Overwhelmed? Simplify.

By Tami Bonnell, Co-Chair, EXIT Realty Corp. International

I bet I’ve heard the word, “overwhelmed” seventy times this week.  People are telling me they’re overwhelmed, they don’t know where to start, they don’t know what to do. It’s almost as though they’re stirring a frenzy in their mind to the point of paralysis.

We have a lot of clutter in our lives.  Clutter can be old, unexamined scripts we repeat to ourselves. Clutter can be physical possessions in our household or office, or clutter can be time-wasters. As we evolve as people and get rid of the clutter in our lives, the more we become who we were meant to be. Simplifying clears the way (mentally and physically) to bring the best version of ourselves to every day.

We’re all a work in progress, and we’re constantly creating ourselves. I have a therapeutic ritual where I go through every bookshelf, every cabinet, every drawer, every closet in my home and determine what to keep, donate or give away. I ask myself, does this serve who I am now or who I am becoming? If not, who could benefit from it?  Maybe I share a book that I’ve read five times. Maybe I take games that my family has outgrown to a school or daycare.

I also consider the people in my life. People are certainly not clutter, but as we grow and evolve, it’s important to be deliberate about the people we surround ourselves with and to consciously and thoughtfully bring value to their lives.

Whenever you’re not feeling great and you help someone else you’ll probably feel better because you’ve done something that’s taken the universe further in a good direction. It doesn’t matter what your little contribution is. And we can all make a contribution. Sometimes you have more money than time. Sometimes you have more time. Sometimes you can share your skillset or experience. Acts of service and helping others help us to become more of what it is that we were put here for.

The point is to be intentional.  Intentional about our possessions, the scripts in our head, the goals we set, the people we surround ourselves with and the value we bring to their lives.  We get out of whack when clutter, noise, and other people’s expectations prevent us from being who we were meant to be and living a truly authentic life.

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