy around me is getting sluggish.
4. I am grateful for the lesson in distinguishing between “friendship” and “friendly acquaintanceship”. (more on this in another post)
5. I am grateful for abundance: clearing, energy, friendship, love, kindness, inspiration, motivation, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

July 12, 2015 Clearing the Debris

My Own Particular Version of Hoarding

I admit it. I’m a sucker for offers of free webinars. I’ve watched more hours than I care to admit; be it self-help, writing, publishing, or underwater basket weaving; I’ve done it all.

Over the last few months, however, I’ve become more and more disenchanted as people become less and less subtle about the sales pitch in these free webinars. The worst of the bunch still has to be Jack Canfield and his publicist spending the first 30 minutes of a 90 minute webinar bragging about how much stuff they have. In fact, I think that was my turning point. From then on, I only watched a few more, and those were either writing related or having to do with meditation.

The Ultimate Junk Mail Subscriber

Yet, it isn’t the hours wasted watching webinars which all start to run together. It isn’t the fact that the useful content is getting smaller and the sales pitch is becoming the bulk of many free webinars. The real issue is once they get your email address, they inundate you with “special offers” and “not to be missed events”. Each iteration becomes even more sales and less content the more they believe they’ve hooked you.

In light of recent events and confusion clearing, today I did two things for myself. First, I unsubscribed from all of those free webinar people with the exception of a couple of writers who truly do give some valuable content and only a minimal sales pitch. This, alone should cut the time I spend deleting emails by about 75%. These insidious time-suckers will no longer even tickle the edges of my consciousness leaving the brain power for more important things like, say, the latest re-write of Sasha’s Journey.

Taking the Cleaning to a Whole New Level

Once the inbox deluge was stemmed, it was easier to see what is truly important and what is not, and also makes the disruptive ping of incoming mail occur a lot less often! With all the extra time on my hands, I gazed around my physical environment and noticed windows which hadn’t been cleaned in years and were so covered with grime it made the sky look muddy even though it was a bright, clear blue. Once again, I got a start on the project, but have a ways to go to finish. My office window is clean, inside and out, but the rest of the windows on the front of the house are only clean on the outside, and I need to remove the screens to finish even that much. But it is a start and one I’ll more likely complete as I gaze out the one completely clean window every day and remind myself how nice it looks.

If I’ve learned nothing else over the last couple of years it’s that a periodic cleaning and decluttering is essential to forward progress. We have to be willing to go through what we have and let go of what no longer serves us. (though I exclude books from this process. They will always serve me!) Looking back and looking around me, I have made some major changes and gotten rid of a lot of things I no longer needed. But the process will always need to be revisited. As we clear the way for new and better things to enter our lives, some of those things will only be temporary, and they, too will ultimately need to be cleared to make room for newer things. Though this was one of my toughest lessons, I find that the more I clear things from my life, the easier it gets. The more often I clear things from my life, the sooner I recognize it is time to do it again. Funny how that works!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a clean, clear view of the world outside my office.
2. I am grateful for a huge reduction in the junk emails I receive.
3. I am grateful for a fun evening out with the girls and Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure”.
4. I am grateful for continued improvement in my shoulder and arm, thanks to daily exercises and Salonpas Deep Relieving Gel (which Scrappy Doo insists he must lick off my body!).
5. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, love, harmony, companionship, intelligent conversations, joy, peace, clarity, health, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

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