Things to Remember as You Change (for the better!)

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism

We all have a tendency to build emotional walls, develop coping mechanisms, and hone in on our fight or flight survival skills. I’ve learned that with time, all of these things defenses build up emotional plaque.

I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, and neither are you. Our experiences have changed us – either for the better or worse. Perhaps we have baggage and negative energy we have bottled up inside. It never gets dealt with because we don’t make or have the time for it.

As we shift and change through time, this bottling up can become a very stressful situation.

If we let it go long enough without dealing with it and changing our behaviors, issues will eventually surface. The daily grind can become overwhelming simply because our inner primal instincts tell us to run from the lion, even if there is no lion.

This is the effect of busyness, stress, frustration, clutter, and simply not taking care of ourselves.

Because my health is now suffering, it is time to do the work and deal with it.

I have attempted to de-clutter my possessions and simply for many, many years but I always end up stuck and giving in. I will donate, then binge trying to fill the void.

Life is full of lessons and I have learned a few things so I can adapt and change:

1. Take it slow. Although I am doing a panicked de-cluttering of my possessions, I am really feeling and experiencing the weight this has on me this time. Instead of just taking my unused possessions out of my living space and downstairs for later or labeling it ‘may use in the future’ it goes straight to the donation center.

2. Be patient with yourself. When we face reality, it can be tough. Especially if you are like me and have just pushed issues inside without the time to deal with it. All of it will eventually surface. It’s worth noting, looking into, and letting go.

3. Celebrate. Yes, de-cluttering and simplifying can be daunting. You will come to realize a lot more about yourself than you may even be ready for. But, this is time to celebrate! You are facing your demons and changing for the better. It’s a celebration!

4. Grace. You and I have made a lot of mistakes. We are human after all. But, everyone has and everyone has to own up to it. By hiding behind the curtain of denial, nothing is accomplished. We can not change unless we bring it all to the table. I’m learning with time, that I forgive myself. Not everything is my fault; whether it was someone else’s doings or my own: what happened has happened. There, I said it. Now, let’s do something else.

5. Live for now. What happened yesterday doesn’t matter anymore. You learn from it. You have permission to let go and be your best today. Tomorrow hasn’t happened; and quite frankly, may not ever happen, so let’s not worry. Let us live our lives for today in this moment. We better make dang sure we live the life we want because we only have 1 shot at this.

You will know when it’s time to make a drastic change. You may be lurking here for some inspiration or someone to relate to. That’s what I do. Know that you can’t change until you are ready to do the work. Start now. Be the person you want to be. Don’t focus on the end result, focus on what you do right now and what your next decision will be. All the littles make the bigs in the end. It takes daily tries and choices – not just one big bang! Get that momentum and do it.

That’s where I’m headed; imperfectly perfect.

5 Questions I Ask When De-Cluttering

De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Letting Go

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I dropped off another 2 car loads of clutter yesterday. It feels so amazing having all of this stuff gone and out of my life.

My de-cluttering process is simple:

1. If it hasn’t been used in 1 year, it’s gone.

2. If it doesn’t spark any joy, it’s gone.

3. If it is a duplicate, it’s gone.

4. If it brings me negative energy, it’s gone.

5. If I was to pack up and move and wouldn’t take the item with me, it’s gone.

Using this 5 step process has been a major success. I am coming to find out that the vast majority of my stuff is useless. The more I donate and get rid of, the happier I feel. My home is opening up and getting clean. It’s a new slate for my home to be a place of peace and calm.

My home is going to be a place that fits our needs for today. Not a place to store items of the past or items ‘we hope to get around to using.’ It will only house things that are useful or beautiful or both. It’s a lot of work, but it is well worth it!

A De-Cluttering Past

De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism

I stumbled across the idea of minimalism when I found the website zenhabits.net in 2007. That’s a long time ago. It was prior to Pinterest and prior to the big ‘buzz’ of the unconventional lifestyle mainstream. I remember being intrigued by the notion of how small habit changes daily, can change your life! From there, I attempted to make changes. I was young, fresh out of college, unmarried, and pretty dang hopeful.

From there, I spent years on and off of the simple life. I would declutter and be excited, then feel lost and go on a shopping binge. Just like any other addiction, really.

Then there was marriage and combining stuff and moving a few times and major life shifts.

You know, the usual.

This binging and purging of stuff and debt over the years has left me mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.

Partly because in my heart I am a simple girl. I want the simple life. I don’t want the excess and mess – but somehow society creeps in and tells me that I just have to have it to be successful.

So, I try that and in the end feel worse than I did before.

I’ve done massive, MASSIVE decluttering stunts in the past. And, I always feel better afterward. But then, I want to do DIY Pinterest crafts…so I go to the thrift store, load up, repaint and refurb, and then store the junk. Then I feel guilty.

