Home » mind » Page 2

Category: mind

positivity-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

How to create positive beliefs about yourself

Even though you’ve accomplished a lot in your life so far and have been successful, you still have those nagging doubts. You’re not sure if you can have more happiness or self-fulfilment – if you deserve more happiness or self-fulfilment.

At home when you were a child, the environment was more negative than positive. Something – or someone – was always wrong. There were a lot of ‘conditions’: if only ____________ were like this, if only you behaved better, if only my boss _____________ me more, if only I had more time I would ____________, if only you didn’t make mistakes, if only you were more ________________-, etc. You developed a very strong sense of what you couldn’t do, especially that you couldn’t do enough in most situations.

As an adult, you entered a society that was also more negative than positive. A society with a fast-everything mentality, a celebrity culture and a new level of ‘wrongness’: not enough time to do what’s expected, not enough energy, not _____________ enough to be successful, be like ___________ and you’ll be successful, etc. A society with the viewpoint that your genes determine everything in your life – your health, your happiness, your well-being – rendering you effectively powerless. And, as if you needed more negativity, you’re constantly bombarded by death and disaster in the media.

It’s clear you come by your negative self-beliefs honestly!

Then there’s the fact that your wonderful human brain is wired to have a negativity bias. This bias dates back to prehistoric times when your forebears were constantly on high alert for predators – they faced real external threats to their lives. Despite the huge changes in society, your brain still has this bias, constantly scanning for possible threats. Your senses read the environment around you, sending back information to your cells, which then direct your body to act and behave in response to your environment.

The problem with negative self-beliefs

How you view the environment determines what your cells do in response.

If you view the environment negatively, as if everything is a potential threat, then your body will respond accordingly, putting you in fight or flight mode – in stress mode. Being in stress mode for more than a short period is bad for your health. It shuts down your immune system and sends more resources to your limbs for fight or flight, squeezing the resources from the rest of your body and making you less intelligent and incapable of rational thinking. If, however, you view the environment positively, as if you’re safe, then your body will respond by putting you in regular mode, able to think logically, make complex decisions, be creative and protect yourself from disease via your immune system.

Your perceptions control your cells, including your genes.

Your perceptions control your behaviour.

Your perceptions rewrite your cells (and genes).

Your perceptions rewrite your behaviour.

Your life is the result of your perceptions.

The solutions to negative thinking lie inside you

You are incredibly powerful.

You are not powerless, despite what society, old scientific knowledge and your home environment told you. With negative self-beliefs, you have the power to limit yourself and harm your health and well-being. With positive self-beliefs, you have the power to be limitless – to be healthy, happy, self-fulfilled and to do anything that your limitless self sees for you.

How to change your belief system:

  1. Acknowledge and accept that your current belief systems are negative and that you want to change this. You can’t change what isn’t true!
  2. Believe and commit. Start believing that you can change your beliefs and commit 100% to doing it. If you doubt that you can, you won’t succeed. As Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
  3. Increase your happiness and positivity. There are a number of exercises that, if practiced daily, are scientifically proven to increase your positivity levels and happiness. Here are five*:
    1. Daily gratitude practice. Every evening, write down three new things you were grateful for that day. After a week, you’ll have 21 reasons to be grateful!
    2. Daily generosity. Do an act of kindness – give an extra large tip, write a work colleague an email praising her work, thank a loved one for something. Being generous makes you feel good!
    3. Daily meditation. Mediation is an amazing way to rewire your brain for happiness. Even closing your eyes and focussing on your breath for two minutes a day has an effect! Find the type of meditation that works for you and start practicing today.
    4. Replay positive memories. Every day, replay something positive that happened in your past – a success, a happy event. You’re great at constantly replaying negative memories so change it up for positive ones!
    5. Fun exercise. Dance around to your favourite music or walk in your favourite park for 15 minutes every day. A fun cardio boost improves your mood!
  4. Deepen social connections. The quality of your social connections is the most important factor in having a happy, successful life. Deep, meaningful connections deliver positive energy – when times are good and bad. Choose wisely and go deep!
  5. Physical activity. Moderate exercise like walking and hiking for 30 minutes every day improves your mood. And vigorous exercise for 20 minutes three times a week boosts your happiness. Be active and you can’t go wrong!
  6. Mental activity. Deep learning about something you’re interested in is great for your self-esteem. When you master something you care about, it’s very powerful. Self-esteem is essential for positivity so hit those podcasts / videos / books today!
  7. High quality nourishment. You are what you eat. You can’t expect to have a high performance system if you nourish it with junk.

