It’s been many years since I wrote my book, Confronting Your Clutter
. I’ve been clear for a long time that a new book was getting ready to emerge. I had the title: Clearing Clutter as a Sacred Act
. There was no shortage of what I had to say. But I couldn't get any momentum. The energy was “off.” The words weren’t coming.
An inner voice said It was time to slow down, get off the productivity track, and engage in an act of devotion.
After all, how could a book titled Clearing Clutter as a Sacred Act
be churned out like so many widgets? The book was about converting one’s work from the mundane to the sacred. That meant being in the here and now, focusing on the process rather than the outcome. And that begins with one essential ingredient: slowing down.
I put aside my desire for efficiency and an end product and began to connect with my immediate environment. I focused on my writing desk—a symbol of my writing life. I dusted and polished it. I gave it a bouquet of freshly-picked flowers. I gathered my favorite pens into a cup and weeded out the dwindling ones. I decorated a new journal and then wrote in it, dedicating the book to all that I believe in.
Then I looked up and noticed that the old bracket holding up the curtain rod above my desk was broken and wobbly. This was a little repair chore I’d been avoiding. It involved dismantling, measuring, drilling a new hole, screwing in a screw. It seemed like it should be simple but I knew such chores often take longer than I think they should. I almost talked myself out of dealing with it.
Instead, I decided to treat the task as an act of devotion. That made all the difference.
I didn't rush. I moved slowly and methodically. When I measured wrong and had to drill a new hole I didn’t berate myself. I just remembered that every piece of the process was expressing my commitment to my book—my gathering of my life’s work. I breathed. I practiced loving patience and kindness with my most awkward self as I inefficiently fixed what needed fixing. It was unexpectedly satisfying. I felt like I was simultaneously shifting the energy of my desk area and my book project.
There are times to jump in and get moving. But sometimes we can't get things moving despite our best efforts. At such times, slowing down to be fully present, intentional, and loving may turn out to be the most efficient thing we can do.
Now Clearing Clutter as a Sacred Act
is emerging, day-by-day. I'm enjoying spending time with it. As I engage with it regularly, it's teaching me what shape it needs to take and what it wants to say. The process has become sacred for me, and I rejoice in how easily the writing is flowing.
This month, On Monday evening, August 20th, I'll be offering a small group workshop called Befriending Time with Your Journal. There are still a couple spaces open. If you're interested, please reply to this email.
Sending you gentle support,
Befriending Time with Your Journal
Monday, August 20, 7-9 PM, at the Natural Health Clinic in Bellingham.
How we engage with time affects every aspect of our lives. Many of us treat time like it's the enemy. In this small-group workshop we'll explore our current relationships to time. Then we'll use brief, focused, journal-writing practices to foster a friendlier, more effective collaboration. There's still a little space. If you're interested please reply to this email.
My coaching practice is informed by my 25 years as a psychotherapist and clutter consultant and my training and experience as a Certified Journal Therapist. It emphasizes what is emerging, navigating transitions, and helping you access your own answers. I coach by phone, Skype, through writing, or at my office in Bellingham, WA. I also coach through the self-paced course described below. You may choose to do a one-time consultation, or connect weekly, every-other-week, or monthly for a few months. For those potentially seeking ongoing coaching for a stretch of time I offer a free, 20-minute consultation to determine whether my approach will be a good fit for you. If you'd like to set that up or have questions, please reply to this email.
Registration opens again September 24 for
A Gentle Approach to Clearing Clutter
- A Self-paced Online Course including personal written interactions with me throughout the process.
- A guided progression of concepts and practices, which you can begin when you are ready.
- An opportunity to practice new strategies in your own time and space.
- Writing processes to help you integrate new ways of thinking, perceiving, and interacting with your time, energy, resources, home and belongings.
- A combination of privacy and connection, structure and flexibility.
- Freedom to move at your own pace.
This is the solo version of the course. You can also opt to take it with a friend. If you have a small group who would like to travel through the material together, that's an option too. And you can do that whether you all live in the same city or all over the world.
For details and registration, click here, or reply to this email.