» October 2017

Month: October 2017

How Physical Clutter Affects Mind Clutter


physical clutter affects mind clutter, declutter, negative emotions because of clutter, how to declutter your life, clear your mind, emotional toll of clutter

I’ve been reading a lot lately about how physical clutter affects mind clutter. This past weekend, I came face to face with the connection. Seriously. emotional toll of clutter  declutter

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been preparing for a big day-long market to showcase my products. Along with that one large show are the weekly markets that I attend. I’m grateful to have lots of people who purchase my products which means I have to make more products to ensure I have enough with me at any given market. 

When I have a larger show, I make extra of everything – I don’t want to run out of something you want! With the extra products comes extra boxes of supplies BUT I don’t have extra space in my studio. Which means that there has been clutter everywhere I’ve turned over the last few weeks. 

Now, I’m not a neat freak by any stretch, but I do appreciate an orderly and tidy space and having things in their place. I learned the hard way that not having a regular place for something I use infrequently causes me to waste time looking for said object. And it’s always at the most inopportune time that I can’t find what I need. GRRR…

The time leading up to the big shows can be stressful and we all know that stress causes crankiness. And cranky isn’t fun for anyone involved. But I could feel this sense of crankiness sitting in my chest and at first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the source. And then it hit me. 


My small space was just cluttered and I felt like all I was doing was spinning my wheels and not accomplishing anything. I was stressed and frustrated and cranky because I couldn’t put my hands on anything that I needed without a major search expedition. That’s when I knew I needed to declutter.

The Definition of Clutter

A cluttered house is not necessarily a dirty house and a clean house can be incredibly cluttered.  The definition of clutter is lots of things lying about in an untidy mess. Here’s how to know what is clutter:

  • Ever spent more than 15 minutes searching for your keys?
  • Can you run the vacuum or dust mop without having to go around something besides furniture?
  • At tax time, how long does it take you to prepare your documents for your CPA?
  • Are you considering a storage unit to handle the overflow of all your stuff?
  • Have you thought about what will happen to all your stuff when you die?

My dad was something close to a hoarder. He was also one of the generation that survived the Great Depression. Which means nothing was ever thrown out because not only was that wasteful, but you might need that very thing 20 years down the road.

But then he passed on and my mother left all that stuff sit in the basement. Which is fine. Then the septic tank backed up into the basement. Guess what? All that stuff that he hoarded over 50+ years was ruined and had to be thrown out.

How To Declutter Your Life and Clear Your Mind

Several years ago, I moved from a 2,300 square foot house to a 725 square foot apartment. The shock of not having room for my “stuff” was overwhelming but in that instant, I had an “aha” moment. I could either look at a stack of boxes and trip over endless junk or I could take a few minutes every single day and analyze what was really important. Declutter, stress and clutter

When I think back to that time, I was under a lot of stress and couldn’t think clearly. Major life moments tend to do that to us. Coming home to clutter was even more stressful than moving itself. Because I could only make so much stuff fit into 725 square feet (with ridiculously small closets) I was at a crossroads.

I gave myself 45 minutes every evening to look through ONE box. If I had the energy and time, I looked through more. But the minimum goal was simply one box – not overwhelming, not enough to exhaust me – simply one box. With glass of wine in hand and a charged up iPod, I set to work. I’ve often heard that you spend the first 50 years of your life collecting – or nesting, if you will – and the second 50 years giving it all away. It was time.

Want to know something embarrassing?  I moved a big (HEAVY!) box of college textbooks from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau to Winston-Salem. And then I moved the same box – still packed – two more times! WTF???????

It was boxes of stuff that I struggled to part ways with and I felt like this stuff was a security blanket – securing what, I don’t know. I needed a fresh start and looking at boxes of old stuff that I never touched was weighing me down and creating more stress that I ever could have imagined. All the clutter in the boxes was simply clutter in my head and heart.

I needed to declutter and just couldn’t face that fact. emotional toll of clutter

Clutter is stuck energy

When you’re stuck in any area of life, it’s hard to move forward; to see new ideas; to move on to the next project or make a fresh start. I’ve now had to declutter two more times because each time I’ve moved, it’s been to smaller quarters.

