I have been doing a blog series about authentic living, or another way of putting it, living authentically, and here is one of them.
As you know (or maybe you don’t) I was a slob, read a book “Sidetracked Home Executives,” got organized and now I help others do what I did and live an organized life too.
Well, what happened after a period of time is I got older, got divorced, had to make changes in my life and started to realize that my things had a lot of power over how I was living. My possessions had more power than I believed to be true, and I did have clutter even though it didn’t look that way.
I was introduced to minimalism by someone in my Tidy Tutor world. She sent me some information from The Minimalists and I looked into it. I thought to myself, what do we need this for?
We get rid of stuff on a regular basis, we know our number one obstacle is too much stuff, but I looked into it anyway because so many of my people were looking into minimalism.
I went to see “The Minimalists” speak in NY. I bought their book and read it. That experience opened up new insight for me that changed my world.
After that, I decided to dejunk with a minimalist mindset. The reason that OGP (Organizationally Gifted People) live in an organized and clutter free space is because they dejunk on a regular basis.
They don’t keep anything they don’t love, need or use. Well, in our Tidy Tutor world, we do that too. So I thought why do we have to take the time to look at this? It is already a part of our program.
When I began to dejunk thinking minimalism though, I started seeing my things in a different way. I saw I was keeping things just because it was organized and there was space for it.
I read that OGP’s were discovering that they were becoming happier when they got rid of excess. That was puzzling to me…
Of course it is logical that people who are OC (Organizationally Challenged) are unhappy living in chaos, living with a mess and that they become happier when they clean it up and life becomes something they can be proud of and more peaceful.
People who were not living in a mess who began to just live with less who were becoming happier made me want to investigate further.
Something happened that helped me understand better.
I went to my front porch and decided that I wanted to do something to it. Then I thought that I couldn’t because I have too many things in there that I loved, and that got me to thinking…
Does my stuff have more power over my life than I believed?
So I did an experiment. I made the porch the way I wanted it. I put the things that I had in my porch aside just in case I was sorry about my choice.
I wasn’t sorry! I loved it. It took me a day or two to get used to it, change is always difficult, but when I allowed myself to live in it, I LOVED IT!
It was me, on the outside, who I was on the inside, now.
Those things that I removed did not reflect who I was anymore. I was not that stay at home young mom of little kids anymore. I was not a married woman any longer. I had changed, but I wouldn’t allow my home to change with me. And I discovered that it kept me in a box, in a place I didn’t belong anymore.
Because I was a different person when I first decorated that room than I am now, I thought to myself, I’m probably not living my authentic life and that is how this got started.
If we are not living who we are now, in an environment that reflects who we are, now we could be stuck in a place that is not where we are meant to be anymore.
If we want change, but we won’t let go of the past, how can anything change?
So much is different for me since I did that. Since I began to dejunk thinking minimalism/authentic living.
I already was living an organized life. That wasn’t my problem. My problem was, I was holding onto things that did not represent who I was any longer.
And when I began to let go of those things, and even just some other things, things that had a place and seemed like I should have them, such as assorted greeting cards and office supplies, letting go of those things, believe it or not, opened up space for me to be who I was becoming.
One of the things that changed because of that was I was able to sell my house. I didn’t need a four bedroom home anymore. I was holding onto it because of fear, it’s not like you can yell “DO-OVER!” like when we were children. Once it was sold, it was sold and it seemed so connected to my identity. I was afraid of making a mistake.
I may not have wanted to be there anymore, but it was the enemy that I knew, as they say. What was away from there, was unknown. What if I didn’t like it?
I’ve also moved where I’ve always wanted to live. I moved by the ocean (We call it “down the shore” here in Jersey)
I live in a little one bedroom apartment now. I have one closet that I use for storage, and when I move from here in March I will take with me even less stuff. It’s a process.
I’m not sure what I will do when my lease is up, but I know thinking outside of what society has told us is acceptable is what I will be trying.
In the video, I open up a letter with you because one of the things that I made happen through this journey was, I got a passport! I saved it to open up with you.
It is so exciting to me, I feel like I’m 12 years old, I actually had to edit the volume down in the video because I squealed so loudly when I held the passport in my hand.
I’m telling you, I couldn’t have any of the goals that I have reached if I hadn’t gotten organized, it all started there.
Reaching goals do not happen by accident. If you are living in a disaster, you can’t follow your dreams. If we can’t even find a pen to write down our goals, how can we go the extra yard?
Let me know what you think of the video.
I look forward to hearing from you!