If your love life isn’t living up to your expectations, consider a closer look at your environment. Clutter is a metaphor. When our spaces are a cluttered mess, it adds stress to any relationship. Simplifying our stuff and organizing our lives doesn’t just make life more convenient, it makes the spaces we inhabit more inspiring. These are my six steps to declutter your way to epic love, great sex and relationships that last.
I believe there is a unique happiness found in simplicity; a kind of effortless freedom of being that exists in the absence of excess. This is the very essence of simplicity: having that which is needed, when it is needed – and not another thing more. I would take it a step further, and suggest the intentional absence of excess creates the tangible space for abundance. For me, abundance implies much more than mere happiness – it presumes a generosity of spirit that comes from sharing.
Chronic clutter is not good for you. I know it can lead to seriously harmful conditions affecting your health and well-being, and that of your children. I know there is definitive evidence linking chronically cluttered spaces to a decrease in motivation, self-esteem and optimism—as well as an increase in stress, anxiety, obesity, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, social isolationism, obsessive compulsive disorders, and countless other debilitating (and often preventable) conditions.
We consider ourselves reasonably informed, responsible, intelligent, independent-thinkers – right? We tout our nuanced understanding of what’s good for our emotional well-being, our health, our relationships, our children, our schools, our businesses, our economy, our environment, our country, our planet. We talk casually about these things the way we talk about the weather and our favorite sports teams. But there is a subversive influence omnipresent in our everyday lives that has a deceptive hold on us. It shapes our behavior in a way that undermines what we know to be true.
Dear George Clooney,
I don’t think Tomorrowland was a movie – I think it was an invitation. I think the movie was one of those pins, and I got mine. Let me say this first: I don’t want fame, I don’t want money and I don’t think there’s a spaceship in the Eiffel Tower waiting to blast me to some other dimension. I think you made a movie to inspire dreamers that could help save the world. In the last scene of the film, you told your little robot friends to “go find them” and then a bunch of recruits stood up in that field – well, I was one of them. Now what? Yes, I’m asking you – because like you said in the movie, “This was your idea.”
I do a lot of work with families and businesses around operational systems. When there’s conflict, it’s usually because there’s an elephant (or several) in the room that nobody is talking about. When people disengage, it’s because they hope to avoid confrontation and evade danger. However, ultimately, things only get better when the elephants are named, all parties are called-out, and everyone agrees to move forward – together.
It’s spring time in Colorado, and that means clearing out, cleaning up and getting ready for summer fun. In my world, it means people everywhere are swapping out winter coats and snow boots for flip flops and bathing suits. Last year’s hand-me-downs are bagged up and passed along to friends and local thrift shops. This year’s hand-me-downs are pulled out of storage and basement bins and sorted into this season’s rotation. For the families I work with, the knees of jeans are repaired with colorful patches and blown out sandals are replaced with upgraded kicks. Bicycles are fixed up. Garages are swept out. Closets are purged to make room for clothes that fit. Rooms and entire homes are de-cluttered, organized and refreshed to help invite a little springtime indoors.
In the New York Times bestseller, Crucial Conversations, it is said that respect is like air. When it’s there, you don’t even notice. Remove it and it’s all you can think about. You know this to be true. When we trust those around us to be kind, respectful, sincere, and forthcoming in a way that strengthens relationships – virtually anything can be discussed openly in relative safety. Respect is not based on the presumption of agreement – quite the contrary. Respect exists when ideas are thoughtfully communicated with the intent of preserving the integrity of the relationship. The outcome of the exchange is largely immaterial, so long as everyone at the table works to maintain authenticity and reverence for one another.