Clutter.  I can’t stand it.  I cannot function in it.  It literally makes my head spin.

When I was in college, I could not study in the library like so many other people did.  I liked to study in the comfort and quiet of my own off-campus apartment.  But in order for me to focus, my space had to be spotless. Luckily, the apartment was tiny, and therefore, easy to clean.

I am pretty sure my roommate loved this about me.

Now, I work from home, and my home is a lot bigger than my college apartment.  And I live with 3 male humans, and 2 canines.  One has white fur and sheds all over our dark hard wood floors. Needless to say, I have been forced to become less OCD, which is a good thing.

Nonetheless, I still get a bit twitchy when my house is a mess, and I am seriously considering investing in a fully sustainable ‘tiny home’ when my kids go to college.

I have had to let a lot go over the years.  For a type A person like myself, having kids and dogs forced me to “lighten up,” about the mess and clutter.  But letting go doesn’t mean that I like it.  It just means that I realized I would be insufferable if I chased everyone around with the vacuum.

So, I am no longer clutter free.

Right now I desperately need to go through closets and purge clothing for a charity.  My family photos are in icloud land, and I am not entirely sure what that means or if it is safe.  And I have small piles of stuff in my office and my kitchen, of things I need “to do.”

If I wait too long to clear this clutter, I inevitably feel “stuck.”  Luckily, other than the family photos which have been in the cloud for years, I don’t wait too long to deal with the physical clutter around me.

Mental and emotional clutter, now that is a different story in my life.

The mental and emotional clutter was kind of like the family photos, it was stuff that literally hung over my head in a cloud, but since I could not physically see it, I did not realize it was there.

Or maybe I did not want to see it.  Or maybe I did not know how to deal with it.  Or maybe I did not know that I had the power to clean it up. Or maybe I did not WANT to do the work to change myself.

Here is the funny thing about ALL clutter.  It is like the heaviest and thickest quick sand.  At some point you will realize that you cannot move under it’s weight.  And deep down inside, you know you CAN escape.  If you want to.

Physical clutter in your life can literally be burned or bulldozed as a last resort.

But mental and emotional clutter requires you to light a fire in yourself, and assume the strength of a bulldozer to pull yourself from the burdens that you have not only allowed, but created in your life.

I spent at least 8 years barely afloat under the weight of mental and emotional baggage.  I was feeding my body garbage and I was feeding my mind trash worthy thoughts.  And those destructive thoughts took a toll on my emotions.  And those disempowering emotions made me continue with behaviors that did not benefit me or my life.

And so the cycle went.  These patterns often last a life time.

If you want to know more about that agonizing time in my life, read this blog about how I stopped hating my husband and saved my marriage.

Needless to say, I FINALLY saved myself, from myself.

That quick sand is nothing more than the weight of your physical, mental and emotional creations.  They are manifestations of things you need to reexamine.  Things you need to do differently.

Many people refer to clutter as unmade decisions.  I do not agree.  We are always deciding and choosing our thoughts, emotions and behaviors.  So our clutter is the result of making the wrong choices over and over again.

This clutter is the mountain we must CLIMB, not carry.  It is not bad, in fact, brave and strong people can create meaning from their suffering.

For the last few days of 2016, will you begin to clear the clutter with me?  This means clearing the physical clutter if need be, and that is pretty self explanatory.  You know what clean ups will make you feel less burdened by “stuff.”  So engage in cleaning your workspace, your garage, your closet, or your kids play room.  Whatever will make you feel unstuck.

I realize that ridding ourselves of mental and emotional clutter takes far more than a few days.

So, I ask you to merely commit to acknowledging this clutter in your life.

Understand this.  Your emotional state is your quality of life.  I do not care how much money you have, how smart your kids are or how beautiful you look.  How you FEEL the majority of time, is what determines your life.

So how do feel most of the time?  Angry, sad, depressed, anxious, worried, doubtful, frustrated, impatient, stuck?

Or do you feel mostly joy, content, grateful, love, passionate, certain, hopeful, inspired, and powerful?

For this challenge, I want you to start taking note of how you FEEL.  And I want you to decide how you WANT to feel.

And when you FEEL something negative (worry, fear, frustration, sadness), stop and take note of what you are THINKING.  Then ask yourself this simple question.

“What would I have to think or believe in order to make myself feel good? or What can I do/think to create meaning from my suffering?”  Usually, that involves turning your attention to gratefulness and/or shifting your perspective, and/or learning a lesson about yourself.

As an example.  I often feel impatient.  As I said, I work from home.  And I am type A.  I have virtually no boundaries between my work, that I absolutely love, and my mom/household duties. I may sit down to write a blog and feel really inspired just to look out the window to see my precious pups running down the street because my kids left the gate open.

I decided a long time ago that I did not want to be an impatient and frustrated person, so I take note of that feeling, and shift my perspective.  “At least I saw the dogs and got them in before they disappeared.”

You don’t always have a choice about what happens to you in your life, but you ALWAYS have a choice about how you react to it.

Lastly, can you commit to only positive self talk?  Do not put into words anything that you do not want to be true.  Do not release negativity into the universe.

Are you with me on this for these final days of 2016?  So here are the rules, and I will guide you on the private Facebook page for 4 days from 12/29-1/1.

  1. Clear at least some of the physical clutter in your life.  Whatever it is that will give you the biggest sense of relief.
  2. Be mindful of how you FEEL and how you want to feel.  And when you feel anything negative, ask yourself “what do I have to think or believe in order to feel good?”  Easiest way to deal with this is to find something to be grateful for, and shift your perspective.
  3. Only positive self talk. Say one or more affirmations every morning.  “I am” statements are perfect.  Whatever you want to be, fake it until you make it.  “I am strong. I am in control of my thoughts and choices.”

That is it!  Let’s say hello to 2017 with less physical, mental and emotional clutter in our lives!  Click on the link below and request to join this 4 day challenge.

If you are one of the 148 that just did my 4 for 7 healthy holiday challenge, then you need not rejoin, you are already in!  But feel free to invite friends and family!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/healthylifechallenges/