Declutter Your Life – part 1

Andrew and Gabriella Morrison are friends who are leaders in the tiny house movement. On part of their site is a cogent take on how one person (Dawn) decluttered her life. I thought it would be valuable to pass it along in bits and pieces.  So here’s the first part:

 I was particularly drawn to the idea that de-cluttering your stuff and your life helps to de-clutter your mind. Boy, does that sound good! It seemed like it might help and it certainly couldn’t hurt.

I thought that I would start with my clothes, but what I actually started with was clothesaccepting my present size. After many years of defining myself, in some ways, by my weight I have come to a point where I am happy to be me as I am. This process allowed me to let go of my old clothes. Previously I had numerous storage containers of smaller clothing, even underwear, (really??) in my closet and in storage (as if keeping them around would somehow change things). I don’t need them anymore so they went bye, bye! I even donated my vintage dresses that I had longed to fit into again. A couple years ago giving them away would have been unthinkable. Now I have about 10 days of clothes for cold weather and 10 days for spring, summer, and fall combined. Keeping a handful of cardigans works well through all the seasons. I do have a few “inspiration” clothes that are smaller and a few bigger maternity items in case I need them, but everything else fits.

The next task to conquer was decorations and knick-knacks. I am lucky in the fact that my husband doesn’t have a lot of personal possessions, mostly shared ones. When I told him I wanted to donate my personal stuff that I no longer used he was, for the most part, delighted. He had never understood why on earth I had so much crap to begin with. Getting rid of some of this stuff was easy, but certainly not all of it. I had suspected, but never really knew, the depth of emotions that some of these items invoked for me. Each gift reminded me of the giver on an emotional level, even if the item was no longer needed or wanted. I also realized that there were a few items that I had been holding on to in an effort to save that part of my past, refusing to let it go. Determined to live in the here and now I took photos of some of the things that I thought I had cherished (but were really holding me back) along with a few other sentimental items and let them go. I kept some things, but I let the past go. Perhaps I will never look at these photos; who knows. The important thing is that I made a commitment to live in the present.

I regularly teach an incredibly effective way to declutter your life. This story will be continued, but IF you are serious and would like to become part of a tribe who’s purpose is to declutter their lives, email me and let’s see what miracles can happen.

Info at Put Declutter my life in the subject line.

The Teacher got Caught

Recently my refrigerator went down and had to be replaced. The new was deeper than the old. Once in place, the new frig New Refrigeratorwould prevent the pantry door from opening. I got the men to remove the pantry door. OMG, I forgot that the back of the door had a 6 self storage unit on it filled with food. That one move required a total redesign for the pantry. It meant eliminating so much: unused spices, cans of unusual stuff I had not used in years….

Next came the realization I have more than enough. In fact, I have TOO MUCH. Time to dredge the depths of closets, drawers, the storage places and remove “stuff” clogging up the areas.

Once the pantry was done, what about the other parts of the kitchen? The coat closet? The dresser drawers. etc.,etc.,etc.

Now I have 20 grocery bags full of stuff to be repurposed to others, sold, or donated.

And even after that, there’s so much left!

The teacher needs to be practicing what he preaches!

My wish? Those who enjoy what I coach would allow me to help them. You may know I recently ran a series of webinars and free teleconferences. They were singularly unsuccessful, and what follows was typical when I surveyed folks as to what was wanted, needed and what they would do about it.

Clients wanted me to give Feng Shui cures for their home. But the home was full of very confused energy, due to the owner’s multifaceted interests and pursuits. They felt if I gave them some Feng Shui cures, all the confusion would dissipate and their life would change. If we were in the kitchen, they wanted the finished dinner and I, as their cook, would provide it. What didn’t they see? Certain things would have to happen and happen in a certain order before dinner could appear. They could’t expect a calm, serene, and nourishing home (or ‘dinner’ of the example) until they became willing to clean out the clutter. Once done, clarity would become evident, or at least visible.

However, the clients would not, could not, face the challenge. Instead they wanted a device, or an object, or an arrangement, that would give them their desired result.  I don’t have a magic wand, I have a very useful tool kit. I can help facilitate, coach, offer tools that work, but I don’t have a magic wand. More importantly, Feng Shui is an art and a science, when used properly, harmonize the person(s) and their environment.

