Updated: Oct 27
Last fall, I posted that wellbeing at work starts with your space.
Many of us are affected by our surroundings and the physical spaces of where we work. But for me, like many of you, the more grounded I am internally, the better able to weather what comes my way at work and in other areas of my life. So, maybe cleaning up the clutter in our inner space is what needs our attention...
Let me tell you a story. (I previously shared this on Instagram so skip ahead to the * if you don't want to hear it again). I was invited once to introduce myself in a creative way to a group of people that I didn't know and share something about myself that they might not know by looking at me. I took a deep breath and decided that I would be honest and open.
I explained that my drawers and cupboards were in order but the exterior of the rooms of my house might sometimes belie that fact--the counters and flat surfaces of my desk and dresser always seem to accumulate clutter that I struggle to manage sometimes. (That is a picture of my real life kitchen cupboard--I suppose I should share a photo of my dresser top as well, but I'll save that for another post!) And I shared that this is a bit like my life--my interior is in order, my inner life is relatively tidy. I know what's in there and can access what I need when I want to. But on my exterior, I sometimes get flustered or I feel over-scheduled with too much, or I have difficulty managing all my responsibilities, or I talk too fast. So*, my introduction was, in short, that I have it together internally, but they might not know that by how I appear on the outside sometimes.
My inner space did not miraculously come together all on its own. It's really been decades of accumulated "life clutter" that I have carefully, painstakingly sometimes, dealt with over many years. Everything has its place. I regularly reorganize, reflect, safeguard, and let go. I go on walks, I write, I talk to people, I sit in silence. Sometimes it is energizing work; sometimes it is draining. But always worth it. I've discovered it is kind of like decluttering your house. A few minutes a day of attending to what matters most, can really keep those internal cupboards in order!
In working with my clients this past year, I know that it is sometimes hard to start some interior cupboard organization if they haven't done it in a while. But carefully, thoughtfully, even painstakingly sometimes, getting your interior in order is worth it. Shift a mindset. Change a thought pattern. Reflect on your core values. Working on our inner space is a good way to help regain some control of our lives. It really does improve our wellbeing. It can make it more possible to align our behavior with our values. And so much more.
I encourage you to take some time to be with yourself and see what you can put in order internally (set a timer for 15 minutes if you want to do it the house organizing way!). If you need some help with reflection questions, here are a couple of starters:
1) What would you like to create more of in your life? Name one small step that could start you on that process and note when you will take it. Then do it.
2) What is something about who you are that you will celebrate today? A lot of self-assessment is about what we want to change and be different in our lives. Take some time to really appreciate the parts of you that are awesome just as they are. Then actually celebrate. For real.
I'm going to go celebrate my kitchen cupboards!