Do you really, really want to get something done, but you're terrified out of your mind to do it? In this Truly Powerful Quick Tip video (video #7 of 7), I talk about things you may be unaware of that greatly effect your confidence and ability to go for it in life. I also mentions a way to look at your situation that can also lift you above your own fears. Don't miss this one if you have a lot of big stuff to do and you're tired of letting fear get in the way.
Clutter interferes with our life in many different ways. Regardless of the type of clutter—physical, mental or emotional—it creates a barrier between us and our natural flow. When clutter clogs up our life, we pay the price. If you’re feeling particularly stuck right now it could be time for a major de-clutter fest.
Types of clutter
The body. If we have a cluttered body that essentially means that we are stuffing our veins, arteries and other pathways with debris. This can happen with too much alcohol, fried foods, or processed food with chemicals and additives. When we’re cluttered in the body things don’t flow—maybe we’re constipated or we have high blood pressure. Live by the basic rules of health to de-clutter: water, fibre, exercise. These guidelines may seem overly simplistic but if we don’t have the foundation, we don’t have the house, am I right?
What to do?
Drink more water—carry a water bottle or leave water at your desk; always have a reminder that you need to drink water; eat watery foods such as celery, watermelon, cucumber, soups
Eat more fibre—get this from your foods; the best sources are beans, fruits and vegetables (with the skin) and whole grains (whole wheat, kamut, rye, or quinoa)
Exercise—even walking is an excellent way to move the body and help it to process anything that is clogged or cluttering your system
The environment. When your office desk is hidden under ten years of old files and papers, topped off with gum wrappers and broken paperclips you are living in a cluttered environment. If your closet is a health and safety hazard you are living a cluttered environment. This creates anxiety, stress and overwhelm. You look at the mess and are paralyzed. This is clogging your flow.
When our thoughts are recurring, relentless and negative our mind is cluttered. If you play the same unhappy scenarios in your head over and over again your mind is cluttered. This creates stress, anxiety and a heavy negative tone to your life. It blocks the positive, flowing energy from blowing breezes through your thought passages.
What to do?
Write down the recurring thoughts in your journal. Beside each one say or write—I accept you, I bless you, I forgive you. This level of awareness and acceptance helps to dissolve the need for those thoughts to loop around in your head. You are bringing light to them. Do this for every thought that comes up repeatedly.
If we have repeated emotional experiences on a playback loop we may have a cluttered heart. Maybe your goto feeling is frustration or loneliness or anger. Maybe all you can feel is: nothing. This is a sign that your heart is clogged. The myriad of emotional nuances available to you are waiting outside the wall of clutter. The clutter is your old, stale, repeated emotions.
What to do?
In the same way as the thoughts, write down your repeating emotions. Write the same or say the same phrases for each emotion—I accept you, I bless you, I forgive you. You are again bringing light and awareness to them. Sometimes all you need is acknowledgement and awareness. The emotional awareness is more of a process but you may be surprised what you can unclutter in a short period of time.
Try these de-cluttering activities for all aspects of your life and you’ll be amazed at how much lighter, more vibrant and fluid you will feel! During the change of seasons is an excellent time to embark on this journey as the energy of transition is also gently helping the process. Happy de-cluttering!
If you have any tips for de-cluttering comment below so we can all learn from each other.
Scene: Just another day for the emotionally overwhelmed
A man coughs into Janet’s back on the subway, so she whirls around to give him the death stare. He ignores her, but she’s ready for hand to hand combat if need be. At her stop, she realizes that it’s 9:05 am so she breaks into a light jog. She ducks into the closest Starbucks because let’s face it—no amount of ill will from boss man can come between Janet and her morning caffeine. Fifty people wait anxiously in front of her. She steps in behind them, mentally crafting a reasonable excuse for the big cheese. Then out of nowhere an obviously overly-entitled man in a jogging pant steps right into the spot in front of her. She bursts into tears and runs out the door, like Jan in every episode of the Brady Bunch.
Poor Jan. We’ve all been there. The odd behavior, the overly sensitive demeanor and the alarmingly disheveled appearance.
What exactly is emotional overwhelm?
In extreme cases, I would describe it as a state where you cease to be able to function. You are so overly stimulated and overloaded with stressors that even day to day tasks seem completely unmanageable. This is the crisis point—when we can’t get through the day anymore. This is when we take to our beds and hide under the covers. More about that in a minute. First of all here are some of the ways that emotional overwhelm can manifest in our lives.
