The second week of my Soulful Decluttering course got underway last night. Nearly 30 women signed up for this class, both for some guidance on the path to greater simplicity and for the support that they might not otherwise have on that journey. What they may not have expected is that they would each reach their own insights and understandings about themselves and their stuff—or that they might each be sources of inspiration for each other.
One of the first things I strongly suggested to the class was that they take pictures of the areas they wanted to work on before they got started. That suggestion came from my wish, just a few weeks into my own process, that I had done the same. I took some at that point, when everything was truly chaotic, but they’re not the same as good, solid “Before” photo. My clearing process took so long that I really couldn’t remember by the end what it had looked like when I began.
The interesting side effect of the assignment is that the photos served as their own motivation for the project. Many of the women in the class reported that once they saw the pictures, it was much harder to deny the mess that had built up in those areas. “The pictures don’t lie,” one said.
I’d bet that everyone reading this post has, at some point, somewhere in her life, realized that the environment she thought she knew so well was really quite different from what she usually “saw.” There’s a pile of junk in the corner, or a long-forgotten trinket from a family member that’s become hidden in plain sight. It all becomes part of the scenery.
Back in the fall, I noticed how having a camera in my hand changes the way I see things. The glow of autumn leaves that can otherwise be taken for granted becomes a glorious work of art just waiting for me to snap something beautiful. There’s something magical about it.
You don’t need a camera to see your world differently, though. All you need is the desire to notice what’s really around you. It could be that a camera, an easel and some watercolors, or other art supplies help this process along for you, but even if you just go out for a walk through familiar territory and look—really look—you’ll see things you’ve never stopped to notice before. There’s magic all around you, if you’re willing to look for it.
Are you up to the challenge? Decide that you’re going to look for three interesting new things you’ve never noticed before—and that you’ll do it within the next 24 hours. Let me know what happens!