Category: Body Clutter

With the end of another school year, spring moving summer, and the final push to be productive before the kids are home all day, the load can leave us drained of energy. All of it can feel pretty stressful.

It’s during these times of change when we have to take care of ourselves so the transition doesn’t wear us out.

Here are a few ways I like to reduce stress and find my calm.

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It’s easy to wake up and just start running around the house like a crazy person making breakfast, checking email, putting dishes away, doing push-ups, rummaging through closet hangers for an outfit and getting the kids out of the house. Ambitiously, in the spirit of “getting it all done.”

Most of us can relate to a morning like that. And how it starts is typically how it ends.

Our days begin to look colorless and feel monotonous, and we can’t see the horizon because we’ve cluttered our view with tasks, obligations, chores and responsibilities. The weight of it all is debilitating.

We have only 24 hours in a day and sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough because we’re cramming too much in.

So much so that it’s confused us, clouded our focus and crippled our peace. Our effort to get it all done is actually counterproductive.

But what if we started a little slower and a little more thoughtfully? How would a peaceful start change our day, its course and momentum? How would our morning affect our focus throughout the day? How would it improve the way we speak to others, what we put in our bodies, and how we feel by the time we return home at night?

How can we use our morning to put us on the good foot? To open us up to receive what comes and to welcome it with open arms, whatever it is? I have an idea how…

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On the last step of the Code, you now have all steps down as a lifestyle, right? Ok, maybe not quite; it takes practice. But with discipline, The Declutter Code becomes a way of life, a new language you speak. And with that comes a life of peace and freedom. How good does that sound?

(Before you go on, make sure you read and practice Step 9 for the best results.)

Step 10: Sleep

Rest. Reset. Restart. Sleep, it’s that weapon we all have to improve our mental functioning, our stamina and our muscular strength. It sustains the body’s proper functioning, alertness and survivalism. The mind relaxes. The nervous system relaxes. The postural muscles rest. The eyes rest.

During sleep, the body repairs bones and tissues, rejuvenates cells and organs. Sleep also boosts the immune system and aids digestion.

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What a perfect time for this step. Spring is in the air and makes for an excellent stage on which to experience Step 8 of The Declutter Code. (But first, read and practice Step 7!)

Use the change of seasons to make this a powerful experience.

Step 8: Savor

To savor is to relish and delight in a feeling. It’s basking in the sensations of an experience. Savoring is placing our attention on a situation fully, openly and fondly. We are unconditionally loving the moment.

To savor is to appreciate. Savoring a situation with our senses is to embody an experience, gratefully noticing all the sounds, smells, sights, textures and flavors that accompany it.

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Now, we dive into step 2 of the The Declutter Code. At this point in the Code, we’ve slowed down in mind and body—the necessary step to prepare ourselves for self-inquiry and self-discovery. We’ve even scheduled in time to pause from the hustle and reflect on the here and now.

(If you haven’t read and practiced step 1, do that now. It’s an important step!)

Step 2: Still

To still is to calm through non-action. Like a lake calms after a ripple, stilling allows everything to settle and return home—that place of peace.

What is it for us to be still? It means we stop all activity—physically and mentally—and just sit with what is. Sit still with what is happening now. Sit still as the minutes tick by. Sit still with thoughts as they come and go. Sit still with the body as it twitches and itches. Sit still with the painful or pleasurable sensations. And do nothing. Make no effort to respond or react. Just let what is happening, happen. Let what is being, be.

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By now, you’re probably familiar with my book, The Declutter Code: 10 Simple Steps to Clarity and how it explores the simple philosophy behind decluttering our minds and the journey to getting clear.

It is a process to declutter our lives. It shines a light on our clinging and hoarding, and clears the way through mental and environmental clutter. It accomplishes this by offering steps to calm the chaos and clear the fog in our minds. It encourages full-body awareness and the use of our senses.

The results of practicing The Declutter Code, in addition to clarity, are peace of mind, less stress, managed anxiety and freedom from overwhelm.

The next several blog posts are dedicated to the 10 steps of The Declutter Code. I’ll break down each step and provide a quick and easy way to incorporate it into your life.

Don’t let the simplicity of these steps fool you. They are powerful, decisive and transformative.

Step 1: Slow

To slow is to pause. It is a significant and unmistakable pausing to breathe, observe and reflect. It is taking our foot off the gas and physically slowing the movement of our bodies. It is becoming slow to speak and slow to react.

Slowing invites in a respite from the frantic, crazed doing. A treat for our sanity. We slow down to go with the flow.

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I’m raising the torch for exercise. I’ll even throw an Olympic gold medal on the thing. Is there any reason not to love it?

Exercise is how the body stays fit and healthy. It’s also one of the ways the mind stays fit and healthy. Incorporating some type of physical activity (a.k.a. exercise) into your daily routine is a must.

I wouldn’t call myself an athlete, but I stay fairly active. I like to challenge my body and see what it can do (when I put my mind to it), especially in my yoga practice, spin class and trail hikes. Aside from that, I aim to get a 45-minute, brisk, aerobic walk in daily.

Right now, I’m enrolled in a 2-week intense bootcamp program that’s kicking my ass…and I love every gritty second.

If you, too, made the new year’s resolution to get fit, good for you. When you set that goal, you probably weren’t even aware of all the side effects that decision would have on your entire life. More on that in a second.

For those of you who are anti-exercise, what’s your reasoning?

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