What happened when I walked away from all my stuff (and my apartment)

What happened when I walked away from all my stuff (and my apartment)

My friend once told me about a man who owned just one suit, a couple of pairs of pants and basically had a very scant wardrobe. I gawked at the idea. It seemed so inconceivable. How could he get by like that?


Well I found out firsthand when our apartment became uninhabitable due to mold and we had to leave everything behind. I learned how to live with just the bare minimum. At first it was stressful. I had to find ways to cook and clean with just what we could scrape together when we were living in a temporary sparsely furnished apartment. But I got around it and realized I didn’t need all the extra stuff. And the best benefit of it was that I felt oddly calm and more focused – especially in the morning. I felt liberated not being around so much stuff. My mood improved. I felt happier.

And that may seem drastic to you but here’s the thing. Everyone has their own approach, style and definition of what the outer order of your home should be and look like. That’s exactly what Gretchen Rubin stresses in her book Outer Order Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness.

You look at clutter differently than the next person. One person’s pile of mail on the kitchen countertop may be in perfect order, but to another utter chaos. Go with what works for you. Rubin offers over 120 doable approaches to decluttering you can freely choose, based on you and your situation. That’s what’s so refreshing about her advice – you can be you. You don’t have to force yourself into following a long, dark, and narrow approach.

Personally I loved her ideas on:


– You don’t need an army of cleaning agents. You CAN get stains out with just soap and water. Amen to that! I now only use a few products for cleaning.

– Start cleaning if you can’t find something (it works for me every time I can’t find a pen, my keys or smartphone).

– “The ten minute closer” I love, love, love it! Before I head to sleep, I take Rubin’s advice to tidy up, wipe the counter tops, put shoes, clothes, etc. away, and anything else that needs to be put back in its proper place. I have a tendency to leave the kitchen cabinet doors open too. It feels great to walk into a nice, clean, clutter free setting each morning. (It takes me even less than 10 minutes now because I’ve gotten rid of the excess clutter already)


Whether you’re just starting to declutter your home or somewhere along the journey, Rubin lays out useful advice on decluttering and how to make it work in the long run. If you haven’t started yet or are feeling

The ONE thing you’ll regret not doing for your happiness and success

I’ve always been a big life-long learner. In fact, I didn’t stop learning after earning two masters degrees. I raced into the corporate world after college to learn as much as I could on the job. I also took as many training courses as I could. However, there’s one thing I wish I had learned way before going to school that could have helped my well-being considerably and possibly have prevented my collapse from exhaustion.

It’s what I learned at Arianna Huffington’s Rise & Thrive event.

Anyone who’s read Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive, knows that well-being is a big part of redefining success. Success can no longer be defined as having money and power. We have to take care of ourselves and our well-being as well.

 

So I wondered, when I attended Arianna Huffington’s Rise & Thrive workshop, if we would learn something new that her book Thrive doesn’t already teach.

 

We did, in fact, learn something the book doesn’t cover. We learned about mindset. Without it, we won’t make success happen and our well-being can suffer. It is, in fact, the biggest driver to success.


More precisely, it’s our beliefs or what they call limiting paradigms that hold us back from being successful. Our minds latch on to what we believe to be true.Those beliefs get reinforced through the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in our brain. This RAS acts like a filter for stimuli (what we hear, see and sense). For example, if we don’t feel valued our brain specifically looks for clues of that in our environment. Because of this system, we literally believe what we see.


Through their research they’ve found that we have seven fundamental limiting paradigms:

  1. No matter what I do, I can do better.
  2. I am not good enough.
  3. I don’t deserve success.
  4. I am not safe.
  5. I am not valuable.
  6. I am alone/abandoned.
  7. I am not worthy.



Instead, we should be thinking positive paradigms, but there’s a catch. Can you suddenly wipe out years or a lifetime of thinking and believing these things? You can’t. You can’t just wake up one day and suddenly switch over 100% to believing the positive paradigms which are:

1. I am enough and everything is good.
2. I am good enough.
3. I deserve success.
4. I am safe.
5. I am valuable.
6. I am supported.
7. I am worthy.

You have to start building these new beliefs into your life. You have to retrain your brain – every day, so the old beliefs become weaker and the new ones become stronger – even if at first you don’t believe them. And here’s how:

1. Every time a limiting paradigm comes up, catch yourself and turn it around. So, instead of saying “I’m not good enough” turn it around to “I am good enough.”

  1. Reflect at the end of your day and notice what limiting paradigm came up for you. Ask yourself, “what would I like to do differently next time?”


3. Write down the positive beliefs that you need to work on just before bedtime.                                               

 

Start with one of these three steps. And build stronger positive beliefs about yourself. Why wait any longer for more happiness and success?

How To Stop Feeling Like A Robot Going Through The Motions

Do you feel unfulfilled? Not sure about what you should be doing in life? Or if you’re even on the right path?

You are certainly not alone. I get it. I’ve been there too.

Like so many people I was taught to go to college and find a job with a salary that paid the bills and then some. Do what everyone else is doing. Follow the herd. But I felt like a robot going through the motions. I felt far from fulfilled.

And you may be thinking to yourself—there are so many options what if I pick the wrong one? What if I study to become a doctor/lawyer/accountant/fill-in-the-blank and I then realize I really don’t want to be one? Or I am bored in my current job and I want something else.

Here’s the deal you have many different roads to go on in your life. It’s not just about focusing on ONE thing. There is no one purpose that makes your life the example you want to set for others, there are many.

Think about it. How could there not be? You are made up of so much—you could be a sister, mother, best friend, colleague not to mention a whole list of different skills and talents. You could be great at brewing up a mean turmeric almond milk latte.

And they can change over time. Your interests and skills can take you different places and drive you to a different purpose and purposes. It’s a journey that opens up to many different roads to choose from. You’re in the driver’s seat—you have the power to shift lanes and take a different route. You don’t need to stick to just one road.

You may be thinking, ok I get it but I still don’t know what comes next. I feel stuck and unfulfilled. That’s actually perfectly ok. It’s what you do about it that counts. Here’s how to find out your purpose(s) and what fulfills you.

  1. Assess your situation. Break it down into three parts:
  • List 3 things you like or love to do. It could be in any area of your life like career, relationships, finances, health, environment, etc. It doesn’t have to be an income-producing activity, either. Here are some examples:
    • Meeting new people and having conversations with them
    • Volunteering at an animal shelter
    • Spending time in nature hiking
  • List 3 things you are good at (if that’s hard, think about what people have complimented you on or told you are good at):
    • Thinking up out-of-the-box solutions to problems
    • Singing
    • Interior design
  • List 3 things you would like to be good at:
    • Public speaking
    • Cooking
    • Skating
  1. Choose 2-3 things from your list of 9 things above and start going after them. If it’s just one thing you want to test, then go ahead. Or if you feel ready to go after 2-3 simultaneously, then by all means go for it! Start knocking on doors. Start exploring how to make that thing you love/like/are good at be a bigger part of your life. Take baby steps it’s not about moving mountains here. If you are interested in skating, look up skating rinks in your areas or skating groups on meetup or Facebook or at the rink. Carve out some time in your calendar, sign up, commit to trying it out and see how it goes from there.

Remember to keep moving and allow things to happen. Say yes and take a chance. Even when something doesn’t work out that’s ok. Just move onto the next thing on your list and go in another direction. Don’t be afraid to let things go. Sometimes it’s done its time and it’s time to move on.

Don’t say you are a failure or you’ve let yourself down. If something fails it’s because you need to move on and take another turn. They aren’t failures. They’re part of the journey, that give you lots of experience, wisdom and good stories to tell your grandkids one day.