At times, I’ve felt really stuck in my life and now I see just how closely physical clutter equals mental clutter which equals an untidy mess. You’d be surprised (maybe not?) to learn just how much physical clutter has to do with your mental clutter.

The emotional toll of clutter can be devastating. Maybe you find yourself running late all the time because you can’t find the shirt you wanted to wear or the mate to the pair of shoes that matches your outfit.  Or your keys. negative emotions because of clutter

Negative Emotions Because of Clutter

Jessie Sholl writes for about the emotional toll of clutter:

Professional organizers, who are hired to help with everything from decluttering closets to restructuring entire homes, routinely see their clients reap emotional rewards. “It’s hard for me to even imagine talking about clutter without talking about the emotional benefits of decluttering,” says Hazel Thornton, professional organizer and owner of Organized for Life, a consulting service in Albuquerque, N.M. “There’s no one who calls me who isn’t stressed out, frustrated, or feeling inadequate, incompetent in their job, or guilty. It’s all about emotions — definitely it’s more about emotions than it is about the stuff.”

It was cathartic to declutter by going through every single box. I looked at some things and shook my head – what was I thinking when I got that? Other things, I kept because I’m not about to give away my life due to space constraints – I truly savor that piece of my life in that box waiting to be unpacked. negative emotions because of clutter

Do you have a lot of clutter? Do you feel stressed sometimes for no good reason? What about all those negative emotions because of clutter? Do you ever think about the emotional toll of clutter? While you’re looking at what no longer serves you physically, what clutter are you hanging onto that no longer serves you mentallyphysical clutter affects mind clutter

What’s keeping you stuckphysical clutter affects mind clutter

If you see yourself hanging onto things, people, ideas and general clutter that no longer serves you, let’s talk. I can easily show you how to declutter your life. emotional toll of clutter

Fill out this short contact form and let’s get started today clearing out the clutter and freeing you up for better opportunities in life.

Don’t wait – let’s talk today!




Advice on Taking Unsolicited Advice

It is an easy thing for one whose foot is on the outside of calamity to give advice and rebuke the sufferer. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

unsolicited advice, Advice on Taking Advice, To Thine Own Self Be True, good advice, I need advice, advice, word of adviceHave you ever endured unsolicited advice? It’s not fun. In fact, it makes me scratch my head and wonder. Why would someone offer advice that you didn’t ask for? word of advice on taking advice

Just who the hell do you think you are to tell me how I should manage my life – when I didn’t ask you in the first place?

I’ve always heard that we easily see the foibles and warts of others while being blind to our own. There’s a bit of truth in that wisdom. It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and see with clear eyes what your life really looks like, but it can be done.

The reason I say this is because I was blindsided by some really misinformed advice and what’s even worse – I took the bad advice. AACK!

Yep. It’s my fault completely; I take full responsibility. Had I known what my life would look like a few short months later after acting on what I thought was good advice, I would have politely but forcefully declined. Who knew?

Putting someone in the position of having to explain, justify and defend themselves because you think you have a clearer vision of what is wrong with their life makes you egotistical and narrow-minded. It only adds to the confusion and says a whole lot more about you than it does me.

Don’t you think I realize something is amiss with my life? Don’t you think I’ll come to my own conclusions eventually? Don’t you think I’m smart enough to reach out for help when it’s the right time?

Obviously not.

Again, I ask – unless you’re a certified advice professional, who the hell are you to tell me how I should run my life?

Who knew that well-laid plans would completely crumble? Who knew that haughty, condescending and sadly misinformed advice would completely knock me off my feet?

To Thine Own Self Be True

I initially saw the “advice” as a sign from the Supreme-Being-Of-Your-Choice that it was time to make changes and move forward. Was that really the case? I sincerely doubt it.

I find dependence upon some unseen celestial dictator with a major control complex utterly wrong for me on every level. I just knew that if I worked hard, believed in myself and took inspired action that it would all work out.

It hasn’t. That’s really hard to sit with when I truly did believe that hard work, belief in yourself and inspired action would ensure that everything would work out!

