Warriors, one of the main things I do is help people remove drama from their lives. I lived so many years caught in a story of DRAMA! I was so affected and influenced by the things happening around me and the people I was in relationships with. I would not speak up for myself or ask for what I wanted and then complain when the people around me couldn’t read my mind. I’d pay more attention to what others thought of me and what I was doing than what I thought of me and what I was doing.
About midway through my life I hit a point where something inside of me said ENOUGH! Something in me was like, seriously girl, is blaming everyone else and everything that’s happening in your life helping you? How does it feel when you do that?
My honest answer was NO!
And so, I started to look at it another way. As a coach, I am passionate about helping women discover where they are adding drama and stress to their lives. Yes shit happens in life. It is not all rainbows and daisies but where are we adding drama, or what I call dirty pain, on top of our life experiences?
The majority of my work and my posts address the internal clutter and crap that we add to our lives. The cognitive distortions, the limiting beliefs, the inner critic, the stuff happening in our brains. That is where the magic occurs. When we change how we think of things, the way we feel about those things changes. When we take control of our mind and manage the 60 to 80,000 thoughts that we think each day, we will feel less drama, less stress, and more ease. This doesn’t mean we will always feel happy. However, it does mean that we feel more in control of our emotional experiences.
A feeling of control and ease also comes from cleaning up our external environment. External stress creates internal stress. The more crap and clutter we have around, the more decisions we have to make, the more distractions we have.
The good news is, it’s usually easier for people to begin to clean up the external clutter of their lives. It’s tangible. Asking a client to look in their closet or junk drawer is often met with less resistance than asking a client to look at their longstanding relationship patterns with their mother or how they consistently talk themselves out of wanting what they want. As I say, start however you can;
Just start. Start!
And so, here we are. Today’s post begins a series on clearing and cleansing so as to feel less drama and more ease in our daily lives.
This post will focus on de-stressing our lives by looking at the tangible, the material things in our life.
That said, I begin the discussion of clutter and organizing a bit differently: by laying a foundation and with a request for you to look at your clutter, your stuff and your life a bit differently.
First the understanding that decisions use energy. Every decision we make uses some of our brain’s energy store for that day. The more decisions we make the more tired our brain gets. We want to make sure we are spending our decision making power in the right places and on the right things. The big decisions of do I yell or do I take a breath before speaking instead of which of the 16 white shirts should I wear? The brain doesn’t decipher between the importance of decisions and so we, as the thinking humans, can.
Second, I ask that you begin to shift the lens through which you view your life from judge and critic to detective and supporter. I invite you to act as if you’re entering your life as a detective or educator and looking around to see what you can learn about the person who is living your life. There is no need to judge or criticize ourselves when we enter a space with the intention to learn. When we are looking at the excess in our life, it is easy to slip into judgement or defensiveness. Those are great fuels for drama. Judging ourselves or getting defensive focuses on past actions and does not help us move forward. Instead when we approach our life as a detective with the intent to learn from what we see, we are open to substantial and lasting change.
All right, lets go! Detective hat on with the understanding that decisions use energy, lets go.
First and foremost, we get to talk finances. The money we have, the money we want, the money we spend is at the heart of a lot of the stress or drama that we add to our lives.
The amount of money we have, the amount of money we owe, the amount of money we want, are just inanimate numbers. It’s neutral. We are the ones that make money mean something through our programming and learned behaviors. There can be a lot of drama regarding how we manage and think about the money we have, don’t have or want. This is why I bring it up. Remember, I want you to have a drama free life. We are in charge of the drama we bring into our lives. If thinking about money and how you manage your finances has you feeling nauseous, two episodes from my money series in June 2020 will help you lot: How to Worry Less About Money and Which Money Personality Are You.
Here are some good questions for you to ask yourself to cut drama and stress from your financial life:
- How many credit cards do you have? Why? Which could you cancel?
- Which bills do you automate? Which additional ones could you automate?
- Why does your spending lead to you feeling stressed?
- How openly do you and others in your family discuss money, spending and saving?
- What are you buying that you don’t need?
- How deliberate and mindful are you when you get online to shop?
- How often do you buy something and then hide it from others in your house? Or get defensive about your purchase?
Remember, your goal is to be a curious and kind detective so that you eliminate drama. No need to judge yourself. This is an opportunity to learn so as to minimize drama. Be a kind observer and learner of how you manage your finances. Where can you eliminate drama and stress from your financial life?
Once we get clear on our finances and how we are adding drama to our lives there, we can look at the things in our life. The clothing, utensils, photos, books and knick knacks around you. That stuff! What do you regularly use? What do you actually need?
When looking to destress and eliminate drama in our houses, it’s helpful to differentiate between de-cluttering and organizing. It’s helpful to be clear on the difference between the two and when each one is necessary. De cluttering involves getting rid of the things you don’t need, the things you don’t use, the things that are causing you to make unnecessary decisions and waste your precious brain energy. Organizing happens after decluttering and involves having a place for all of your treasured items. Decluttering means looking at your 16 shirts, getting rid of the 11 you only wear a couple times a year (or less). Decluttering means looking a the 8 vases you own and choosing 3 that you treasure. Decluttering involves going in your kitchen and getting rid of the excess. The things you’re saving for “some day” or “if this breaks then…”. Nope! Those are not reasons to save or hold on to them. They are not sparking joy. If anything they’re triggering shame and stress. Not part of a drama-free house! Here’s a link to a past post I did with specific details on to how to declutter and organize our space.
Organizing is the second step and involves having a place for all of our treasured items. To have a place for your vase. Your white shirt. Your books. The ones at the back of the cabinet? Those are gone. The reason why organization comes after decluttering is because it’s a lot easier to find a place for your beloved items when there are less of them. When I have 14 coffee mugs, I need a pretty big shelf. When I have my top 2 favorites, it’s a lot easier. I also don’t have to use my brain’s precious energy to decide which of the mugs to use.
Everything we look at, everything we listen to, everyone we come into contact with influences us. Be discerning. Consciously choose what and who you are letting into your life.
Bonus news: I designed a free challenge to go along with this post. I’d love for you to join me in 30 days of decluttering. I am challenging myself to get rid of 10 things for 30 days. If you’re listening to this real time head to www.smbwell.com/declutter grab your sheet and get started with me on November 1st. If you’re listening to this any other time, you can still do this! Any and all times are good times to declutter. Let me know in the comments when you’re starting and lets support each other! The more of us out there deliberately removing drama and stress from our lives, the less drama and stress filled our communities and world will be.
Let’s go warriors. You matter to me.