Create new, positive habits and change your negative self-beliefs into positive self-belief. Change the way you view the world from negative to positive, and make yourself healthier, happier and more self-fulfilled.

You are what you believe. Believe the best.

 

* Source: Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

happiness-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

How to use change to increase happiness in your life

You feel so ungrateful, so confused. After all, how could someone who has everything feel anything less than elated? Yet, that’s how you feel. Less than happy. Less than self-fulfilled. Less than clear about what you’re doing and why.

You ask yourself “Is this IT?”

All your life you’ve been working towards what you have today, but now you’re here, you don’t feel like you expected to. You expected to feel happy when you achieved your success goals – and you did, for a while. But then the happiness dissipated and you were left wondering what was next. What’s the next success goal you’re supposed to have to make you happy?

While you figure this out, you’re just going through the motions, day in, day out. You’ve been in that mode for a while. It’s not that bad – your life isn’t that bad. But it’s not that great, either. Maybe people like you aren’t supposed to have great lives – most people don’t, do they? As long as you have a roof over your head, food to eat, an income and loving people in your life, that’s enough, isn’t it?

No, it’s not. If it were enough, you wouldn’t be wondering if this is it.

You’re right, there’s nothing wrong with your life. But it could be so much more! You are a human being and humans who have their basic requirements met need more. They need to feel self-fulfilled and to have a strong sense of purpose in their lives – Maslow’s 1943 Theory of Human Motivation was all about this.

You need to feel self-fulfilled and to have a strong sense of purpose in your life. Without this, you will always wonder: “Is this IT?”

When you’ve spent your life pursuing certain success goals, chances are that you’ve lost some of what makes you uniquely you along the way. Those goals depended on your meeting certain standards – being a certain person, behaving in a certain way – and that inevitably meant that you stopped being fully yourself.

How can you be yourself if you’re expected to be a person who meets a certain external standard?

It’s the loss of those parts of the real you that you’re feeling. Not being fully yourself is making you feel less than happy, less than self-fulfilled. 

If you want to do more than merely exist, if you want to thrive and be happy and self-fulfilled, then you need to stop looking for external answers. You need to stop waiting for something to change and start changing yourself. Yet, you resist change, because change feels scary, like a threat to your security. Besides, it would be too unsettling to change anything now – change is so disruptive.

Exactly. Change is disruptive. Change is innovative and ground-breaking. Change is THIS version of disruptive.

Trouble is, you only see change as the other version of disruptive – change as a threat. So you’re afraid of making changes in your life. And that’s not surprising, given that your human brain is wired to hate change, to view it as a potential threat to your security.

But change isn’t the real threat.

Doing nothing is the real threat. Because doing nothing threatens your happiness and self-fulfilment.

So do something!  Choose happiness and self-fulfilment and use change to help you get there.

Take the first step towards a life that is meaningful and makes you feel fully alive.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

decisions-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

Why you find it so hard to make decisions – and how to change that

You know things aren’t right, that something has to give. You’re just not sure what. You’ve got that feeling you know so well, the one that raises an alarm in you, without telling you why. You don’t know what to do. So you push the feeling aside and carry on as you were.

Pretty soon, it’s back. That feeling. You think and think and think about it, but you still can’t figure out what it’s about. So you push it aside again. This goes on for weeks, sometimes months. Then, one morning you wake up and know. You know exactly what’s wrong. But instead of feeling relief, you feel anxiety, which paralyses you. It paralyses you, because now you have to make a decision. And you suck at decisions.

You don’t suck at decisions. You’re afraid of making a wrong decision, a mistake.

