About a year ago, I read the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I love that book for so many reasons. I felt empowered by the thoughts I had and I was ready to take action. I began tackling categories one-by-one as suggested in the book, and I experienced some really good progress. Creating order and getting rid of the unnecessary feels incredible.
A few months later, we were moving into a home with a bit more space. I believed that the extra space would make it very simple to move everything into their new spots without much effort. This proved false. There were lots of areas where I had to figure out a new “flow,” and the new master closet was one of them. It had a completely different configuration than our previous closet, and I wasn’t sure how I wanted to arrange everything. I also didn’t take the time to think it through because I thought other areas of the house were more pressing. As a result, our shoes and clothes were placed wherever it seemed to make sense at first, and much of it soon evolved into a mess.
I believed that a closet make-over was in our future. I started to occasionally look at closet designs and different configurations. In the mean time, our closet space really wasn’t functioning well. Stacks of clothes were starting to pile up instead of being folded or hung. It was becoming unpleasant to put clean laundry away because there wasn’t always a place for it. I was busy with many things and kept reminding myself that I will get to it sometime. I wanted to tackle the project, but I thought it’s a biggie, so it’ll have to wait until I could really give it a lot of attention.
Circumstance: I have a closet
Thought: my closet is a disorganized mess, It’s getting worse, I don’t have time to create the order I want, it’s too big of a project
Feeling: dread, lack of control, anxiousness, powerlessness
Action: keeping the door shut, avoiding the area altogether, adding more to the pile
Result: can’t always find items, clothes not being cared for properly, too busy every day and therefore no time to work on it
One day, I realized how tired I was of not having the time to take care of the closet. I really wanted more order. I realized that as long as I keep thinking that I don’t have time to do this, it will be true. It was time to introduce a different believable thought:
Circumstance: I have a closet
Thought: Maybe if I spend 20 minutes I can at least make it a bit more tidy, even if it’s not perfect. I have 20 minutes; let’s see how much I can do.
Feeling: empowered, hopeful, energetic
Action: rearranging of the space to work more functionally, getting items off the floor and into proper places, finding things I had forgotten about or thought were lost
Result: new sustainable order in the closet and peacefulness when I look in
I am pleased to report that the rearrange that I initiated that evening created so much order, peace of mind, clarity, and flow. It’s back to being much simpler to put things away and to see what’s there. It probably took more than 20 minutes, but it sure didn’t feel laborious because I was driven and energetic and excited about it –all thanks to a small switch in my thoughts.
Admittedly, this example is quite simple. However, I’m learning that it’s possible to gradually change all my thoughts that aren’t serving me well. My brain might reject a big change in thought (especially if it’s contrary to a thought I have held for a long time). However, if I can identify a thought that isn’t serving me, I can replace it with a different but also believeable thought. This change creates a shift in how I feel (even if it’s a shift from negative to neutral). Gradual changes in my thoughts creates changes in my feelings, which influences how I act (or don’t act), which creates my reality. Gradual change for the better is still change for the better. It all starts with thoughts.
Nurture your mind with great thoughts,
for you will never go any higher than you think.