The 12 Days of College Break

Boundaries

Do you ever feel like there are people in your life that are there for the sole purpose (soul-purpose) of testing your boundaries?

I have been working on this “Boundary issue” for years – maybe even a lifetime. It’s the hangover that comes from too many years as a Pleaser and a Good Girl.

For some reason, I was under the assumption that once you dealt with an issue it was over. The other day I was reminded that issues are like onions…they have many layers that need to be peeled back one at a time, revealing a new level of opportunity to grow and expand.

Last week I received a call from a friend I hadn’t heard from in almost a year. She said she wanted to meet for lunch. “It’s an Emergency!” Usually, I try to avoid long conversations with her as they always seem to be one-sided, and I end up drained and resentful. However, my curiosity got the best of me and I agreed to meet her that day. For the next two hours, I listened to tell me in detail about how her hairdresser ruined her life – and by life I mean her hair. She barely took a breath as she recounted each appointment to correct what she viewed as nothing less than a highlight disaster. As she spoke of her quest for hair perfection, I literally witnessed her become happier and more radiant as she lightened her load – and dumped her hairdressing mishap on me.

Thank Goodness it was time for carpool!

This person was not coming to me because she was in a crisis, conflicted or looking for advice or support. She was looking for a captive audience to dump her woes with little regard for my time, my interest and my boundaries.

She is what I call a Boundary Buster.

What I learned is this – we have the right to say, “Enough! I can’t hear one more thing.” We have the right to never go to lunch with this boundary-buster again. And, although it’s difficult in the middle a Narcissistic Monologue to know exactly when “enough – is enough”…. when we recognize that feeling that our boundaries have been trampled, that our soul has been soiled and that we never want to experience anything like that again – we know to say NO the next time that person calls.

“When someone shows you who they are…believe them the first time.” —Maya Angelou

 

 

Letting Go

This is the time to just let go…..

Let Go of Expectations

Let Go of how things “Ought to Be”

Let Go of that which no longer serves you

Let Go of relationships with people who drain your energy

Let Go of “Your Story” – it’s in the past

Letting Go means being in the present moment. You can’t change the past, you can’t predict or prevent the future.

Today, this day…this moment is all you have for certain.

Getting Your Inner and Outer Worlds in Synch

When your inner and outer worlds aren’t in synch nothing seems to feel quite right. It’s like putting on your favorite jeans that you accidentally put in the drier for two hours, and suddenly you can’t get them over thighs…they look and feel the same, but they’re not – you’ve literally outgrown them.

The same thing happens when we evolve internally.

Outdated, beliefs, habits, and patterns that no longer serve us are easily let go and replaced with new, healthier habits and beliefs.

If we want our new inner world to match our outer world we have to adjust accordingly.

This is what happened to me after a process of digging deep…discovering my Core Desired feelings through the Desire Map process…teaching workshops and actually living those feelings.

And then this little book came along:

 

It should really should come with a warning:

“Proceed with Caution, or read at your own risk!!!!

I had the pleasure of reading this small, unassuming book this summer. I thought – oh another book about getting organized- maybe if I read it, my house will become neat and tidy by osmosis. However, what happened was nothing short of a household-Tsunami- in a good way.

Kondo’s premise is “if something doesn’t bring you JOY get rid of it.” Well, I had no idea how many joyless articles of clothing, books, and household stuff I had lurking in my seemingly organized house. (P.S. Just because you have bins labeled, arranged by season and alphabetized – does not mean you are organized, or that the items in the bins bring you joy!)

My process started with an update of my office and a quick look into my 3 clothing closets. In the end, I purged 8 racks of clothes, 15 pieces of furniture and a whole library of books. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as it turns out, the more streamlined you become the less tolerance you have for clutter, disorder, or even superfluous stuff.

During the purging process, I will admit there was a brief moment of panic of letting go. I am a sentimentalist, and everything carried with it a memory, that I didn’t want to let go of. In some cases, I’d paid a lot of money for an item and letting it go brought up guilt and even shame for buying it in the first place. Yet, when I truly examined my desire to hold on – it didn’t bear up to the JOY test…. so I let it go…. and go… and go…

The truth was I was done with them- they’d served their purpose. The silver lining is – just because something no longer gives you joy, it may be the perfect thing for someone else. Consigning my clothes and furniture felt both empowering and expanding. The more I let go, the calmer I felt, and it had a ripple effect.

What started out as a little closet-declutter turned into an entire office and home makeover. I realized that who I was 14 years ago when I decorated my home and bought clothes is not who I am now – and I was feeling out of synch with my surroundings.

My before and after photos of my ever-evolving office say it all. Before I wanted to be surrounded by anything I might possibly need, cards, pens, post-it notes, pads of paper, journals, notebooks, calendars – Office Depot/Papyrus/Target I had it all in spades, and every in every color.

Now I crave space, tranquility, beauty and simplicity – and I’ve got it! My closets used to reflect my Girl Scout of attitude – “be prepared”. I kept things just in case; for example I may need that grey leopard print scarf, or perhaps pink, floral raincoats come back in fashion. My closets were overflowing with castoffs and some great pieces – but which no longer reflected who I am today.

What I’ve learned in this process, which by no means is over, is that the more I become in tune with my clothes and surroundings, the more I attract people, experiences and things which are a true reflection of me today.

My Desire Map training taught me to focus on how I want to feel..and to design my life, day, home based on those feelings. When I examined my own Core Desired Feelings:

Divinely-Connected, Creatively-Inspired, Vibrantly-Healthy, Joyful-Gratitude, Anchored -in-Ease

It was obvious my inner and outer world were out of synch.

What’s the expression – you can’t unsee what you’ve seen. So now I see the areas that still need work – hello basement! The difference is I can’t wait to tackle them now – because I know with the letting go – comes transformation- and with transformation comes another step closer to my becoming whole, to reaching my potential, to being my Best Self.

PS – I supposed when a title of a book includes “Life Changing” one might expect things to be different – for me, after reading this book, JOY is my compass and I know I am heading in the right direction.

Transformation is easier with a little help from my friends! Home Designer extraordinaire – Kristina Sterling, www.seekinteriordesign.com

The darling and daring duo of Home & Closet declutter and beautification – Susie Houston and trusty assistant to Hector Loya.   Susiehouston@yahoo.com

With Gratitude,

Allie