In fact, you’re so afraid of making wrong decisions – especially the important ones, the ones that will have a meaningful impact on your life – that you do nothing. But doing nothing is actually a decision – you decide to do nothing.

If you do nothing when faced with an important decision, you’re really making THIS decision: to stay stuck with something that’s wrong for you.

The decisions you make in your life define you. The decisions to do something AND the decisions to do nothing. For some reason, you’re more afraid of making what you IMAGINE to be a wrong decision than you are of staying stuck in something you KNOW to be wrong.

You’re choosing the POSSIBILITY of something being wrong over the KNOWLEDGE that something is wrong.

Let’s face it, no one intends to make a decision like that. The way to stop being afraid of making wrong decisions and start choosing to move away from something that’s not working for you is this. You take a deep breath and say out loud as many times as you need until you believe it: “Just because I’m making this decision today, it doesn’t mean that I can’t make a completely different one down the road.” 

Imagine that. Decisions aren’t actually cast in stone! But if you think about it, how can they be? The situation you were in when you made a decision – the way you felt, what was going on in your life, what was going on around you – was unique to that moment.

How can a decision made a week or a month or a year ago possibly be as right for you now as it was then, when how you feel, what’s going on in your life and what’s going on around you have inevitably changed?

The only decision that’s always wrong is the one to do nothing when you know that you need to change something in your life. All other decisions are right – right for you in the moment you took them. Let’s say you decide to move to another country one day, and then decide to move back some time later. That’s great! Your situation (legal, personal, financial, etc.) changed. Let’s say you decide to try your hand at being an entrepreneur and change the type of business you have a few times before you find the right one. That’s great! Your situation (knowledge, market conditions, awareness, etc.) changed.

The other reason you’re afraid of making wrong decisions is that you’re afraid of appearing stupid / incompetent / indecisive / unstable to those around you. You’re worried that they’ll judge you in some way over your change of plans. The first thing to understand is that if people do judge you, their judgement just reflects their OWN fear of making wrong decisions and their misunderstanding of the true nature of decisions. The second thing is that you are the ONLY person who can make decisions for yourself – no one else knows you as well as you do. So if you allow what others think about your decisions to derail you, you’re saying that other people know you better than you do. By all means seek feedback from those close to you, but the final decision lies with YOU.

Your life is the sum of your decisions. Make them count.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

struggling-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

How to turn struggling to your advantage

You’re so strong and competent. You take change in your stride. You know that change is good for you – after all, change is growth.

Struggle isn’t a word you use. Competent people like you don’t struggle. They succeed. There may be bumps, even hurdles along the way. But no struggle. Struggling is for people who aren’t strong.

On the outside, everything looks fine, even though people ask you repeatedly if you’re OK, if you need help. They know you’re going through a lot right now, hence their questions. You say you’re good, even though things don’t feel quite so good on the inside.

You may not realise it, but you’re pretending to be fine. You don’t want to admit that you’re struggling, because, if you do, you’re afraid that you’ll collapse.

You’re right to be afraid of collapsing, but not for the reason you think.

You won’t collapse because you’re struggling. You’ll collapse because you’re DENYING that you’re struggling.

Change IS hard. Change IS painful. When you don’t acknowledge and accept this, your feelings of pain and fear go deep inside you. Just because you don’t appear to be struggling with change, it doesn’t mean that you’re omnipotent. It just means that you’re in denial.

There’s only so long you can remain in denial about how hard something you’re doing is. Eventually, your pain and fear will find a way of expressing themselves – how and when THEY want, not how and when you choose to let them. Your pain and fear may express themselves as tears, as anger, or by making you sick. Tears and getting sick are how mine usually come out – whenever the auto-immune disease I have gets active, I know I’m denying something.

When you’re struggling with changes you’re making in your life, you have a choice.

You can allow yourself to express your feelings of pain, as and when they arise. You can admit to your friends when they ask how you’re doing that you’re struggling. If you do this, your feelings will pass and you can continue to move forward with your changes.

Or you can save face and continue to deny them, pretending to your friends that all well. You can get well and truly stuck, unable to move forward with your life changes. And become more sick.