They did not seem to be in touch with the fact we co-create.

My point? If we want change, we have to be willing to do something different. Just as getting a new refrigerator showed me that I needed to clean out my space, sometimes what isn’t obvious at first has been staring me in the face for a long time! Who, in this materialistic consumer society of ours, couldn’t use greater clarity? Being swamped with all our material goods, we don’t see that we can do it, and do it together is far easier!

Once cleared out, the next steps appear. That’s part of the magic!

Adding Feng Shui to your landscape

Beauty almost always includes positive Feng Shui. Good modern design often means simplifying, so it often unknowingly incorporates basic Feng Shui.

Here’s a link to 10 backyard renovations, each and all of which bring beauty in simplicity. There’s only one problem: notice how angular and yang they are. If you like these ideas, soften the lines (bringing yin energy in) and enjoy the results. Zen outdoor fountain

Want less frustration and anger?

I’m amazed at how many readers admit to having clutter but clean it up and clear it out? Denial and procrastination come galloping forth. So today I find another’s  well written argument for clutter removal and revamping life. Join the conversation,

let’s hear what you have to say.

How important is your front door?

If your home is considered as a body, the front door is the mouth. The chi (energy) comes in through the door and fills your home.  If you want to help insure that positive energy comes in, pay attention to what Feng Shui has to say!

Someone is approaching your front door. It is dull, perhaps cluttered, not terribly attractive.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat mood gets conveyed to the approaching visitor? Nothing very positive, nothing very welcoming. When you open your door, you are greeted with, at best mild positive to negative and angry. You’ll have to deal with that.

But let’s change the picture. You stand at the end of the walk and visualize what would lift your spirits, make you want to come into the home? Flowers? A wonderful, colorful door, outlined by a trim that sets of the color of the rest of the house?  A welcome matt in good condition, and a pleasing door knocker or a wreath reflecting the season.

Someone approaching your home now is greeted by a home that welcomes and invites. Without their knowing it, their mood has been positively affected by the energy of your home. You brighten and lighten their mood without even saying hello.  Is it important? Could it make your life easier and more positive? Yes. Take a critical look at your entrance and make it as wonderful as you can. It will be well worth it.

Oh – you come in through the garage? Use the front door at least once a day. Don’t close the mouth of chi just because you car is more important than your home and the people who come to it!

Got Clutter? Who doesn’t!

Recently I launched a couple of free trainings about our conscious and unconscious accumulation of physical and psychological stuff. L have been working with the first step to creating positive, healthful chi by helping people rid themselves of clutter.

Technical glitches and perhaps a poor choice of timing prevented me from reaching many people. Maybe I had not clearly said why I am doing this and with whom I really want to work.

The Why

The world has become fast food, rushed, instant gratification expectant, having more stuff of less value, polarized. There’s little time to consider where we want to go, and less time to think about how to get there. We’re so busy we don’t often know where we are headed. It is a dangerous course to be on. I see few signs of any correction.  I’m convinced solutions will not come from above. If we want a sustainable future (which apparently the majority are not concerned about) each of us is going to have to do our part. Whatever that part might be.

Being sick and tired of my own passivity, I see Rome starting to burn. I spent years in an ashram where women ran the operation top to bottom. My Master would not allow men to run things – he knew far to well what men would do from our male dominated past. I learned something there – something important.

Here goes my rant.

In the “normal” world, we are caught in a patriarchal society where big is better; war is good for profiteering; corporations are people. This sets off alarms in me big time.  In my book it’s time to let women into the game in a real, substantial way.  Women don’t think war is good for business. Women don’t think the highest goal is the accumulation of money. At least, none of the women I know. Having been mothers, women know things men barely fathom.

But women are caught. Women who are breaking the glass ceiling too often are wearing suits, acting as if a man were running things. Even though they are playing by men’s rules,  they are still often subtly shut out – of the golf games where things get done – of the hunting trips (where they can get drunk and blast their friends in the face…) Alarm bells are going off.

