Sober,From,Clutter-Part,Sober, DIY Sober From Clutter-Part 1
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Sober From ClutterBy: Janet L. HallEvery Sunday in the spring and summer an acquaintance I have goes out all day to yard sales. It's her ritual, her habit, and the "thing" she does on Sunday. She's addicted! She's really looking for something to feed her Spirit and Soul, make her feel good, change her life, get what she wants; all the while, all around her she is drowning in clutter.Many of the things we do, think, say, and the way we act or react is out of habit. Most of the time we are totally unaware of these actions, thoughts, or sayings because they are so ingrained into our fiber of being, or we are in some kind of pain.If you want to correct, change, or replace a habit, you must first become aware of the old habit and replace it with a more desirable habit. To break an unwanted habit, such as hitting the yard sales every Sunday or shopping till you drop, I feel you must look deep within yourself to discover the true reason you are "spending" like there's no tomorrow, or bringing home stuff you really have NO need or space for! You must admit you have a habit that is undesirable, and be committed to changing.Getting "sober" or becoming more mindful of your actions and undesirable habits will help you become more aware of what you are buying, saving, or hoarding, and why. It will allow you to be more in tune with yourself, and cause you to stop and listen. Hopefully you can correct the habits of "shopping till you drop, piling up, saving everything for someday, or just in case."For one whole day, be as conscious as possible of ALL your actions, thoughts, and sayings towards your clutter, your shopping, and of saving stuff; from the time your eyes open to close and all the time in between. Pay close attention to the emotional causes of your clutter behavior and what effect it is having on you and possibly those around you. Question yourself; ask why you do the things you do.What is your Spirit and Soul lacking, or what fears do you have that you feel you must buy, collect, or hoard in order to replace that "lack" or feed that fear?Many times I have arrived at a clients home or office where it is not uncommon that they start sobbing and pleading for my help.As I work with clients, I get to know a lot about them and their life. Being an "old-hat" at this I can usually see or sense what their "true" problem is. Not wanting to invade what little privacy they have left, I usually wait for them to discover or confess what has brought them close to the point of no return. What has made them into a "shop till you drop," "a collector of things," "a pack-rat," a QVC junkie, or a "just in case" clutter person.It always comes down to, in one way or another; their Spirit and Soul, aren't being feed, fear, or both.Four Top Emotional Reasons for Your Clutter:1. Your Spirit, body, and mind aren't getting any love, intimacy, or attention.2. You over compensate because you had little growing up, so you want it now and you want your children to have it all too!3. You have fear or guilt of getting rid of things that were given to you.4. You have so much pain and sadness you think all your stuff will make it better - it doesn't!Is your clutter holding you hostage because of your fear of letting go, fear of not being loved, fear of not being a good parent?What emotional reason is causing your clutter problems? What are you doing that might be replacing something missing in your life? Maybe you aren't even aware of it yet. Stop and really think on this. Ask yourself WHY you do the things you do. Be honest with yourself. It's not always easy, I know. This question can open up a lot of other questions and/or painful memories. Once you become aware of the WHY, you can start to move forward and discover the HOW. How can you change these habits, rituals, and compulsions?Just like an addict, you need to start rehabilitating your life. Why not correct the emotional lacking or fear, and replace the addiction of clutter with the sobriety of getting rid of your clutter?For the next 31 days, every time you start to bring something into your life - STOP - and ask yourself, "Why do I feel I need this? Why do I want this? What is it replacing in my life? What has just happened; what did I just feel (or not feel), or think that makes me WANT this?For the next four issues of the Balance issue of OverHall IT! we will examine the emotional reasons that might be the cause of your clutter. Please remember that these are the top four EMOTIONAL reasons I've come across with clients. If you have any others that you would like to share, please email me.This month let's take a closer look at Emotional Reason number 1.Love, Intimacy, and Attention:"I don't have anyone to love me," or "My partner and I barely talk, let alone have relationships," or "I keep bringing things into the home and piling up, and then I get noticed, I get some attention, although it's usually negative attention." I hear things like this ALL the time,Any of those sound familiar?Let's do a little exercise.Answer the questions below honestly, and write them down.1. Do you love yourself, and what do you love about yourself?On the list below write out all the attributes you love about yourself (I've