Endless!

My last major declutter was last year after I was laid off from work. I was able to stay home for a while and thought it was a good time to get rid of some stuff.

Well…I did.

But, then I just kept it ALL down in the garage in case I needed it.

Somewhere, between then and now ALL of that junk made it’s way back upstairs and in my living space.

Now, I am decluttering the same stuff and then some again!

I don’t know about you, but it sounds pretty insane to me.

This time, I have a serious, serious rule.

What I donate and do not need gets loaded into my car and taken to the donation center right then.

It’s been working like a charm.

I’m different this time. I am focused this time. My life is slowly changing for the better.

This is where I want to be.

Enjoy the Journey Up

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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When I was telling my best friend about the biggest, hardest, tragic, most emotional event in my life she said the comforting, lovely words to me: “Shit happens.”

Well, that was pretty blunt and why I love her so much.

Not what I wanted to hear necessarily, but it was definitely a shot of truth. Over the last few years I have tried hard to accept some truths about my situation and life as hard as it is. And then, last night I finally had a revelation. I mean, I’ve know this revelation, but somehow it just sunk in and gave me peace.

See, here in Alabama we are hardcore college football fanatics. It is serious business. And, being a University of Alabama football fan – we hear it all the time:

When you are at the top, there’s only one way to go. Down.

This is our justification for winning so many championships and taking it to heart and being spoiled so when we lose it is pretty much the end of the world. Panic strikes and there are tears and toddler tantrums from adults.

Could it be that I am tired of the swampy heat and craving some rotel dip? Probably. Or could it be that it makes sense and that my life circumstance could also apply the same concept?

I’ve been on top of the world. I busted my tail to get where I was. As far as I was concerned I had ‘made it’ and my life was about to be gravy. My hard work and conscious decisions lead me to where I wanted to go: great credit, awesome SUV, husband, cute house, baby, and a stellar job.

I mean, what else really is there?

The ‘what else is there?’ is that you can fall to the bottom quick. Should the stars not align perfectly one day, you can be knocked off the high horse. Deep down we know that can happen – I mean…who’s gonna stop that tornado from demolishing your home, or a sickness, or wreck, or any other crisis? Not me, and not you.

The problem was that I clung so hard to my life that I created. I did it. It worked out. But it was A LOT of pressure to keep it there. Constantly on the defense. Always stressing and worrying about getting knocked off.

And then it happened.

I was knocked to the bottom and nearly lost everything.

Not of any fault of my own – it just happened and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

So here I am with a mess.

But secretly (and here was my acceptance and revelation)… I am thankful.

What? How in tha? How did I do that?

Well, if you are at the top there’s only one way to go…down.

But, if you are at the bottom there is only one way to go…UP!

Yay!

I can let go of the control and pressure from the top. The top is where I was using all my energy for worry and defense and stress to stay there.

I am at the bottom and it’s an excellent way to do things differently. I can now do things the way I want and not the way society tells me I have to.

I can let go and enjoy the journey.

Because truth is, I feel the same as I did at the top except I don’t have the pressure to stay there. I can ride back up with a different set of eyes. I can create something new and beautiful. I can learn from the fall. I can learn to trust intuition and destiny.

When you have nothing to lose, you lose nothing. 

Consent: Making my Personal Life Personal Again

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism

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Social Media has really taken over, hasn’t it? I remember when Facebook was just for college students, it was a whole lot more private, and didn’t take up so much emotional, mental and social energy. Well, I opened my account in 2004 when I was in college. I’ve been through all the waves and curve balls and here recently, I have just had enough.

I have had enough ‘social posting responsibility’ and people micro managing what I post, who and what I respond to, and the like. Not only that, I notice that the more time I was spending on Facebook the worse I felt. It’s like I was watching a train wreck, but couldn’t quit looking.

I’m not against people who want to use Facebook by any means. But, by hearing my close family and friends chatter about it – it seems they are getting a good fill of it too. Jealousy, frustration, feeling less-than, and constantly comparing their lives with someone else. I mean, we all know deep down that people only post their highlights mostly, but it still can be a real drainer of energy if we don’t control it.

I took it upon myself to go on a Facebook hiatus the last few months and it has been lovely. Yes, I have missed out on a few social updates; like someone had a baby or got married. That’s awesome and all, but I don’t need to continually ‘stalk’ other’s daily lives anymore. I have a lot on my plate and I am changing and rearranging my life – and really don’t have time for that.

So, I deactivated my account today. Although I wasn’t logging on, I feel better knowing that I am unsearchable. I know people are going to notice, and when they do, I will just inform them to text or call me if they need something, no biggie.

