Transformational Declutter Coach
Now that we have moved beyond the chaos prior to November 8th, we move into another version of chaos. It’s easy to get caught up in the momentum of the world as consciousness continues to evolve. This is a time to not get attached to the appearance of things. It’s a time to follow your inner heart, inner guidance and instincts to find your own way through the chaos of transformation – because it’s happening on both a personal and global level.
For me, November 9th was a day I chose to pull back from the distractions of the world and be in my own reality – where I consciously choose how to respond to others/the world, and to remain in the energies of love, compassion, trust and knowing that I am safe.
Throughout my self-actualization journey these past 25 years, I have come to know that in order to heal something, I must first be able to see it – no matter how unattractive that aspect within me may be – because the call is to always find a way to love and honor all parts of us. And I hold that view of the world at this time as well.
This is a time where the shadow of unconsciousness is seeking to reveal itself so that it may be healed, so that we may come into full ownership of our magnificent beings. This time is asking us to look within ourselves at all the places we hold fear, anger, uncertainty, distrust and other similar emotions we would much rather deny.
It’s so much easier in a sense to stay in the unconsciousness of these emotions and point to those who are different, who make us uncomfortable and those we believe are simply wrong.
We are being asked to be courageous souls and take responsibility for all facets of ourselves on the full spectrum of our emotions. We are being asked to become our own authority rather than giving our power and energy to others, only to discover they disappointed us once again. In truth, how could it be different if the soul journey is about loving all aspects of ourselves?
One of the few blogs I follow is Kim Gould, an Australian woman of great insight and wisdom (http://www.loveyourdesign.com/blog/). After the election she posted this image. I invite you to embrace this for yourselves.
And always I wish you courage. I wish you love and send my deepest blessings.
Have you ever wondered why you do what you do? What factors are in play, seen and unseen, that prompts us to take a particular action at a particular moment?
I think about the stories of some of my clients. How one received my contact information from a friend and was not able to call and ask for my help for two years. Another woman essentially “woke” up from a deep depression after nearly 10 years and called me. What process was she going through that brought her to the point of being ready for change? Another had picked up my card, brought it home and promptly lost it in the clutter. It’s easy to label actions (or lack of action) as resistance – maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.
Timing is everything. Sometimes we think we are resisting something, but perhaps it might be a quiet message from your soul that it’s not quite the right time to move forward yet. If we are able to notice when we perceive something as resistance and not judge it, that alone opens the door for your next steps.
For our expansion and growth, it seems like we need a perfect, divine alignment of our emotions, the physicality of our world, our spiritual journey – and perhaps a host of other things beyond the scope of our human knowing.
We don’t consciously have access to all those things, so we have to learn how to listen, ask questions of ourselves/the universe, and then follow our inner guidance. It can be an unfamiliar process and it doesn’t come overnight. Sometimes we ask the question, and we ask, and we ask, and nothing seems to be there. The easy assumption is that “I don’t know how to do this,” so you stop.
This is the place where I encourage you to keep asking. Sometimes, it takes many times. In my experience, it frequently doesn’t happen the first time you ask. You just keep asking, putting it out to the universe, “What is this about, what am I to see, what is going to help me take the next step?” And you keep asking – while at the same time letting go of your sense of urgency.
When things don’t transpire according to our plans, we get impatient. Every time you think, “what’s taking so long,” remember that it just may not be the right time yet. It reminds me of the analogy of a farmer who has planted his fields with wheat and the shoots are about 1” above ground. Every night, he goes and pulls on every shoot and thinks “why don’t you grow faster?”
And that comes to the place where we learn how to trust. We keep surrendering how we think life should be, what our plan is for when things should unfold and what that should look like. And it’s a process of layers, just like decluttering. You get a piece, you follow it. You get another piece of your puzzle, you follow it. And in this process, you gain clarity. You get to know who you are and what motivates you, what inspires you, what nourishes you, and that’s the process. That’s the journey.
Our human journeys are sometimes arduous, sometimes flowing, sometimes joyful and sometimes heart wrenching. But they are our unique journeys, which help us experience our soul’s desire as we learn to trust, surrender, and embrace our beautiful loving beings.
Whenever I meet with a new client at their home for the first time, we start with a walk-through of their house. My intention is to be able to look at their home through the client’s eyes – to see their struggles and their hopes. Despite my invitation to look at their clutter without judgment, most are so accustomed to self-judgment, they aren’t even aware they are doing it. They are so afraid of being judged, yet they are the worst offenders.
I’ve been working with Sara for several months and she has made wonderful headway – and it’s a slow process in dealing with a large basement filled with stuff that spills over into her main living areas as well.
Because she is now able to understand more about herself and her response to clutter, she asked to do another walk-through. She was ready to look at her stuff with fresh eyes and a new perspective.
