Sunday, 13 January 2013

Week Two Intentions: Clear Out, Chill Out

This past week I set my intention -- I intended to declutter. The result was that I decluttered and then some. Due to packing my belongings and hauling them across both Atlantic and Pacific oceans in the last decade, I don't own a ton of stuff. Also, I have a husband who loves throwing things out, so my house is tidy most of the time thanks to his pacesetting. But due to personal (though minor) hoarding tendencies, I will always be a naturalized minimalist. A little bit of clutter somehow comforts me, but I still appreciate a clean home. I just don't get a kick out of being the one to do it like some people seem to.

Like running, I don't enjoy decluttering, but I like the feeling after it's done. This week I wanted to do a bit of new year's cleaning to start off on the right foot and maybe even motivate me to carry on like this. Here was my plan:
  • Monday: attack the desk and living room table (aka what I actually use for a desk)
  • Tuesday: nothing as my friend was in town from the UK! hooray!
  • Wednesday: go through the closet and make a pile of anything I don't love
  • Thursday: clear out my beauty drawer
  • Friday: drawers in dresser and bedside table
  • Saturday: all my papers (!)
I also wanted to start the practice (however unrelated to clutter) of morning breathing exercises, since stress management is an overarching theme I'm always working on. So for the first ten minutes of my commute, instead of turning on any radio or audio book, I cranked up the ol' respiratory system. I breathed in through my nose for about five seconds, then out through my nose for the same amount of time. It sounds so simple, but it's really amazing what can happen when you get a little oxygen flowing through your body. I honestly bounced into work.

(Get a load of my morning green juice below.)

I was successful in a good hearty clear out, that's for sure. I took in some beauty products to work to give away and filled two bags with clothes I no longer love. And I did get the living room surfaces nice and cleared. But as I was clearing out I realized that the breathing thing was just as important to me, if not more.

I can be pretty militant when it comes to time management and productivity and self-improvement. Self-discipline comes really easy to me. Chilling out and learning how to deal with stress is not so innate. Setting aside breathing time in the morning helps me in my ongoing process of learning to let go of trying to make sure everything in my life is on time and on point, and trust that what needs to happen, will. Letting go and taking action will always be in tension with one another, but I'm an activist in no danger of sloth, so this is the direction I need to lean into for the sake of sanity.

The next few weeks (months, years?!) I want to continue to focus on how to be productive and goal-driven and a contributing member of society, without being stressed out. I hate stress, but also slip into it easily. I think I'll keep up the morning breathing, and this next week I'm going to focus on further de-stressing through some new time and project management technique. Woo hoo. It's going to be a wild one for sure. 

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