Emotional overwhelm can look like many things: pain, anger, irritability, withdrawing from friends and family or avoidance of all other human beings. Maybe we lash out at others. Maybe we don’t talk to anyone and stop answering the phone. There is no single picture of this state—everyone can bring it forward differently. The point is not to judge ourselves or beat ourselves up about it. We all have different ways of coping in life.
How does it happen?
Now I’d like you to examine the instances where you were overwhelmed-whether it was a mild experience or a full-on crisis. What were you doing two to three weeks before that? Did you have a lot on your plate? Had you moved? Taken on a new job?
My typical pattern in life is to keep taking one more thing on until I feel overwhelmed. That is the path to hell for me. If I don’t see it coming I end up with the covers over my head. My practice in life is to pick up on the signals or the warning signs that come in and listen to them! For example, as I move into this pattern I start to feel a slight uneasiness or a bit of generalized anxiety. I don’t go outside or exercise. I start to feel more anxious and then I can’t sleep. See where I’m going with this? That is my path to emotional overwhelm. What is yours? Sit down and take a good long look at your ride down the slippery slope. Then you can be better prepared for next time. To course correct; to stop the train wreck. You do have the power to do that. It just takes a little bit of awareness and kindness to yourself.
How can we prevent it?
This is where we take the road map and signal system and put it to use. When we see ourselves going into the danger zone—do the “course correct”. Start the self-love! Have a bath, postpone your appointment or project or have a nice cup of relaxing tea. Sit in your back yard and watch the world go by. Just slow down and let your body catch up.
Oops there it is
What if we’re all up in it already—in full crisis mode? Now we need to be with our experience and let it happen. Let the emotions have a say—just give them a nod don’t have a two hour conversation with them. Have a good cry. Or sit with the feelings of frustration, resentment and jealousy. Whatever it is stop resisting it. The more we resist, the more we start to suffer and collapse. Our body and mind shuts down because we don’t want to deal with what wants to come up. Allowing things to come up and lovingly giving them attention helps to dissolve them out of your system. Less resistance, less pain and suffering.
The bottom line is that we are all doing the best we can in every moment. Our bodies and minds are intelligent and will give us the messages we need at the right time. Tune in and listen and we won’t feel blindsided by our experiences. We will be prepared for them and able to process our emotions in a way that won’t cause overwhelm.
I don’t know about everyone else lately but I’m overwhelmed!
I’m overwhelmed with too many choices-good choices, bad choices, scary choices, boring choices…you get the picture. What part of my career should I focus on? Writing? Clients? Classes? What is the best way to help people and honour my hopes and dreams? I sit and stare into space weighing all the possibilities.
Isn’t it funny that even an abundance of wonderful avenues can cause a state of complete and total paralysis? In my mind, making a choice rules out all the other choices. Then I think, well I don’t want to miss out on B or C or D…so I don’t choose. And we all know that not making a choice is a choice. So then I’m back to square one—in front of all the tantalizing opportunities without the courage to reach out and pick one from the tree.
There are many reasons for not choosing something:
- Fear of success
- Fear of judgement
- Fear of failure
- Low self-esteem
- And low self-worth are just some of the myriad of blocks
All these reasons may seem so real and so strong that they guide our every move or lack thereof. So, how do we break through it and come out the other side? Recently I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter WHAT I choose, it only matters THAT I choose. Who wants to sit on the sidelines and miss out on all the fun in life?
Here are some of the tips I’ve used to shake myself out of my reverie of overwhelm:
- Choose something today.
Pick your yoga class, deadline, holiday schedule…it doesn’t matter what it is. Pick it.
Sign up, call for the appointment, write it down—whatever it takes to solidify the choice.
- Be aware of feelings of fear/guilt/happiness/relief.
How do you feel now that you’ve done something? You made your choice—how do you feel? Hopefully you feel good! If you feel fear for example, write down your fears to bring them down to size. In our head they are such big monsters but on paper they are mini annoyances.
It will pass and mostly you will feel relief.
- Give it your loving attention.
Now you’ve chosen something, followed through and you’re doing it. To make sure you don’t sabotage yourself, put your best intentions and effort into it.
- Make time for it.
Nurture the process, enjoy it and feel proud that you’re part of a process you’ve CHOSEN.
Enjoy the new found freedom and empowerment that comes with overcoming the paralysis! Ultimately this process includes anything big or small. It could be that you chose to walk to the store instead of driving because you choose exercise. It could be that you chose to move your bedroom furniture around to breathe new life into the space. It could be that you chose between becoming a veterinarian and a painter. Big or small, it matters not. Just show up for life and step into it. If you’ll excuse me I have some more writing to do…