Feeling and expressing the pain and fear behind your struggle is good. It allows you to keep moving forward, to keep growing, to become even stronger. This is how you turn struggling to your advantage.

Everyone feels pain and fear when they’re making changes – even I do, and I’ve changed enough in my life for three lifetimes. But not everyone admits it. If you weren’t allowed to make mistakes or to show your emotions in the past, you’ll find it hard to acknowledge your fear and pain. That’s because they feel like failure to you. Admitting that you’re struggling with change feels like you’re admitting that you’re weak. My way of denying that I’m struggling is to focus on all the good that’s coming from the change, and to ignore the rest. Sure, there IS good coming from the change. But there IS also pain.

Struggle is strength. It’s a sign of growth, that you’re making some important changes to your life.

Accept and embrace ALL of the feelings that come with this – the joy, the gratitude, the fear, the pain. And you’ll come to love how struggling makes you stronger.

 

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

ease-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

How to live with greater ease

I live about 500 metres up a VERY steep hill, at the start of which is a sharp bend in the single-track road. This morning, as I was driving home, I started up the hill and thought to myself: “Ah, here’s that bend I hate! I’d better turn the steering wheel the right amount or I’ll hit the wall!!!”. The minute that thought came to me, I had to act quickly so I didn’t hit the wall.

You see, that thought itself almost caused me to hit the wall.

Over-thinking almost caused me to hit the wall.

Usually, I drive up the road with no problem. I don’t love that bend, but my instincts make sure I take it correctly. My instincts know exactly how much I have to turn the steering wheel to make that bend.

As it is in this story, so it is in life.

Over-thinking is a curse that plagues many of us.

Until recently, I was a habitual over-thinker. If there was a way I could over-think and over-complicate things, I would. It wasn’t intentional. It was a habit I learned very young from my father, who was a life-long over-thinker.

Most people believe all thinking is good and that there’s no such thing as over-thinking.

I hold a very different opinion. I believe that there’s a time and a place for thinking, that only certain, very specific tasks are suited to thinking. And I believe that the rest are suited to instinct.

Take driving. When I was learning to drive, I used my mind – thinking – to learn how a car works and the rules of the road. Now that I know these things, it’s my instincts that keep me safe. By staying fully present when I drive, I’m alert to everything that arises. If, however, I fail to stay present whilst I’m driving and start thinking – about how to stay safe or anything else at all – I put myself and others at risk. Driving is not a task for which our minds are suited.

Our minds are amazing at analysing, storing and retrieving information.

Our instincts are amazing at reading, seeing, hearing, sensing and feeling information.

When I was an over-thinker, my mind was mostly in control. It would do all my work and make all my decisions for me. It NEVER assigned any tasks to my instincts, because the mind ALWAYS thinks it knows best. So, I ended up doing a lot of bad work and making a lot of bad decisions.

These days, my instincts are mostly in control. They are very generous and share out tasks according to competence. My instincts give my mind ALL tasks that involve information analysis, storage and retrieval. And keep the rest for themselves. Since I’ve been operating this way, my life has been going much more smoothly. I still do make mistakes, of course, but less often, and I recover from them more quickly.

I made the change from mind to instincts by learning to stay present. The present is the place from which all correct actions and thoughts take place. Here’s how I learned to stay present and stop over-thinking:

  • Meditation. I’ve been meditating for at least 30-60 minutes a day for some years, and on-and-off before then. It’s my best tool for learning presence… and for staying present. I highly recommend you look into it for yourself.
  • Acceptance. Accepting things EXACTLY as they are is perhaps the most powerful thing you can do for yourself. Acceptance means not fighting or denying the existence of a reality we don’t like. For example, I don’t like that I have ulcerative colitis, but I accept that I do. Acceptance allows me to take action around it, it allows me to be highly functional with what is for many a debilitating disease.
  • Letting go. Of the past. Of decisions taken. Of actions taken. Of your baggage. Of your views on how your life is supposed to have been. Of your Inner Critics’ views on all of this. Letting go doesn’t mean that you agree with or approve of difficult situations or people. It just means that you are letting go of the control ALL of this has over you. It is not an angry notion. I like to think of letting go as releasing something / someone into a flow of love, and respectfully keeping your distance.
  • Deep focus on the matter at hand. I devote myself fully to whatever it is I’m doing. I remove all distractions and make sure I give myself regular breaks to refresh myself. For me, this means moving around – I love the Move app, which gives me exercises to do!

