An interesting week

The past week of my life can perhaps best be described by that wondrously multi-faceted word: “interesting”.

Things have happened – good things, even – but not in any way, shape or form I predicted as I boldly set out into Monday (aka ‘dragged myself out of bed and off to work’).

Between kids with viruses, and the subsequent working-from-home, astrological discoveries, costume show’n’tell night at my dance class, getting to know my new tarot deck (the Wild Unknown – it’s gorgeous), and playing Scrabble with my beloved (it was us against the letters!), the week has been full of twists, turns, and the life equivalent of interesting shops that may not be in the same place the next day (thank you for the imagery, Sir Terry).

I am hugely grateful for Monique of the beautiful Etsy shops Nekeuomanteion and HipnotiqueTribal for the insights and wisdom of her tarot readings and astrological reports. Monique’s Underworld Astrology report was my first time delving into the world of astrology (with a lifetime of scepticism behind me) and it has been incredibly revealing, while also creating plenty of inner work to do! I regard that as a win πŸ™‚

Flowing on from that – because everything is flowing and nothing stands on its own at the moment – I have been doing plenty of reflection and inner work, as well as more de-cluttering/releasing/clearance (yes, more!)

I have been particularly inspired by a single sentence in the latest post on the Lucky Bitch blog:

“Declutter everything that’s not what you want to manifest.”

That’s pretty clear guidance!

As a result, I’ve cleared through the surface layers of my half of the bedroom and my studio (my two personal spaces). They now feel much clearer and more focused to me (and I’m not actually too bothered anymore about what anyone else thinks!) This week will see me dig beneath the surface more… so there may be more ‘interesting’ times ahead?!

I’ve found it useful to think about what belongs to past selves, and what belongs to me now and to the future me I want to become. I really don’t need to fill my life up with the detritus of past selves (though there are some mementos that still bear meaning). I need room to live now and into the future. It has been interesting seeing what resonates and what doesn’t – there have been some surprises…

I am already beginning to see the fruits of all this inner and outer work – and I’ve really only just started! (Well, this phase, anyway…)

So, I am very curious as we head into a new week (with healthy-again kids, and a wealth of personal information to work through) to see just what happens next…

Social media – release or embrace?!

Much has been written on the ills and/or necessity of social media in this internet age.

Depending on who you read, social media can be a contributor to social dislocation or an essential part of your personal brand. Personally, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle (as it usually does).

Social media is, in my view, neither the devil incarnate nor the answer to your everything. It is a tool which can support, and even enhance, our lives, but it also contains hazards. Not just the obvious noisy trolls, but quieter dangers like discontent, jealousy and time-wasting.

I don’t worry so much about avoiding trolls: they will trample wherever they will, and there ain’t much anyone can do about that except wait for them to move on.

I have found a way to managing the quieter dangers. It is simple, but effective:

consciously choose what goes into your feeds

I’m a Tweep, a Facebooker and a Pinner. All these media have feeds.

Over recent weeks, I’ve been making conscious decisions about what I do and don’t want in my feeds, and who I want to hear from: I’ve cleaned out my Twitter follows and started work on my Facebook newsfeed. Pinterest is yet to come.

More important to me than clearing out is choosing what to embrace in my feeds. I want to be encouraged and inspired, so I can spread that joy wider.

Interestingly, I’ve found that I enjoy Twitter more than I do Facebook. I think it’s partly because there is no requirement to be friends with people to share their wisdom and humour. And the character limit makes for quicker scrolling and less ranting. Facebook does help me stay connected to people I care about, but Twitter leaves me smiling!

Anyway, here’s a couple of tips for releasing and embracing your social media feeds:

  1. Think about what you actually want to see:Β  what do you want to be feeding your soul? If you do this right at the beginning, it will make choosing who to release and who to keep around much easier.
    • My Twitter feed had ended up full of cynical political commentary which was dragging me down. Cynical is one thing I really don’t need encouragement for – I can do it quite well by myself! So, I’ve deliberately chosen to follow people whose tweets encourage me and make me smile (especially if they feature cat pics).
  2. It is okay to release people from your feeds. Chances are they’ll never know…
    • I find Twitter is less emotionally charged than Facebook for this – but I have discovered you can unfollow individual Facebook friends without having to take that fraught step of unfriending. This takes them out of your newsfeed, but leaves the friendship in place. Pinterest is dead easy – just unfollow boards you don’t enjoy any more.
  3. Build a feed that feeds you
    • It really doesn’t take much effort to fill your feed with images and words that feed your soul. Just search for what you actually like and want to see (see #1) – and do remember it is okay to release and unfollow what no longer works for you.

