How to Handle Decluttering Overwhelm

The philosophy of minimalism is being embraced by people everywhere. It’s appealing to consider simplifying your life by getting rid of unnecessary physical possessions and concentrating instead on the experiences that bring fulfillment.

Except, for many, the actual process of lessening their load can be daunting, especially if you’ve accumulated years of stuff all in one place. For me, as someone who came from a long line of people who loved to keep things, it's a challenge even knowing where to begin.

Let’s make things more manageable and take a look at some specific ways that you can handle decluttering overwhelm. 

Know Your Why For Decluttering

In this world of chaos and unpredictability, it's easy to get lost in everything. Many people use the phrase, “Know your why,”  and it's used as a motivator to remind yourself of the reasons why you're doing anything. 

This same concept is essential for keeping you on-task when the...

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3 Powerful Reasons To De-Clutter Your Home

Clutter. It drives us all mad and if you're like me, the harder you try to deal with it, the worse it gets.

All that extra “stuff” in our lives does harm to our brains and our wellbeing. It’s a hot topic and for good reason. As a society in the western world, and the US in particular we have more stuff than ever before.

Our houses are bigger, our closets are bigger, yet every closet, the spare bedroom, and the garage is full of stuff. There's now an entire industry that’s grown around helping us deal with our clutter from stores that sell organizing solutions, to organizing and decluttering consultants, and even storage units that allow us to keep even more stuff that we don’t have room for. 

Clutter Is A Distraction 

If nothing else, all this clutter and all this extra stuff can be very distracting.

When was the last time you spent more than a couple of minutes trying to find something among all the extra things you’re...

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Letting go of the fears that hold you back

When I worked in Alaska for 4 months in the winter of 2012, I learned the true power of overriding fear. I've never forgotten what it took for me to be able to have a one-of-a-kind adventure and what I learned from the experience. 

It was simply meant to be a Christmas present for my husband. He's a pilot and would rather fly than anything.

It’s one of those passions your spouse has that you say, “I’m glad you love being a pilot but not me. I'll stand on the ground and watch while you go up."

But I'm not married to that kind of man. He wants me to go with him, to share, to enjoy the experience with him. He wants me up there with him. Oh brother.

Flying over a mountain 

So when I told him that his Christmas present would be flying on a ski plane to Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America, he loved this idea. And quietly I added, I’ll be staying back at the lodge and taking pictures.

“Well,...

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When you need to take back control of your life

I remember when my son was deployed to Afghanistan. It was the spring of 2008. 

I had no idea of what it would be like to be the mother of a deployed Marine.  

What it was:  8 months of wearing an invisible cloak of fear. 

As Andrew was packing up to leave, I tried on his gear and could hardly stand up. 

Letting go of control

I recently found the passage in my journal from that time that reads "this is the ultimate experience in letting go of control." 

I felt powerless about the announcement both my sons made one day 2 years before. 

They said, "Mom, we're going to join the Marine Corps." I burst into tears.

I felt powerless to change their minds. Helpless. No control. Scared. 

And when the news finally came that Andrew would deploy to Afghanistan my worst fears came true. 

When have you felt you had no control over your life?

Have you had events this year that were out of your control? 

If you've had the...

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How to say goodbye to heartbreak to create your best life

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

C S Lewis

I’m always shocked a bit when I realize that we’re so close to the end of another year. It’s like suddenly there’s talk about what to have for Thanksgiving dinner and what will Christmas be like.

As we inch closer to December 31, we have choices we can make

We get to decide how we want the rest of the year to go and how to finish it up. 

And how we want to enter into the new year. 

Whether it's been the toughest year of your life or you've been able to sigh and say, well, it wasn't that bad compared to 2020, I want you to pause for just a second.

And think about the hard parts of 2021. 

Before we can move on to the next step, we have to let go.

It sounds easy, simple. Right?

But when you have a broken heart or you feel crushed by a huge sucker punch life has given you, it is NOT EASY to let go. ...

