The title of this post is the title of a book written by Mary O’ Malley that has inspired a lot of writing in my journal and changed my focus from fixing to learning and growing. My apologies for this long break, I thought I had it all planned (my posts, what I will be focusing on during the break etc…) but as you know already, Life has its own plan. A plan that is always here to push us forward! Let me explain. I was meant to have a 2 weeks break for Christmas and New Year but just before Christmas, I received an email from the Landlord giving us a notice to vacate. 2 days prior, I had a conversation at my work place that made me doubt my commitment to work an extra day with extra responsibilities this year. Since, I have already done some work on myself, I was better equipped to deal with my challenges. I was certain that this was happening for a reason.
However, at first, I convinced myself that this probably meant I should quit and start again. I felt Scared, Frustrated, Angry and Disappointed. I talked it out with friends and families and journal my thoughts and feelings. While writing in my journal, I wrote, “I need to stick to my plan and the doors will open for me to do what I love” This was 2 pages in and even though this came out, it wasn’t convincing yet. So I wrote more, I even wrote the 2 possible scenarios; 1= Quit and start again or 2= stick to my plan and wait for the doors to be open along with the advantages and disadvantages for both plans. It was not until I asked the question to God/Life, what am I meant to learn from this, what is this challenge bringing me? that I got to unpack the answer/s. I know now that life is happening FOR us, so I was curious.
I realised that one of the things that will help me to achieve my goals this year is if I can focus on what matter. I had also come to the realisation that Time was not the issue but Space was what I needed. Space in my head to focus on what matter. I had even asked my mum if she can come over from Mauritius to support me for a couple of months from February/March so I can focus on certain things and get into a flow (Like I mentioned, I thought I got it all sorted!). But then came the move we have to make, which wasn’t in my plan. I thought to myself, “This will take up all the time I will have over the break, more money that we didn’t expect to spend and the challenges of having to look for a another place to move….” I felt defeated before I even started the battle! But of course I had to start. We had about 10 years of clutter (I do think we got rid of some things in between) but for the past 5 years I have accumulated paper on top of the ones from the previous years (course materials, written work, assignments, receipts, visa documentation, my daughter’s art work since she was at kinder, photos, and so much more) I also had clutter in the kitchen cupboards and drawers and in our wardrobes and last but not least stuff in the garage which I cleaned but I just rearranged the clutter instead of getting rid of things. I procrastinated to do a real de-cluttering for the past 5 years. It was on my ‘Have to do list’ but never on my ‘Want to do list‘, so this never got done!
As my mind started thinking of Space, I unconsciously picked up books from the library about the Spacious self which I didn’t read straight away. It wasn’t until I started taking action and fully immersed myself in the de-cluttering that I gradually understood that I needed to do this to achieve my goals next year. The process was painful (I had a meltdown at the start as everything seemed to be too much, I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel because the more things I was getting rid of, the more clutter appeared, I was worried about all the things I wanted to attend to but couldn’t focus on…) but in the end, I felt relieved and rewarded! The end, was yesterday when I tackled my last big box of clutter. I still have more things to do and to go through but I feel that the worse is behind. The best thing is what I have discovered during various stages of this process:
“Clutter refers to anything that gets in the way of experiencing your most spacious self. It is visible and invisible; it is any thing or thought that makes you feel off centre and rattles your cage; it is the limiting beliefs that cloud who you are; it is stuck energy” Stephanie Bennett Vogt, Your Spacious Self.
The answer/s I unpacked to, Why the unexpected happened and What it meant for me are:
- I needed to create the Space to focus on what matter. If I had only used the time I allocated to de-clutter over the break, I would not have been able to do much. I suspect I would have still been in “stuck energy” and thus unable to get started with what I want to achieve this year.
- I also learned that clutter is anything we hold on to, that doesn’t serve us anymore not only things but also feelings and beliefs. Therefore this prompted more de-cluttering in the mental and emotional area. In fact I suspect that my ‘meltdown’ was part of the process of letting go from a deeper part of me. The ‘meltdown’ lasted 2 days. It was quite intense, even my husband said to me, “you were really down”. I don’t have a good enough reason to explain this big ‘meltdown’, so I am sure this has to do with letting go!
- I needed this to happen so I can see how helpful my family is and how much I need their help and support. I often think I can do it all, or I have to do it all. But I saw what they can do and it is just a reminder for me to ask for help when I need it. This brought us closer and validated the importance of working together as a family. I noticed how much time I spend in my own bubble. In fact, I am planning to suggest to my family to have a family goal this year.
- I needed to let go of certain beliefs about money and abundance. I needed to shift my mindset in this area of my life to create abundance. This was a big revelation to me! I am still working on this area.
- I learned to better connect with my inner wisdom. It was easier for me to accept that the reason why these two things happened at the same time was because I had to quit my job and start again (We are planning to build a house in a regional area and the fact that we had to move, made me think that perhaps we just have to move in that area already and this means I will have to quit my job as it would be further away). But when I dug deeper, I was able to unpack the full package. May be I do need to move on but it’s just not the time yet! And also I needed to focus on my strength and shake my fears and doubts. I needed to believe in myself. I needed to remind myself that “Everything Is Figureoutable” (this is the title of a book I read over the break, by Marie Forleo, a must read!
- Lastly, I also discovered that I tend to stay attach to the outcome, the end result and the feeling that I want to feel. And of course, when something happened, I resist the ‘what is’ and feel upset because all I want is the end result. Sometimes if the result is not coming soon enough, I may abandon the project or the task (very likely to be the reason of my procrastination to de-clutter). I forget that everything has a cost of some sort. To be rewarded with this space and clarity, I needed to give my time and focus and energy, something has to give. I think I forgotten that sometimes we have to get to the worse to get to the better. I forgot that I have to put in the effort and hard work to get the result I want and the road is never a straight line. I learned that the outcome is never the end, in fact it is more like another beginning!
Therefore I move into 2020 with Spaciousness, Acceptance, Faith and Gratitude. I will share how I plan to move into 2020 with a growth mindset in my next post.
How do you find your way when facing life challenges? What does clutter means to you? What about the mental and emotional clutter?
Wishing you a year full of growth and abundance to be the best version of yourself!
With much love and to THE BEST IN YOU xoxo