That advice brought on a time of fear and uncertainty. Unfortunately when I spoke of the fear surrounding said advice to the advice giver, I was soundly rebuked.

No matter how I framed my fear, I was rebuked and lectured with even more haughty, cruel advice. After all, the same advice worked for someone else, so I should take the same words of wisdom and skip merrily into the future. Oh, by the way, suck it up, sweetie!

You know, it’s easy to offer guidance when you don’t have to swallow the same bitter pill. It’s easy to tell someone else how to run their life when you’re on the outside of the calamity. It’s easy to dispense words of wisdom when you wouldn’t dream of taking the same road – or you don’t have to.

My Aunt Adele used to say that offered advice was like three day-old fish – it stinks.

The next time you think you know how to manage someone else’s life, I want you to stop, put your hand over your mouth and just stop.


Unless you’re a psychic, you have absolutely no clue about the mindset of the person you think you’re helping; you have absolutely no idea of the inner workings of their heart or their life.

You have no idea what is best for them. You might think you know what’s best and that you have a clear view of the situation, but you don’t.


Instead of Dispensing Advice, Do This Instead

So, you think you know everything and you should counsel your best friend because: yes. Seriously? Do you really think I’m going to change my mind because you think you know better? There’s a better way to go about changing someone than giving your advice.

Thomas Plante, PhD, ABPP, author of Do The Right Thing: Living Ethically in an Unethical World says this about giving advice:

“If we really want to encourage behavior (or belief) change in others we actually need to move away from advice giving (especially when our advice is unsolicited) and toward modeling. In other words, we need to be an example for others rather than telling them what to do.”

Class, what have we learned from this moment of weakness and stupidity?

If there is anything I have learned throughout this whole debacle it’s that I know I am smart enough to take my own counsel. I have learned that I am smarter, wiser and stronger than I give myself credit for. I have learned that I know best how to run my life even when it doesn’t make sense to those around me. I have learned that my life is in my hands and I shouldn’t think that anyone else has a clearer vision. I have learned that just because you don’t like how I live my life doesn’t mean I have to change course or accommodate you and your opinion.

Along the way, I may make some bad decisions (or blindly act on some really b-a-a-a-a-a-d advice), but that doesn’t make me less knowledgeable than you. Never Lose Hope, bad advice

It makes me human. word of advice advice on taking advice word of advice

What I endured has made me tougher and far more compassionate to anyone going through rough times. Even if you were to ask me for insight about a tough situation, I would ask you what does your gut tell you? After all, your heart/guts/intuition will tell you everything you need to know – eventually.

You may not know what to do right now but eventually, you’ll get there. The best part is when you do reach your goals, it will be through your own wisdom and hard work and not on the advice of some smarmy so-called friend who thinks they know what’s best for you.

This is where self-acceptance comes in handy. Learning to love yourself with all your warts, foibles and fears truly gives you clarity on how you want your life to unfold.

After all that, I did manage to send love and light to the perpetrator, but I had to set some pretty tough boundaries which means that person is no longer in my life.

Far be it from me to tell you how to run your life, tell you what’s best for you or – worse – make you feel bad when you’re scared. Life is scary and hard enough as it is!

What I do as your holistic life coach is to ask the right questions to help you see your own situation with clarity. I’m not here to dispense unsolicited advice; I’m here to help you see your own vision. After all, the only vision that you need is the one that’s right for you.

Listen, when it comes to investing or health or legal issues – absolutely get professional advice! That only makes sense. My point is when it comes to what’s best for you and how you live your life, YOU are the best judge. When it comes to your definition of living with grace and ease, YOU are the best judge. Even with professional counseling.

Allow me to give you a word of advice when it comes to advice – take your own advice. Trust me on this one. :) I’m happy to help you get clarity in your life – simply fill out this short contact form and let’s get started today.



Look For The Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Fred Rogers

helping hands, thoughts and prayers, people helping people, serving others, how can I helpSeems like the world has gone mad over the last few months. All the talking heads do is spit out bad news and worse news. It’s overwhelming as an adult to absorb all the hatred, nastiness and cruelty coming at us from every direction.

