Minimal Monday

I was listening to The Mel Robbin’s podcast episode #58 on making your home and your mind clutter-free and I thought I’d share my takeaways with you. Of course, if you get a chance to listen to the episode yourself, you might find it useful and inspiring, so here it is

Otherwise, read on for a few simple nuggets from Mel’s guest, Dana K. White, founder of the blog A Slob Comes Clean and author of How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind:

#1. Declutter before organizing. If your stuff does not fit well within its containers, closet, room, or home, there is too much of it. When you declutter first, there is less stuff for you to organize.

#2. Start with throwing away any trash, then move on to easy-to-donate items. When you start with the easy stuff, you will gain momentum, clarity, and proof of progress before you get to the more difficult items. This will make going through the more sentimental items easier, because you will already be experiencing the payoff of clearer space.

#3. Put things away or in trash/recycle/donation bags as your are organizing; don’t create piles that you need to come back to deal with.

Of course they covered much more in the podcast episode, but that is my minimal recap! Everyone deserves a peaceful, well organized home because it means less stress, more clarity, space, energy, and even more time to spend on all that is meaningful to you.

Minimal Monday

Someone asked me if I was nervous about speaking at this year’s International Conference on Shared Parenting in Athens, Greece. My answer is no, I am not nervous about my presentation. I will be speaking on behalf of children who have been alienated from a beloved parent after a divorce and I am honored to do so. I am passionate about doing so.

It is everything else surrounding this speaking opportunity that I am less comfortable with. The packing a week’s worth of clothes into a small enough suitcase that can be considered a “carry-on”. Crossing time zones and getting off the plane only to use some other mode of transportation to get the hotel when my body wants to be in a deep sleep. Three days of mingling and of not wanting to miss any of the others’ presentations while simultaneously feeling the drain of so many people.

Yes, the anticipation of all the details surrounding the trip is far more nerve-racking to me than the actual presentation.

Give this introvert a microphone and a chance to speak up for kids, and I am all in. If I am going to travel, I prefer travel with a purpose. I’m truly grateful to be able to go. And my husband, who knows his way around Athens from his airline pilot days, will travel with me. We will enjoy some quiet dinners and city sights, and even explore an island or two. I’m looking forward to that as well. And when it’s over, I will be clicking my heels like Dorothy. For me, there’s no place like home.

Minimal Monday

We live in such a cerebral culture that I find myself wondering if at some point we collectively left our bodies to hang out mostly in our heads. I was reading about the people of Sardinia who grow their own food and live by the rhythms of the earth and their own circadian rhythms. They are generally very healthy and happy and many of them to live to be 100 and beyond.

Most of us are not going to move to an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea, yet I think that many of us are practicing certain habits in order to come back to the present, to the body. Yoga, meditation, and even stopping to take few deep breaths can help silence the mind chatter that is our nemesis. Exercise, a healthy diet, getting still and allowing feelings to flow through us, goes a long way to embodying our best lives.

Trauma, societal pressure, well-worn habits, and the examples that were set before us can all contribute to us leaving our bodies, repressing (let me count thy ways!) and over-thinking (a real addiction!)

Of course using our mind is important and cherished, but it is so easy to forget that our best thoughts, ideas and solutions come to us – through us – when we are not stuck in our heads.

We are human beings, not machines, and our bodies hold our memories, messages, intuition. It takes a conscious effort, a daily choice on my part, to remember this and to try to live accordingly. I am so very far from mastering it, but I am recommitting to trying my best. I do believe that a continual coming back to the body, where the heart dwells, holds the key to clarity, wholeness, to nearly everything.

Happy Monday!

Minimal Monday

I’ve heard it said that life is half good and half bad, and of course this is an oversimplification. We are having wildly different experiences, different size pieces of the good-bad pie. The good/bad ratio can even change drastically within one person’s lifetime. I guess the point of the half good/half bad theory is to encourage us to savor the good and not be too surprised or discouraged by the bad. “This too shall pass”, whether it is something considered “good” or “bad”.

You may have already read Maggie Smith’s poem, “Good Bones” since it has apparently gotten quite famous. I just read it today and I encourage you to check it out. Her first line is “Life is short, though I keep this from my children.” She goes on to write about how the world is half beautiful and half terrible. The poem is rather melancholy and I wouldn’t necessarily read it for fun, but nonetheless, it is a piece of art that surely falls under the beautiful, good half of life.

Happy Monday!

*P.S. If you have kindle unlimited, you can get my new memoir, YOU-KNOW-WHO for free on Amazon!