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10 Ways To Forgive yourself

letting go self-love Nov 05, 2021

Forgiving yourself involves many things but mostly it has to do with letting go. 

When you can forgive yourself, you are free of the cycle of beating yourself up. 

When something we do hurts someone else or when we make a poor judgment, we can get stuck going round and round, thinking "if only."

We can be harder  on ourselves and not be able to forgive ourselves when we think we've done something "wrong."  We get stuck in shame, especially if we were shamed as children.

I asked a few people this week if they could forgive themselves. 

Sometimes I was met with a puzzled look. Other times, an almost tearful look.

I got these answers:

"I think about it every day"

"I think it's hard"

"I don't know how to forgive myself"

"I never thought about it" 

I realized most of us don't really know how to forgive ourselves. 

I thought about this topic a lot and came up with a few things to think about:

1. It won't help...

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Why it's so hard for us to let go...a story of letting go of fear

Letting go is hard

It doesn't matter whether we're letting go of physical clutter or emotional clutter in our lives. 

It's straight-up hard. 

In exploring around all the edges of what it means to let go of clutter or anything in our lives that we need to let go of...I'm finding one thing to be true. 

It's about fear. 

Letting go involves letting go of your fear. 

A tale of fear

I remember a time way back in 2008 when I began a year-long leadership program.

In our group, we all were all challenged to get clear on our personal strengths so that we could be impactful leaders.  

We began this process by engaging in a high ropes course. 

The high ropes, if you've never participated in one of these intense experiences, helps you discover your personal courage as well as your strengths. 

On the first day of the course, we had to climb up a 25-foot redwood tree. (I'm actually not sure how high it was but let's just say...

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Decluttering and Letting go...even when you don’t want to

 “If you let go a little, you will have a little peace; if you let go a lot you will have a lot of peace; if you let go completely you will have complete peace."

                                                                               Ajahn Chah 

When I heard this quote the very first time, it stopped me dead in my tracks. 

I knew it was true.

But I didn’t have much experience with letting go.  

I come from a family who loved to keep things. Everything, actually. 

There wasn’t a whole lot that got thrown away. Letters, old bank statements and checks for years and years, clothes that no longer fit, even empty boxes...because, well, the idea was that we might need these things SOMEDAY.

And yes, my parents were of the...

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Overcoming hard times: what you can learn from being on lockdown in another country

It was February 25, just a week before we were to leave for Fiji, the trip to celebrate my turning 70, when my husband, Thom, said to me. 

“You know, Jo, this is dangerous and a silly thing to go on this trip. But I’m choosing to do it anyway.” I said, I know. I’m choosing as well. 

I had planned my dream birthday trip for a year. My request to my sons was this:

 “The only gift I want for my birthday is for all my grandchildren to be together and you guys, of course.” They said, “okay, Mom, let’s do it.” 

Just weeks before we left, COVID 19 made its ugly entrance into the world.

We knew it was risky. We tried to console ourselves by saying there’s not that many cases of corona. 

How could we know that we would be caught in another country as they closed their borders? And how could we know that we'd use all our resources to overcome some tough times?

Having the best birthday of your life on a...

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Say Goodbye to Your Saboteurs Forever

I’ve decided to come clean and tell you the truth:  I’m going to write you every week. Whoa. I cringe because I’ve said this before. But this time I really mean it.

When have you promised yourself (or someone else) that you’d do something? And then - it happens. You stop doing something you meant to do. And usually it goes like this: you miss a week. A week turns into 2 weeks and then 2 becomes a month, and then the next thing, it’s not happening.  AT ALL. Please tell me you’ve done this, too.

The thing is, I KNOW what happens for me. It’s called a big fat, mean saboteur, who sits on my shoulder.

I hear him breathing in disgust, reading what I’ve just written. “So, Jo ... when did you get so bold that you're telling people you’re going to write them every week? Really?” (I can imagine him rolling his eyes). “How long will it last THIS TIME? You can’t even think of what to write about."...

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Women's Special Fall Online Weekend Retreat

Friday 25 September - Sunday 27 September

Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.