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Self & Space
Self & Space
"I need", "I need", "I need", "I need", also known as "I have to", is todays most popular human phrase known to man. I hear "I need" in most conversations every time I have one. We are NEEDLING ourselves to death! Also the other favorite saying is "I feel", but unfortunately it is never followed by a feeling (adjective), but rather a thought. Our use of the English language is wallowing in need and feeling for better language skills. Could it be we are losing our ability to communicate due to our infatuation with TV and Computer Based Social Networking and games?
We ONLY need to BREATHE, EAT, DRINK, SLEEP, GO TO THE BATHROOM, AND HAVE SHELTER. We can ONLY feel feelings or materials. When we are talking about "feely" feelings though we are talking about adjectives or three main categories, HAPPY, SAD, MAD. Happy, sad and mad are pretty huge headings and there are thousands of adjectives that fall underneath them. So why are our language skills narrowing down to "I need" to go shopping, clean up, get the laundry done, go to the market, call a friend, get the mail and take the kids out for ice cream. Why can't we either want to or not want to do those chores? Well probably because "we feel" we have to, instead of feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, unmotivated or excited, enthused or crazed about our day's plans.
Could we be mind fogged and not speaking our thoughts out correctly because we are addicted to the mindLESS. Perhaps we are losing our language skills due to too much television, Facebook, EBAY, Craigslist, Video Games, fear of intimacy, inability to know what we feel and or what we actually want or don't want. Are we stuck in a groove? Are you feeling groovy when you are in a virtual space?
While I was a therapist for a very long time I coped with television after a long day of seeing clients.
I hadn't stepped into the Facebook, EBAY, or any of the Viral Realms yet. I was addicted to my shows, all taped on my taperoo thingy. NO COMMERCIALS made it so easy, and saweet for my favorites.
I would feel my heart beat when the theme songs would start, Medium, House, the Detective Shows, even Antiques Road show. Oprah was MY "therapist", and Dr. Phil, well he was either correct or incorrect in my book....as he did say "I feel" a lot and didn't follow up with an adjective and on other days he really gave it to the people straight. I didn't even have to watch the news because The View broke it down. I knew I was in trouble when I added Desperate Housewives to the repetoire. Day after Day sitting in my therapist chair, and night after night on the big couch with the clicker, changer...whatever you call it. I saw someone else's lives passing before my eyes, but I was happy in TV Land.
When I decided to change my profession I knew I would WANT to stop watching TV. I didn't HAVE to since no one was going to take my TV away or put me on restriction. I wanted to stop since I knew that I WANTED a LIFE, I didn't HAVE to get one! So it went something like this. Stopped watching TV, found EBAY and sold a bunch of stuff I wasn't using and because I didn't WANT the stuff anymore. But first I had to realize I didn't NEED the stuff. Then I found YOUTUBE.com, learned about how to apply makeup and any other possible subject I thought of, until I realized I could go into YOUTUBE land. Stopped YOUTUBE cold turkey and then found FACEBOOK. Wow real friends? on FACEBOOK, virtually. Amazing, drawn in immediately....I found everyone on the planet I could think of and they were there and I could connect. Marvelous until I'm bleary eyed and can't think of another person to contact. Now left with a virtual experience of friendship but like the voyeur in all of us still mesmerized. I realized though that I WANTED a time limit so I could still continue to grow my new business, write, public speak and most of all act....all that comprises my "actual life".
At this stage in the game my values are the same as they have always been. I want to help myself grow, stay healthy, be happy, and I want to help others do the same. I really love to live my life, have a great partnership, have goals, create a wonderful daily life, be creative, see my real life friends, make new real life friends, visit family, go on vacations, walk and play with my dog. Pretty simple, but it is what I want. What I don't want is to hear people tell me what they NEED or HAVE to do if it is not life threatening. I want people to tell me what they WANT OR DON'T WANT TO DO and how they feel with feelings not thoughts. I also love people to share their thoughts. Those are the real conversations that make me feel whole, connected, joyous and fulfilled. So study what you want or don't want in your life and how you will achieve it all and GET YOUR FEELINGS STRAIGHT AND YOUR LIFE WILL STRAIGHTEN OUT!
Marla Stone, Professional Organizer, Lifestyle Coach, Feng Shui and Decor Specialist, Author, Actress
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Self and Space Protection is a deep and profound subject that you may want to take careful notice of in order to have a more ideal lifestyle.
