On Sunday, after the routine of The New York Times and a cinnamon roll (oh, what a treat!), I walked past my office. With no plans for the day, I felt compelled to clean up my desk. I figured this would take about 15 minutes to get organized.
I emerged from the office five hours later.
I went through every drawer. I went through every file. I threw away stacks of ideas that I’d tucked away, no matter how brilliant I thought they were (I’ll birth new ones).
I kept re-arranging the furniture until the flow of the room felt right (I’ve been working on this for several years now, and I think I finally got it right). When it was all over, I must’ve carried out a couple hundred pounds of papers, furniture, and um, shit. I’m a fairly tidy person — I’ve never been super-organized, but I’m no slob either.
I think most people can relate to the power of getting organized and the feeling of freedom that arises from a good purge. (If you’re not, try it! The energy in my office is completely different now — peaceful, open, welcoming, zen. I find myself excited to walk into the space in the morning and begin writing.)
What really surprises me is how blind I had become to my office situation. Again, it wasn’t a disaster area, but ever so slowly, the chaos grew. And it all became my new normal.
I notice this same phenomenon, this desensitization that takes over, as I listen to people outside of my work. They talk about the parts of their lives that they do not like, but more often than not, they do nothing to change their situation. They seek no help. They try nothing new. Making a meaningful change does not seem to register as a possibility. They’re the fish in water who can no longer see their world with a clear eye… It’s not good, but it’s “normal”.
But the greater truth is that with intention, awareness, and a willingness to show up, it’s possible to clean anything up…