Tag Archives: order

Like Me, Do You Get the Urge to Do Spring Cleaning? Here Are Some Areas I Plan to Tackle.

One of my great realizations about happiness (and a point oddly under-emphasized by positive psychologists) is that for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. More, really, than it should. After all, in the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet is trivial. And yet over and over, people tell me, and I certainly find this, myself, that creating order gives a huge boost in energy, cheer, and creativity.

So I’m a big believer in the value of clutter-clearing.

Also, I’m a big believer in using outer milestones as a catalyst for action or change. Whether that’s New Year’s day, September (the other new year), my birthday, or a holiday, I think it’s helpful to be reminded that I might want to make changes in my life. (Yes, Questioners, I know you think that January 1 is an arbitrary date. Noted.)

So spring, for me, is a reminder to think about spring clutter-clearing. I’m not inspired to do deep cleaning like window-washing, carpet-cleaning, or anything like that. Spring reminds me to tackle nagging clutter build-ups.

I look for places where I tend to stick things and forget about them. Do you have this problem? For me, I’m looking at these areas: Continue reading

Got the Urge to Do Some Spring-Cleaning? Avoid These 5 Classic Mistakes.

Spring CleaningIt’s spring! (In my part of the world, at least.) And with spring comes the urge to do some spring-cleaning. The warmer weather and the fresh breezes make me want my home to feel orderly, spacious, and clean.

So far, I’ve tackled three kitchen cabinets, a closet, and my pile of white t-shirts. It feels great.

One of the things about happiness that continually surprises me is the degree to which, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and inner self-command. I write about this connection in Better Than Before, in The Happiness Project, and inHappier at Home. (All New York Times bestsellers, I can’t resist adding).

This connection fascinates me; in the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet or an overflowing in-box is trivial, and yet such things weigh us down more than they should. And clearing clutter is so energizing and cheering!

I’ve learned the hard way, however, to avoid these classic mistakes during spring-cleaning, or clutter-clearing generally:

Continue reading

Are You Clutter-Blind? Or Do You Know Someone Who Is?

4494987374_36e21d0849_bOne thing that continues to surprise me about the nature of good habits and happiness is the degree to which, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. More, really, than it should.

In the context of life of a happy life, something like a crowded coat closet or an overflowing in-box seems trivial—and it is trivial—and yet I find that I get a disproportionate charge of energy and good cheer from clearing clutter.

An orderly environment makes me feel more in control of my life, and if this is an illusion, it’s a helpful illusion.

Many people feel that way, and even people who thrive on a little chaos tend to have a limit, and enjoy orderliness to some degree.

Oblivious to Clutter

However, there’s a group of people who seem oblivious to clutter. They don’t appear to see it at all. Just as some people are color-blind, these folks are clutter-blind.

“Clutter-blind” doesn’t apply to the people who can stand to see dirty dishes scattered around, because they know if they wait, a spouse will collect the dishes — perhaps complaining all the while; see these crucial facts about shared work.

The fact is, very often, people in a couple or in a group have different levels of tolerance for clutter, and the ones with the least tolerance end up doing the most tidying, and the ones with more tolerance end up doing less. Again, this is a problem of shared work. However, in most cases, the messier ones would eventually cave and do some clutter-clearing, too. They want to be in environments that are reasonably orderly (though others might disagree by what is “reasonable”).

But some people don’t seem to register clutter, ever. A friend told me, “My husband never notices anything. As an experiment, when we got back from a trip, I left a suitcase full of his dirty clothes right in front of the front door, so he’d have to step over it to get in the house. I wanted to see how long he’d put up with it.  After a month, I called off the experiment and dealt with the suitcase myself.”

Have you found anything that works?

Continue reading

Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist – Top 10 Reasons to Chill Out

Not That PerfectionistIt was the end of a typical weekday at my house: a moving and shaking day at the office, home for some giggles and play with my young daughters, dinner, baths and bed. Finally, I get some time to myself – hooray! Out of the corner of my eye, I spot a massive pile of clean laundry that has been waiting to be put away for a whole week now. Momentarily, I consider putting it away, but … naah! Instead, I decide to grab my laptop, prop my feet up and work on some writing. I giggled to myself realizing that previously in my life I would have never been able to do that. That tiny bit of clutter would have gnawed away at me, making me super-uneasy and totally unable to relax in-the-moment.

