January 1st typicaly is the day most begin their resolutions for change. I knew changes were needed in my life but I honestly dont do well with the January date to begin. For me the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over and the long winter days can be gloomy. I wished for someone to challenge me to LET me begin the year with a positive twist.
I went onto facebook on New Years Day to write a good wish message to all on my status. As I signed on I saw a post from someone I have been a huge fan for a while. His name is Peter Walsh and I first saw him on the Oprah Winfrey show and I ran out and bought the books and watched his television shows and thanks to social media now follow him on facebook. When I saw his post that he was beginning a 31 days to get organized challenge I was smiling from ear to ear. This was it. This was how I was going to pass my long January days.
Every day Peter posted a 10 minute challenge for his fans to get organized. The first day was a cinch. Begin removing holiday decorations. It was time to put them away so that put a smile on my face as I usually feel gloomy once everything is down. Not this year because I was part of a challenge. The sock drawer of day two went well and day three of the plastic storage container removal was easy as pie. I dont have tons of socks and I hate plastic containers. check check check...I was a week into it and it was so much fun.
Day seven and the underware drawer made me laugh out loud. As I was going through, as Peter referred to as "the unmentionables" I realized that was exactly what some of mine were. I threw out so many worn, stretched, elastic missing pairs. I asked myself why on earth was I keeping these things? I said out loud, "Donna you really need to value yourself more as some of these things are ridiculous!!! " The lightbulb in my mind then went off. Value Yourself!!
Day 12 "go nuts in your closet" and day 14 "tackle the T's" were my real moments. I have a closet full of clothes that I love but only wear the nicer things on special occasions. On my normal days I am in the older sweaters, t's jeans, etc. Meanwhile on the hangers were items I loved and felt great in, not to mention my Christmas gifts that still had tags on. I asked myself why am I saving these things? Why can't I feel special on an ordinary day? What am I saving my good things for? Piles and piles of clothes went to charity. The floodgates were opened and on went the pretty jewely and the nice perfume with the nicer sweaters.
I loved running to my computer every day to read the next challenge as well as all the messages from the other participants. Being part of the group was fun and I chose to read and listen more than respond and comment because I really wanted to learn from others stories. Peter reminds us to hold onto the things we cherish but to simply remove the clutter. Through his books and shows I always learned that there is more going on than what meets the eye and in small subtle ways he gave us messages to make us think.
As many of you who have been kind enough to follow my website know I began it while caring for my Mother who sadly passed away last February 23rd. When Mom first moved in and I stopped working outside the home my husband encouraged me to write and post fun things and share my story because he thought it important that I tell the world I am so much more than just Julia's daughter. It was a great past time but for a while I stopped posting and sharing. I was concerned what others may think and perhaps find my "hobby" as silly. I was experiencing mental clutter. Peter's last challenge was to tell our stories. Peter, thank you! Here I am once again telling mine. To quote you on February 1 "31 days to get organized doesn't stop now - it goes on forever.
I am blessed I LET this challenge into my life and removed so many things that I held onto that were cluttering my life. It is easy to stay confused and sometimes it is so overwhelming we dont know where to start so we just stay under the cloud. Peter and his baby steps help us all see the light and when things are clearer the world is a much simpler place to be. Whether we want to believe it or not, our homes truly are a reflection of what is going on inside us.
It all starts within us. Convincing yourself you can't honor and respect yourself can become a real habit if you LET it. We build negative walls around us sometimes. I made huge progress in tearing down that wall by removing my fear brick and venturing out and trying new and fun and exciting things to share. I removed my guilt brick and LET things I dont cherish go and I am using the good things every single day, and I removed my doubt brick and convinced myself to like me and LET me be the person I am happy with and not LET others opinions of me or what I am doing upset me. Emotions keep us holding on which then causes clutter. I still have work to do but that is good. We never want to stop learning and growing.
We all have a story to tell. We all have things we are dealing with in life. Peter Walsh thank you for encouraging all of us to tell ours. Together we can all make the world a happier clutter free place. These truly are the best days of our lives. My friends please look for the 31 day challenge on Peter Walsh's facebook page and some days his messages were also on YouTube. It is never too late to LET yourself begin. This is the month of LOVE. Take my advice and LET yourself love you and everything about you. What started out as a ten minute challenge most days went much longer and my January canvas is filled with amazing colors. It was not a dreary month afterall and my bright shades have already begun filling in the February pearly whites. Dont get overwhelmed. Take your time. Start with 10 minutes a day to LET the clutter go and I promise you it will become a habit before you know it. It starts within you. LET yourself get started today!!!