Do you ever just feel “over it” when the overwhelm becomes too much? Does your stress level make you impatient, grumpy, and short with loved ones? Do you sometimes fall into bed and realize you were just running all day and never really enjoyed a moment?
Then maybe it’s time for a decluttering of your mind, body, and home! It’s the perfect time of year and after the year we’ve had a reset is in order!
In today’s episode I share my tried and true decluttering process for creating more ease in life along with a few nuggets from Jay Shetty’s book called Think Like A Monk.
What you will discover
Why the “woo woo” isn’t something to laugh at when decluttering your living space.
When we tell ourselves outdated and limiting stories about ourselves, it oftentimes creates the most suffering.
How being courageous will always lead you to the light at the end of the tunnel.
I am so happy you are here. Enjoy the episode and please share with friends!
Enjoy the Show
Okay. So let’s get started on this week’s podcast. How to live with more ease. Like I mentioned, I recently purchased the book by Jay Sheedy. It’s a book that is titled live like a monk and in it, he shares his story. Again, I’m not all the way through. I’m just loving, I’m loving this book. In fact, I got it for a friend for her birthday, um, as well. And basically what he did is he went and lived in a monastery and was a monk for three years. He’s not a monk anymore. He’s married. He lives in LA and he basically shares what he learned during those three years. And in, you know, the previous years leading up to him, taking the plunge into becoming a monk. And it’s just really fascinating to hear from someone who did such a radical, radical shift in his life and his point, which I really appreciate and enjoy. It’s not a book where he’s trying to convince us all to be monks. It’s a book where he is sharing basically the highlights of what it means to live like a monk. And his point is that we can all live like a monk in our everyday lives, in the sense of creating more inner serenity, more contentment and less stress. So as I was reading it, I loved, I wanted to share one of his analogies in the book, which I think is really, uh, it hits home really well.
And he shares a story of one of the monks as he was teaching Jay, um, kind of like, I guess, an initiation into the monastery, I guess you could say, I don’t know. And there was a mirror that the monk placed in front of Jay, and it was filled with dust, like a really heavy, heavy layer of dust. And he asked Jay to look in the mirror and Jay could barely see himself in the monk, went up and he blew his breath onto the mirror. And it just catapulted all of this dust all over Jay. And he like inhaled it and it was in his eyes and it was really uncomfortable. And he was like, what is going on? And it was just not a pleasant experience. And the monk, however said, now take a look at the mirror and he could see Jay could see himself more clearly.
And then the monk took a paper towel or something and wiped away. The residual Dustin Jay could see himself very clearly in this bright mirror. And the monk was basically explaining and showing this as an analogy that when the way we look at the world, right, the lens through which we look at it is reflected back to us. And when there’s a lot of clutter within our mindset, within the way we look at the world, we can’t see ourselves, we can’t see others. We can’t see things for actually how they really are. And so it’s essential to clear away the clutter, the clutter in our minds, the clutter in our bodies, the clutter in our environment, and that process of clearing the clutter or in Jay’s case in that moment, the clearing the dust can be really uncomfortable. It can be unpleasant. In some cases, it can just be really, you know, you can be emotionally suffering.
And yet there is the light at the end of the tunnel, there is that brightness that does appear. And I’m sure you’ve experienced that. Oftentimes the most beautiful experiences in life were the end result of sometimes a difficult and dark journey. And so it got me thinking about springtime and clearing the clutter and actually in my 30 day, reset in my live more drink, less community. Our weekly workshop this week is exactly on spring cleaning our heads, our hearts in our home. So I wanted to share a four-step process that I realized that I just kind of do naturally. And I’m sure you do as well. I’d love to hear comments on what you think about this, and I’d love to hear your steps on clearing the clutter and what works for you. So you’re able to see the world more clearly. So let’s dive in.
So number one obviously would be clearing the clutter. And when we clear the clutter, we’re thinking of the clutter in our minds, the clutter in our body, the clutter in our environment. And so what does it mean to clear the clutter within your mind? Well, think about it. Think about how you speak to yourself. Think about the stories that you tell yourself about yourself. One of the stories I always told myself was that I was terrible at math and that I’m terrible at Excel. And I’ve decided no, I’m actually okay at math. And I am starting to learn more and more about Excel. That was just a story that I planted in my head because frankly, I didn’t want to learn Excel. It wasn’t, it wasn’t fun. But does that mean I’m bad at it? No. It just means that I have not focused my energy on it.