It’s even harder to absorb as a child when you don’t yet understand how the world works. It looks and sounds horrifying especially when the grown ups turn on the 24 hour news channels and never turn them off.

We watch, we listen, we absorb all this bad news and I don’t see a whole lot of understanding to help us manage all the stuff that’s coming at us. Can you imagine how a child feels seeing all this carnage and having no way to process it?

My heart breaks every time I hear yet another instance of the human race being so incredibly cruel to one another. Then, you have to see it, hear it and read about “it” for hours and days – burning this horrible information into our souls.

And yet, it continues day after week after month. Neither side of any issue is willing to give an inch for fear of having to give a mile. And if nobody will give an inch, how do we expect to have any honest conversations?

Seriously, no conversation will take place in the current political climate. We have a reality-TV-star-turned-politician purposely encouraging violence, legitimizing racism, declaring a war on women, spewing nastiness in every sentence (and tweet) and demonstrating such an incredible lack of dignity that it’s beyond the pale. How is this setting a good example for future generations?

How do you deal with all the bullshit? How do you absorb all the vitriol and retain your sanity?

Where does it all end?

Look For The Helpers

Ellen DeGeneres went to work the day after the Las Vegas massacre and decided there was too much good in the world to let it go by unnoticed. I love her explanation of how she chooses to come to work and give you good television in the midst of all the heartache.

Take a few moments to watch “the helpers”, the good people of the world who selflessly give their all every single day to make the world a better place.

I watched this in the days after the Las Vegas shooting nightmare and it brought me to tears. Hopefully, it moves you as much as it moved me.

We have to look for the good in the world. There are helpers everywhere – those who see the beauty – and the sadness – all around them and do something to add kindness and hope to the world.

When it all seems too much to endure, please just stop. Turn off the television, sign out of social media and, for the love of all that is sane, STOP checking your phone every twenty minutes.

Just stop.

Technology is a wonderful and amazing thing to make life easier, to keep us connected and to overwhelm us. Every time we hear more bad news, we take to social media to offer up thoughts and prayers to whomever was affected this week.

How many times a day do you check your social media? And if you’re not checking your email you feel frantic and disconnected. Let’s not EVEN talk about forgetting your phone when you walk out the door – it’s enough to cause apoplexy.

Am I close here?

We’ve gone from having a simple answering machine to check every night after work to being joined at the hip to our smart phones so we can be the first to know and the first to offer up useless thoughts and prayers for victims of whatever disaster because we don’t know what else to do.

How’s that working out?

As a society, I believe we’re overwhelmed at all the of the information relentlessly coming at us. Knowledge is not the same thing as wisdom. We have to know the difference between the two and to know when to act on that wisdom.

Clearly, we are not doing a good job of teaching wisdom to each other and definitely not our children.

How Can I Help?

Yes, there are ways you can help – there is something you can do besides constantly stare at a television or phone.

If you are looking for a charity to help out Project Hope does an amazing amount of humanitarian work with very few dollars. If you can’t send money, simply send love and light to those affected. If you can’t find it in your heart to do that, then look for the helpers.

Because there’s always helpers.

Please be a helper today. Someone needs your smile, your kindness, your compassion, your hope. Open your heart and be a helper.

There are indeed good people all over the world. Good people of every color, every faith, every nationality. Good people that give of themselves and do what they can to help those who have so much less. People helping people in need.

I choose to bring my love and light to the world because I believe I have a special gift to give. You have a special gift to give the world, too.

How can I help you shine your light? Fill out this contact form and let’s talk today.




A Chain of Becauses

A lot of good arguments are spoiled by some fool who knows what he is talking about. Miguel de Unamuno

Chain of Becauses, because, word, try to fall asleep, reading and meditation

There are times in life when it’s a good idea to just stop talking. I found a wonderful article from Leigh Newman on the five times in your life when you should simply close your mouth. There was one particular time she wrote about in her article that stood out to me like crazy.

When you’re talking in a chain of becauses.

Because what?

