After talking with Jon and Missy about our top three goals at our Lifebook Ultimate weekend, we determined one of them was Home Environment.
Jon recently encouraged us to start thinking about our Family Room and to start designing it based on how we want to spend our time as a family.
We have done a lot of thinking and planning in these areas, which has been awesome, but it has also spurred on some additional transformation in the last week or two – in our game cupboard, music closet and home office (which also is a chiropractic room), craft closet, linen closet and toss-all room. I wanted to record my experience this morning because it was so powerful.
I have been getting up early and working on getting rid of anything in these rooms that does not move me toward my life vision.
I ask myself, “Does this bring joy to my life? Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it?”
These are powerful questions that unload a whole lot of weight, guilt, anxiety, noise and pressure from my daily life simply by getting RID of the things that call out to me as I walk by them multiple times a day. These are things that subconsciously taunt me and whisper, “Me! Me! Me!” And I am constantly replying, “I’m sorry, I can’t right now I have this to do.”
All the while feeling the pressure, guilt and anxiety that go along with the thought, “I know I realistically won’t ever get to that, or that, or that.”
So after spending anywhere from 1 to 2 hours each morning over the last couple of weeks (so probably a total of 10 – 12 hours) I did a little exercise that was powerful and insightful. I did two walk-throughs of the rooms I’ve been working on.
First I walked through as if it were two weeks ago and I hadn’t gotten rid of anything. I listened to the messages I was telling myself and have been telling myself every time I walk past an area, and every time I was in one of those rooms.
Then I did one more walk-through in the present state of things – my newly cleared out rooms. Wow – I did not expect what I experienced! I will always take the time to do this exercise after I clean or organize something now. It was awesome. It went something like this… (And I bet I’m not alone in these silly, needless thoughts of this first part.)
Me walking past unorganized game cupboard: Frustration and guilt. It’s such a mess in there. I should really clean it out. There are some dumb games in there, and some fun ones too. But it’s hard to get at them and it’s frustrating to go in there, so we won’t play games anyway. And if we do, I’m just frustrated trying to find something fun in there. Guilt and frustration. It would be nice to clean it out…but I just don’t have time to take care of the things I have. Guilt.
Me walking into the office/gym/chiro/craft/throw-all room: Aaagh! This was supposed to be our home gym and be peaceful and it is anything but! What a sad thing in our beautiful new home. It’s clutter-esterol! It’s clogging my home and making it feel smaller and crowded! Frustration and Guilt. Anxiety – for not getting to the photo albums, old toys, crafts projects, kids’ clothes that don’t fit yet, kids’ clothes that don’t fit anymore. It’s so frustrating and embarrassing to try to get at spare blankets and pillows for guests because they are shoved in the only available shelf– and forget about the dust bunnies. I can’t even get to them!
Me walking by the music closet: Oh man! This would be awesome if I could use this for what it is supposed to be for instead of piles of books I can’t get at anyway. And meanwhile, Frustration – because all the music books that are supposed to be neatly stored and accessible here are piled in boxes in the family room. Guilt, frustration, anxiety.
Me in the family room: Anxiety, frustration. This room is lined with boxes that aren’t supposed to be there, furniture I don’t like or use and there are no decorations. This room is supposed to be so inviting and fun and it is the opposite – it is frustrating and boring. Ugh.
Wow! As soon as I brought awareness to what I was feeling when I went downstairs I was amazed at all that was going on in my head day after day after day. Not a pretty picture.
And then it became even more powerful when I did the second present-moment walk through. After spending a total of 10-12 little hours focusing in on my life-vision, the results were amazing…
Me walking past the cleared out, organized game cupboard: Feeling joy and even a little excitement. I love that fun cupboard! We have had so much fun playing games with the kids every day this past week and it is so easy to grab any game I want from there. I love to play every game in the cupboard too. I’m so glad we have that. And now that I think about it, what a money saver! This is one of the first places I will think to go when I want to do something fun with the kids and it’s FREE! It will save a lot of time trying to come up with some new idea for an activity and money spent trying to go out and do things to entertain us. This is something I look forward to!
Me walking into the office/gym/chiro/craft/throw-all room: I feel peaceful and hopeful. I walk in and it is clean, neat and organized. My sewing table is cleared completely and ready to work on the few remaining projects I have. The only projects I’ve saved are those I love, that bring me joy and that I’m truly excited about. I tossed all the ones, and give myself permission to toss anything that doesn’t fit into these categories. I can easily get at pillows and sheets and blankets for my guests. I am filled with hope and there is no more guilt about my photo albums because they are neatly stored and I know I can work a little at a time on them and they will get done. After all, look what happened in just a few hours of working on my basement! I am not embarrassed anymore when people come over for adjustments – in fact I feel just the opposite. This room is beginning to reflect what I value and who I am! And I am excited to have people over in it. My work will be more productive in my home office, the clothes I love that were shoved in the craft cupboard are mended or are getting mended for a small price so I can wear them again. Peaceful, happy, hopeful.
Me walking by the music closet: Excitement. This closet is headed for good things! I can already easily get at microphones, speakers, and cables. All my music is at least neatly stored and won’t be shuffled through and wrinkled or ruined by kids playing in the family room. And it is OUT of the family room! Hurray! Jeff will build shelves at some point in here, but for now, this is everything I need. Nice.
Me in the family room: It is actually CLEAN! The kids can come here and easily find fun books to read. I even have a couple of shelves dedicated to Family Home Evening resources so it is fun and inviting for the kids and whole family to use to make FHE even better. So much room to spread out in here and run around. This is a great starting place to decorate and get this room the way I really want it to be. I feel peaceful and hopeful in here.
Feelings went from anxiety, frustration and guilt to peaceful, happy, joyful, excited, and hopeful with just a few hours of work.
Those changes in daily repetitive feelings have already and will continue to change how I interact with others – especially my family. In every way, this was worth the few hours it took to zoom me toward my life vision. There are NO DRAWBACKS. It will save time and money as I continue to create my home environment around our life visions. I won’t have to wonder and re-do and re-decorate as often because I know exactly what I want, and I know exactly where I am headed.
Thank you Jon and Missy!
P.S. I want to give any credit I can to the fabulous Marla Cilley, who has helped transform home after home with her fabulous ideas. I read her book, “Sink Reflections” years ago and it has become a part of me – and so two of the ideas I state in this article (clutter-esterol, and the questions I asked myself “Does this bring joy to my life? Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it?) are her ideas.