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After years of accumulating stuff, something inspired me to finally see that I have enough, I am enough, and I know enough. In alignment with that, and in conjunction with my participation in Dorena Kohrs’ Love Story program, I have been on a decluttering binge ever since. My core motivation is to create clarity, space, and alignment with who I am today.
For starters, over 60 books have been taken to Goodwill and the dump, dozens of items consigned, and untold pages of paper put in the shredder and trash. However, for me this is not a “see how much you can get rid of in the shortest amount of time” exercise. It is really a process of identifying:
- What no longer serves me (not useful, no longer of interest, negative association)?
- What are the best ways to release the items (donate, trash, consign, or transform)?
- How do I hold the memory of certain items while letting go of their physical presence?
Through my initial motivation to clear out a bookcase and create a new energy in my office, I was able to let go of books based on their titles. After the first set left the premises, the next layer has taken more time to move through as I scan them and decide if I want to read into them further or if their contents no longer serve me.
With my closet, I used an approach that got me to wear clothes that I had never worn before. I created a “game” of turning the hangar handle for every item I wore. I then nudged myself to minimize the number of items I wore twice. I will repeat this game again with each season.
In sifting through papers, it has been more of a process. I’ve sorting things into piles of current interests, uncovering documents that are outdated, but also finding hidden treasures. As I was going through a container of documents from my time studying in France and Switzerland, along with key project documents from my work at Nolan, Norton and Co, Logos, Motorola, Fidelity Investments, and IBM, I came upon one I didn’t know I had, from when I was 10 years old. It starts with – “I would like to be like…”:
It turns out I wanted to be like my brother Howard. I admired his kindness, that he was good with children, and that he could protect me from mean people because he was strong. Now decades later it feels like I uncovered a hidden treasure.
- My brother Howard is kind, good with children, and has a special strength about him. So much for my thinking I am a bad judge of character; I could see that in him way back then.
- The experiences of my life have given me a special strength, have taught me the importance of being kind to myself and others, and while I don’t consider myself good with children, I do help others nurture their inner child.
- Who knew at the age of ten, that I would help people to see the qualities they admired in others that were actually a projection of themselves? Yet apparently I already valued certain qualities in others and was able to see the gift those qualities bestow.
✔ What items are you holding onto that no longer serve you?
✔ How do you let go of items in a meaningful way?
✔ How do you honor the hidden treasures of your life and yourself?
✔ What are the qualities you admire in others that are really part of who you are?
If you want help exploring and answering these questions, please contact me for a complimentary coaching conversation.
For more on Dorena Kohr’s Love Story Program – https://spacedoula.com/
For the books my brother Howard has written, most for children – https://lmntreepress.com/
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