I had a recent session with a writer who was feeling down….the inkwell of imagination dried up….feeling unaccomplished.
She needed to go to her files, her drawers, her closets to pull out all her printed drafts of all the work she’d done and leave them out for a while to “see” her work.
Gratifying, validating for a time, seeing all the paper piled high, she then felt a need to “see” further – She called me in and we began discerning the drafts – we separated – 1st play: version 1-8, 1st screenplay versions 1-6, etc.
At this point, she began to feel ready to purge the old drafts….a feeling of completion took over the need to see her work. In order to move on, she now needed the clarity of an empty space…a new beginning.
This process of interacting with her drafts was part of her artistic process – She was not sure if she was “done” with her plays yet —
Without throwing them out, the exercise of taking inventory re-positioned her. With clarity, she was in a new space to make decisions.
She stood in a place of readiness to be open to the next “direction” form the muse/god/ psyche….
There’s a notion in feng shui – If you’re feeling stuck with your stuff, move 20 objects…..just shift them slightly – move one pile from the left corner of your desk to the right, shift the angle of objects on a mantle piece, move the soap dish to a shelf. Shake up the energy of your environment. Sometimes it’s enough to shift your internal landscape so you can “see” what’s next –
Baby steps are effective. Remember when you were learning to walk? You’ve come a long way, baby. Keep stepping.
I often advocate to clients they plan out their day. It asserts ourselves as the creator, rather than the slave to our circumstances.
Set a clear intention of purpose, then schedule the actions that support that purpose with a responsibility to estimating accurately how much time you’ll need for these actions.
Life will happen. Circumstances will assert themselves — an unexpected phone call, a traffic jam, a mistake in an appointment time — brings a need to shift your plans. That sense of purpose for your day can help you remain steady, as you recalibrate and recommit to your intention.
And sometimes, even with or circumstances handled, we find internal obstacles to living our purpose in a day. We need to open to something bigger than ourselves to guide us to our purpose and allow our creativity to to find the tangible actions to support that purpose.
I love this quote from artist, Jen Gray. Practicing spiritual time management is sometimes just what’s needed to cut through the overwhelm of deadlines, obligations, conflicts, vagueness, lack of motivation, or procrastination.
“…the only thing i had to be concerned with was
doing the next single thing that would align myself
with love and spirit.”
If you find yourself on a rainy day, whether it’s external or internal weather, ask yourself, “What is the one single thing I could do now that would align myself with love and spirit?”
If you can go outside and be in nature, when you ask the question, see if it doesn’t deepen the response you get back.
Trust the answer, even if you can’t see beyond the next action. Sometimes we baby-step our way with faith back into clarity.
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.
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.
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.
Harold Taylor, renowned time management authority, has this to say…..
“I have always recommended that people schedule more time than they think a task will take to allow for unavoidable interruptions. But you could feel stressed and out of control if you still don’t get the task completed. To prevent this, change your mindset. Schedule time to work on a task rather than the task itself. The expectation then becomes to spend one hour or 90 minutes each day (or week) until the task is finished. This way you can’t fail. But it’s important to schedule these chunks of time as far as possible in advance of the deadline.” – Harold Taylor
Often it’s the “getting started” that’s the hardest barrier to cross in organizing. I love hearing how different people ease there way into the process…
It appears that Oprah has made decluttering her mission in every Spring. And why not? It’s a great thing.
I think what’s important is not not my realization but why. My productivity equals to my creativity. When I am not being productive, I am not creating anything. I’m not producing anything new, fun, useful or loving. What’s also important is that when I’m not feeling creative, it’s because I often feel anxious. Not all the time. But certainly a lot of the times. I think about unpaid bills, Emails I have not replied, issues I have not dealt with, taxes I have not sorted out etc etc. Cluttering is a way of avoiding and numbing. There are certain things I don’t want to deal with so I pile them up…
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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.
For 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.
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.
Dare to declare your vision and have it turn out! xxoo
P.S. – I declare to continue this blog, posting weekly for the next 90 days.