You Can Stop Struggling Right Now
You look around at all the unfinished tasks and sigh. Most are the result of an interruption by a needy family member, or from taking on more than you can handle so people will like you, or from your own mind (because the task got boring) or, or or.
You look at the time and discover you're in a hurry to be somewhere in a few minutes, but you're not completely dressed and you can't find your other shoe. You sigh, put shoes on that match and were left in the doorway to the family room and think to yourself, ‘I’ll clean this place up when I get back.’
But when you get out into your day, away from the CHAOS you left behind, you're in a completely different world. It’s like you've jetted from Alaska to Hawaii and you get a false sense of freedom from all there is to do back home. It's only when you get back to the mess you left that you pick up the inner fight with yourself for being so disorganized.
Many struggle with disorganization. If the above scenario seems a little familiar, how would they feel if being disorganized didn’t overwhelm you? Take a few moments (and a couple of deep breathes) and get that struggle-free feeling. You know the feeling you get when you put your hands in warm water or when you open the door and greet a person you love or when you look at a surene photo like this one Terry took when we were in Austria.
See you can feel at peace right now! When you get the flu your body doesn’t assess the situation, it just mechanically gets to work with its immune system and it makes you slow down, drink water and rest.
When your home has the flu (every room is HOURS or DAYS away from "company ready") it can easily be overwhelming and in that state of mind you can freeze, bust out of the place or retreat under the covers. All those actions could make things worse if you aren't open for guidance from within. The guidance comes when you're at peace.
When you freeze, you are in a place of choice and when in that place if you asked yourself, “What is one thing I can do now?” you’ll be directed to do something. If you feel like busting out, do it! Go for a drive, or a walk or a run. Have lunch with a friend or take a book to the park and read in the shade of a big tree. If you feel like retreating under the covers, do it. Get some rest and when you get up refreshed ask that question again, “What is one thing I can do now?” If the thought comes “I need help,” get some help! There are BOs (born organized) everywhere just itching to share their talent of organizing with you.
That feeling of being overwhelmed is a state of mind based on true facts and circumstances. But the good news is states of mind can be changed even when the true facts and circumstances haven't. If you’re overwhelmed by a messy house, obesity, indebtedness, an inharmonious marriage, whatever, you have the power to change your mind right now and decide to find peace and not be overwhelmed. In fact that’s the best place to start!
Once a long time ago, before I got organized, I was in a perpetual state of overwhelm and also I was in a very unhappy marriage which just added to it. My gloomy husband was a traveling salesman and was gone a lot. Since I had no clue how to be organized, I’d play with the kids, sew, and watch TV and then I’d clean all night and the next day to get the house back in shape before he’d come home. Once it was clean and company ready I’d promise myself I’d keep it that way, but as soon as he’d leave I’d go back to playing again and leaving out my messes.
When my sister and I made a pact to get organized, that pact came out of a mutual prayer. In that quiet time it came to me to pretend my home (1200 square feet and in a very depressed neighborhood) was a penthouse suite on Park Avenue in New York City. In other words I raised the value of the space in my mind from its real value (about $20,000) to 10 million dollars. I added to the fantasy that I was to get this space spiffed up so I could sell it and move on.
At the time I wanted to move on in more ways than one. I wanted to find a way to get and stay organized, get out of my marriage and get out of that house. Changing my mind about my circumstances gave me energy. I got excited about really making a change and as I developed the system that gave me direction I discovered peace!
The reason behind wanting to be organized is that we want peace and we want to be free to enjoy life. We know that in that peace and joy we can be more loving, but guess what! Peace, love and joy are states of mind and they can be had regardless of our circumstances. Seek those states of mind and you’ll be amazed at how much easier getting organized will be.
Thank you for reading my essay. I’d like to give you a free chapter to my book The Joy of Being Disorganized. It’s all about looking at clutter in a brand new way that'll really help you to let go of what doesn’t make you happy. The chapter is entitled There Arose Such a Clutter. Click on the eagle for the free chapter.