We are allowed to grow and change, and we are allowed to take our social media with us as we do!

How do you manage your social media? Do you have any tips for de-cluttering this part of life? Please share πŸ™‚

Releasing the inner clutter

As I work through my physical clutter, I’m also working through my inner emotional and mental clutter – much of which goes back to childhood memories.

When I was growing up, the phrase “waste not, want not” was a familiar family refrain. We had enough, but not lots, and my parents were careful stewards of the family resources.

I know that phrase is meant to be a simple reminder for good stewardship, but for some reason it’s never sat quite comfortably with me. Despite my efforts over the years to be a ‘good steward’, my inner rebel got all too good at wasting and wanting plenty!

It is hard to overcome that ingrained inner voice – but I’m working on it. And I’ve found a new phrase that helps me move through my guilt at past unwise decisions:

release or embrace

This simple phrase works as both a statement and a question. It makes me acknowledge that there really are only two options for the things in my life: if I don’t want to embrace them, then I need to release them. And if I don’t want to release them, I need to be willing to embrace them. There is no space for half-heartedness, nor wriggle space to cop-out of the hard stuff.

I’m only beginning this part of my journey, but I am already feeling the power of these words.

I know I’m in for some big changes ahead, as there’s plenty in my life I no longer want to embrace. But there’s also plenty that I want to embrace and cherish more and more strongly.

So here’s a quick sampling of some of the things I’m ready to release or embrace:

Embrace

  • My true self
  • Hanging with my peeps (both family and friends)
  • Creating a vibrant, friendly home and garden
  • Dancing with my tribe
  • Writing
  • ‘Yarning’

Release

  • Stuff I haven’t really used for twenty years!
  • Old habits that don’t support my current life and loves
  • Books that belong to former selves (newsflash: I’m not a 20-year-old history student any more!)
  • Social media feeds that drag me down (more on this soon)

How about you?

What can you release from your life?

And what are you ready to embrace wholeheartedly?

❀

Some ideas for your weekend

If you need a break from working on #25, here’s some other ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

My thanks to the fabulous Rachel Brice for sharing this on Facebook...:

Do you choose fear or joy?

Today I have a deceptively simple question for you:

Are you holding onto your stuff from fear, guilt and/or grief

or from love and joy?

I’ve asked this of myself, and found the answers to be incredibly powerful and healing. I hope it works the same for you.

I know what I want my answer to be!

Now to clear the fear and guilt-ridden stuff out of the house…

❀

Some resources to inspire your spring clean

Here’s a few things I’m currently finding to be useful sources of inspiration and food for thought as I work on my spring clean of my home and my life:

  • The life-changing magic of tidying by Marie Kondo (aka KonMari). You’ve probably heard the term ‘KonMari’ mentioned wherever someone is talking about de-cluttering. Marie Kondo has developed a distinctly Japanese approach to tidying that is inspiring many people, including me. I particularly like the idea of choosing to keep those things that ‘spark joy’ – such a simple critieria
  • Leave your mark by Aliza Licht. The first few chapters of this book weren’t so relevant for me, but the later parts have really got me thinking about my approach to social media and my wider online life, as well as that vexed question of ‘personal brand’, and who and what I want to be (still figuring that out).
  • And I’ve just discovered that Brittany of the Nested Nomad blog is just starting a series on simplifying your life. Her description of simplicity as “living life with an uncluttered soul” really resonates with me. That is what I aspire to!

What’s inspiring your spring cleaning (or your autumn taking stock)? Let’s have a link fest in the comments, so we all get super motivated!

A new month and a new season

PC1.2 Daffodils

Spring has sprung, September is here already (did that really have to happen so soon?!) and my thoughts are turning to de-cluttering, spring cleaning and re-vamping.

Given what Spring is like here in Wellington (soggy, windy, changeable, windy, damp, did I mention windy?!), I find this is an ideal opportunity to look inside my house and myself, and see what I can shake up and sort out.

So, in as much as I ever actually plan anything round here, I’m planning a theme for September of “Spring Cleaning” (what a surprise…)

If you’ve got any tips, questions, favourite sources of information and transpiration, or anything else vaguely relevant to the topic, let me know (you can use the comments, Facebook, Twitter or email verdant at paradise.net.nz). Guest posts are welcome, too.

Otherwise, you’ll have to put up with whatever comes to my mind – so don’t be shy!

πŸ™‚

BTW I’m still accepting submissions for August’s monthly challenge (there is no deadline… unless you want one… in which case, tomorrow! Panic!!!) I’ll announce September’s challenges soon.

πŸ™‚