What if each woman could see what her gift is for the world? What if she knew her powers sourced from the Divine Feminine? Could we then change the world before we go over the cliff? I think we have the possibility of a better chance through embracing the Divine Feminine than continuing on our currently imbalanced road.

Am I advocating women should rush the halls of power and seize control? Not really.  Many women I’ve met, having tried the corporate vision of success or not, are aware that that is not their God-given perspective or destiny. Small businesses they know. Services they get. Creating networks they understand.

Who are the women I resonate with? They are bright and interested in co-creating. They don’t have to have it all themselves. I’ve been able to do this wonderful dance where my wisdom meets theirs and beautiful things happen: like clarity; like emerging purpose; like apparent magic.

I want to reach more of those women. But rather than touting some big transformational course or gathering, I want to start with something simple that so many bright women can benefit from:

Knowing what is clutter and what is not.

Knowing how clutter holds a woman down and prevents her from becoming all she can be.

Knowing that the trap of unfettered capitalism has produced a suicide economy.

Not all clutter is of our own making. We are continuously bombarded by advertising on our televisions while we’re trying to relax, on the radios we listen to while driving, popping up on our computers when we log onto our favorite sites, in our email boxes – even with our spam filters. Madison Avenue has convinced too many that if we just buy this or that we will find fulfillment.  If we just take this new expensive pharmaceutical, we will solve any physical, mental or emotional problem.

How much advertising is directed at women? Most of it is because women do most of the buying in this country (60-80% depending on the source). That, interestingly enough, includes buying men’s clothes. Yet most advertising campaigns are created and directed by men. If that isn’t manipulation, what is?

Women bond and socialize differently than men. There’s a hard wiring that comes with the female that is different than that of the male. One of the most import aspects of that difference is that women share and collaborate easily. Therein lies an immense power.

The power of the group.

Alcoholics Anonymous has demonstrated the power of the group for almost 80 years. Whereas medical science has never has found a cure for alcoholism, AA has generated thousands of sober, responsible people who no long use alcohol. It’s done with 12 suggested guidelines and the power of a commonly held intention: not to take a drink today.  Simple, yet utterly profound. More powerful than all of the “miracles” of modern medicine.

The What

I’m going to start a series of telephone conference calls – fun and easy.  Each one will examine one aspect of clutter and how one might eliminate it. The call will include input from participants sharing their personal experiences and what they have observed about the way clutter holds them back.

The call will close with my take on how Feng Shui plays into each aspect, and how we can use this ancient art and science to transform an environment.

Sound too simplistic? Perhaps. But the journey of a thousand miles begins putting one foot in front of the other. The benefits of Walking the Camino aren’t accessible to those speeding by in a Ferrari. It’s a beginning.

From years of teaching I’ve learned a great way to create a new freedom, a new clarity. And it comes, paradoxically enough, by getting rid of stuff.

And the cost?

Nothing. Free. You call, listen, and participate – either anonymously or as a named participant (your choice.)

There will be replays available for a very limited period of time. I know perfectly well not everyone who would like to be on the call can make every one. Busy life. But one caveat – just listening to a replay, while valuable, doesn’t have the power, the positive effect, nor the support that live participation has.

Commonly held intention combined with focused interaction equals amazing change. Freedom. Creativity. Clarity.

I will also have guests join me to add their wisdom and their experience. Women like my friend Aline Munsch who’s working in Saudi Arabia and quietly showing women how to realize their power. and there are others, perhaps not as dramatic, but equally qualified to share their wisdom.

I’d really like to hear your reactions and suggestions about this series of live calls before I finalize how and when.

On What’s Happening you’ll find a note that will put you on the list of get weekly notificationsof the dial in number and the day and the topic.Please do not worry about your contact information – it’s kept lovingly under secure encryption and never rented, sold or shared.








When is enough enough?

When is enough enough? And where do we pick up the excess weight on our lives? Many of us know we carry a few extra pounds on our bodies, but who’s aware that we are carrying a LOT of extra baggage in Iceberg SM2other forms?  It’s a fascinating idea, one that I’ve been examining for some time now. It has led me to develop a webinar I’m going to offer in April to examine exactly that – where and how do we pick up excess baggage? Where does it come from and what does it do to our lives?