Before we started this second walk-through, I wanted to set an intention for our journey.
Judgment takes up residence in our headspace – where it is filled with all manner of rules, restrictions, other people’s ideas of how and who we “should” be in the world, and on and on. Another word for all this stuff is clutter – the internal kind versus the physical. It is so familiar to us that we unconsciously look to our headspace/mind to give us guidance; however, it’s simply not designed to do that.
Our heart space is where we find guidance, and tap into our knowing and intuition. On our walk-through, I invited Sara to view her home, her patterns of clutter and her tendency to stop noticing what’s in front of her, from her heart space – which offers love, compassion, acceptance and support.
Sara’s experience was a gentle one of noticing, with understanding and compassion. For the first time, Sara was able to embrace her domain and all its stuff without going into judgment reaction. It was liberating on many levels and refreshed her energy and commitment to this process of decluttering and opening herself to expressing her unique genius – beyond the clutter.
We finished our walk-through with a visualization exercise. I asked Sara to imagine sitting around a large table. Joining her were all the aspects of herself – representing the different ages and stages of her life (including the perceived mistakes, the challenging times and the joyful ones). Each aspect was integral to her becoming the beautiful woman she has evolved into. I invited her to embrace all these aspects with love, acceptance and compassion for the role they played in defining her journey.
Our session ended that day with Sara feeling a much deeper connection with her heart and a softer and kinder image of herself.
Start noticing when you find yourself in judgment. Then consciously shift to your heart space and access compassion, acceptance and love to help guide you. This sets the stage for you to transition into a new level of ease and flow in your life.
You’ve heard me say before that decluttering is truly an internal process. The physical clutter that I help my clients release is merely a manifestation of blocked energy within them that wants to be healed. It’s about addressing unconscious beliefs and societal programming, which serve as a silent rudder that rules our life journeys.
We think we are in charge and are free to make the choices we want. However, the conundrum is: “How do you heal something that is unconscious and, therefore, inaccessible?” The answer: You watch for clues. You start by noticing how you react or respond to something, especially if it is in anger, defensiveness or fear. All these emotions are gifts that act like signposts to show you what’s going on within you unconsciously. I like to say, “If I can see it, I can heal it.” These signposts help you see.
These unconscious beliefs are not the enemy. They are simply part of everyone’s human experience. They are based on things that worked for others in the past . . . but the question is, “Do they work for you today?” If they don’t, you have the freedom to change your mind and choose how you wish to be in the world, and how you want to express your love and your genius.
Unconscious beliefs feel so much like the truth that we righteously defend them – when in fact they are a distortion of the truth. The way to tell the difference between an actual choice and a belief is to notice how you feel. Do you feel a little flat and deflated? That is an indication of a belief expressing itself and results in a diminishing of your life force energy. If you feel excited and uplifted that tells you that are in alignment with your life force . . . and it is saying, “YES!”
Here are a few examples to help you imagine all this:
- Are you hardwired to repurpose everything? One of my clients is so accustomed to automatically repurposing everything that it never occurs to her to ask, “Do I want to do this? Does this feel exciting or like drudgery? Of course, when you are compelled to repurpose everything, you will truly never get to all those repurposing projects anyway (because in truth they don’t feed or nurture you; they simply drain your life force energy.)
- Do you have a choice in whether to keep something that was gifted to you or you inherited? Some people are programmed to believe that if someone gives you something, you must keep it forever, lest you hurt the gift giver’s feelings. Ask yourself whether you even like the gift/inherited item. How do you feel when you hold it? Do you lighten up or tighten up? You are not responsible for caretaking the feelings of the world; you are empowered to feel the truth of who you are and express it with integrity and compassion. When you follow your own truth, you will always feel more peaceful, more loving, and more alive.
- A good test of whether you are responding to truth or an unconscious belief is to ask yourself if you are free to release this item/throw it away. Then watch what emotions/reactions surface. If you have a subtle sense of panic – it’s a belief. If you feel excitement at receiving permission to letting something go – you have moved into choice.
Each time you are able to make a conscious choice about who you are and what you want, you help dispel the impact of the unconsciousness of your human experience. We heal a layer at a time; each choice you make based on love expands your ability to be your best self and express your own unique genius.
I recently listened to a guided meditation by Adyashanti, called “Not my will, but the heart’s will be done.” Essentially, the “my will” aspect is connected to the ego and our attachment to thinking things need to look/be a certain way in order to be happy. The heart’s will acknowledges our true selves — that knowing, loving, wise being having a human experience.
Though the outcome is frequently not what the person intended, there are many people who work so very hard all their lives, without taking time for themselves or their families. They think that once they retire . . . then they will take time to be happy and relax.
However, I want to highlight the more subtle aspects of “my will” that influence us — where we don’t let ourselves feel happy in our lives because things don’t look a certain way on a day-to-day basis.