I remember the days before social media. It seems like I knew a lot about what was going on around town anyway without logging on to read other people’s business. And also, obsessing over posting MY OWN business. Do I really want everyone to know what I’m doing? No, I don’t.

My personal life is now that. Personal. And I’m already liking it better that way.

Dreamer

De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Simplicity

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It’s all too common to fall asleep thinking of the never ending to-do list. You run over in your mind what all you still had to accomplish that day, but didn’t. Defeat takes over. Regret. Anxiety. Not to mention you have to get up in several hours to go to work – to a job that you aren’t all too happy in because you are a slave to debt.

Now you can’t sleep.

Grr.

Maybe in your past you made mistakes. Perhaps you are a slave to consumerism: constantly buying stuff to fill the void. Perhaps your schedule is so busy that there isn’t room to take care of what matters most to you.

I feel like this a whole lot.

That’s my motivation for simplifying my life. I am actively trying to remove those things that weigh me down and take my attention off my dreams.

I’m slowly giving up the soul sucking energy and behaviors. 

1. De-Cluttering my Home: I am getting rid of the things that don’t matter, that I don’t love. Those possessions that are attached to negative energy and memories. They must go.

2. No to Consumerism: I am no longer shopping for fun, instead, I only buy what is vital so I can pay of my credit card debt.

3. Dreamer: Somewhere along the way in busyness and being a ‘grown-up,’ I forgot what it’s like to dream. With debt, a home, family, and kids, my dreams went by the wayside. I still have hopes and dreams deep down. I am slowly allowing those dreams to surface so I may soon take action.

4. Social Media: Facebook had become a negative in my life. I couldn’t help but to look and scroll the newsfeed, but it always left me feeling a little depressed: people on my nerves, feeling like my life wasn’t as happy as someone elses, other people commenting on my activity. I’m on hiatus. I may not ever go back.

5. Diet: I am using food as my energy source instead of entertainment. I eat when I am hungry. When I do eat, it’s minimal sugar and lots of veggies.

6. Yoga: This is a new passion. It helps relieve anxiety and also gets me in shape and tones muscles.

By getting rid of a lot of negatives and adding more positives, I feel more clear. I feel like I can make better decisions.

So, by the end of the day when I am snuggled up in my bed, I will allow my hopes and dreams to come forward. I will rest in peace knowing that my choices today affect tomorrow. I am getting control of my life back and it feels so nice.

When Expensive Become Cheap

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Minimalism, Simplicity

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Happy Friday, Lovies!

Let’s dream today. Let’s dream about where we want to be this time next year. Let’s work toward our true passions and figure out our true calling in life.

Let’s no longer be stuck in a cycle of dread, worry, and anxiety in regards to our ‘career’ or our debts. Let’s come up with a plan today and do something about it!

My first step?

Paying every dime leftover at the end of the month to credit card debt. I want freedom from the chains of debt. It’s going to to take a while, but I am ready for diligence. I am ready to fight. I am ready to change.

Once my debts are paid, I will then be able to work more on my terms. It will open up many more possibilities.

What do you want to change today? What do you want to do with your life? Do you love where you are? Do you desperately want something else?

What Consumes the Mind, Controls Our Life

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Simplicity

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Simplifying our lives has many aspects to it; and it varies from each person to person. For me, I am not an extremist by any stretch, but I want to remove the excess that is weighing me down so I can be energized and focus on what truly matters to me.

As I am constantly de-cluttering my possessions and spending less on consumerist spending, I am also de-cluttering my mind. When I first began simplifying my life, I knew I needed to get rid of physical clutter to have more brain space and clarity to get down to business on my insides. It was only natural that at some point, a lot of my mental clutter began surfacing as I was decreasing the amount of possessions I owned.

This is my favorite part of a minimalist lifestyle!

For me, “you are what you eat” translates not only to actual food consumption, but also to what I take in to my mind and thoughts. My focus is to remove the negativity that keeps clouding my thoughts and turn it in to positive affirmations.

I took a few weeks to really listen to my thoughts that rattle within. My inner voice was speaking; and it wasn’t pretty. Self doubt, worry, frustration, anger, and incessant chatter seemed to never end. After meditation and letting go of this mindset, I knew there were some changes that I would have to make to clear the mental clutter.

This became a priority and still is.

1. Social Media: I am off of Facebook. Period. I was comparing myself to others, and then other people’s constant questioning about my personal Facebook activity was a major trigger in anxiety. Now, all of my closest family and friends know to contact me directly via telephone or person if they have something to communicate as I am not on Facebook for the drama anymore. It was weird for a few days because I would unknowingly pick up my phone to check Facebook as a terrible habit. But, I had deleted the icon app as a reminder not to log on. I don’t miss it at all.

