Category Archives: Change

Hey, New York…Come Clean & Win Big!

Standard
 Submit a photo of your messy clothing closet for a chance to win a Closet Makeover from NY Professional Organizers in honor of NAPO-NY’s 25th Anniversary! One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a Closet Makeover.clost

One lucky winner will receive the following:

  • One-on-one organizing session with a group of New York Professional Organizers, valued at $5000.00
  • One year all inclusive subscription to Garde Robe, valued at $4200.00, which offers museum-quality storage for clothing, shoes and accessories, plus complimentary pick up and delivery. All stored items can be viewed and requested on the Garde Robe Cyber Closet. Garde Robe is the only service of its kind here in NYC and in the nation.
  • $250.00 gift certificate to The Container Store.

Prizes are non-transferable and may not be redeemed for cash; substitutions may not be requested. By participating in this contest and accepting these prizes, participants and winner will be deemed to agree to these rules and policies. Travel is not included unless specifically stated. Contest Providers reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

All entries must be received by 5pm (Eastern Time) on Friday May 24, 2013. The finalists must be available for a telephone interview and possible in person viewing of their wardrobe closet between May 25 – June 1, 2013. The winner will be chosen by NAPO NY’s closet Makeover Team. The winner will be announced on Thursday June 6, 2013.

The winner must be available the weekend of June 22 and 23th for the actual makeover. The winner also agrees to be photographed and videotaped during the process.

ELIGIBILITY
The Contest is open to legal residents of of New York City who are twenty-one(21) years or older at the time of entry. All photos and applications must be submitted by the owner of the closet. No second party entries accepted. Void where prohibited by law.

 

DEADLINES
The contest starts on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Entries must be received no later than 5:00PM (EDT) on Friday May 24, 2013. Under no circumstances will submissions be accepted after the deadline. Applications submitted close to the posted deadline do so with this deadline in mind.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.

Read the rules and policies , take a picture of your closet, and submit your application!

Advertisements

Take a Break, for Goodness Sake

Standard

“I learned … that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.”   -Brenda Ueland
relax

Many of us don’t know HOW to take breaks, and some of us, have a compulsion to avoid breaks all together. This is a sign that something is off — our relationship to using time to “do” is actually unhealthy. Here are some ways we can “fill” our time that are out of alignment with our well-being:

  • Shoulds– a compelling sense of obligation to someone or something outside ourselves, often motivated by fear rather than genuine need or desire.
  • Time sink holes – draining situations and commitments that don’t nourish or reward us.
  • Over commitment – not being able to say “No”,  or deriving self-worth and definition by how much one can do.
  • Distractions – time spent motivated by avoidance of what’s important.
  • Preoccupations, Obsessions or Active Resentment – planning retaliation, complaining, gossiping.
  • Non-Selectivity – wanting everything, now. Refusing to prioritize.
  • Pushing the Edge/One More-Thing-Itis: –  and getting a high off how much can be squeezed into a day and beating the clock: almost missing deadlines, important appointments, obligations to children, etc.

These behaviors can come from a poor sense of self-esteem and a need to prove oneself through accomplishment, or paradoxically, by sabotaging accomplishment.

Like may issues of esteem and worthiness, a spiritual approach can be an effective remedy.

 Here are a few ways to cultivate a healing relationship to time:

bike

  • Set aside a half hour a day (use a timer) for spiritual reflection – meditation, a walk in nature, reading spiritual literature, journaling.
  • Put yourself first in your day – Start your day by asking: “What do I absolutely need today to enjoy a peaceful, joyous time? What’s my self-care bottom-line? To whom and how do I effectively communicate my needs to today? What support do I have to stay on track? – Then make sure you take action on your answers.
  • One-in/One-out rule for commitments – make it a standard, for every new commitment you take on, you must complete or let go of a current one of equal scope and time commitment first.
  • Practice a pause before saying “Yes”. – When asked to do something you’re not sure you want to do – Say, “I’d love to think about this. Let me do that tonight, an I’ll get back to you tomorrow.”
  • Make a list of lovely ways you’d like to take a break – I.e., putting on headphones and dancing around the room, making a cup of tea, walking in a nearby park, etc. Then, wen you find yourself in unhealthy distraction territory, allow yourself to take a legitimate break doing something that’s truly restorative.
  • Get enough sleep, nutrition, exercise and water – self care is SO important for our brains to make good decisions and our ability to focus – suss out if any of these could be the root of your non productivity.
  • Work with a professional organizer to help set up structures for your time, get accountability and ongoing support.
  • For negative thoughts, obsessions, and resentments, or any other compulsive, destructive time-filling  – consider the support of a therapist or Clutters Anonymous, Underearners Anonymous or Workaholics Anonymous. Many people have found they get tremendous support in changing these patterns with the support of a group.
Quote