You see, I am a recovering perfectionist. And, boy, I had it bad! Aside from my obsession with cleanliness and everything in its place, I would usually have multiple projects going on at any given point in time, agonizing over every detail, which, of course, needed to be executed juuuust right. Upon completion I would say in one long breath, “Woo-hoo, that was great, finally did it, okay, what’s next?” I used to pour over blog posts editing and re-editing them in the quest for perfect arrangement of the exact right words until they were finally worthy to be released (maybe). I used to work out 6 or 7 days a week and it would take an act of God for me to actually skip a workout!

For years, I would brush my neurosis off as, “I am just built that way. It’s in my DNA.” And, to some extent, this is true. I have a lot of passion and energy eager to pour out. But, what is different these days is my self-talk around this energy. The story I tell myself. I am enough, already. I still have high ambition and put tremendous amounts of love in what I do, but I give myself a break. I have loosened my grasp on expected outcomes and value peace and harmony waaaay more than flawlessness.

So, what was the wake-up call that helped me make the switch from high-strung to mellowed-out? These are the top 10 realizations that I made about perfectionism that helped me along in my journey to become easy like Sunday morning:

  1. “Perfect” is an illusion. It’s striving for the impossible. Even if this high-level of excellence can be met in a particular moment, don’t blink because it is a fleeting ideal. Perfection has an insatiable appetite, and the constant expectation of it sets you up for a whole lot of disappointment, stress, and unhappiness. All the while, the fun of life whizzes right by.

  2. Perfectionism stifles creativity and blocks the birth of fresh ideas. Sometimes we just need to throw the paint on the canvas, allow the notes to be strummed, or let the words pour out. When you mix intense worry into the equation, self-confidence erodes and the artistic flow becomes suppressed. Is everything just right? How it will be perceived by others? This type of thinking takes us out of alignment with our creative source and smothers the flames of imagination into submission.

  3. The ever-present quest for perfection is merely a shield from vulnerability. When we do everything perfectly, then we cannot be judged or criticized. It’s an excuse not to be vulnerable. Just as staying busy in the process of constantly trying to achieve the unachievable is a good way to avoid having to look at and deal with our “stuff.” (And we all have “stuff”). Unfortunately, the only way to heal is to deal (as in facing things head on). The shielding of perfectionism is merely a coping mechanism, which works temporarily, but meanwhile, whatever we’re suppressing only continues to gain more power over us.

  4. Vulnerability shielding inhibits connection. For me, I realized that if I really wanted to be a great writer, coach, mother, and friend who really connects with others then I’d have no other choice but to let down my shield and allow my authentic self to be fully exposed. This means being perfectly imperfect at times, owning it, and granting others permission to do the same.

  5. There is a big difference between striving for excellence and perfectionism. It’s called actually enjoying what you are doing! It’s okay (great, even) to have high aspirations. Shoot for the stars. Go nuts! But, go easy on yourself along the way. Enjoy the journey. Don’t get so tripped up in the outcome that it sucks every ounce of joy out of the process

  6. Perfection is to life what those plastic covers are too a really nice sofa.  Sure, it keeps the dirt off, but what’s the point?? The guitar whose notes are strum slightly off at times is better than the untouched guitar collecting dust on the wall. The laughed in, played in, loved in, house is better than the spotlessly clean one where you can eat off the kitchen floor. The published, yet slightly imperfect, blog or book that allows somebody else to have an “a-ha” moment or inspiration is way better than the “almost perfect” one that is still hiding away, never to be experienced by another soul. Don’t miss the point of life in pursuit of way-too-high standards.

  7. Self-worth is not determined by any outward measurement. This goes for any number on a scale, how clean the house is, how many feathers are in our cap, etc. It’s what’s on the inside that matters most. And, it starts with loving self-talk, not the “I’m not good enough’s” associated with striving for perfect.

  8. It’s even scarier. Yes, it can be scary sharing your passion with the world (whatever the medium). But, what’s even scarier is not sharing your passion with the world because you felt it didn’t meet your own ridiculously high standards. The reality is that nobody’s opinion of your work is going to be quite as critical as your own, anyway. And, even if it is. So what? It’s just somebody else’s opinion. Be passionate, create, love, share — this is living!

