Inspiration – When bad moods strike..

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Why have I felt so irritated lately? What is going on that I feel so edgy, and just want to get rid of everything we own?

Remember I mentioned there was a fire in our apartment building about a month ago? Thank G-d everyone was fine, including the family in who’s apartment the actual fire occurred.

Well life has it that after that fire, the Fire Department has been hounding us. Like every apartment in the building, to make sure we are up to fire code. Which of course we were not. So..basically for us it comes down to the fire escape/porch. Each apartment has a small fire escape, which is sort of like a small porch, which for us held all our storage. Not anymore….

How could you have storage if you are an organizer?? Wouldn’t you have decluttered everything and only had what you use regularly on hand??

Well unfortunately, that is just not reality. Perhaps the experts, like Marie Kondo, are so organized that they don’t own things in “storage,” but we for one kept big things out there (my bicycle) and stuff we use once per year (boxes of seasonal & holiday items).

Time to bring it all in….EEEKK!!! MAJOR EEEK!!!

Because basically, if we were on our own timeline, I would leisurely take things in when I had the designated place for them, one at a time, over months.

This is more like a prod in the back – the Fire Department will fine us if the things are not moved ASAP.

Basically my apartment looks like a storage facility right now 🙁 🙁 🙁

In order to avoid the fine, we moved most of the things in already, without a place for them. Thus started the big rearranging, decluttering, getting rid of/selling, project.

That I will go into later. What I wanted to touch on here, was how all this made me feel.

At the time that we were bringing stuff in, going through things, I was excited to be in the midst of a project, and going through things that would otherwise sit for more years to come I’m sure. However, after the original dust settled, now walking around in a crowded cluttered apartment has really begun to wear on me.

In fact, it’s a conscious and subconscious thing. Partially I didn’t even realize it was the clutter – I just couldn’t figure out why I was so down and anxious. After some introspection, realizing thank G-d I was feeling good, was not in an argument with a friend, work was ok – it dawned on me that my space is overtaking my physical, mental, emotional wellbeing. That stepping over things, lifting and moving things, and cleaning things has all stressed me out, most of all the things that are still sitting here with no place to be. I placed some ads for sale for the large items that I realized I would like someone else to enjoy at this time, and while I wait for someone to purchase they are simply stressing me out and taking up valuable space and breathing space in my tiny apt!!! Ugh!!!

So what do we do in this situation? For your health – this is worth addressing.

  1. Get it out

Obviously what you can dispose of/donate, do so as quickly as possible. Your space is worth it. These items are not paying rent to you are they? And if you are through enjoying the items, don’t build a negative memory of them now that they are taking up valuable space in your apartment. List everything you can on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Apps like Letgo and Varagesale, etc. Do shifts to the local donation bins in your community.

2. Relax & acknowledge “this moment will pass.”

Sometimes #1 is not possible, or at least not as fast as you want it to be. So what do you do??? That folks, is the question of the day. Well you could stress-eat chocolate…NO lol just kidding. What I’ve concluded is, to take a deep breath, and say “this moment will pass.” To relax with the what-if’s (what if my neighbor is furious that my bike is now blocking the hallway), do your best efforts (updating craigslist postings, posting realistic prices for the things YOU think are worth millions but most would pay $50 for), and honestly if it’s really taking a toll, post that it is free for the taking – your sanity is worth it.

For example – one of the things taking up space for me was a piece of furniture, that I not only bought new from Amazon AND paid someone to build, but even in a couple short years had enough wear and tear that I couldn’t mark it at such a high price – forget about even coming close to getting my money’s worth. After less than 2 weeks of posting ads, getting zero bites, I finally listed it for free in a local community chat and have someone scheduled to come pick it up (think good thoughts they will come!) Basically it came down to the realization that for this piece of furniture someone will need a truck/large car, and will need to disassemble it themselves and in my apt – so all those things already cost the person in their time and effort and perhaps even financially if they rent a car to pick it up. I realized I wasn’t going to get paid on top of that – and especially when it came down to it, I decided I was not posting this on the worldwide craigslist since it involves someone coming into my home to disassemble it and I couldn’t bring it safely to a public place to sell – I preferred someone I know in my community to pick it up. So the payment to me, not cash in this example, will be the newfound space in my apt and the endless possibilities to use in this space!!

