The Creamer Dinners

A few years ago, it occurred to me that I had said the same phrase several times without taking action on it: “We should get together sometime.” Mostly this came up in the theater where I met folks in a show, got to know them, and then didn’t spend time with them again until I worked with them on another show and would once again hear myself saying, “We should get together sometime.”

As much fun as theater is, you don’t get a lot of time to talk and I was hungry for a good conversation with many folks I had met.

And I got to thinking about other friends and family I saw often but always in big groups. Big groups are fun but aren’t always great for conversation. Continue reading

100 Days of Wellness

I’ve been looking for a local meditation class and stumbled on this site with 100 wellness exercises. The videos are short, 4-6 minutes each, and focus on different aspects of feeling better – by being more grateful, clearing clutter, getting more sleep, beating sugar, and… you get the idea. It’s a great list.

Being a “get it done” kind of girl, I was like, “I’ll do all of these today,” and started to click through one to the next. But I decided instead to stop and spend a day on each one. I’ve tried to remind myself lately that I have time. I don’t have to get everything done right away. It’s a huge temptation for me to think, “Yes. Check. Got it done. Move on.” And rarer for me to take the time to deeply contemplate a thought or idea – especially if it’s a challenge or something negative about who I am or how I think. Continue reading

7 steps to create a nice mess

If you’re serious about cleaning a room, make it messier before you clean it up. Pull things out of drawers. Empty closets and shelves. And clear off the tops of every horizontal surface.

Then sort out what you have by putting similar items together, looking at each item to decide if you want to keep it (because you really love it), pitch it, or give it away.

Then clean all the surfaces, reassemble putting everything in a thoughtful place, and throw out the trash.

Easy peasy – the room is decluttered and all is well.

Except if you still have an edgy feeling that you aren’t doing something, or that you’ve missed something big. Now the issue isn’t a room that needs to be decluttered – it’s your head and heart that need a cleanup. Continue reading

The Room Around You

Last week, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see Matisse in the Studio. The exhibit shows the objects Matisse had on display in his studio and how they influenced his art. The exhibit was beautiful – which I expected. What I didn’t expect was an “ah ha” reminder of how important it is to surround yourself with things you think are cool, that make your happy, and that inspire you.

On the left is a part of a gorgeous “curtain” Matisse had in his studio to cover a large window. Imagine how the light in Nice, France would have beamed in through these cut-outs and how that might have inspired his cut-out art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A 3-Step Declutter Plan

Ready to do a little spring cleaning? How about doing some decluttering as you go?

Decluttering can be intimidating if you think about your whole house. So start small. What’s a single area of your house that’s been calling to you? The refrigerator? The cabinet under the TV? A bedroom closet?

When you have a target in mind, here are three steps to get going. Continue reading

Organizing at a time of grief

When I give talks on organizational Zen, my focus is on helping people think about how they want to spend their time. Part is figuring out a long-distance focus, and part is figuring out how to get there.

When we talk about what gets in the way, I often get a question along these lines:

“I lost a parent last year and ended up with all of their stuff. I’m overwhelmed. How do I get through the boxes?”

As organized as I like to be, you know what my response is? If the boxes are too heavy to lift emotionally, leave them until they feel lighter. Continue reading

All magic – and no magic potion

I was giving a talk this week on Organizational Zen and asked the participants to jot down what their intent was for attending. There are a couple of things I like about focusing on intent.

  • When you have a clear picture in your mind of why you’re doing something – whether it’s working, going to a meeting, taking a class, or having a conversation with an old friend or with a complete stranger – you listen differently. When you know what you’re looking for, you’re more attentive which makes whatever you’re doing a great use of your time. As Eckhardt Tolle says, whatever you’re doing now is the most important thing you can be doing. So choose with intent, and then show up.
  • When you don’t have a clear picture in your head of why you’re doing something and can’t for the life of you remember why you chose to be there – leave. This probably isn’t a great use of your time. Even if this is something you used to love, if you feel your energy drain even thinking about participating, it’s time to do something else.
  • When you don’t have a clear picture in your head of why you’re doing something AND you feel in your gut that this is meant to be – stay put. There’s magic at work.

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