For a long time now, I have felt that something wasn’t sitting right about the work I have been doing (Beyond Alchemy & The Transformation Club)– and I’ve finally “got it”.
Last weekend, after months (if not years or perhaps decades!) of living in chaos, I snapped. I finally had to give in and accept the truth of “as within, so without”.
My kitchen is the room where I spend most of my time.
If we’re not cooking or eating, then it’s where my laptop lives, while the boys are at school. It’s where we potter in the evenings. It’s very much the heart of our home.
And it was a tip.
We could give it a good clean, but within 24 hours, it would be a mess again.
And that’s how my head felt, too.
So we packed the boys off somewhere safe and warm for the weekend and set to work.
We decided to prove to ourselves that, if you change your surroundings, your inside changes. And we “tackled” the kitchen.
We went through every single cupboard, removing everything, cleaning the cupboards and then asking ourselves these questions about every single item we found:
1. Do we love it enough to keep it?
2. Do we really need it or would someone else benefit more from it?
3. If it’s broken, can it be repaired? Do we want to repair it?
4. Does it belong in here?
5. If we imagine life without it, do we feel sadness or relief?
It was amazing how many things we thought we “couldn’t do without” are going to be given away to friends or charity shops.
It was amazing how many things we had outgrown, but kept because they had been kind gifts or held precious memories.
It was amazing how many things we realised we would never get round to fixing, but had kept “just in case”.
The most revealing question was the final one – did we feel sadness or relief? Giving away things that were no longer “meant for us” brought with it a huge sense of relief – even for things we loved, which we had thought would bring sadness. We realised how much we had moved on, without even noticing.
Our kitchen now has space.
Our kitchen is now calmer.
Our kitchen is now easier to look after.
We feel more relaxed when we’re in there.
I feel inspired to cook again.
We love this feeling so much that we know every room in our home is going to get this treatment, over the coming months.
As within, so without.
As our kitchen was cleared out, decluttered, de-stressed and realigned, so were our minds.
We finished our marathon weekend feeling lighter, happier, calmer, more grounded and more aligned.
The snag with that is that anything that’s no longer in alignment with “who you really are” suddenly grates – badly. It feels wrong; out of balance.
And this morning (Monday), I realised I didn’t want to go to work. I know that’s usual for most of the population, but not me. I don’t get the Monday Morning Blues. I get the Friday Evening Blues, when I have to take a weekend off. I had work commitments – promises to keep, deadlines to deliver. But I decided to honour the feelings I was experiencing, to run with them and see where they would lead. I sat in a coffee shop, with Nelson Mandela’s new autobiography and an organic grande and I let the shifts settle.
Eventually I turned up at the office, but still it didn’t feel right to sit down and plough through my “to do” list.
I could tell that the weekend’s clearing had shifted something inside of me, too.
So instead I wrote a blog about ethical wedding flowers, for a lovely friend of mine (I had promised to do it for a while!) and allowed my mind to wander, unhindered, for a few hours.
Then clarity finally came.
Just as my outside space had needed to declutter, to clear, to release, so my deeper sense of being and identity needed to shift.
I suddenly saw the level of adrenalin I had been running on for ages – writing multiple articles a week, creating daily inspirational emails, designing life-changing products, running courses, teaching meditation, offering one-to-one mentoring.
It was busy, busy, busy. It was no longer in alignment with the deeper me. I had outgrown it.
Just a month into the launch of our latest major project, I realised it was going to have to stop. And be released.
My initial reaction was, “but I can’t let everybody down.”
My deeper wisdom’s response was, “and this is how you best serve them.”
So I’m going to listen to my heart and stop.
I’m going to create the space and clear the path.
I’m going to lovingly release myself from any commitments that no longer fit – and open up the possibilities for serving in more sustainable ways.
I’m always telling clients and readers that “the only two things in life you can’t change are birth and death” – and it’s time for me to accept that. It means letting go of projects into which I have poured my heart and soul (not to mention hard cash). But that’s what needs to be, right now.
Everything I have ever written will still be available for you to read, but I feel I have moved on.
It’s time for a fresh start; a clearer, even more authentic approach. No more “business”; no more “branding”; no more managing Fan pages, groups, Twitter accounts and beyond.
From now on, all you get is me. Me being me. Whatever and whoever that is. And I know that’s how I can serve you best, as we move forwards.
We are in great times of transition and the time will come, sooner or later, when many of us will need to look more deeply into ourselves. We will need to face our shadow sides, release our fears, experience forgiveness. Or not. The choice will be down to each of us. I know part of my role is going to be serving those who choose to take action and make shifts. And I’m still here for those who feel called to ask for help.
There will still be meditations, eCourses, face-to-face courses and one-to-one work, but the paraphernalia around them is going.
This is about me setting myself free, so I can help you set yourself free, too.
So, if you’d like to continue the journey, you know where to find me. I’d love to walk by your side.
Happy Christmas Claire. Perhaps this might prove to be the most inspirational post yet. We could all do the same – decluttering is enormously liberating – but how many of us keep a promise made to ourselves to tidy our spaces and our minds? I too, have missed your daily messages; sometimes they have given me the nudge I needed to make a change, or keep at a job that seemed to have no end, but actually, that nudge should come from within me. Enjoy your time to take stock, to re-charge and enjoy some time with your family. May 2011 give you all you wish for.
Super stuff! This was a really helpful post.
Amazing Clare, such a wonderful thing to do. I shall miss you daily sunshine messages so much, I have kept them all and often find myself reading them, to encourage and point me towards a better way forward. with much love and many blessings