Tidying Up and Letting Go

I am taking this tidying up thing seriously and spreading the love.

  
Juliana emptied three trash bags full of clothes to give away. She rolled up her remaining clothes and stacked them vertically in her drawers so she could see what she has and created space. She loves to paint her nails and created an artistic space to do her work. I loved peeking in and seeing her be creative.  She got it!! Tidying up isn’t about the process of tidying all the time. It’s about keeping your space organized and neat so that you can really enjoy your space. 

Charlie’s room has been collecting clutter for months and there was so much stuff that there was no place to put anything anymore. I knew that he needed help and I knew it would take hours to look at each item and make decisions on what needed to stay and what needed to go.

I skipped yoga this morning and told him we would work on his room instead before we got distracted. We spent 3 hours decluttering and creating give away bags and lots of trash. Once we looked at everything, we found small plastic shoe boxes to create structure and organization for his treasures and clothes in his drawers and under bed boxes. He struggled and was bored but he kept going and didn’t give up. As we got close to finishing, he starting making a fort under his bed. He had a new space to play in and used it.

We moved out his desk and made more room for his drum set. As soon as the space was created, he started playing his drums and finding a place for his drumsticks.  He was happy.

One thing we decided to let go of today was our Lego collection. I was proud of the boys for being willing to give them away.

 
I, on the other hand, struggled a bit to say goodbye to the two bins full of happy memories. I loved watching them play with them for so many years. Letting them go felt like acknowledging and seeing that the boys are really growing up. It was like being handed a receipt, letting me know that yes, the boys are big now. I already know that, but the act of letting go of the Legos was symbolic.  I “thanked them” for the joy they brought to our lives and wished them well, bringing joy to new boys and girls. 

Life is good!

nAMaste

Life Cheerleader

As a child, I always wanted to be a cheerleader, but I wasn’t that coordinated and my dad didn’t want the same thing for me. So I waited and took a different path.

I love the energy and joy and dancing and celebrating that cheerleaders create. They energize a space and they look pretty and happy and they’re always smiling and people enjoy watching them jump up an down. Their spirit is contagious and they get other people to acknowledge and see the good and to shout it out in silly and fun ways.

Sometimes in my family I feel like I am a cheerleader, just not all that fancy. I like to lift people up and watch what everyone is doing and celebrate life and laugh and cheer.

I like to encourage each of us to follow our personal dreams and I like to get the rest of us to witness and see their gifts and talents and shout out loud. I like to be our family cheerleader. I want each of us to win and to be happy and successful at whatever “game” we choose, and I want us all to participate. One of our family mottos is to work hard and play hard. And celebrate this one beautiful life, everyday.

I like to lead my family in cheer as we watch each other perform the tasks of life  I like when the rest of us celebrate together and dance and play with me as I lead the cheer. Or if they want to lead, I love to follow along and chant out loud and smile and be silly.

I want the spirit of joy to be contagious and I want us all to feel the excitement that life has to offer all of us.

How about you? Are you the cheerleader in your family? Do you have a cheerleader?

Let’s go! Let’s go! L-E-T-S-G-O

Let’s go!

The Sabbath 

How did you rest today?

Did you slow down and enjoy a special moment with someone or something you love?

The message for today was not to hurry. I had to think about this one for awhile and wondered what that would look like and feel like to slow down. I always feel like I am in a hurry and juggling several things at once. I want to go, go, go, and don’t want to stop until bed time.

What happens when you don’t hurry?

I decided to practice today, since it was the sabbath, a day of rest.

As we were leaving church today, a gentleman decided he wanted to talk with us. We did not know him, yet his eyes sparkled and he wanted to share his story with us. Since we weren’t in a hurry, we listened. And we listened until everyone around us left. We walked outside and we listened some more. He had a lot to share and was very interesting and friendly. Plus, we weren’t in a hurry and we felt the presence of the moment and just being together in conversation, sharing stories and feeling good.