The answers may surprise you, especially in today’s world where there is overwhelm everywhere. I, for instance, have trouble balancing email/Facebook/Twitter/Blogging/website/ launch and my private clients. A poison pill form is to open my email.  There’s a ton of excess baggage there I just don’t need, but I get hooked, drawn in, and time flies when I’m supposed to being productive!

Possible answer? For Mac, there’s neat little program called Vitamin-R. It lets you set yourself up so that you hold focus for a certain amount of time, then it tells you to go….take a break…of your chosen time. Then back to the task at hand. And it works, and works well, as long as you allow those time outs to happen. I get up, and go do something else for the 6 minute break I set.  Only problem, sometimes I get cooking’ and the time slice ends and I’m still cooking. In that case, I can go right to the next slice without a break.

If you want to ale a look at the application here’s a link.

But what I’ve seen is that somewhere into the 2nd time slice, my focus….well…..the distractions…

So that’s one way I attempt  to stay on track.

What’s yours? Feel free to comment, maybe we can teach one another new tricks (I’m staying mum about old dogs…)


It’s New Year’s Day and in my neighborhood. like the greater part of Ashland, Christmas decoration are being taken down. Those, of course, that were not removed the day after Christmas. So the politically correct forces can declare an open victory against the religious aspects of this holiday. Many folks got their lights and geegaws up right after Thanksgiving, in order to match Walmart and Target. The expansion of the Christmas buying season has trumped anyone who found Christmas to be the celebration of the birth of the Christian’s Son of God. Material acquisition has trumped inward reflection and gratitude.

The next target? Obviously, the only one left! Thanksgiving. Madison Ave has yet to figure out how to Sarah Palin Turkey 5commercialize the bird, however, Sarah Palin did a pretty good job on it not so long ago. It’s interesting to note that neither the Jewish High Holy Days, nor those venerated by  Buddhists have fallen to the venal appetites of those who have elevated Money above Existence, Spirit, God or whatever such a power means. Does anyone see any human arrogance is such a path? What does it have to do with Nature and the real world? Not much , if anything, from this man’s point of view.

2014 is The Year of the Horse – and Chinese astrologers suggest we can expect Mother nature to step up larger and more dramatically as we keep climate change under wraps and in denial. Gaia is pissed off. Oh well, time for the Koch brothers to sell more Coors!

I hurt for the world

It’s hard for me to stay positive, what with all the destruction I see in the name of profit. It’s hard for me to stay positive when I see we are willing to vomit on our food in the name of money for those newly found persons, the corporations. So when I hear that Bill Moyers has a conversation with Wendell Berry, it’s something I want to watch and listen to deeply. I invite you to do the same by going to I invite your comments and reactions.1Wendell

10 Pounds in a 5 pound bag

We’ve all heard the expression and probably had a laugh around it. Sad to say, deep down we know it’s true of almost every hour of our lives these days. There’s just too much to get through in any 24 hour period. And the “To Do” list keeps getting things added to it faster than we can knock off the top contenders.

It appears that every aspect of our culture says “more, more.” When so much of “more” looks like it might be good – what’s a body to do?

I’m going to suggest that the first step is to take stock. How much am I trying to fit into an already full filing clutterschedule?  This awareness is something many of us shy away from – we’d rather keep slogging than face up to the fact that TOO MUCH is TOO MUCH.  How do you know? Write down all the things you want to/will/might/could accomplish this week. One week. That’s all.

Not just at work and not just at home. How about socially? What distractions will we use to ‘get away from it all’? What are we trying to do with family? Friends? Business? Don’t leave anything out.

There are wonderful ways to find out if we are caught on a hamster wheel going nowhere. Next blog I’ll share some tools to assess the use of time. I’ll suggest some techniques that result is getting done the most important and rewarding things to us.

In order to go to this next step, please do the exercise above – it’s the first tactic to separate us from the rat race and starting to reclaim our life.  Give it a go!  Feel free to leave a comment below. What you have to share helps everyone else who reads this.