It was a delightful wake-up for me to listen to this meditation as I reflected on the ways in which I quietly measure myself (all ego here) against where I think I should be (more ego), and unconsciously make a decision on whether I deserve to feel greater happiness.
We live on a planet of dualities/polarities. What if we start to bridge the extremes of living with the challenges (and joys) of life on Earth and allow ourselves to feel happy at the same time?
Granted, some days may feel harder than others, yet if we adopt a mindset of realizing we are deserving of happiness, that we are inherently joyful beings in our spirits, then it allows an opening where all of a sudden our perspective shifts. Perhaps we start noticing more beauty around us, more kindness from others, and more compassion as we soften and allow more of the bounty of goodness into our lives — even in the midst of tragedy and challenges. What if we can have both, rather than feeling we have to choose a hard line of either/or?
In just these past few days since I listened to Adyashanti’s meditation (www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBqMxTQPsbE), I have felt a shift, a noticing of how I respond and how much happiness I allow to enter my world – and I like how this feels. My wish is that you may invite more happiness in your world as well.
“I don’t have money for that.”
“I don’t have time for that.”
“I don’t have energy for that.”
Hidden beneath all these “don’t haves” is the unconscious part of us that hasn’t learned how to speak what is true for us. We end up making excuses that miss the mark and leave us feeling uncomfortable. Hidden within us is the truth of who we are. Until we can access that, we sometimes feel like a victim, versus one who chooses their life and feels empowered by their choices.
What if you reframed these “don’t haves” into statements such as:
Instead of “I don’t have money for that,” try replacing it with “I’m choosing to spend/invest my money in something else right now.”
This supports you consciously deciding what your priorities are or what looks fun for you. It takes you out of the space of apologizing or making excuses when someone asks you for something. What if you simply owned what you want without the need to explain or defend? How cool would that be? If the other person feels disappointed or angry, then the interchange gives them an opportunity to look at their own emotions. When you are simply honest with who you are, it gives others a chance to look at their own emotions (comfortable ones or the ones that make a person squirm).
Instead of “I don’t have time for that,” try replacing it with “I’m committed to more time with my family/self-care/a more relaxed schedule right now.”
The more you choose you over what others want you to do, the more empowered and peaceful you will feel. It’s the analogy of always putting on your oxygen mask first if needed on a plane – and then putting masks on your children. Taking care of you first is about self-love, self-determination and joy. When you are able to step into that vibration for yourself, your energy will automatically spread to others and uplift them way beyond the old “I don’t have” dynamic.
Instead of “I don’t have energy for that,” try replacing it with a simple “No thank you.”
Think about times when you’ve felt obligated to commit to certain activities or people. Experiences of this type deplete your energy and leave you unhappy that you “once again” got caught in the trap of committing to something you didn’t want to do. Be mindful of when and what you say “Yes” to. Sometimes people feel like they have to respond to an invitation on the spot. Give yourself time to breathe and decide what works for you before responding; this will allow you to practice new ways of being and create boundaries that support you.
Each time you use those “don’t have’s,” you unintentionally tap into humanity’s unconscious belief that “there is not enough” or that “I am not enough.” Those beliefs are based on fear and misperception.
However, there is the gift when you become more conscious of how you speak and think. Every time you make a conscious choice of what you do want, you help lessen the impact of the fear-based beliefs. Then you move into greater alignment with the basic energy of our universe: love.
And the gift continues. As you become more aware and conscious, you will start speaking with more clarity, grace and honesty.
Imagine family members learning how to reframe their automatic unconscious responses with conscious choices that support them. Imagine friends stepping into authenticity with themselves . . . because you showed them how!
The thing that gets least celebrated during this traditionally busy holiday season is YOU. I see an opportunity here to really declutter the holiday “to do” list that was created by someone somewhere and falls into that category of “we’ve always done it this way.”
The “always done it this way” frequently leaves the YOU out of the equation, so that at the end of the season you are exhausted (perhaps feeling overspent emotionally, physically and financially) and glad it’s over for another year.
What would decluttering look like for you? Perhaps choosing only those holiday social events that really look fun (versus the obligatory ones in which you feel coerced)? Perhaps paying attention to the unconscious belief that “we have to get our money’s worth” which equates to running around (physically or online) looking for the best deals?
What if you decided how you wanted this time to feel and then made choices based on that feeling? What if you recreate what tradition is for you (and your family) versus feeling quietly resentful doing something that is not in alignment with your heart? Perhaps this is a time for slowing down and listening to your inner guidance on how much or how little you engage with the frenetic energy of this season?
What if you rewrote the holiday so that it truly celebrates you? Isn’t that what it is theoretically all about? In the religious world, it’s about Jesus’s birth. In the spiritual world, I see it as Christ consciousness: the full awareness of you as divine, the “I am that I am” aspect of you. That’s what I would like to see celebrated.
