Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Discover how I stopped chasing, started living, and learned self love by overcoming self-doubt. It’s a story of empowerment and resilience!
Table of contents
- Profound Inspiration
- Carving Out Time for Self Love
- Learning Curve with Self Love
- Being Intentional Influences Personal Growth and Self Love
- How I Learned Self Love
- Related Topics
When people used to ask my dad how business was going, he would respond, “I’m working on my second million!”
“Wow! That’s great! How’s that coming along?” They would ask.
Laughing, my dad would respond, “Well, I gave up on my first, so hopefully, the second will pan out.”
I have learned over the years that there are basic behaviors aligned with our stages of life.
For example, like most young people in my teens, I struggled to figure out where I belonged and what I would do on the weekends. Waiting for a phone call about a party that never came, so most weekends, I worked or stayed home with family.
I was a nineteen-year-old parent, so my twenties were about survival. First, attending post-secondary and deciding on what professional identity would suit my interests, needs, and bank account.
Then, finding a job, working, and changing jobs again until choosing entrepreneurship as the most suitable for my lifestyle.
All while being married, having a second baby, juggling daycare, babysitters, laundry, and sick days when our girls picked up a bug. Life was a daily race to the weekend.
My life was not different from many but unique to my experiences.
In my thirties, I was successfully adult-ing with two healthy children, two dogs, a mortgage, two vehicles, life insurance, a satellite subscription, annual family vacations, and closets full of stuff.
We ran a race each week. Shuttling our girls between horseback riding lessons, piano lessons, birthday parties, Girl Guides events, volleyball, basketball, and school functions.
Not to mention the endless homework, housework, grocery shopping, and the never-ending need for more sleep.
It was like we were running on a treadmill, training for an ultra-marathon with no finish line.
In my forties, something happened. It started with questioning the madness. Wondering why we had piles of laundry each week and where all the socks and Tupperware lids went after washing them.
But, more importantly, why we had so much stuff and chaos in our lives and home. The constant running and noise was baffling and chaotic.
Carving Out Time for Self Love
Circling back to my dad’s quip. Although tongue-in-cheek, it struck me that I was also chasing my second million and was tired.
There had to be a better way to feel fulfilled in life. So, I decided to stop the race and change my target.
After readjusting, I became focused on creating meaning through stillness. As within, so without.
Beginning with carving out time for myself each day, I uncovered how I wanted to live. Each morning over coffee, I would spend thirty minutes reflecting on my intentions for the day and ask myself:
- How do you want to show up?
- What do you need?
- How will the day’s activities make you a better person?
At the end of each day, I would spend thirty minutes reflecting on the day by journaling. My journal prompts were:
- What is the highlight of your day?
- How did your highlight make you feel?
- How did your highlight make you a better person?
- What three things from your day are you most grateful for?
Learning Curve with Self Love
Although this one hour a day I had carved out for a ritual of self love allowed me to focus on each day, our home remained like a busy airline terminal. So, I started reading books, watching documentaries, and attending seminars.
I was on a mission to learn about maintaining stillness in every aspect of our lives. But unfortunately, I discovered that due to a messy closet or cluttered garage, science has shown that this unnecessary stress can lead to unforeseen health issues.
Living in a cluttered and noisy environment has been linked to an increased risk of health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes.
On the other hand, living in a clean and organized home has been found to reduce stress levels and cortisol levels.
A study at Northwestern University in Illinois found that clutter and disorganization are even more harmful than poor conditions like mould and dampness.
A cluttered and noisy space can lead to negative emotions and even depression. In another study conducted by UCLA, it was found that mess and disorder can severely impact our mood and self-esteem.
For example, feeling constantly overwhelmed by clutter and noise can cause shame, guilt, or a sense of inadequacy, making it difficult to focus and be productive.
It can be a vicious circle: the more clutter you have, the more stress you feel, and the less productive you are.
“Existing in a cluttered environment taxes our brains because the cluttering objects compete for our attention,” according to Dr. Scott Bea, a clinical psychologist.
However, the science of decluttering our lives shows that it can improve focus, reduce anxiety, and increase productivity.
Our homes should be places of peace and calm, where go to recharge after a stressful day.
Deciding the quickest and easiest way to make a difference in our lives started with our physical spaces, and we committed to taking charge of our home. Clearing out anything that no longer served a purpose in our lives, we created a Zen den.
Intentionally keeping material possessions for utility led me to focus on creating meaning in my relationships.
Once our house was in order, we worked on finances. Then, our schedules and how we spent our time. Keeping only what enhanced our lives and creating meaning for us and those around us.
This article explains the process of how to get started with decluttering physical spaces:
Being Intentional Influences Personal Growth and Self Love
Living a meaningful life by embracing self love and moving away from a noisy world can be incredibly freeing and lead to true happiness.
When we live consciously, we can focus on what is truly important and let go of the rest.
This allows us to live more intentionally and creates space for things that bring joy into our lives.
Additionally, living with intention can help reduce stress and anxiety because there is less clutter.
In my experience, decluttering physical spaces leads to decluttering your mind, body, and spirit, ultimately leading to a more peaceful way of living.
How I Learned Self Love
Using this six-step process to make changes in my life is how I learned self love.
A mindset for living with intention is not a fad or trend. It is a way of life. Embracing living with purpose starts with preparing yourself to make changes in your life for personal growth and development. Exploring how we become emotionally attached to things and how removing excess from our lives improves productivity, happiness, and focus.
Changing your physical spaces and way of living will take its toll on your emotional state. Learning to let go to embrace simplicity means changing habits and patterns of behavior. Self-care is crucial to maintaining a commitment to living a meaningful and fulfilled life with intention.
Sources of Inspiration
Creating a list of sources for inspiration will help you to maintain motivation for making changes in your life. Consciously choose what you listen to, read, watch, and invite into your space. Choose things that leave you feeling inspired, empowered, and embraced.
Committing to Change
Creating an action plan requires a commitment to change. Commit to taking steps each day to achieve your desired state of living with intention.
Starting with the quickest and easiest tasks to get organized helps us feel empowered as we embrace living a meaningful and intentional life.
Identifying needed resources to achieve your goals is helpful to take inventory and get organized to start taking charge of your space.
We experience many stages throughout our lifetime. Unpacking our need to run a daily race with no finish line is unhealthy.
Instead, clearing out the clutter and chaos in our lives leads us to discover how to create meaning through intention in our lives.
Clearing clutter and noise also helps reduce stress and improve mental well-being.
Living a meaningful life by embracing living with intention and moving away from a noisy world can be incredibly freeing and lead to true happiness.
Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time,
Swanson, H. L., & Ferrari, J. R. (2022). Older Adults and Clutter: Age Differences in Clutter Impact, Psychological Home, and Subjective Well-Being. Behavioral Sciences, 12(5), 132. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12050132
The Science Behind Decluttering. (n.d.). MIBluesPerspectives. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.mibluesperspectives.com/stories/for-your-business/the-science-behind-decluttering