changepeale“I have always believed that change is possible and I know without doubt that the desire to change has to be intrinsically motivated. Yielding to the pressure from outside sources may produce some evidence of change for a limited period of time, but the brain has to follow the heart on this for change to be lasting. And “by the heart” here I mean that inner desire, passion, and conviction to make things different; there has to be a compelling reason to do the work of change.” Lynne Johnson, CPO-CD, COC.

Thoughts on Change

Road-map

Standard

bucket list

Greetings!

Last week, I reached my goal with this blog. I wanted to see what connections I could draw between the work I do as a professional organizer, and the work I pursue through recovery and transformational work.  The result I declared was to create 90 posts in 90 days, and to have at least 300 views in that time. I accomplished 90 posts a week ago Friday on day 86, with over 600 views, and gained, unexpectedly, 20+ followers.

Having little experience blogging, the 90 days was an adventure. Committed to posting, even when I wasn’t sure what to post, the posts took interesting twists and turns. They turned out to be a bit of “everything but the kitchen sink“, and probably revealed more about my messy mind than I usually like the world to see, but I also gained the satisfaction many bloggers must experience in having a public, traceable record of the inner workings, impulses and musings. To see people choose to “follow” these machinations is fascinating and ego-tweaking.

So, to recap, my goal was to engage in a creative process contained by a structure that defined it’s scope and gave it discipline. I was free to explore and create whatever I wanted within the framework I gave myself, and it was the framework and my commitment to it, that gave me the accountability to get it done.

dreammFor the past two years, I’ve been working with a tool I received during a 90-day transformational leadership program I took. Ninety days is commonly considered the amount of time it takes to break a habit or learn a new one, so this course uses the 90-day framework to help participants do just that.

At the beginning of the program, I wrote a document in which I created an overall vision for my world, and a vision statement for  each of the realms of Friends & Family, Career & Education, Community, Finance, and Health & Well-being. I then created about three declarations of results I’d be creating in each of those realms within the 90 days. Note the emphasis here is on the results I’d be creating – not what I want to see, what I hope to see, what I’ll be in process of achieving, but what will actually BE created in the world because I said so, regardless of circumstances or self-doubts.

The program was intended to stretch me beyond what I’ve already accomplished, and beyond what I may have already been on track for, and to show me what I’m capable of when I have a clear vision fueled by urgency, committed action, and operating from ways of being that will bring about the results I’ve declared. Pretty neat stuff.

I’ve chosen to continue using this tool and write a new document about every three months. I’ve done it in collaborations with partners or small groups of others who have gone through the program. We give each other accountability and support to complete all we’ve declare each cycle.

grow

Some highlights of declarations I’ve completed have been: creating a 70th surprise birthday party for a good friend, collecting 2,224 pairs of shoes to donate to Haiti for Soles 4 Souls, getting my Dad’s sculpture website up and running, planning a secret weekend of home repair for my parents while they were away, going to Haiti and becoming a sponsor and raising money for a school there, becoming a volunteer for NY Cares, serving over 500 meals for Hurricane Sandy victims, doubling my income, declaring and receiving additional clients for my business, learning to belly dance, educating myself & others about the US election process, singing in public, getting my driver’s license and becoming vegetarian.

I’ve found 90 days to be a great amount of time to declare results and achieve them. It’s an amazing integrity booster to complete what I’ve declared to complete, and if there’s something I’ve declared that I find out is not as valuable to me or others as I expected it to be, I can choose differently for my next cycle.

Someone said “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re sure to get there.”
I think creating your own road-map is crucial to authoring the life you want rather than have circumstances dictate what you’ll get in life.

Here are the aspects of the goal-setting that make any road-map vital:

  • Have a clear vision that inspires you to create beyond your circumstances.
  • Make the results you declare specific, tangible, and measurable.
  • Make the results be about more than what you’ll get out of them. In other words, ask, “With this declaration, how am I contributing to the world?“, “How am I”, as Gandhi said, “being the change I wish to see in the world?”
  • Be accountable. It’s much easier to let go when the going gets tough when we’re doing it alone. Accountability partners can keep you on track.
  • Refer to your map often. Be clear about where you stand in the time-frame you’ve declared.
  • Know it’s more about who you’re being than what you’re doing that has your vision turn out. Choosing to be powerful, loving, joyful, open, connected, courageous, passionate, authentic and outrageous, when needed, are the keys to success.

