Trained Professional Organizer, Vision Coach & Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator


When Resistance Gives Way

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 12.07.13 PM

I hope this finds you in a good place as we make our way through this collective human experience. I am grateful to have what I need to meet the challenges and thankful for the support I have both in real life and virtually. Who knew that video conferencing would become such a huge part of our lives? Due to the circumstances my extended family now meets every weekend for an hour to chat virtually from different cities. Why had we never thought of that before? On various different platforms, I've been able to continue my coaching, my recovery program, my fitness, my connection with colleagues from all across the continent and my online learning. My resistance to technology has been long-standing but this is stretching me to admit that connection is possible and potentially more inclusive when we can check into a virtual room from anywhere. I can't wait to be back in person with my family and colleagues but I want to continue the connection with my online communities that have become such a source of strength during this time.

Brené Brown launching her
Unlocking Us podcast was another new arena for me. I have never understood podcasts. I am a visual learner and my favorite medium is reading. Books I understand and love. I had not explored podcasts and was resistant to what they could offer. I had no idea how many different kinds of podcasts there are and how entertaining and interesting they can be. I've now been introduced to an incredible array of artists, writers, activists, actors and other fascinating people interviewed by Brené. The bonus is that I've substantially added to my reading list and enjoyed multiple books from the authors she has interviewed to date. I have so many to recommend that I had no idea which one to highlight in this post.

Then I heard Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins being interviewed by Tom Powers on
Q and the book choice became clear. So much of their conversation reminded me of Glennon Doyle's Untamed. I am not familiar with Corgan's music or his life other than knowing the name of his band. I found it fascinating though that the thread running through the interview was the same found in Doyle's book: how to live fully without being defined by others' expectations.

Both speak to truly being themselves and needing the freedom to choose in the moment.  Billy Corgan said in the interview, "Don't tell me how to live, don't tell me who to be. I just want to be whoever I am. If I decide I want to be a cat one day, and a dog the next, that’s just who I am." Doyle writes, "I can do whatever I choose to do with my love and my body from year to year, moment to moment - because I'm a grown woman who does not need any excuse to live however I want to live and love whomever I want to love."

Also, they both touched on parenting while sharing that the most effective way to teach and lead our children is to live our own best lives.  It was really fun to hear what Doyle wrote as a Mom being repeated by Corgan as a Dad. I loved having confirmation that the more I live my life from an honest acknowledgment of who I am, the more freedom it gives my children to follow their own path. Being ourselves improves our relationships because we are modelling to others that we accept them being themselves too.

Knowing who I am means I can accept that I am resistant to change, especially in the areas that take me out of my comfort zone, but that I am also teachable when the time is right. I can and do embrace new things. We can all adapt and shift and that is a good to know. I invite you to consider where you might be resistant and give yourself permission to explore something new to you.

You can check out both the Corgan interview and the Doyle podcast in the hyperlinks above. I would love to hear back from you if you can perceive the similarities yourself.

When Visioning Becomes Reality: The GreyFrame


GreyFrame


In the early stages of my coaching career I hosted Vision Circles. I gathered a few intrepid friends & clients who were willing to go on a journey and we challenged each other to be vulnerable, courageous, step out of our comfort zone and dare to want the things that would fulfill us. We were making it up as we went along but almost 10 years later, I can see the results in the lives of the women who stepped into that visioning exercise with me and there are incredible success stories for all of them.

We cut pictures and words out of magazines and drew images that inspired us to focus on what we wanted. My personal vision board is still in my office, and when I look at it, I realize I am actually living the life I had envisioned all those years ago. It gives me goosebumps to think of how many amazing things have transpired for me and that initial group of women.  I can also confirm that none of the results were because we knew HOW to make them happen. We simply took the time to really think about what was important to us and make it real by physically creating a visual goal. Then we continued living our lives aimed in that direction as best as possible, with intention.

One of the pictures I had put on my vision board was of a beautiful country field. I love my city life but my northern Ontario roots mean I crave nature. Lakes and rocks are awesome but farmland has always appealed to me as well. So in 2015, when we went for a long walk in the woods on snowshoes with our friends in Grey County, we had no idea that our lives were about to change.

We ended up in front of a little cabin that our friends said was on their land but that they didn't use. As an afterthought, they casually mentioned "It needs work, but you're welcome to use it if you'd like". We didn't hesitate.  Within two weeks, we had started ripping up old carpeting and discovering the various creatures we were going to have to evict to make this our home instead of theirs.