And other stories can go even deeper. Maybe you sometimes feel that you are unlovable or that you just never are lucky in life or that bad things always happen to you. And so it’s really important to pay attention to the stories that we tell ourselves. And sometimes these stories can be created and they turn into masterpieces and then the masterpiece gets made into a movie. And then that movie just takes on a life of its own. And then there’s a, there’s like a series there’s a trilogy of the movie. And so take a moment and maybe think about stories that you’ve told yourself from when you were younger from when you were a teenager or a child or a young adult or stories that you’re telling yourself. Now, I think along with stories come labels that we attach to ourselves and I’m inviting you into this idea of ending the stories of letting the labels go.
Another thing that we can do in our mind that clutters our mind up are these assumptions, assumptions that we make about other people about situations. I think, um, well, if you’ve listened to my other podcasts on the four agreements, it was a four-part series. That book has literally changed my life and it hasn’t changed my life in the sense that I don’t make assumptions anymore because I do. It’s just different now because I’m aware of the assumptions that I’m making. And simply that awareness is shifting me slowly inch by inch, away from making assumptions. Because when you’re aware of it in your mind has the information of wait a minute, this is an assumption you can catch yourself and just think about all the assumptions that you make, like someone at you, the wrong way. And in your mind, you make up a story. You make up an assumption about what that look means.
You could be walking down the street and someone might look at you and you might think, Oh, they’re judging me in my outfit or how I look or my body. Maybe they’re just appreciating the blouse you’re wearing. Maybe they’re admiring, um, your smile. You know, it, it could be a multitude of things. And really at the end of the day, what other people think of us is none of our business. Right? Thank you, Wayne Dyer for that quote. So making those assumptions, you know, taking things personally, these are all in the four agreements. And if you haven’t listened to those episodes, I would highly recommend it. It’s a life-changing book, but that’s all clutter. Can, you know, can you imagine? I mean, that’s, why are, you know, maybe God, the universe divine gave us sleep to give our poor minds a break from the clutter that is infused in them each day in our self-talk our criticism towards ourself.
Um, we can be really rough on ourselves and actually in the book, think like a monk Jay talks about you can either choose to use your mind as a monkey mind or a monkey mind. And for those of you that are in yoga, they talk a lot about that. I know yoga teachers I’ve had have talked a lot about, you know, just let your monkey mind take a break, calm down. And he goes over in the book, you know, uh, a monkey mind leads with compassion, a monkey mine leads with suspicion. So a monkey mind would definitely make assumptions would definitely be self-critical would definitely take things personally and would definitely be repeating and repeating and repeating the same old stories. Whereas a monkey mind would step back and be aware. This is interesting. I keep telling myself this story, I’m going to look at possibilities possible ways of stepping away from this story.
I’m going to question the story. I’m going to choose to create a new story. I’m going to let it go, flush it away. As my father says, you know, you deal with stuff. All of us are imperfectly. Perfect. We’re human beings. That’s the whole point. We’re not perfect. None of us can be perfect. The past is the past. You let it go. And so, you know, the mind is a, is an interesting thing, though. We can tell ourselves, at least I know for me, the whole rumination and thinking the thoughts and the rumination wheel, you can try all of the things that exercise, you know, eating right, um, meditating, everything. And still sometimes you might need more support, more support from a healthcare provider, a counselor, whatever it may need or require medication, whatever it may be. You are the guru of you and you know yourself best.
I guess my point here is suffering can be optional. And if you’re willing to do the work, if you’re willing to blow on that dust on the mirror and sit with an experience, some pain and discomfort for a short term, you can get to the other side, you know, decluttering, the mind is only for the courageous and you can be courageous in baby steps. Okay, let’s move on to the body. Well, we always talk about that, right? Cleanses resets, et cetera. Well, again, you’re the guru of you, you know what sits well for you? You know, of gluten or dairy or alcohol or whatever, or Cheetos, you know, if your body is cool with that, or if it isn’t, and as you get older and you age, you know, your body, I just noticed like I can tolerate foods, not as easy that as I used to, like, you know, the Cheetos, no way, actually I love Cheetos, but I don’t eat them because I just don’t feel good afterward.
And that’s a big thing, you know, to ask yourself before you take the glass of alcohol or before you, you know, grab onto the Cheetos, like, okay, this is going to taste really good. How am I going to feel an hour from now? And again, it’s just developing that awareness, but you know, just clearing the clutter in your body. And I’m not talking about releasing weight. I’m talking about maybe drinking more water, water, maybe energetically, clearing some energy from your body, moving around, dancing, going on a nice walk in the morning, just clearing, clearing your body and letting your body move better. Feel better. Okay. Moving on to the home, which is one of my favorites. So I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the book, the home edit, it’s a Netflix show. It’s like a reality show. I guess you could call it where they go into people’s homes and they declutter and organize.
