Taming the Clothing Monster

If your closet or drawers are so packed with clothes it’s hard to get anything in or out, the underlying problem could be you don’t want to get rid of anything. Or you love to buy new things. Or both. And it’s possible you don’t have enough space – but you’ll only know that after you pare down some of what you have.

Here’s a cool exercise to help you purge, inspired by the book One Thing at a Time by Cindy Glovinsky.

Set your phone or a timer for 10 minutes and do a deep contemplation about the image you’d like to put forward with how you dress. When the timer goes off, jot down ideas about your ideal:

  • PJs or nightgown
  • Underwear
  • Work clothes
  • Play clothes
  • Formal wear
  • Colors
  • Fabrics
  • Solids or prints
  • Skirt or pant styles and lengths

Continue reading

The art of deciding

You may think you make a lot of decisions, but most of what you do each day is driven by habit. What time you get up. What you eat for breakfast. What you do for exercise. How you get to work. Even the conversations you have can be driven by habit. “You say this. Then I say that. Then you say this.”

So it’s no surprise that when you have to make a decision, it can be hard on your brain and rather unsettling – especially if it’s a decision that leads to big changes – like where you live. Or go to school. Or who you date or marry. Or what you do for work.

I like living a Zen life and feeling unsettled is very un-Zen. So how do we make decisions easier? Continue reading

Getting grounded

Our forefathers and foremothers – even one generation back – didn’t have nearly as much digital ease as we have. But what they had was a simpler life. When I work at one thing around the house – laundry, weeding, painting – I’m reminded that simpler is sometimes what you need to help clear your mind.

If you want to test the power of a “single focus,” try picturing a column of letters A-E. Now picture a column of numbers 1-5. And finally, picture a column of letters, E-A. No problem, right? Continue reading

On your deathbed…

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a gathering at a beautiful old house in New Hampshire where the family gets together each July 4th weekend. One of the senior members of “the clan,” Dale, passed away this year and his grown children held a wonderful remembrance for him.

When you’re trying to prioritize what’s important in your life, it’s helpful to write your obituary. Your obit marks your final deadline. How do you want to be remembered?

What this weekend celebration reminded me of is that it is also helpful to think about a final ceremony. I know you’re not ready to pass, but when you are, what do you want the ceremony to be like? Continue reading

Ideas for a 30-day challenge

I’m teaching a class this winter and have been toying with the idea of making it a 30-day challenge. When I found this graphic on the web last week, I thought, “This is it! I’ll do a 30-day declutter challenge.”

I gave this a little more thought and decided no one could declutter for 30 days straight without losing their mind. I mean, I like decluttering and this chart looks daunting.

That got me thinking about other 30-day challenges. Continue reading

Practicing loving kindness

I met Broadway actor and writer John Cariani a few weeks ago at a writing workshop. I sat in the front row and was so delighted to be there, John asked if he knew me. I assured him he did not. I knew him from seeing him on Broadway but I was pretty sure he had not noticed me in an audience of about a thousand people.

Partway through the class, John asked me again, confused. “Do we know one another?”

I smiled. “Nope!” Continue reading

When you’re having a bad day…

I’m just finishing an audio version of Sharon Salzberg’s book Real Happiness at Work. Sharon’s focus, as always, is on practicing loving kindness.

Here are three tips  from Sharon if you’re having a bad day: Continue reading