Juliana and I went shopping after lunch and we took our time. We weren’t in a rush and we were able to find what we were seeking.  I wanted to hurry home and be done, but instead we slowed down. I smiled at people and shared stories. One girl gave me an extra 10% off my order, maybe because I was not in a hurry and was present for a real moment in the check out line with her, asking her personal questions. I was actually enjoying the slower process and talking to people. I saw the workers differently and appreciated their service and hearing their stories too. 

I feel like if we slow down and see people and connect, maybe we can make this world a little less hectic and discover what we have in common and smile and share a laugh.  

Hmm…that’s what happened to me today and I loved it.  How about you? What happens when you slow down?

The Magic of Tidying Up

I just finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo.  If you haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend it and following the advice, not that I’ve done all of what she says but it definitely has changed my life.

She provides strategies for creating space and decluttering so that we can get the most out of life. Her advice is simple and her words keep resonating in my head. Her basic premise is to consider all that you have and ask yourself whether each item brings you joy. If it doesn’t, she tells you to get rid of it so that you can create space for what does.  I absolutely love this and keep thinking about everything I see now and wonder if it brings me joy. If it doesn’t, I’m letting it go and clearing it out. It feels so good to get rid of stuff, I can’t even tell you.

My mom was here last week and I was telling her about the book and how I want to get rid of everything but that it takes time to clear things out. I pointed to a cabinet in my kitchen and she started asking questions and the next thing you know, we’re clearing out the cupboards and now they are empty. The space is ready to be repurposed and I can’t wait. Right now I love just knowing that the shelves are empty and that there is order.  I can’t wait to do more.

I called my sister to tell her of my a-ha moment and she told me she was reading the same book and was already clearing out her closets! She sent me pictures of the pounds and bags of stuff she was ready to recycle and sent me pictures of her newly organized closet. She was so happy. I couldn’t believe we were both reading the same book at the same time and sharing similar experiences.

My favorite part of the book is the end. The book is about learning how to declutter and find a space for everything and putting things back every day so that you have more time to do what you love and to spend less time wasting life on tidying and looking for things you can’t find.  She helps you to learn how to make decisions and to chose what is meaningful and these processes relate to all other parts of our lives.

She says, “pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life. I am convinced that putting your house in order will hep you find the mission that speaks to your heart. Life truly begins after you have put your house in order.”

I think by deciding what you want and don’t want and by being actively present and aware as you make these decisions, these small daily decisions will actually help you to decide what else you really want in your life and to take action right now.

I already noticed in a change in my thinking. This morning I woke up and decided I wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market. Usually I’ll sit around and read the paper and make excuses why I shouldn’t move or go out. Today was different and I made a decision to go and invited Jeff to join me. He said yes, and we went on a spontaneous date together that made my day. I loved walking around, seeing friends, gathering food for dinner tonight, and eating breakfast together outside.

  

When we came home, I decided I wanted to cook Thai food and learn how to poach chicken. I spent several hours in the kitchen cooking and preparing dishes, just for fun. I didn’t procrastinate, as I usually do, and I enjoyed cleaning out the kitchen and just being home, playing and cooking. I loved seeing the kids come in to pick at my food and to enjoy my work and that an impromptu dinner was ready when they were hungry. I loved bringing out my beautiful dishes that I love, and actually using them just for me.  I think this is what Marie Kondo was talking about.

I created space. I made decisions. I enjoyed what I love and today was good.

I wish the same for you. Clear out the clutter. Create space. Do what you love.  nAMaste. xo

Glamping in California

 
I grew up camping and I am so thankful my parents decided to come up to visit us again as they begin their summer vacation.

I was able to find a last-minute glamping spot with all the perks, close to the coast and we quickly packed up and got on the road. Charlie is so in love with his grandpa, whom we call, Opa. He decided he would drive with Opa and I drove with Oma in my car and with the other two kids. 

We have a beautiful, relaxing spot to do nothing and anything for the next two days. I am beyond content.

I love seeing the kids play and ride bikes and do puzzles and hang out together with my parents with no agenda. I am loving on my parents too and enjoying their company.

Life is so good. Live it up, friends. Now is the time to BE. Here I am.

   
    

lichen on the bridge