And it’s like, Oh my gosh, I would just love to have those two women. And they’re really, really funny. I like them. So decluttering your home. I often find that doing, you know, decluttering, getting rid of stuff, clothes, shoes, magazines, just stuff that you don’t need, like get that out of the house and then do a deep clean, and then maybe rearrange the furniture, do a little saging. You can laugh. I don’t care, but I’ve done it. And I think it works. You can get like the Sage brush at natural food stores. And when you think about it, everything is energetic. We are made of energy. Everything’s made of energy, there’s energy, all around us and energy can get stagnant. I have a friend who is an energy space clearer, and I know business owners who have hired her and the results are unbelievable. She comes in and clears the space.
Now that’s more of an energetic experience, but I’ve talked to the people who have worked with her and the results in terms of profits in the business morale within the office. Staff is incredible, but really we all are energy workers. So, you know, at a, at a deeper level, yeah, there’s the decluttering and there’s the cleaning, but what about the stagnant energy in the corners? Or, you know, I believe in that and you can call it Wu, but like, what do you got to lose with the woo-hoo? So a Sage brush, I highly recommend if you do that, you definitely first declutter and then you clean and then you Sage and you can look up YouTube videos on how to do this aging. I ha it’s careful because it’s, you know, carry some tinfoil under it because there’s ashes that fall off of it. But after you, Sage, you can also do like some clapping, actually the clapping of energy in the corners, like stagnant energy tends to reside in corners and crevices behind furniture, you know, in between furniture and the wall.
And just, I know it sounds for some of you, a lot of you will be nodding your head. Some of you are like Meg, you are crazy. I don’t care. Um, so you can go clap and it breaks up the energy and then you do the saging and then guess what? This is my special trick, open up your windows. And to clear it out, I read an article that in France, it’s kind of, it’s just kind of a well-known thing that people, even in the dead of winter, they open up their windows for a few minutes every day to just clear the air out. And I don’t know the French know what they’re doing in terms of home decor. I think so they’re pretty chic. So those are some ways to, you know, cleaning out the refrigerator, cleaning out your closet, you know, maybe taking a weekend and putting a fresh paint on the walls, just to spice things up, getting a few new pillows or some throat, um, blankets rearranging the furniture.
That’s huge. That is huge. And anyone who knows me knows that whenever they come to my home, I’ve always, I’ve tried every furniture arrangement on earth if you’ve watched the movie, because I said so with Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore, my favorite scene is when the mother and daughter duo are in Mandy’s, um, living room and the mother, Diane Keaton is like, Oh, we gotta move the furniture. Uh, we have to move this couch like six inches. It will literally change your life. And I burst out laughing because I get that when my mom and I rearrange furniture, it’s like an adrenaline rush rush, like, Oh yeah, this is perfect. Then we could just like sit for an hour and admire it. So, you know, just doing, making your home something that you enjoy coming home to friend of mine recently told me that, that her father always said, you know, just create a Haven, create a home.
It doesn’t have to be a big home. You know, it could be, it could be the tiniest of a studio apartment or the biggest mansion, like over in Switzerland. You want to make your home in Oasis. I Haven from the craziness of the world, there is so much stress in the world that, I mean, gosh, if we want to live our lives with more ease, wow. You know, just creating a cozy and inviting and warm home in. However, that means to you because my definition of a cozy and warm and inviting home may be completely different from yours. Again, you know, you, and if you don’t know what your decorating is, I suggest going on Pinterest and creating a Pinterest board, I recently did some painting and recovering of some couches. And I couldn’t have done it without the Pinterest board because when I went to the fabric store and the woman who ended up helping me, you know, I just showed her the Pinterest board.
And she was like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And she came up with these fabrics pink colors and it was like, boom, it was done. So creating that vision is really fun. Okay. So once we clear the clutter, right, what do we move on to next? So, and this really is forgiveness. So we clear the clutter, clear the noise in our mind, um, you know, energetically in our body and our homes, declutter. And number two is forgive because we have flushed it away. Like my dad says to us, you acknowledge it and then flush it away, fully know, acknowledge it, understand it, come to terms with it. Be courageous to deal with your clutter, literally and figuratively. And the second step is then just breathe and just forgive yourself, forgive yourself for beating yourself up your whole life, forgive yourself for maybe abusing your body and how you treat it, how you speak to it, what you put in it, just forgive yourself and infuse it with love.
Forgive yourself. If you know, you have always wanted to organize more in your home and you know, you’re so hard on yourself because it’s quote unquote a mess. Forgive yourself. There’s no need like that just makes it worse when we beat ourselves up. So forgive yourself. That’s the second step. And then number three, this is the fun part. So like one and two is the dust coming off the mirror, like I talked about earlier in the, in this episode, you know, it’s that dust coming off, cleaning off the mirror, it’s uncomfortable, takes some courage. You got to go through a little pain. Now three and four are fun. So three is create from a blank canvas. And so we think about this again in our, in our mind, what do you want your life to look like? How do you want to feel? What do you think your purpose is?
