We can learn a lot from our pets. First and foremost, they love us unconditionally. Oh, if we only loved ourselves and others this way. The fortunate thing about not having an organized language and opposable thumbs is that you can’t hang onto anything, verbal or tangible. On the other end of the spectrum, we humans have the ability to hang on to a lot.
We oftentimes hang on to words (said by others or ourselves), extra weight, and we also hang onto THINGS. We can have a tremendous amount of “baggage.” We might hang onto other peoples opinion of us, or a shirt from 1997, because it was a time in our lives when we might have felt good. Most of us aren’t even conscious that we’re held down by so much “stuff,” and yet here we are literally being dragged down. There are many actions we might take to ease our discomfort. When we feel down, we might over eat, drink too much alcohol, or even exercise too much. Many of us have a veil that we hide beneath, because of our fear of facing painful emotions.
My family and I moved here to Southern California from Virginia in the summer of 2012. It was our second cross country relocation within three years. Being an active duty military family means you go where your country asks you to, but that doesn’t make it easy. Right before we left Virginia, I had a falling out with my father (we have since reconciled). In my mind, my father was the anchor in my very tumultuous life, and when this relationship failed, I felt like I was drifting alone out at sea. We still had to move, so my young family and I carried on and made the trek back to California.
We found a lovely home and once again, we were starting over. During all of this, I was training for the 2013 Boston Marathon and in April… well, you know what happened there. I came home lost, in shock, and spent the next few months on autopilot just trying to make it through each day. That November, my son was diagnosed with epilepsy and once again, I was left feeling adrift. In April of 2014, I had another falling out, this time with a friend, and that is when I had a wake up call. Too many emotionally painful events caused me to look within. As difficult as all these situations were (many of them not in my control) they caused me to examine myself and ask some difficult questions: “What emotional baggage am I carrying around?” “In what areas of my life am I blocked, stalled, or hanging on?”
My good friend Maria pointed out that I could stand to lose some of the clutter in my house. We spent an hour clearing a cupboard and I was shocked at how free and powerful I felt. When I slowly started letting go of the clutter in my home, I began to see how releasing things can actually pave the way to freedom and self esteem. Getting rid of negative thoughts, negative relationships, emotional eating, and an overabundance of junk gave me the strength I needed to get through some of those circumstances that were beyond my control. It opened the door for new opportunity.
Organizing our lives and letting go of the old opens the pathway to new and uplifting scenarios. As part of the Kohl’s Make Your Move Campaign I am challenging myself and my readers to get organized, physically and spiritually. Make Your Move is about living your best life, sleeping better, eating cleaner and moving more. I feel that in order to make this a long term lifestyle change, you must start by removing the things that are holding you back. This leads me to the next challenge.
Challenge 2 – Get Mentally and Physically Organized
Let’s get rid of the old and make way for the new. Before any major life change, you need to understand the emotional aspects of why you got to where you are in the first place. Un-complicate your life by letting go of the things we somehow think comfort us– unhealthy food, clutter, or relationships that don’t lift us up. These things are weighing us down, and preventing us from moving forward. This may sound very overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with Step 1: Journaling, where you find your center and establish the areas in your home and life that need some attention.
Once you’ve done that, you can begin with Step 2: Organize and clear the clutter. Start with a small drawer or cupboard. You can tell yourself you’ll do one small area a week. Small steps add up to big results.
Living your best life isn’t just about fitness and healthy eating, it’s about being emotionally whole as well. You will never reach your full potential with regard to health and fitness if you skip this step– It’s something you will continue doing for the long haul. It’s not a one time deal– we are all works in progress. I’m personally taking the Kohl’s Make Your Move Campaign as an opportunity to get healthy from inside out, starting with the inside — inside my mind, inside my life, and inside my home. I am decluttering my way to a more free and uplifting life.
Kohl’s has the tools we need maintain order in our homes. From calendars to closet organizers, they have many items that can help you maintain a clutter free life.
What areas of your life need some cleaning up? When is the last time you decluttered your closet? How did you feel when you were done?
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.