Okay, so your home is organized, you have a place for everything and you have been Feng Shui’d, you have cleared out personal clutter from yourself through some counseling or coaching. So what is next in self and home preservation and keeping your body and space a wonderful and peaceful place to reside? Protection of yourself and space is so important for having balance and harmony. Let’s face it not everyone and everything you let into your home and your life is “safe”.
You may have had bad experiences with everyone from strangers, neighbors, co-workers, friends and even family dealing with invasion of privacy to theft.
Perhaps you have unsafe health and dietary practices causing harm.
When it comes to self-preservation safe people and products will make your life more splendid. You may not be taking care of your body, emotions, mind and spirit in the best way possible. Digesting harmful people, food and things into your home, life and body can be a toxic mixture, keeping you feeling ill, regretful and tired.
What can you do to protect yourself from Space Invaders?
The first step is to recognize the importance of yourself and your space.
Like many masters have told us “Your Body is Your Temple” and “Your
Dwelling is Your Palace”.
The second step is to recognize why we are so reckless, when it comes to
self-protection. Perhaps you had your boundaries squashed as a kid, you have not conquered low confidence or shyness, loneliness has taken over, a careless or apathetic viewpoint of life
set in, or a lack of awareness and or “higher consciousness”, or a 360 degree
viewpoint regarding yourself and your world is unclear.
The third step is to learn how to protect yourself and space with
techniques and solid practices. It is NEVER TOO LATE to start to protect self
and space with a steel veil of protection.
Evaluating and understanding your self, space and stuff is essential for an ideal lifestyle.
Ask yourself these questions.
What is great about your self? Do you love yourself?
What is great about your space and stuff?
Do you love your space and stuff?
Do you value and love your self, space and stuff?
Without self love and respect you cannot love and respect anything or anyone else.
Most people think they like or love their stuff, but upon further evaluation and understanding it turns out we often don’t like or love who we are with, where we live, and we don’t like or love all of our belongings. Sometimes we are lacking self love and respect, and we make hasty or incomplete decisions about who we live with, where we live, and what we buy and drag into our space. Thus we spend a lot of our lives returning things, breaking up and moving around.
One of life's biggest challenges is to make changes.
When we are not living in our ideal home, and surroundings, and we have not taken inventory of what is most valued in ourselves and our lives, it is difficult to make the necessary changes to protect ourselves?
“Know thyself” was written on the entrance of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
“Know others” and “Know thy stuff” should also be written down somewhere.
Many times when I ask a client what they value in life, they look at me with a blank stare and say uh???…. Also 9 times out of 10 when purging items from client’s homes they state
“I forgot I even had that!! We seem to be a society of blundering and baffling forgetful, and therefore regretful beings. At this stage knowing what you love about life, whether it is about your partner, home, who you hang out with, your furniture, clothing, knick knacks, art-work and stuff is essential to having an ideal lifestyle.
Having an uplifting world around you, that you absolutely love and cherish is important.
Also knowing what you own and having a perfect place for all of it is equally important so you can keep track of it. When we are scattered and unsure, about our world, it reflects in every aspect of our lives, personally and professionally.
So if “Know Thyself” is important, then equally important is “Know Others”.
How do you evaluate and understand who will be great in your life and who is not?
Well, there are many ways to determine who stays and who goes.
It comes back to what you value.
Do you value spirituality, honesty, creativity, friendship, family, support and or fun times, fancy places, fancy people, partying, gossip, attention, money, work, productivity, alone time, shopping or just “hanging out”?
Figure out what the top 15 things in life are that you value.
You want the people in your life to have similar values.
I promise having someone with conflicting ideas and philosophies may be great in a debate, but not in your home on a regular basis.
The wrong people mess with the energy of your self and space.
Techniques for self-protection and building up self-knowledge are many.
Look up articles on how to establish boundaries.
Learn how to say the N word (NO).
Write 30 things you want in ideal people around you.
Write the list of ideal people in the positive, for instance instead of
NO drug addicts write addiction free.
Study your list and KNOW IT.
Circle criteria on your list you want to work on.
Become your own ideal person.
When you meet new people ask questions to see if they meet your criteria.
Having criteria for allowing people into your life and space is IMPORTANT.
Visualizing a reverse mirror surrounding yourself and your home is a very powerful method of keeping out “the negatives”.
Surrounding yourself with blue light.
Contemplate 20 minutes per day on what you want out of life.