 I was Here

Dare to declare your vision and have it turn out! xxoodream big

P.S. – I declare to continue this blog, posting weekly for the next 90 days.

Musings on Possessions – 2

Standard

Sometimes, a few sparse items of great sentiment can out-value a house full of items purchased on a whim.

letters

“My most cherished possessions are my grandma’s letters and my vintage Martha Washington cookbook.”
-Sandra Lee

“We go on multiplying our conveniences only to multiply our cares. We increase our possessions only to the enlargement of our anxieties.
Anna C. Brackett

Hidden Dreams

Standard

The Gift of Desperation March 2013

by Billy Sparkle – reprinted with permission

I just finished watching 127 Hours, the movie starring James Franco wherein he plays Aaron Ralston – a man who got stuck between a rock and a hard place… literally.

Now if you haven’t seen the movie you may want to skip this article until you do because I’m about to spoil the ending.  The movie chronicles a five-day journey during which Aaron fell down a narrow opening between two walls after some rocks loosened causing him to slip.  One of these rocks, a small boulder, wedged his arm between itself and the wall.  After being stuck there for five days, in a remarkable display of courage and commitment, he freed himself by cutting off his arm.

In order to free himself and go on with his life, he was willing to cut off his arm.

Would you be willing to cut off your arm to save your life?

A friend just sent me a text message saying that life is NOT the opposite of death.  BIRTH is the opposite of DEATH.  So what, then, is the opposite of LIFE?

I believe the opposite of life is NOT living our Dreams.

While there are many ways a person can get stuck, the worst kind of stuck is not knowing one is stuck.  At least, when you know you’re stuck, you’re ‘armed’ with the possibility of doing something about it.  If you’re stuck and you don’t even know it, it would never occur to you to do anything to get yourself unstuck, much less something as remarkable as cutting off your arm.

A woman I once met had died in a car accident.  She lost all vital signs, was pronounced dead, and ended up in the city morgue.  But then a remarkable thing happened: she woke up.  Right there lying on the table in the morgue, she woke up and returned to her life.  She once told me that during the moments before she died, as she contemplated her life, she didn’t regret a single thing she had done during her life.  What she regretted were all the things she had wanted to do but didn’t.

I sometimes hear a person who admits to having a problem but doesn’t do anything about it because they aren’t taking it seriously.  Yet when that same person recognizes the grave nature of their problem, they tend to *wake up* enabling them to perform tremendous feats that weren’t possible prior to their awakening (like Aaron Ralston cutting off his arm).  It’s as though the ability to perform the activity was there all along, but until they took it seriously, they couldn’t pull it off.  The gift of desperation, it seems, is that it provides us with the courage to take the actions that previously were ‘un-take-able.’

Which leaves me with a different question: are we not taking the actions that will fulfill our Goals and Dreams because we aren’t taking them seriously?

strawberry

Perhaps we haven’t experienced our capacity to be extraordinary because we’ve never had a GOAL that was worth cutting our arm off for.  Maybe our problem hasn’t been that we don’t know how (or aren’t able) to fulfill our goals; perhaps our problem is that we haven’t created any goals that were LARGE enough to be WORTHY of our effort.

Maybe that’s the problem.  And maybe the only reason we haven’t done anything about that particular problem is that we haven’t been taking it seriously. Maybe before this moment, we haven’t even been aware of it.  That’s okay though, because we’re aware of it now.  And now that we’re aware, we are empowered to take some actions.  By getting present to the value of our Dreams, the way Aaron (while stuck) got present to the value of his life, we empower ourselves to do what they require. This, I believe, is the GIFT of desperation: it compels us to do the things we never could have done so we can have the experiences we’ve always wanted to have.

Which brings me back to my earlier question:  What, then, is the opposite of LIFE?  I believe that the opposite of LIFE is living one’s life without going after one’s Dreams, or in the words of Thoreau, “living a life of quiet desperation.”  To be truly alive, one must be willing to end that silence, embrace one’s Dreams, and use that desperation as the gift it actually is: a driving force that compels one to act in accordance with one’s Dreams.  Even if that includes cutting off one’s arm.

Coach Billy works with highly committed men & women to produce unprecedented results in their businesses and their lives.  Learn more at www.billysparkle.com or contact Billy directly at billy@billysparkle.com