given an example of mine in case you need help). It's okay if you can only think of one.What physical attributes do you love about yourself?I love the natural white streaks that are starting to flow through and shine in my hair.What emotional attributes do you love about yourself?I love that a book or a movie can be so moving, a child can be so loving and innocent, or a spectacular scene can be so breath taking that I'm moved to tears or laughter.What spiritual attributes do you love about yourself?I love that I can ASK and I KNOW I will receive.What creative attributes do you love about yourself?I love that I can turn a plot of ground into a beautiful garden of flowers or vegetables.If there is something you don't like about yourself - step up and start doing something about it. Stop looking at yourself or thinking of your "bad" attributes. Focus on your "good". Stop dwelling on the negative and only allow the positive in and out. What we focus on multiplies: good or bad, negative or positive. To quote Alan Cohen, "But because we are spiritual beings, it is the inside world that determines our happiness. The most powerful way to improve your circumstances is by upgrading your consciousness. If you try to change your situation without changing your mind, sooner or later you will revert to your former position." If there's something about you that CANNOT be changed, accept and love yourself for who you are.I love me for me, and you need to love yourself, and give yourself positive attention before anyone else will or can. Love yourself unconditional.I'm a firm believer that if you want someone to love you, you have to love yourself FIRST!2. Do you give yourself positive attention, and put yourself first? For the next 31 days put yourself first; take time out for yourself. Give yourself the positive attention you deserve. Meditate or pray. Take a walk on the beach, around the neighborhood, through your yard. Go fishing, to a game, or an event. Have a soak, or lie in the grass. Curl up with a good book or watch your favorite movie. Get a new hair style, a manicure, pedicure, or massage (yes, men can do this too!)3. Are you getting in your own way and blocking the flow of love, intimacy, and attention by surrounding yourself with useless or unneeded stuff? 4. Are you "spinning your wheels" looking for stuff all day, moving stuff from one room or pile to the next; too tired in the evening or weekends to have a relationship?Love yourself, and your surroundings, and rehabilitate yourself from your clutter.Your possessions don't love you - they posses you!Your possessions and stuff will not end your emotional lacking. Possessions, clutter, and all your "stuff" are just a temporary substitute to fill a void, calm you, or satisfy a desire or need, and most likely causing you MORE pain, chaos, and problems.5. Has the romance frizzled, gone dry, or disappeared from your life?Make a list of all the things that have changed in your love area. What's missing or lacking? What can you do to change this and how?If you have a partner, please talk to them; maybe they are missing you too.Find out what you need to do to get romance back into your lives. Make your list together.Can you have a "standing" weekly or monthly date? If you need a sitter, can you schedule in advance? Will a romantic dinner, interlude, or just a walk, hand-in hand, satisfy what's missing? Do you need a weekend or a week away, alone, together with no interruptions?Do you just need an unexpected hug, a kiss, a wink, or an adult conversation?Only you and your partner can discover, together, what is missing and how to bring back into your life what you need.Whether you are single, dating, or whatever your situation, you need to discover by looking inside yourself what it is you need, what are you looking for, what will feed your Spirit and Soul. Ask and ye shall receive, believe this, it will come to you.For the next 31 days, get "sober" from your clutter EVERYDAY by tossing or giving away the stuff that is causing your clutter, and your pain. Remember that you are trying to replace your old habits and "addictions" with new and supportive ones. As like the addict, who replaces getting high or going bar hopping, they attend AA meetings, and discover new ways to spend their time, so must you find out what you need to do and get to get sober from your clutter.Arnold Patent said "If you ever feel that you should do something, lie down until the feeling passes." Let's put a twist on this by saying, If you ever feel that you need to bring ANYMORE stuff into your life, lie down until the feeling passes. For additional help: The Organizing and Feng Shui Wizard,Janet L. Hall, FSII has a FREE newsletter, OverHall IT! athttp://www.overhall.com/newsletter.htm and manyorganizational products for your office, home, and computerat http://www.overhall.com/products.htmJanet is a Professional Organizer, Certified Feng ShuiPractitioner, Speaker, and Author and can help you regaincontrol of your life, your time, your stuff, and yourenvironment.Copyright Ó 2001 by OverHall ConsultingP.O. Box 263, Port Republic, MD 20676All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce, copy, or distribute solong as article is kept intact, this copyright notice and full information aboutcontacting the author is attached.