Sing HU (sounds like HUGH), an ancient sound of self-protection.
Get a safe for valuables.
Change locks regularly.
Install a simple surveillance system.
Self and space protect.
When it comes to protecting your body, which is the most important aspect of self and space protection, eating healthy is the first step.
Eating organic is important, I promise.
What is being sprayed on coffee, tea leaves, fruit trees and our vegetables is PURE POISON!
Drinking certain coffee/tea brands is like drinking liquid pesticide.
MAKE SURE YOUR COFFEE and TEA IS ORGANIC.
Your fruit and vegetables can be washed and most of the pesticides can be washed off but you
cannot wash and won’t wash your coffee beans and or your tea leaves.
Ideally you will eat all organic.
Also all of your flesh or meat, chicken, turkey and pork products raised
without hormones and fed pesticide free foods is a really good idea!
All animals raised without cages, free to roam is a good idea.
When animals are stuck in small spaces, where they can’t move around, they become extremely agitated and start to get diseases caused by extreme anxiety, such as cancer.
When the animal you eat gets cancer, you are eating cancer.
A Cal Tech Scientist told me this theory of eating “cancer chickens” in
the early 80’s. Decrease white flour products, corn starch, and food with dye, corn syrup, refined sugar products and most of all hydrogenated oil products (causes cancer).
Sugar substitutes, according to lab rat studies cause cancer.
Stevia is a good option, since it is from a plant. Agave is another great sweetner.
Take a look in your pantry and get rid of the products that are slowly and or quickly killing you.
Also take a look at your beauty products. Do your hair products, body lotions and creams have hydrogenated oil, sulfates, and dyes? Hair dyes are toxic.
Find products for hair coloring like AVEDA products or natural plant based hair dyes such as
herbatint http://www.herbatint.co.uk/ for chemical free hair coloring. It works just as good as the smelly and harmful hair dyes that are regularly seeping into your scalp and system.
Bottom line is Self and Space Protection comes from the inside out AND the outside in.
Marla Stone is a Professional Organizer, Lifestyle Coach, Decor & Feng Shui Specialist, Author and Public Speaker, Actress
Contact Marla at www.i-deal-lifestyle.com or call for a free 30 minute consult at 949-709-7000
Getting organized can be tedious and overwhelming when you are alone and without support of your partner, family and or roommates, who don't want to be your cohort in the organizing adventure. Organizing a shared space with an unwilling partner can block the road to YOUR ORGANIZED world.
Most commonly I hear that a spouse, partner, family member or roommate wants to get organized but the other half is just fine in their clutter comfort. This tends to be difficult and worrisome for the person who wants freedom and escape from clutter and disorganization.
Why does clutter come between people? Well some people realize that the outer is a reflection of the inner and want to have an organized system to help them stay focused and productive. Other people push clutter in your face and are just plain old “self-centered”, not aware of their surroundings and or other's feelings. The person creating the disorganization and mess cannot see the demise of their counterpart. Or could it be they thrive on clutter and actually feel comforted?
Are people REALLY comfortable with clutter? Not usually, but on some level if a person grew up in a cluttered environment they may not think twice about living the same way as was their home of origin. Other people who tolerate clutter mayhem well, may suffer from mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, ADD and or Obsessive Compulsive challenges. The divide, amongst people who share space, in housekeeping styles, is what a lot of partnerships fight about. Most people who cohabitate or who share space fight about money, housekeeping, moral issues, how to raise children/pets, and sex (if that is in the equation). Housekeeping, let's face it is tedious, but when clutter has run rampant it may become dangerous, harmful to health and downright unbearable for a person who likes order and neatness. One person may feel like they are king, on their "junk" pile, while the other a drowning person.
So what to do when two or more people in a space are at odds with each other? Well what most civilized groups tend to do is compromise. But how do you compromise on clutter and chaos? The same way emotionally intelligent people solve conflict, you discuss it, find out what common ground there is (no pun intended), and you make a plan that suits both of you. The best way to discuss a difficult situation is to use assertive language.
Assertive language style goes like this.
YOU: I feel______________(adjective feeling words) i.e. hurt, overwhelmed, confused, disappointed, let down, unheard, stepped on etc.... when________________(describe situation) i.e. there are piles of stuff in corners, the garage is overtaken by your unfinished projects, when I can't see the countertop, when dishes are left in the sink, when the house if not kept up etc.... and then the finale......_______________________(validation, so they hear the feelings) i.e. and I love you so much, and you are such a great partner, and so creative and so loveable and I appreciate this and that about you, you’re a fun roommate etc....