3. Hunker down and declutter/reshuffle.

The other thing I do is focus my efforts on other areas of home organizing and decluttering that I can make a dent in, even if the big items from the porch/fire escape can’t be dealt with right away. Perhaps it’s almost to feel a little sense of control amidst the chaos (though control in general in our lives is a fallacy when it truly comes down to it). I’m purging other things that haven’t been touched in months, throwing out old and read magazines, etc., and overall beautifying the home in other, smaller ways that I can right now. I’m also reshuffling things from the porch/fire escape into more manageable storage methods in our home, such as taking items out of big bulky containers and putting them into under the bed storage, like: https://amzn.to/2RWotWy, or shifting the couch and putting the vacuum cleaner to the side instead of storing it on the fire escape (more about this later, and how cleaning utensils are much more usable when close at hand).

Space affects our wellbeing – it’s a fact. That is why people pay premiums to live by the ocean, and why people will bring cheerful decor to decorate someone’s hospital room. The colors, objects, and atmosphere around us affects us, let’s have it affect us all for the better!

Until next time, I’m deep breathing in my *temporarily* cluttered space and acknowledging that this is how it is, right now. 

Successful centering!

~Shirit

Trauma-Beginning to Understand

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I spent some time googling “trauma expert” and “science behind trauma” the other day. It is really quite complex, I didn’t find much concrete information.

I am not going to bore you with these details, as you can also google in your free time.

What spurred this google sesh was there was a fire in our apartment building. Thank G-d everyone was safe, including the family who’s apartment it was in. Everyone evacuated and stood on the sidewalk in the dark surrounded by at least 5 fire engines with lights flashing, lots of emergency personnel, and everyone in some state of clothes and/or pajamas. We were outside for a good half hour, perhaps longer.

Why do I write this? Because I realized that I underwent some level of trauma that night, though thank G-d it was not my personal apartment in which the fire happened. I went through an initial disbelief internally that it was a true emergency or fire before running out of the apartment, followed by slow-motion putting my shoes on, knocking on a neighbor’s door, and then running downstairs still not fully believing that this was real. I’m not sure what this was about – perhaps some sort of defense mechanism or survival technique, but that’s what I felt.

Outside I felt the shock of what was happening, realizing that the family lost all their possessions in an instant. That they had no place to sleep that night. That was terrifying, upsetting, shocking, all at once. Tears came to my eyes when I realized how fortunate and blessed we all were on the sidewalk, how thankful I was that someone called the Fire Department, that they put out the fire, and that the family had run out in record time.

I’m writing this because I’m curious how you all (readers) process and go through trauma. We all endure some levels of trauma in our lives, just from living on this planet, some unfortunately to greater degrees than others.

I’m also writing this because perhaps my method of dealing with/processing the trauma can help someone else.

What I did:

I’m a kinesthetic learner, followed greatly by audio, lastly visual. I’m mentioning this because I’m very much a doer, and learn by doing. I’m not a trauma expert. However, I was so shaken up, I knew I had to DO something to help myself process this trauma without having nightmares and becoming OCD with every siren I hear outside (call me sensitive but this is how I felt after the event).

So I did some steps to help myself process the fire.

1. I spoke about it with other families in my building who had all experienced more or less the same thing that night

2. I asked around, found out where the family was staying who had experienced the fire in their apartment, and I went to ask how they were faring and offer my support in any way. She is a friend of mine and I genuinely cared about her emotional and physical wellbeing. 

3. I bought 2 boxes of Duncan Hines brownie (link: https://amzn.to/2DEAnRA) and white cake mix (though at my local store the kosher symbol was different than this: https://amzn.to/2qKRMzs), baked brownies and white cake (used a hack to make the white cakes honey cakes for the Jewish Holiday season), and took an uber to the fire station, also armed with some pamphlets about the Jewish holidays in case any of the firefighters were Jewish. I thanked the firemen, they were some of the people who had been on call and responded that night to our building, and gave them brownies and honey cakes. I asked them questions about how to make my apartment more fire safe, and how to light candles in a safer way. It was fascinating to be there, I highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t visited. I learned a lot about how they work just from being there and observing, and seeing the firemen and engines up close took some of the trauma and fear factor away as well as the practical information to quell the worrying.

