Day 10: Treat Yourself Well – You Deserve It!

You’ve taken on a big task. You’re not only discarding your stuff,you are learning to be decisive. Every time you tackle a project you are called on to make decisions about what to keep, what to let go, what’s important to you, and what kind of an environment and life you want to create. Phew! You have to face your fears,old beliefs, risk upsetting people and discover who you really are and what you truly value.

 So wherever you are at the end of a week or two of clearing clutter acknowledge yourself for the steps you’ve taken. (Baby steps are just fine)

Here are some suggestions that will support you during the next few weeks.

1. No “shoulds” or negative self talk!

Turn your shoulds into coulds – Instead of ‘I should clear the kitchen out.’ say “I could clear the kitchen out today.” It’s an option. No one is forcing you to do it. Then ask yourself, “Do I want to?” This helps you to focus on what you really want.What’s important to you at this particular moment. There maybe something else you want to do that is more of a priority.Will I? This makes your decision a choice rather than dosomething out of obligation. Generally, when we choose to do something rather than feel coerced into doing it, we have a better attitude and put our energy into it.

2. Keep your eye focused on where you are going

Keep it on your vision of the space and life you want. Create an image of it – a photo, a vision board, a description that you have posted on your wall or in your journal that you can look at so you can hold onto it firmly on the days when it looks as if you’ll never get the job done and all you can see is what’s missing.

3. Take before and after photos

It’s easy to forget what a room used to be like and focus on what we haven’t done. Our minds go naturally to the negative unless we train ourselves to focus on the positive. Your photos will remind you of how far you have come and how much you have accomplished.

4. Draw on the power of ritual and ceremony

When you let things go that have been difficult to let go (mementos,books, pictures, collections, reminders of past relationships and experiences bad and good) take the time to bless the item, thank it for what it’s contributed to you or what it’s taught you and then let it go.

5. Begin creating your vision of your new space now

As you declutter, selectively bring in objects or practices into your cleared out space that reflect the new life that you are creating. I decided that flowers were important in my new space. My mother always put out fresh flowers on our dining table every weekend. As soon as I cleared our living and dining room, I began buying cut flowers from the Farmers’ Market for our dining table. It makes me feel good, it’s a lovely reminder of my mother and it creates beauty in our lives.

6. Reward yourself along the way

It’s nice to be acknowledged when we take on a challenge and make progress.We often do it for others but forget to do it for ourselves.

Celebrate your milestones and that includes your baby steps. As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tsu said: ” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

You have almost completed two weeks of the program. You have begun to tackle your physical clutter and you have cleared away areas, zones and perhaps whole rooms. You’ve probably let go of some old beliefs as well. So give yourself a treat. You deserve it.

To your uncluttered soulspace!