We don't own the land or the building but we have an agreement with our friends that we trust. We have spent the past 4 years renovating and making this our country getaway and it has been the most amazing journey. We didn't set out to become friends with people that had a farm.  I simply had conversations over time with one of my workout buddies and built a relationship that eventually included our husbands. We didn't accept their invitation to spend a weekend at their farm because they might offer us an unused cabin. We were going to spend time with them to deepen our friendship. This was simply a gradual process built on trust and generosity, with the main ingredient being vulnerability.  Having the courage to take risks is what has led to a deeper friendship, wonderful moments and the renewal of a space that is now being enjoyed by all of us.

The gratitude I feel every time I drive up to this magical place is immense. I encourage you to consider what you would put on a vision board to inspire yourself.  I truly believe that having intentions and a vision for our life is powerful. If you feel stuck and think I could be of service in your journey, please reach out. I would love to chat.

Letting Go:The Story of a Punch Bowl

 
PunchBowl

As a Professional Organizer, I spend a lot of time supporting people as they decide the fate of their items.  Sometimes it’s a quick and easy decision to keep, sell or donate, but sometimes it takes time, months or years even depending on the attachment.   Everyone has a unique level of investment in their belongings and whether that’s financial or emotional, it tugs at us and makes decisions challenging. 
 
 Being an organizer doesn’t make it any less difficult for me to let go of my own belongings.  I’ve gotten fairly ruthless in the past few years as I notice how my physical environment and mental headspace benefit from less clutter, but there are items that trip me up.  So I will share the story of the process that led to letting go of this punch bowl. 
 
This is a punch bowl that I brought home 11 months ago.  I spent part of March Break last year organizing with my sister in Windsor.  This was an item we found in a box at the back of a kitchen cupboard, still wrapped in newspapers.  “Mom gave this to me because she thought we could use it for parties, around the pool.  I kind of forgot about it but I know we won’t use it.  What should I do with this?” Now, my response should have been, “If it's not being used, if it isn't serving you as a practical or sentimental item, then it goes in the donate pile.” Instead I heard myself say, “I’ll bring it home to Toronto.  Might be fun to pull it out at Christmas.” Then I told myself I would give it a year. 
 
It came home with me and stayed in the box on top of the dog crate for about two months.  I finally took it out of the box, tossed the 1980’s newspapers it was wrapped in and placed it in a cupboard with my cake platters.  Isn't that the perfect spot for special occasion items?  I felt good that it was finally seeing the light of day and it was one step closer to serving its purpose. 
 
I’ve thought about it over the past few months, wondering if I should have a party just to use the punch bowl. However, the twelve month self-imposed deadline is approaching, and I've not pulled it out once.  Well, I did today so I could look at it and see how I felt about it.  Turns out I'm still ambivalent. 
 
Now you might be thinking, “It was your Mom’s; there’s sentimental value.”  Nope.  I don’t remember this punch bowl and I have zero memories associated with it.  There’s no financial investment in this item as I did not pay for it. It's not rare or special or "valuable."  So why the hesitation? I’ve decided it’s the guilt of not following through on a vision for the item.  I love vintage things and enjoy throwing parties, so this set should be perfect.  Yet I haven’t done anything with it and probably never will.  Sadly, the punch bowl will always be in the cupboard. 
 
I run into this a lot with my clients.  Many of us have great ideas that we never get to: the InstaPot we plan on using, the chair we will definitely reupholster someday, the outfit we’re going to wear when the right moment comes …. The balancing act is whether we have space to accommodate the “it will happen someday” items.  Sure, I have room in my cupboard, but do I have room in my mind for the "I should ..."?  Is the future potential of using the punch bowl worth the present guilt of not using it?  When our possessions start having an effect on our mental well-being, it's time to re-evaluate.

How much will it really impact me if I don’t have the punch bowl?  Very little, actually.  Now that I think of it, I’ve only made punch once, and it was thirty-two years ago for a university party.  I used a clean bucket.  So realistically, letting go of the punch bowl is really letting go of the "idea of the punch bowl" and what it represents.  More often than not, that's what holds us back. The "I should ...."

The process of coming to the decision of letting go of this particular item was fairly simple as it wasn't a sentimental or valuable item.  That said, it still took time and energy to think things through. If you are challenged by an over-abundance of items that need to be sorted, let me know if I can be of assistance!  I’d love to help you through the decision-making process.  There is lightness in getting clear about why we're hanging on to things. Whether the items stay or go, intentional choice makes the difference.