Take action to end your curse of over-thinking today. You won’t regret it.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

patience-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

Overwhelmed by change? Patience & pacing will help

I REALLY messed up recently. During a time of too much change, I made a bad decision that cost me a lot of money.

For a very good reason, I had decided to move from one city to another. That meant resigning from one job and finding a new one, and leaving my apartment in one city and finding a new one. It was a lot, but seemed manageable to me… as long as nothing went wrong.

I quickly found a new job and had to start there within less than a week. No worries, I thought to myself, I can stay on site during the week (this was offered), go home to my old city on the weekends, and take my time to find an apartment in my new city. After two nights on site, it became apparent that staying there wasn’t going to work for me. First, the kitchen was unusable. And second, the bed was so small, it felt as though I was sleeping in an undersized coffin. That was the first thing that went wrong.

The second thing that went wrong was that my new job was much more intense than I had ever imagined. Plus I wasn’t enjoying the work at all. That was the third thing. And the fourth was that no landlord I’d come across in my initial search seemed to be willing to consider me as a tenant. I didn’t have the paperwork required to rent an apartment (I hadn’t been living in the country long enough).

Overwhelm started to set in big time.

I felt under enormous pressure to find an apartment. So when, after two weeks, I found a landlord who would rent me one as long as I paid six months’ rent upfront, I grabbed it. Without wasting a moment, I signed the lease and paid the money. ALL I wanted was to remove the apartment pressure from myself so I would feel less overwhelmed.

What a mistake I made. The landlord was a con man and the apartment had such a severe noise problem that I was forced to leave after only a couple of months. When I tried to break the lease, the landlord was able to delay and manipulate things in such a way that I ended up paying four months of rent for somewhere I wasn’t living any longer.

A decision I made when feeling completely overwhelmed ended up costing me a lot of money.

What should I have done instead?

I should have stopped making ANY important decisions until the overwhelm passed. I could have stayed at a hotel temporarily – even a three-month stay would have cost me less than the money I lost on the apartment. I should have tapped into some patience.

The minute you start feeling overwhelmed is the minute you need to sit down. And do these three things:

  1. Stop taking on more change.
  2. Stop making important decisions.
  3. Start assimilating the recent changes you’ve made into your life so they feel more comfortable.

Stop. Assimilate. Decide.

And give yourself a break. Plus a pat on the back. You’ve earned it.

 

photo credit: submerged glade via photopin (license)

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

happy-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

You cannot be a perfectionist and be happy

I used to be a perfectionist. I would spend hours and hours getting something “right”, making sure that it was done to the very best of my abilities, that I had thought through every single angle and approach, either endorsing or ditching each one, and that I had every last scrap of evidence in support of my case. It was a completely exhausting process, and one which stressed me (and those around me) out big time. But, it was always worth it, I reasoned, because when I had finished with it, it was perfect. And perfect was great, right?

Only my academic life escaped this perfectionism – for some reason, I didn’t really care how I did at school or university, much to the dismay of my father. In all other aspects of my life, however, perfectionism reigned. I HAD to be the perfect daughter, granddaughter, friend, girlfriend, wife, employee, marketer, researcher – whatever my role, I had to be perfect in it.

You see, I grew up in a household that didn’t tolerate failure – being right and perfectionism were the only options. I got away with my lack of perfectionism around my school work only because I was judged to be pretty perfect in other ways. Lucky me. Being right and perfectionism were also sold as two of the key attributes of being successful. Which, of course, we were expected to be. The family formula was perfectionism ==> success ==> acclaim ==> happiness.

So, everything had to be perfect. Then I would be, too.

And, if I was perfect, I would live happily ever after. The End.