2. News: I love the news and shows like Nancy Grace (my hero!). However, I feel very agitated, angry, and defensive after soaking in updates from around home and the globe. Truly, I was getting to where I felt hopeless and sad. So, I simply just don’t watch it any longer. Now, I know they say to keep up with cultural events and such; and I do get info from my Husband on events that I am interested in so I can stay in the loop on what matters to me. But guess what? The world hasn’t crashed and I haven’t become an obsolete being just because I am not ranting over politics and the like.

3. Diet: I can’t think well if I don’t feel well. My eating habits have changed and I no longer include sugar in my diet. I feel more energized and can focus on what matters – like having fun – instead of feeling guilty because of what I have eaten during the day.

4. Drama: Other people have a way of sucking me into their drama. I am by nature a very empathetic and compassionate person, so I take on other people’s burdens as my own. This drags me so far down and makes me collapse with exhaustion. This is probably one of my #1 soul suckers. I have to consciously choose not to be involved in drama anymore and it’s making a huge difference in my positivity.

I want positive, hopeful, happy thoughts. Along with my possessions, I am de-cluttering the gunk as well. We think what we take in. We speak what we take in. We feel what we take in.

Isn’t it time we put a barrier to the negativity so we can embrace our true selves? If you want to feel energetic, you must take in energy. If you want to think positively, you must consume positivity. Let’s use our energy for positive vibes instead of the negative, shall we?

What gunk to you need to get rid of to add some light into your days?

Other People and Our Inner Peace

Clarity, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Simplicity

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How many times has someone else ruined your day? They didn’t do what you thought they should do. They didn’t compliment you when you thought you deserved it. They looked at you the wrong way. They didn’t pick up after themselves. Basically every one else is ruining your life!

I keep using the word ‘your’ but I am actually talking about myself.

It’s amazing how easy it is for someone else to impact my life. I don’t know where along the line this because such a huge problem for me, but it has.

Basically, I just think other people should know how to act. Simple.

Well, it’s not so simple in reality, now is it?

When I change the way I view others and take back the power they have over my life, I am happier. I am in control of myself and my reactions.

  • Should I choose to not let someone else bother me, that’s just that: they don’t bother me.
  • Should I choose not to be emotionally invested in someone else’s drama: I’m not in the drama.
  • Should I take responsibility for what I want done: it gets done.
  • Should I not let someone else’s bad mood be my mood: I’m in control of my own mood.
  • Should I not wait on someone else to make me happy: I make myself happy.
  • Should I not blame other’s on where I am in my life: I realize I am responsible for my own life.

This is important because when we take responsibility for our actions, we can align better with who we are supposed to be. There’s no more waiting on someone else, or some miracle to be happy. We choose to be happy. We choose how to live out our days. Do we have to stay stuck where we are today? No, we don’t. We can change our circumstance with simple, deliberate choices fueled with positivity.

How can we do that?

To simply start.

Make the conscious effort to change, and start taking responsibility for where you are now and where you want to be.  Be realistic, but be deliberate. Pick one thing today that you are unhappy about and do something about it. It doesn’t have to be monumental, major, or life changing. Start small. Is your car messy? Clean it out. Did you eat too much over the weekend? Eat light today. Are you in debt? Don’t spend any money today, and make do with with you have. Little choices add up to the big things in the end. Take back control. That’s what I’m going to do.

Tending to Your Soul

Clarity, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Simplicity

Yoga isn’t about executing the poses perfectly or having the best balance. Yoga is connecting with yourself. Yoga is like learning to breathe again, or that moment when you jump out of bed in the morning, rush outside to do the sun salutation, and you’re utterly blinded by how brilliant the world can be. Yoga is taking a moment from your stressful, up-beat life and remembering you have a soul that needs tending to. ~ Unknown

The world truly can be beautiful and brilliant when we take the time to slow down and enjoy it. This has always been so hard for me: just as it is for so many people.

I feel that it is selfish and un-productive if I stop to breathe and do a few stretches.

Since I have began my yoga journey, I see how important it is to take the time to look within yourself. Yoga is not about being a pretzel, it’s about being deliberate. Being deliberate in loving on yourself every day. It’s about letting go of house chores realizing that it’s OK to take a break, get healthy, and press on within. When sticking through yoga, the to-do list shows up in the mind, but you learn to see it, and let it go. You begin to understand that the dishes will still be in the sink when you get done. They will. And it is perfectly fine.

It’s a daily practice of peace.

Whether you do yoga or not, it’s important you find something that allows you to be still, get healthy, and focus on yourself. It could be a walk, a bubble bath, a jog down a trail, gardening, drawing, watching the sunset. If it means you check in with yourself for at least 20 minutes or so to allow your self-worth to come forward: then you have found it! When you find it, do that and do it every day.