That’s pretty much all that I did. All in all, I feel very much like a part of me was healed and can move on. The reminders are always there – the burnt and black apartment I pass in my building, and neighbors still speaking about it, as well as my friend who moved into a new apartment. I feel that I have helped myself to move past the fear and into a healing place, and I can do that without feeling guilty instead feeling grateful and blessed, as well as inspired to help more in my community as much as I can.

I’d love to hear how you’ve helped yourself process and heal from trauma- Drop me a line, leave your comments below -let’s all share the wealth. You never know when your tip can help another! ~Shirit

Basics of the Demartini Method – Effective technique to address relationships

In Judaism, there is a phenomenon called “if you know alef, teach alef”. Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The saying is basically emphasizing that you can teach a little even if all you know is a little. YOu don’t have to be an expert yet to help someone else out.

That’s where I am today. I’m not an expert yet (in coaching or organizing!) However, I have benefited from some outstanding mentors and have some guidance to pass on from them and from my experience. So here goes:

Counselors and therapists have their place. Go for it, pursue it, I hope these avenues help you in the ways that you need most.

Despite people’s success stories, these sources of assistance were not profoundly life changing for me.

What WAS life changing, was the coaching programs through Dr. John Demartini and the Dina Friedman Academy.

I can go into some more personal experience and advice later. I want to give a little introduction to some basic principles of this philosophy, and hope that even this little tidbit could help someone truly suffering.

As I understood as explained by Dr. Demartini’s work, a major underlying principle is that everyone and life in general is created in balance. Every person has numerous traits and they are all inside that person in balance, traits like honesty, lying, respectful, disrespectful, responsible, irresponsible, kind, mean, stingy, giving, etc. A person contains all the traits in equal proportions in their makeup and personality.

If I am seeing someone (lets call him Bob for example’s sake) as solely and 100% mean, I am blocked in this trait. I am blocked in seeing my own displays of this trait (I don’t think I’m ever mean and can’t see myself as being mean ever) and I am blocked in seeing that Bob has any of the opposite traits – that of kindness. To me, Bob is 100% mean, no bones about it.

Why is this important? How many interactions in your life follow these labels – this coworker is annoying, this boss is demanding, this spouse is irritating, this friend is jealous, etc. Or also positive traits (though for those most of us don’t seek therapy) this friend is beautiful, this coworker is generous, etc. How often do we not see the rounded picture, that each of us has all the elements and factors of a dynamic personality, even if we don’t want to admit it?

If you are seeing one trait dominantly in a person close to you, and it is impacting or even harming your relationship, Dr. Demartini then prescribes some homework:

1. To write down 25 specific instances in which the person (Bob) displayed kindness, for example – Bob helped Jane’s kitty down from the tree yesterday at 2 pm. They have to be specific instances with specific people involved.

2. Write down 25 ways that you displayed that trait so prevalent in Bob (mean in this example) like: I cut in front of the person before me in the supermarket line at Whole Foods today at 12pm, etc. There are more steps to this process in what he trademarked the Demartini Breakthrough Experience, and you can find out all the information on his website https://drdemartini.com/ or on Dina’s website www.dinafriedmanacademy.com.

What is astounding after doing this work is that you start to see the person in a different light, and even yourself through a different lens. Before, it’s not that my perception was skewed – Bob really is mean! Always! Following this work/the Breakthrough Experience, the self-talk sounds more like “Bob is sometimes mean, and sometimes nice. I’m also sometimes mean, and sometimes nice. Really, I see a lot of things Bob does that are really nice and kind.”

*This method is not suitable for someone dealing with violence/abuse, active addictions, or someone unfaithful in a relationship. For those situations, one must have additional support as well.

This can be a particularly sensitive process and can take time to get started, often once you get a few examples down the rest come rolling out. It is beneficial to do this process under guidance such as at a Demartini or Dina Friedman seminar where facilitators can guide you and help answer questions in the process, especially in painful scenarios or relationships.

I highly suggest anyone who is going through a challenge and feeling stuck with traditional therapists and counselors, to seek out a Demartini or Dina Friedman coach/facilitator/therapist. Even if you feel that there is no hope for you, they are trained to deal with the most extreme situations and can help guide you to be a stronger and more successful you. The choice is always yours in terms of how to continue or even to end a relationship, however even in a situation where one chooses to end a relationship, this work can help you clarify and better solidify your feelings, thoughts, emotions and decisions, enabling you to move forward in any way as a stronger and more balanced version of you.

~Shirit