Except that I didn’t.

I didn’t live happily ever after. I was miserable.

The family formula was wrong. Perfectionism ≠≠> success ≠≠> acclaim ≠≠> happiness.

Even before realizing I was miserable, I had noticed a few flaws in the whole being-a-perfectionist thing. Being stressed out was one – it just didn’t feel good. Being irritable was another – snapping at other people wasn’t me. And then there was the ulcerative colitis, which descended on me in my late 30s. There’s nothing quite like losing control of your bowels to make you take a long, hard look at how you’ve been living.

After taking stock of everything, I had to acknowledge quite a few things.

  1. That I wasn’t actually Superwoman. That I couldn’t take on all of my problems and everyone else’s, too.
  2. That I couldn’t work endless hours at something I didn’t enjoy.
  3. That life wasn’t one big competition. That I didn’t have to be better than, or more perfect than, or more right than anyone else to be of worth.
  4. That being a perfectionist was a mask I wore to avoid facing other realities in my life, mostly fears. The perfectionist in me came from my inner critic.
  5. That I couldn’t be right all the time (i.e. perfect) AND happy.

Those last two points were biggies. They demanded nothing less than a complete overhaul of how I’d been living. Sure, I needed to make life changes in order to address the other points fully, but they were relatively small in comparison what I had to do to in order to resolve the last two.

So I devoted the next 15 years to making these life changes, and now I’m doing much better. I am no longer miserable, I’m happy – and enjoying whatever life throws at me. Whenever I feel myself defaulting to that perfectionist type, which I do from time to time, I stop, acknowledge it, and change what I’m doing.

Perfectionism makes you competitive, anxious and unhappy. This is not what life is about. The parts of your life that are within your control are meant to be fun.

Make whatever life changes you need to in order to be happy. It will take a lot of work, but, believe me, you’re worth it.

And they all lived happily ever after. The End.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

freedom-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

How to gain your freedom

“Perfection is attained not when there’s nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to remove.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite authors. It celebrates taking away – simplifying, if you will.

I love it because it’s true on many levels. It’s true about creative projects, like writing, music and painting. It’s true about our homes. It’s true about our wardrobes. It’s true about our conversations. It’s true about our relationships.

It’s true because simplifying everything is good for us. It frees us to focus on what matters in life.

It’s true because clutter holds us back, like a dead weight.

Simplifying your life has many layers to it. There are the literal layers – getting rid of visible belongings that no longer serve you, aka decluttering. And then there are the figurative layers – getting rid of invisible belongings, like ways of thinking that no longer serve you, like ways of behaving that no longer serve you, like ways of being that no longer serve you.

Most people start with decluttering. Something or someone triggers the thought that “I have too much stuff” and, along with it, the notion that too much stuff isn’t a good thing. As in too much stuff makes it difficult to move home easily. As in too much stuff makes it hard to find anything. When you declutter, you usually feel a huge sense of relief  – in a ‘now I can breathe’ kind if way. You’ve lightened your load and feel almost liberated as a result.

And, for some, this new-found sense of freedom starts to have dramatic side-effects, shifting something more fundamental in them. As they see and appreciate the space created by the decluttering of their visible belongings, they imagine how other parts of their lives might benefit from some decluttering of the invisibles.

This is harder to imagine than visible decluttering, but even more powerful in its ability to free you. For example:

  • How do you declutter conversations? By listening more, and talking less. By not having an agenda before the conversation begins, and by being open to it going wherever it does and to responding authentically in the moment to whatever arises. You know how good it feels when someone truly listens to you.
  • How do you declutter relationships? By allowing people to be themselves, without judgement. By being respectful of who they are, and not trying to control or change them. You know how good being treated with respect feels.

Setting yourself free is the ultimate form of self-fulfilment, because it’s all about giving yourself permission to be you. The real you.

When you remove, one by one, the layers of clutter created by living in our socieities today, you take your life back to its roots, back to the way you were as a young child. And that’s the real you.

A happy, fun-loving being who sees the world with wonder.

That’s what freedom feels like.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).