Make Space and Breathe

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Many years ago I had a friend of mine, who is a Feng Shui practitioner, come to my house for a consultation.  As a refresher, Feng Shui, (in Chinese thought) is a set of laws and practices as it relates to spacial arrangements that affect energy flow both negatively and positively.  The whole process was eye opening, even though I’ve likely undone any changes I’ve made over the past 10+ years, but there was one point that I won’t forget.  She said that if there is something that is bothering you or you are unhappy with, it will cause negative energy every time you see it.  So, in my case, when I go to my bathroom and see the imperfection on the drywall edge of my shower, it bugs me…every. single. day.  The same is true for areas in my house that get jumbled and chaotic.  Like my silverware drawer.Breathe2

Every time I open it, my first thought is, “I have got to get this organized!” But at that particular moment I’m either in the middle of making breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, more snacks, etc. and I don’t take the time.  And as soon as I shut the drawer, it’s out of my head…until I open it again.  Which is like 45 times a day!

A cluttered drawer is not unlike our cluttered lives.  We collect items along the way that we can’t seem to throw away (like take out chop sticks and plastic spoons).  Or we give far too much space to activities that don’t really add value, while best meaning (like a bjillion butter knives).  And we never can seem to find the time to evaluate it, purge it, and/or organize it, because we are too busy living it.

Believe me, I know how hard it is to find the time to stop and take stock in where you are at, and where you want to go.  And even harder to make the changes once you have pin pointed them.  No one wants to drop a ball or let someone down.  But it’s really really important that you do.  Because once you clear the way–even if it seems like one drawer, you will begin to breathe easier.


I think you will agree, regardless of your level of OCD, the second photo is more calming–more peaceful.  In this case, I purged the excess, organized what was remaining, and gave everything boundaries.  Want to do the same idea for your life/schedule?  The first step is evaluating where you are at today.  You can download this weekly planner (or use something you have) and write down everything you do in a typical week from when you get up, to when you go to sleep.  Then color code it by type of activity, i.e. work, commute, kid’s activities, shuttling to kid’s activities, family time, wasted time (it’s like the junk drawer…we all have them), meal prep, household activities, faith based activities, etc.

You can also make a list of all of the items that you are responsible for that don’t necessarily fall into a typical week, i.e. volunteer activities, extended family responsibilities, book clubs, etc.  Try to color code those as well.

Once you have that done.  Step back and study it…really look at it.  What is it telling you?

Do you have breathing space between activities?  Are you giving more time to things that you dread versus ones that you can’t wait to get to?  Are there activities that you have continued to do, just because you had the time, but don’t jazz you at all?  Are there any activities that you resent?

Anything that you can pitch right away?  Are there activities that you used to love, but no longer have time to fit into this crazy life?  What can you get rid of to make space for those?

Are you ready to make the changes?  Think of it as our pile a day challenge.  Start small, but every time you clear something away, you will breathe a bit more easily and see peace in that corner!



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