June 24, 2014

Get Stuffed! Letting Go For A Simpler Life

image Photo credit: Wonderlane via Flikr CC


Why do we have so much trouble disentangling from our possessions?

I have just moved house and have come up against two concerning things;

1. How much stuff I have!

2. How hard it is to part with possessions

While I know I’m not alone, it baffles me why we feel we need so much. Why do we battle so hard internally to let things go?

I know the battle is psychological and fuelled by emotions more than rational thought, but why do we associate so strongly with the things that surround us? Why do we imbue so much meaning into inanimate objects?

It seems absurd that I can’t part with some knick knack (a.k.a. ‘dust collector’) or a pair of shoes I hardly ever wear, but for some reason I find it hard. These objects and the feelings around them have a hold on me.

It doesn’t help that many things I am gripping onto are things from my Dad and Nan who have both passed away, but I also know that my memories of them are truly not dependent on these physical reminders.

My Dad and I often went to the speedway to see the sprint cars. One birthday he bought me a bag and a t-shirt which he had signed by my favourite driver. I will never forget this birthday yet I struggle to give away the bag I never use, or to throw out the signed t-shirt despite it being manky and old.

I know I don’t need the shirt to remind me of that great night, yet it seems that by getting rid of it, I am somehow also throwing out that special memory or devaluing it in some way. I know that my memories and love for those around me are not tied up in objects, yet it is hard to let go without feeling some guilt or anxiety.

It has got me wondering…

“Do we grip so tightly to our possessions because we don’t trust ourselves to remember?”


“Do we think that by giving things away we are also giving a little of ourselves away too?”

I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I am really intrigued by our associations with objects and possessions. I look forward to your responses. Until then, I’m off to keep unpacking and sorting through more ‘stuff.’ :-)

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Jess xxx

June 3, 2014

Are You In Need Of A ‘Life Renovation’?

image Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Flickr CC

Is there an area of your life that needs ‘sprucing up,’ or even a complete renovation? Maybe some of your ways of thinking are outdated, too cluttered or simply no longer functional? Maybe your lifestyle has you running from pillar to post with no time for yourself, and you are feeling exhausted.

If your life could be improved, then today is as good a day as any to start a ‘life renovation.’ Too often we put off doing the hard work on areas in our life we know are looking and feeling a bit ‘shabby’ because we feel it is too challenging, overwhelming or we simply don’t know how to start.

While these are very real concerns, if we let these reasons and feelings stop us from moving forward, we will continue to live our lives knowing we are ‘just missing the mark.’ Not a great feeling. We know we will be falling short of what we are capable of, and the happiness and freedom we know we could be experiencing.

If you feel up to the challenge (and it is a challenge!) there is one thing you need to know before you start making big changes in your life. It is something I wish someone had told me years ago… 

Getting Started Is The Hardest Part

This week I have been painting my home and was absolutely amazed at how long it takes to properly prepare a room before putting a brush to the walls! Life can be like this too. When we decide to tackle something big in our lives it is easy to feel overwhelmed and to lose motivation.

Knowing that the beginning of any change is always the hardest (and most time consuming), will help us not to loose heart. It will also prepare us for the ‘negative Nelly’ mental chatter that also happens at this stage.

I have found the little voice that pops into my head at the early stage of any major change or task sounds something like this;

“You are never going to get this done!”

“Who are you fooling, you aren’t cut out to do this.”

“What is wrong with you? Everyone else is doing this so much quicker and so much better than you are.”

Sound familiar?

Personally I think we all go through this at some time or another. The solution, however, isn’t to try to stop these negative internal conversations, but acknowledge them and not ‘buy’ into them or allow them to influence what you do or don’t do in your life.

Hard, right?

These negative internal conversations always focus on our real and perceived weaknesses, making it hard to disentangle from them. While we all have weaknesses, we also have many strengths.

If we want to achieve real and sustained change in our lives, we have to consciously focus on our strengths, rather than fusing with our weaknesses.

Is there an area of your life where your negative inner conversations are stopping you from pushing through? What are you missing out on by allowing these negative views of yourself to dictate your current experience of life and your future direction?

While starting can be slow, it does get easier. You will begin to see progress. Stick with it. You aren’t doing anything wrong. You aren’t slower than everyone else, there is nothing wrong with your personality, stamina, or intellect…this is just how things go.

At times when I was painting I wondered if the job would ever be done. I am happy to say it is done and it looks fabulous. Was it hard? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. As I have said many times before, quality takes time.

Patience, trust and self-belief are the cornerstones of building the life you want. Persevere and you won’t regret it. Start living your life, your way.

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Jess xxx