When every sentence you speak begins with the word because, you need to step back, take a deep breath (as in at least two minutes) and then be kind to yourself.

I am such of fan of Leigh Newman’s writing because (whoops – there’s that word!) she has such insight into the human condition. Not the boring college textbook-type of insight, but smart, witty and always on point.

A Chain of Becauses

Here is the part of her article that really hit home for me:

Something dark happens when I wake up early in the morning. I begin to talk to myself. That me-to-me discussion goes a little like this: Because I didn’t save x dollars this year, my son won’t have enough money for college. And because of that, he will have to take on huge, crushing loans. And because of that, at age 21, he’ll have to take a job he hates to pay off all that debt. Or, worse, he won’t be able to get a job. And because of that he will have to declare bankruptcy by age 30. Then nobody will ever hire him. He’ll have to move to India to live cheaply off the grid and I’ll never see him because I’ll be retired and broke and won’t be able to afford the airfare. And so the becauses continue until I feel so guilty and horrible, I can hardly get up to make breakfast, which my son needs me to make because…he is 7 years old.

There are all kinds of ways to silence that chain of becauses that leads to panic and self-loathing. You can meditate. You can go for a run. You can read a book. Or you can go in and look at your sleeping child and realize you have more than a decade to figure out this problem, because what comes after a because is not up to fate, but up to you and the future that you build out of your actions and decisions—not your words.

Read more:

Whew!!! The chain of becauses can go on forever and forever and forever. Why? Because your mind goes down the rabbit hole when you aren’t paying attention or because it’s early in the wee hours of oh-dark-thirty and your sleepy mind has already begun to race or because you just know because of one action, another action will or won’t happen because

Jeez – how many of us have dealt with this issue? How many times have your becauses spiraled out of control because of guilt, shame, frustration and anger – all aimed at yourself? How many times has needless worry over a simple decision sent you on the endless because trail? It only gets worse.

Guilty. Yep. Real. Guilty. stress management, aromatherapy for anxiety,

Sometimes I wake up at 2:30 AM for a bladder call and I simply cannot fall back asleep. It is then that my drowsy, half-sleeping/half awake mind goes berserk with all the minutiae stored away for moments just like this.

The more I try to fall back asleep, the faster my brain rolls through all the becauses and then goes back for more. I have had nights where I watched the clock tick through every single hour and by 6 AM, I’m exhausted from all the horrible becauses going through my mind.

I’ve tried testing Leigh’s advice on silencing the deadly chain of becauses with varying degrees of success. Reading and meditation (or is that medication?) have their place. Reading a book makes me drowsy. (However, reading a college textbook will make you fall asleep in twenty seconds flat.)

Anyway, I’m working on the meditation part but with a brain full of becauses, meditation is difficult at best and usually an exercise in futility. I believe Louise Hay said that meditation is easy – simply focus on your breath. I can’t begin to count the times I’ve tried – and failed – to simply focus on my breath.

I am an absolute pro at focusing on my breath while my mind is racing through all the becauses that could take place at any moment – oh, and along with concentrating on whatever affirmation you’re supposed to think of while meditating and focusing on your breath.

It makes my brain go completely off the rails. :/

Needless Worry

Most of the becauses we imagine will never happen, so why do we do this? I believe we’ve been taught if we worry about a because then we can somehow keep it from ever happening. Or even worse, if we go through our endless list of becauses, we are actually doing something instead of doing nothing. And doing nothing makes me crazy.

It is my goal from this day forward to attempt to try to resist the endless becauses residing in my brain. Why? Because the becauses simply make me old before my time. I’m exhausted from trying to avoid all the pitfalls of life. I know in my heart that life will simply happen and take care of itself if I simply stop becausing myself to an early grave.

Because you read my blog, I get to keep writing. Because of a full heart, I live a life of grace and mercy.

And so do you.

I’m so grateful for each one of you who click through my emails each week. I’m so grateful I get to share my hopes, dreams, fears and joys with you – because you are very important to me and I wish each of you grace and ease in your own life.

What becauses are you dealing with? Please take time to fill out this short contact form and let’s talk today.