In the middle of a difficult divorce, I hit what felt like rock bottom. I had followed the expectations of everyone I knew… got a college degree, got a great job, got married, built our dream home filled with tons of stuff, lived in a fabulous part of the country… so why was I so unhappy?
When I finally got brave enough to take a good look at my life, I realized that none of it fit me. Even worse, I didn’t know what a good fit for me even was.
As I started the painful process through divorce, I also began the practice of going through my life, one thing at a time, to rebuild it my way.
I started with the most tangible, practical, visible things possible: I cleared out my house.
I went through my stuff, one item at a time, and asked myself if that item reflected the life I wanted to create for myself.
I asked myself if that item reflected back a feeling of joy and happiness and bubbly excitement for me, or if the item represented fear, guilt, someone else’s priorities, or constriction in any way.
I kept the stuff that brought me joy. I gradually let the rest go.
The process brought up unwanted floods of emotion and the devastating realization of how far off track I was from living an authentic life.
But now I had a compass I could use to bring me back on my path.
I could use the items sitting on my shelves and hanging in my closet to discover what deeply mattered to me in that moment, and shift my environment to reflect those priorities.
And I started trusting myself in a whole new way.
As I let go of the stuff, I let go of mountains of outdated expectations and shoulds and guilt.
As I got rid of the clutter, I rediscovered myself.
I got unstuck.
I got breathing room and clarity.
I moved out of the huge house and into a smaller space filled with only things that I loved.
I went from having a job as a computer programmer to creating an entirely new career that feeds me to my soul, running my own business as a professional coach, which eventually led to interviews for the Today Show, Success Magazine, and becoming a bestselling author.
Most recently, I followed a dream I’ve had for 10 years, to travel and work in an Airstream (which I love, love, love).
The process of clearing out the clutter, both the stuff in my home and the clutter in my mind, remains to this day as the single most transformational process that I have ever experienced in my life.