Just do it: de-clutter & beautify
As part of my resolution for this year and the new year, I am doing my best to be inspired to blog on a regular basis. This year I have done better than last year. This year I raised the bar for myself, next year I hope to overtake that bar and set new standards again. I’m competitive by nature, what I have learnt over the years is that my biggest competition is with myself. It is harder to come up with daily blog posts when my initial intention was to only blog about work related stuff here, to address the challenges that women face in the work place. What I have realized over time is that I cannot address one aspect – work, and leave the rest of the things that make up life out of this blog. So as time passed, more personal things creeped in and now I have decided to give in to that temptation and just blog on the topics that come up in the ‘daily prompts’ and ‘daily posts’ suggestions.
As part of today’s challenge: “just do it”, I am going to blog about the transformation of my house into a ‘home’ or more specifically a less cluttered, more beautiful place to live in. I have been toying with ideas for my apartment for ages, I just could never find the time, or the money, or the manpower to actually manifest this transformation. This month, however, there was finally the light bulb moment where the question popped “if not now, then when?”
“Get rid of the unnecessary, keep only the things that are useful or beautiful” I read that line somewhere and it had stayed with me. So the very beginning had to be with de-cluttering. The sheer enormity of the task at hand was de-motivating. I had collected too many books, dvd’s, crockery’s, plates and glasses and God alone knows what else and it all had to go. It took me half a day just to clean out my bookshelf, every time I took down a book, I had to ask myself “do I love it? Would I read this over and over again?” Everything with the answer “no”, went into either the give-away or recycles pile. Now someone else is enjoying some of the books that I no longer cared for, someone else’s kid is reading bedtime stories that are too childish for my son now. That give-away felt good and what I have left in the shelves, feels even better. Then there were the clothes I gave away, the movies that went and the plates and glasses that someone else can use now. The whole aggravation of long hours spent on painstakingly de-cluttering each space at a time is totally worth it.
I am a big believer of “feng-shui”, so I am also consciously trying to light up the spaces that I work and live in. Good warm lighting not only makes it easier on the eyes, but it brings in yang energy into the space. And these lights that I picked up yesterday are just perfect for that purpose. I also re-discovered my collection of elephants, each one of these tiny figurines came from a different country, where they were made in their traditional way. Displayed together, they make for an interesting group that makes me smile every time I see them. These tokens from my travels in different countries, different continents, transports me back to the time when I had experienced that culture, their food, people and their festivities. My travels had shaped my personality and now between the brighter lights and the beautiful tokens, my house is slowly turning more into a beautiful home.
This de-cluttering experience, both at home and at work, made me realize something. Every time I released things, not only did they bring joy to someone else, but they left me feeling lighter, less weighted down. Less paper on my desk at work made me feel like I was more on top of my work. Less clutter at home, meant less cleaning and more easily finding the things that I use or enjoy on a regular basis. And these are just ‘material things’, imagine what we can achieve if we could just de-clutter our head, let go of the limiting beliefs, the reasons of why we can’t succeed, why we are not happy or why we are stressed.
Every time, the things that I really care about, the things that give me joy, were brought together, even when they were not in apparent harmony (like these blue vases in different sizes) they make me feel better. Life is like that. Not everything will be in harmony, not everyone will be the same, not all our friends, allies or mentors will support us the same way. You will have to do a lot of boring routine work in order to achieve something spectacular. At the end of the day, all of these together, our home, our careers and the people we have in our lives come together to create a symphony. The tuning and the music they play is in your hands. We are the master of our own orchestra.
This holiday season, I wish my readers, my friends out there, the ability to let go. Let go of things that are not beautiful, joyful, that do not serve a purpose, that do not empower you. May we all go into the new year with a rocking fresh start!