The reason for the switch from the "I feel" statement and the "situation" statement to the sweet "validation" statement is that ideally the other person will hear your feelings and respond accordingly. There are no guarantees, if you become highly assertive, the other person will respond appropriately. That doesn’t mean that you lower your communication style, becoming aggressive, passive aggressive or passive, it just means you will probably have to learn how to have rules about your world and boundaries to protect it.
When you discuss situations that bring on contention between you and others, in an assertive manner, you will feel more confident and justified in your approach, and also create expectations for an assertive response. When the other person comes back at you with aggression, passive aggressive stances, and or ignores you and you feel defeated keep going with the above assertive language. If the other person continues to use a non-assertive method of communication even though you have shared deep and dark feelings, and have validated them, it is time to realize they do not care about your feelings and or working on a better partnership. Your next step may be to seek counseling, individual and or family, get coaching with an experienced life coach or take a break from the situation through separation until the other person will hear you, and make the necessary changes for the partnership to resume comfortably for both of you.
Remember when you share space….the meaning of share is important!
As a Professional Organizer I receive calls and emails daily from people who desire to get organized, purged and de-cluttered, yet many people who make that initial call or contact are not necessarily ready to go through with the physical process of getting organized. The process of getting organized, especially if there are long term hoarding, cluttering and or disorganization challenges, is not an easy one. It takes willpower, boldness, and a tenacious spirit to go through a home and or space that has become cluttered and disorganized. It is not for the weak at heart to start and complete a truly organized home and space.
Now don’t think that I am discouraging you from getting organized.
Only 80% of people that contact me are ready to dive in and go through
their stuff. The other 20% have the desire and ideas to get organized, yet they do not have the stamina. This lack of stamina can be caused by health, emotional, and or financial
challenges. Another block for getting organized can be lack of support via family members and or just plain old gripping fear. The more disorganized and cluttered a home the more disorganized and cluttered the mind/emotions may be.
The mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy when creating a path for
organization. The negative aspects of our mind and emotions can block our deepest desires and dreams to live clutter free. The negative thoughts and emotions entail worry, overthinking the process, panic, anger, defeat, and a vicious cycle of wanting to go forward, sliding back to clutter comfort, wanting to go forward and sliding back to comfort with the clutter. You may argue it is not comfort but I will say something must be comfortable about it or you would change the pattern. The analogy of a hamster in a cage going round and round and round but never really going anywhere comes to mind.
In order to encourage the process for the 20%, who have deep desires and dreams for
a clutter free and beautified space, there are ways to prepare. First of all start with your thoughts, ideas and dreams of having an organized space. Those twinkling ideas and dreams are the first step. They say if you can visualize something it is already in motion. So see your space in your mind’s eye the way you would love to have it. If it is difficult for you to visualize then look for pictures in magazines and cut out the pictures of rooms and homes and office spaces that match your ideas and dreams. Ponder on those organized and beautifully designed spaces and imagine you working and living in them.
Next take a few deep breaths and just relax in that visualization of you in a clear
and organized space. Do this visualization technique several times a day for five days.
Next visualize your cluttered space starting to be emptied and prepared for your ideal space. Visualize several organizers coming into your space and see them emptying the contents onto your driveway and or areas where sorting can be done. Next see yourself purging the items you have not used in the past two years. Acknowledge the feelings you feel during your visualization. See yourself purging the items you have not used and most likely will not ever use with grace, dignity and certainty. Visualize the support of your organizers. Now see your space emptied in your mind’s eye. How does it feel? Write down all the feelings you feel. Feel them deeply and then work through the feelings either through journaling, discussions with supportive and loving people, a counselor and or a life coach. Acknowledging the feelings and understanding when and why they started can be the first step towards allowing an organization process to unfold.
Once you are able to do all of the above start to visualize your space the way you
would love it to be. Again use magazines and or pictures of spaces that you find and love and keep that space in your mind’s eye. The process may take days, weeks and or months until you will finally be able to go through the actual physical process of getting organized.
Be patient. If it took you three, five or twenty years to clutter and disorganize your space it may take time and focused effort with visualization, journaling, support, counseling and or coaching to have your dreams come true.
Marla Stone earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of I-Deal-Lifestyle, a Self and Space Organization Service.
Serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara
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