Category Archives: Change

On Hoarders & Pack Rats or A Tale Of Decluttering My Life

 

Clutter“Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies
OPPORTUNITY.”
Albert Einstein

I’m looking around my sitting room and the realization hits me — I’m a hoarder.  It is not a pleasant realization.  I have a couple of bookcases filled with unread books, stacks of unopened blu-rays waiting to be viewed, and three closets full of clothes, not to mention numerable boxes that remain unpacked from my move three years ago.

What’s ironic about this is in my art and writing I practice minimalism.  I truly believe less is more.  Minimalism has inspired me and taught me so much since I first discovered it. It has helped me to re-evaluate my approach to art, my theater productions, my writings and even my spiritual life.  All are better for this approach.  I think now it’s time to approach and live my life in this same manner — to live a simpler life on a much smaller scale.

“Brevity is the essence of style.”
Bill Nolte

To be honest, I’m resisting this notion. I worry giving up my stuff will make me seem less important; what will I have to show for my  work. Who will take me seriously without a job and a house full of things. I know these feelings keep one trapped.

What will I gain from this I wonder.  Hmmm …

Peace of mind —  The idea of letting my “things” go seems horrible at first, but I know I expel way too much energy worrying about my stuff.  Letting this stuff go will set me free.

Freedom from impulsive / compulsive shopping —  Amazon loves me.  THE COMPLETE FILMS OF ABBOTT AND COSTELLO today only $49.99.  OMG — I can’t pass that deal up.  It’s too good to be true.  I have 352 saved items in my Amazon shopping cart. On-line shopping was designed with people like me in mind.  I have started developing walk away power which is a good thing.  It is much harder than it sounds.  But I’m getting good at it.  Whenever I feel the urge to buy something i don’t need.  I think of that copy of Robert Goulet’s Christmas Classics that still is in it’s original wrapping.

Lifetime experiences — I often wonder why that trip to Paris never happened?  And how come I never made it to New Orleans?  Then, I realize those trips were traded for the 195 Criterion DVDs I own.  I know.  I want so many more outside the box experiences in my life, but I have limited myself.  So, as I sell off my possessions that money will go into a new savings account to earmarked for a long over due trip across the pond.

Health and happiness —  I suspect I will actually be healthier and happier with less stuff. Probably because I will sleep in a more harmonious home, work less, and feel less stress about letting go.

“The more I examine the issue of clutter,
the more effort I put into combating it,
because it really does act as a weight.”
Gretchen Rubin

What is responsibility — If I let my things go I won’t be responsible. Yes, this thought has run thru my mind and it still does.  But I realized that I have a really skewed view of what responsibility is. Owning things makes you responsible.

What I’m learning is that responsibility looks different for everyone, and that part of being responsible is knowing how to care for your spiritual and emotional self. What if part of being “responsible,” in other words, is listening to your spirit when it tells you, each morning as you drive to work, or as you look at the clutter in your house, that it is suffocating me?

Better relationships I can’t help but think with less distractions my relationships will be better.  With less anxiety, more freedom and greater discipline my relationships should improve I think. My friendships should be richer and more satisfying. I would fight with myself less. Getting rid of things really has helped to let some toxic friendships go — those friendships that steal all of my energy. I understand what matters now.

There are three approaches I can take toward my possessions: face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until … It is better to face them now. I’ve acknowledged my attachment to the past by honestly looking at my stuff.  By doing so, I’ve seen what is really important to me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to put my house in order.

On The Spiraling Wheel Of Life or A Tale Of To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn

Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.
Stephen Chbosky

For the past few weeks I’ve been suffering from writer’s block; why, I don’t know.  It seems that every time I sat down and tried to write, nothing would gel.  I knew the block was from within and yet, I couldn’t dissolve it.  Today, I woke up brimming with ideas. It was like dozens of voices pulling at me to get their story out.  Whew.  Now the struggle is which to blog on first …

I’m still searching for a full time job, hanging in there daily for my family, and putting in hours of work every day into myself, my health, my blog, and working on creating real change, and yet I still feel like I have nothing to show for my efforts.

The hours I’ve been putting into my inner work, spiritual practices and creative work have taken time away from the time I spend with my friends, family, myself. My friends tell me our relationships have suffered as I work on myself.  Distant relatives have attacked me for writing a blog telling me I’m self-absorbed.  Others say I’ve put them on the back burner while I work in hopes of pushing through the barriers towards my dreams of making a life I love.  We all to some degree have a fear of change … that pounding in the heart that says: turn back …. but it’s too late for that and change I must.

I am on the brink of something big, yet I can’t help but feel stuck some days. Have I become used to the way I’m living my life that I’m subconsciously avoiding taking the next step? Often I feel I’m working at the speed of a snail while my mind is drawn to things requiring less thought.

Before I started this blog my brain was becoming stagnant and the desire to move forward was in limbo. How could I ever get to where I want to be if I’m just sitting around hoping things will change? It’s like a spell had been cast upon me to stall any movement towards progress in an already slow moving journey.

Then, I remembered that this wasn’t the first time I’d felt this way. I had been in a mind stalling funk in the past. I remembered the last time I felt this way was shortly before I moved from California. I also remembered that not a month after I moved, I began regretting it and the desire to get back to working on myself started to build.

I realized what I needed to do to move forward – I just needed to rest my mind. I needed to take a break from trying to figure things out. I was trying so hard to move forward that I was driving myself crazy. So, I decided to take a week off to completely unplug and think about nothing that had to do with my inner work.

I let all of my emotions out to a close friend of mine; we had a heart felt conversation in which I explained to her that my absence from her life was not her fault, but of my own. I’m not very good at these types of talks, but assured her I was getting back in touch with what mattered. I started paying attention to the small things and began making more time for my friends and family. I needed to find a way to make an adjustment to not only spend the quality time with those who mattered to me most, but work towards my vision of who I was trying to be as well.

Things changed, people changed, and the world went rolling along right outside the window.”
Nicholas Sparks

After this talk, I made two commitments 1) to stop being lazy and start being more productive with my time, and 2) I wanted to find a balance between working on my dreams and also working on building my relationships with the people I love. I began taking 15 minutes or so every night to write down the tasks I would work on the following day. I started making myself accountable to finish those tasks before I could move on to randomly perusing other interests. Without realizing it, I was bringing clarity to the chaos of not knowing. One of the biggest mistakes I had been making was not making a specific plan that led to the end result I was chasing.

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
Winston Churchill

So I find myself back in the same mindset I was in several years ago – I need to get unstuck and make new goals, have new visions and make some positive changes.  Yes, I need to make some major changes in my life.  One of the most complicated tasks any of us will face in life is the concept of making the right choice. I realize now every few seconds we have the opportunity to change our lives, our careers, our happiness. By making those changes the lives of many others, some of which we will never meet, will forever be changed as well.

I appreciate the process of self-improvement is far from easy. When you are aware of yourself, it is possible to enjoy this experience and be a better person. If there is one thing I have learned you must actively be engage in your life rather than sitting on the sidelines. If you just observe your life as it passes you by, you are just waiting for the end and not living.

What about you? Do you have a plan to move forward towards the changes you seek in your life? I’d love to hear them.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me and sharing your thoughts and feeling with me.  You have all been an inspiration to me on this journey of change.

Bhole Babaji ki Jai!