What do you think your passion is? Those are all big questions. What do you really want? And so creating from a blank canvas is time. It requires time to think it requires time to plan. So set aside time to really, you know, once you get, once you acknowledge the stories in your head, once you, you know, look around your home and do some decluttering, then it’s time to, after you forgive yourself, then it’s time to really step into going, Hmm, I’ve got a blank canvas. I can be the artist of my life. What do I want to paint? What do I want to sculpt? What do I want to create? What story do I want to write and really taking the time to think about how do I want to talk to myself? How do I want to feel when I get out of bed in the morning and open up my closet, how do I want to feel when I interact with people who I love, who I work with, how do I want to feel when I come home?
And so really creating a vision, whether that’s a vision board or a Pinterest board, I have a bunch of different vision, uh, Pinterest boards, like clothes and hair and home and food. And of course dessert, but really it’s creating that canvas. I tend to really like Pinterest boards because when I, you know, go to bed at night, I’ll just kind of pop it on and I just look at it and it makes me happy. And I embody like, okay, how does that really feel if I had that right here right now? And then you kind of drift off into sleep and it’s just, I don’t know. I love it. That’s a fun way for me to kind of wind down the day. And it, it allows me to wake up inspired the next day to take action on some things. Okay. So the fourth and final step you guessed it it’s take action. So you cleared the clutter, you have forgiven yourself and in you’re now choosing to practice loving yourself.
And you created that vision, like an artist from the blank canvas. Now it’s time to take action. So I have a really fun tool that I want to share with you. It’s called the 10% calendar rule. And I can’t remember who I got it from. I’m sorry, I can’t. But um, what you do is you go back over the past 12 months in your planner or your online calendar. And you look at how you spent your free time, because we all have responsibilities at work. I get that. There are things that we must do, but I want you to look at the things that you did have a choice with. And you write down all the things that you, that drain your energy and all the things that elevated your energy, the things that drain your energy, you write them down and you post them where you see them periodically.
And as a reminder, you shouldn’t do this and it can be a variety of things. Now, the things in your calendar that lit you up that elevated your energy. You write those down as well, and you take your top 10%, the favorite things, and you plug them in your calendar. Now you schedule in the magic you schedule in the fund. I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine, and we were talking about, you know, just this idea of money and how you know, money does not buy happiness money. Does, you know, we were talking basically about just having enough to have a lovely, you know, a lovely life in more of a simply lovely life, because we all know people that have tons of money and are so unhappy and on the other spectrum too. And then we know people who have tons of money and are really happy.
And we know people who don’t have a lot of money and we’re really happy. And so what’s the secret. And what we came up with during the conversation was they relish in the simple pleasures. They stay in the moment. They appreciate with gratitude. What is in front of them rather than constantly striving and pulling and pushing to move away from who they are to negate who they are, to be someone different. And I don’t have anything against change and transformation. I love all of that. I think, however that any change or transformation starts first with loving yourself with accepting, this is who I am, and I’m going to choose to love myself, no matter how much money is in the bank, no matter how many clothes are in the closet, no matter what car I’m driving, no matter what job I have. And what I found is that to me, the happiest people that I’ve met are people like Jay Sheedy, who wrote the book live like a monk who relish in the simple pleasures of life, which can be literally sitting on a park bench and admiring the fresh flowers and spring.
It can be walking on an early morning, walk with the sunrise, with the dog and just hearing the ground underneath your feet, feeling it smelling the spring air, watching the dogs so happy, you know, maybe sipping on your tea or coffee for me, you know, some of my most favorite simple pleasures are, you know, baking stuff, a cake or cookies, fresh sheets. I love fresh Shamrock plants and March. I still have mine from last year. I’ve kept them alive, going to farmer’s markets, going to yoga class, getting a massage. And so taking action and infusing your life and your calendar with these simple pleasures that oftentimes don’t cost anything. And you can have a simple pleasure, could be really seriously washing the dishes and just relishing in the sides and having some beautiful music on and just taking your time.
And ultimately that is, I think the number one thing, at least from me and my experience when I have a day where I have less stress, it’s when I’m not rushing and I’m not multitasking and focused on what is in front of me or the person in front of me. And it just feels good and I tend to get even more accomplished. So there you go. There are my four tips for creating a life with more ease, and I’ll keep you posted on the upcoming podcast episodes on this book live like a monk. I can tell you already. I love it. And the audio book is really good. He narrates it himself and he’s got a great voice. So I’d love to hear from you on what you do to lead a less stressful life, a life with more ease. And as always, I just love that you invite me into your world every week. So there you go, have a wonderful week and I’ll, and I’ll see you soon. Bye bye.