  9. Because what perfectionism really is: Throwing an amazing party and forgetting to have a good time because you are worried about some silly little details that nobody else even noticed or actually cares about! (Yes, I might have actually done this before *whistles*).

  10. Perfectionist parents create perfectionist kids. And, I want my girls to grow up knowing unconditional self-love, acceptance of what it is, and enjoyment of life. ‘Nuff said.

Perfectionism is a way of closing off and controlling things. It may look pretty on the outside but in reality it’s cold, isolated and dark. It’s the cracks that let the light in, anyway. So, go on and ease up a bit. Let some light in and shine on!

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Deepak Chopra: Life is Chaos and Order

The philosopher Nietzsche wrote: “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” Beauty can grow out of destruction; order can spring from disarray. In the latest episode of “The Rabbit Hole” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra discusses the intrinsic relationship between order and chaos, so fundamental to our Universe.

Imagine the electrical storm within our brains, the constant activity of neurons and synapses giving birth to thoughts, feelings, and impulses in every moment. Consider the erratic and seemingly random movement of ants in a colony or birds in migration, who in spite of chaos adhere to organized, pragmatic patterns that serve their communities’ needs.

Chaos and order go hand in hand, even promote and uphold one another. All of Nature knows this truth, yet for some reason human beings constantly struggle against it. We create unnecessary boundaries to contain and compartmentalize life, suffer anxiety when things are messy, broken, or unpredictable. If, as Deepak suggests, we can accept and give into the flow of life, we will be accepting what is real. And we will live in peace and happiness.

So who’s ready for some chaos?

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success!

photo by: nandadevieast


Fall is quickly approaching. Like New Year’s, this is a perfect time to clear out any clutter you have accumulated and start new.

Clutter can be the reason you may be feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and confused. Free up some space and you’ll be surprised how much energy is released. It’s much like a computer, when the memory is almost full or the system is not fully optimized (“How to: Optimize Your Computer”). When you are surrounded by clutter, you are constantly navigating through your space and still very connected to your past.

Optimize! Keep around you only those things that are sacred and of utmost importance. Be aware of the objects and things that help you to feel energized, efficient, and forward thinking. Notice how you may speak of change or improvement, but you may still hang on to things that are comforting or serves no purpose. That’s not bad, but take notice that you may not be quite ready.

Do you dare to throw or give it away and start over new? It’s sort of like packing for a trip and living off of just the necessities, your favorite sweater, a coat, a good book, etc. It feels very freeing and unencumbered.

Try to de-clutter when you’re a wrestling with a big problem. Tackle a closet or a room. Organize, throw things out, or give them away. By the end, the crisis will pass or you will find a solution to your problem. There is therapy in cleaning. (“Cleaning is the new therapy”) That’s why moving is hard work, but you feel much better in a new, fresh, and organized space. Nothing new can come into your life if cluttered by old.

Get rid of the pants you are holding on to until you lose the 30 lbs. Get rid of them! Get rid of presents that you really don’t like. Empty your pants, coat pockets, and your handbags.

Clearing clutter doesn’t necessarily mean being neat. Clutter means disorganized, not having things at your fingertips and that blocks creativity and the ability to work efficiently. Clutter means dirty. Get out the mop, sponge, and get to dusting!

Okay, all of you in New York City will laugh at me.Keep the entrance of your home free and clear, very Feng Shui; it represents your approach to the world and to your life. All doors should open fully, all hallways clear (that’s really funny!), get as much off the floor as possible, from underneath your bed, and clear out your closets.

If you have comments or questions about clutter contact Sandra A. Daley at: info@sandradaley.com or visit her at http://www.sandradaley.com. If you liked this article, you may also like my most recent blog “Envy” http://www.sandradaley.com/SandraDaley/Blog/Entries/2009/8/22_Envy..html