Every moment you connect with that divine spark and that creative, magnificent genius within you, you bring more peace and prosperity to you and the collective consciousness of humanity. That is the true gift. That is the celebration of you. That is how you change the world – one loving connection after another.
You make a difference. Celebrate you.
Have you ever had moments when you looked back over your life and recognized that you would not go back and change anything even if you could? If you could rewrite the script, you wouldn’t have evolved into the amazing being that you are. I know that even when I feel stuck, or a particular process seems never, never-ending, I am aware there is a purpose behind where I am and who I am becoming.
It’s in reflecting that we can notice that living through difficult challenges was exactly what our soul-guided journey most needed at that time. When we were embroiled in the depths of those challenges, we probably didn’t fully embrace the blessings or the wisdom we might gain. However, each of these episodes of growing through difficulty prepared us for the greater wisdom and grander life we were moving towards.
Most of the time we are not shown the particulars of where we are headed that will expose and empower our individual genius. We can only see what we can see at any given time. Never bemoan that “nothing’s happening” because something is always happening. And it’s always movement (conscious, unseen, or other dimensional) that helps us break out of our perceived smallness into the magnificence we intended to experience on our journeys.
The real question here is that no matter how flowing, or stuck, or expansive you may be feeling, “Do you recognize divinity?”
Divinity is a living, breathing energetic presence with us – always and in all ways. From our darkest moments to our most enlightened, its existence is unwavering.
There is a beauty here that is not easily defined and yet that divine beauty imbues each and every experience we have.
There are no mistakes here in these human bodies. There is only divinity. Do you recognize it?
Have you ever come up with an awesome plan to create new work or some other endeavor that feels exciting? You play with all the details, figuring it out to the nth degree, and you launch this new idea/vision/project with great flourish. And then . . .
Something goes very differently than you imagined. So you work harder to make it come out the way you intended. The harder you try to make it work the way you thought it “would or could or should,” the more you feel stuck, the more your vision behaves like a rocket that lost its orbit and plunges to the ground.
Have you noticed how often our first response to something that isn’t working is that “we must have done it wrong, or we aren’t capable, or we simply feel discouraged and claim it must have been a bad idea to begin with?”
What if instead of doing something wrong, you were simply attached to your vision? As humans we love to control the flow of life (or convince ourselves we really can). It makes us feel safer.
However, as soon as any attachment to any outcome becomes part of your mindset, you are essentially throwing wet blankets on your brilliant light.
A symptom of attachment is when you try to shift something to get the outcome you think you want or deserve. Attachment is sticky business because it takes us down a road of compromising ourselves and our integrity. We start to calculate a plan to fix something when we are attached to our desired outcome.
When things don’t unfold as we envisioned, the best thing we can do is stop. Simply stop the figuring out. Stop the trying to make it happen because part of being in a human body is recognizing that we only have a limited perspective on what is best for us at any given time.
Perhaps when our plans go awry, it is merely an opportunity to deepen our patience, acceptance, courage, strength and most certainly trust.
What if these deeper emotional aspects could not be developed in any other way for our particular soul journey?
What if the disintegration of our “plan” is exactly what needs to happen at that time? And what if the perceived delay in manifesting our dreams is truly an alignment within us so we can then create something even grander and more in alignment with our true selves?
When something feels sticky, let it go. You might be amazed with what shows up in your life as a result.
A recent theme with clients is that they want to take huge leaps (as in going from clutter/chaos to peace/harmony) in one BIG step. As I reflect on this desire with these wonderful clients, I think BIG-step thinking is really a form of resistance. If nothing else, it is certainly a huge roadblock to their moving towards their dreams. Imagine the roadblock looking like a 10′ slab of granite right in the middle of your path!
When I suggest that life really is about a consistent series of taking a baby step, owning your new space with that baby step, and then taking another . . . well, they mostly petulantly sigh saying, “I don’t want to take baby steps.” And there you have a version of resistance that is ever so painful and frustrating for the one holding on.
It is so tempting to project our idea of how the world should work by looking at celebrities or people in powerful positions and decide they simply woke up one day and arrived at whatever they are really good at doing/being all in one big step. It just doesn’t work that way, no matter how much we may wish it.
Providing compassionate service to women who are challenged with clutter, Ashi is a transformational declutter coach, speaker and award-winning author of Bless Your Mess. Her expertise incorporates clearing physical clutter, and specifically helping clients heal the internal clutter of unconscious beliefs – from which the physical clutter is originally created. From the practical to the spiritual, she guides women in transforming their lives from feeling overwhelmed by clutter to reclaiming ownership of their space and stepping into their joy. Contact Ashi to learn more.