Albert Einstein

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, Then what are we to think of an empty desk?”
~ Albert Einstein
Overflowing ashtrays, piles of books, coffee stained napkins scribbled with half-baked theories, mangled envelopes, semi-scribed journals, purloined pens, dog-eared dailies, notebooks, piles of paper and mountains of unopened letters…the strictness of order and the opposing efficiency of chaos? Well, I dunno’ about that. Albert Einstein may have been brilliant but to this neat-nick, I think he must have been a complete and total slob.
Theories of relativity aside – nobody needs to drop an apple onto my head for me to notice both sides of the tidiness fence – those who see the advantage of having a messy desk and those who slip into flames when a pen is left askew. (Okay. I admit it. I just described myself.)
While revealing your true inner being, if your desk is nasty maybe you’re just disorganized by nature, maybe your productivity skills are rusty, you’ve decided to cozy up to your own special brand of disorder or perhaps you’re the kind of person who – when finished with something – it spirals into a whirling abyss of invisibility. Although your mass-of-mess is mounding into Mount St. Helens, Mount Fuji or even Mount Everest, you’ve become blinded – and to your delusional sightless eyes, your chaos ceases to exist.
Finding the middle ground between what’s tidy and untidy can be slippery. A study at Columbia Business School found that people who keep a dashing desk actually spend more time shuffling through stuff than those who keep it mildly messy – systematizing and salvaging stuff takes time. And when it comes to a messy desk, time is of the essence – for it was our sloppy scientist who once said, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”
Ebbing and flowing like the tide, when your desk is out of control, wrestling your stack of stuff can be absolutely aggravating. Slob that he was, our birthday boy also once said; “Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
When your messes reach maximum density, make a hole into your Himalayan-sized-hysteria – a gap into your Alpine-shaped-mishap by keeping your tidying trouble-free. Simply commit yourself to digging through your disaster for just five minutes a day.
And once you’ve reached China – umm-errr – your desk top, consider this simple, eco-friendly way of polishing it: Use two parts olive oil mixed with one part lemon juice. Pour just a few drops on a soft cloth, wipe away the dust, scuffs, and fingerprints, and make your wooden desk shine. No sprays, aerosols or chemicals needed—just two natural ingredients, and voila, a clean and polished surface.
Although a clean desk to some may symbolically resemble a blank slate (Yoo-hoo! Is anybody home?) I find peace when my desk is shipshape and tidy. While cleaning yours, you may not find Amelia Earhart or Jimmy Hoffa, some missing masterpieces by Rembrandt, Manet or Vermeer, or even the meaning of life but hopefully you’ll discover a newfound semblance of order and – ultimately – the long-lost surface of of your desk.

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what the

 Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. 
The way it actually works is the reverse.  You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want."
~ Margaret Young
Life – Meaningfulness
The above quote describes the procedure of living so meaningfully
How well indeed it encourage one to be oneself truly and naturally.
Then seeks to meaningfully encourage one to attend to the respective/concerned objectives
To achieve and accomplish one’s priorities meaningfully.
It is a simple yet effective inspiring set of words, with each word expressing meaningful value.
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina; Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina
May One and All be Happy and Peaceful;
May One and All have well-being and live peacefully together
May Happiness be showered on all;
May One and All be Healthy
O Lord Protect us
O Lord Guide us
O Lord Grant us Wisdom
O Lord Lead us from darkness to Light (From ignorance to Knowledge)
O Lord May there be Universal Peace, Hope, Happiness, Wisdom, Prosperity and Progress
Best Wishes,
Vashi Ram Chandi 

Miracles are not difficult


"There is no order of difficulty in miracles.  One is not "harder" or bigger" than another.  They are all the same.  All expressions of love are maximal."


As I allow this verse to embody my whole being, I feel so uplifted in knowing that when I come from a space of Love, everything else works out and I experience surprises, miracles, on my path.  I now see that we make miracles hard or big because of our need and drive to cause the miracle which results in our egos blocking miracles in our lives due to the ego need for recognition or validation in having a part to play in delivering the miracle.

Self Love, Love for others, Divine Love, Seeing joy, perfection and love in ALL that is – these expressions are miraculous.  Now when my ego engages and I am feeling lack of joy or peace, I know that I am in the way and am controlling the outcomes rather than stepping aside, trusting in the Universe Divine, and allowing Inspired Action to run my daily doingness.

What a great way to start this Course, to share with you, and to re-member that my ego is not in control and to be in a space of Love allowing miracles to show up in my life, to not judge the miracle, simply to accept with Love and Gratitude.

Join me in the study, lessons, and Universal Teachings of A Course in Miracles.




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