"Simplify Your Life" Wrap-Up Chat Transcript: November 6, 2001

Regina Leeds : I want to start out by letting you know what I have recently observed during the Simplify Your Life Challenge. It is very difficult for most women to embrace the concept of taking time for themselves. We feel guilty. And, after all, estrogen sets us up to be givers. But if we don't keep the source within healthy, there will be nothing to give.

iVillager heidismile: I took a self empowerment course once. One of the topics was to do things for ourselves and not just others. Only women were in the class.

Regina Leeds: I can't imagine a guy in a class like that...LOL! They like it when we give, give give...

Avoiding Clutter

iVillager heidismile: How do I keep a room clean when I am unpacking boxes in it?

Regina Leeds: Well, try and stop periodically so that you can take out the packing materials, break down the boxes and stack them for trash pick up. But beware that that part of the job is exhausting! When I do a move, I have a young man come in at the end of the day and he checks the paper and breaks down the boxes. Gone are the days when I try and do it all myself!

iVillager heidismile : I did but I was unpacking boxes of papers and didn't want to stop and file things. So the papers ended up all over the room

Regina Leeds: No. Don't stop and file. Make job categories such as, this pile gets filed this goes to the kitchen, this goes to the garage, etc.

iVillager handone : I am attempting to organize my "stuff," but I find that unless I can successfully organize my mind, all my efforts seem in vain. Is there a way to do it? 

Regina Leeds : My dear, you have hit the nail on the head. The "stuff" in the outer world is a mirror for the inner drama. As you work on one, the other calms down. They are absolutely tied together. Have you done the Challenge from last January? Once you start doing the journal work and the creation of new habits, you will see results in both areas at once.

iVillager handone: What's more important, working on your innerself or your home?

Regina Leeds: Well, take the challenge and you will progress in five weeks from journal writing to actual projects.  During the early weeks you can decide which projects you want to tackle and in what order. You want to start with something that will be easy so that you can build your confidence. Don't let your mind rule you with doubts, OK? Just do it! Too much mental chatter and worry about "Am I doing this right?" is setting you up to fail because a part of you doesn't want change. That's why the challenge was set up to bring change. Gradually you will succeed...I KNOW it!

The Plague called Perfectionism:

iVillager handone: What advice can you give to a perfectionist who doesn't want to be one?

Regina Leeds: When we are in quest of perfection, we are setting ourselves up for failure, and we are expressing a fear. So I would journal about your quest to discover what the roots are. And please understand that I am a recovering perfectionist so I speak with compassion and with no judgement!

iVillager handone: I've been one for as long as I can remember and then some.

Regina Leeds: Well, see if you can discover who set you up. Was it a parental message?

iVillager handone: I believe so.

Regina Leeds: OK...after you write about that and feel you see where and how the seeds were sown, ask yourself what you get out of it. This can prevent us from moving forward. You won't be able to get much done if you have to do them all perfectly! So, if you could surrender this drive, what are the things you would try? Journal about that and you will have revealed your true goals.

Perfection really is a drag! I took a martial arts class for two years and was THE WORST in the class. But it was a healing experience. I COULD NOT BE PERFECT because I didn't have the talent! Now I just do the best I can and I compete with myself. 

Appreciating Organization:

iVillager berly.in.oz : I really just wanted to thank you, first for your get organized challenge, and then for the continued support you have showed members of the board/and chat. My house isn't anywhere near where I would like it to be, but you have given me the courage, strength and interest to sort out a lot of stuff in my life, and my taxes are now up to date. Six years of returns have been filed and returned with no loan required!. All that fear for nothing!

Regina Leeds: Wow! God's blessings on you for these wonderful words! I have been so physically exhausted lately, these words are just what the doctor ordered!

iVillager berly.in.oz: I used MANY excuses for not sitting down to organize the stuff I needed for the accountant, but the idea of FEAR made me continue. And from now on...my taxes will be done YEARLY! Before the due date.

iVillager berly.in.oz: You've also made a difference in my life. I even threw out chocolates I found from my honeymoon that had been stored away when I moved out of home!

iVillager berly.in.oz: I don't know if others have had this happen but I have found that once I have cleaned out an area/room/cupboard and I went  back to refresh it, I was able to throw out even more stuff. Over time it becomes easier to let go of the clutter.

Regina Leeds: AMEN! We save things all sorts of things because they become magic talismans . We think unconsciously: "If I keep this, I will still be in that original experience." It's a fantasy, but it's also human.

iVillager toylady3 94: Has everyone found that they have begun to deal with intense emotional issues through the challenge?

iVillager handone: YES!

iVillager iVillager la_vie_en_rose: Yes. I had to stop journaling about it--overload. But I will again.

Regina Leeds: Ah, clutter is protection and as you release the physical, the emotional surfaces. It's very normal.

iVillager cl-fire_bug : Almost every time I journal I uncover something painful I didn't even know was there -- and I end up crying.

iVillager berly.in.oz: I think I don't journal enough because I get scared of the emotions and the stuff I may uncover.

Regina Leeds: It's the part of you that is afraid. It's very normal, so persevere! Well, here comes my commercial! I was in therapy for years and I dedicated my book to my last therapist who has passed away. There is nothing as wonderful as getting help!

Getting rid of clutter

iVillager berly.in.oz: Because of you, I don't have clutter and junk on top of my kitchen cupboards anymore. I am going to I am going to put plants there instead, I think. I also have a nice dispenser for the dishwashing liquid.

Regina Leeds: Not too many plants, or else it will be 'living clutter.'

iVillager crittermama: I have things from ten years ago that are sentimental - things that my husband gave to me before we were married that hold wonderful memories for me at least, if not for him, too. Can I keep it or do I have to let go of it? They are memories long forgotten until I find these things.

Regina Leeds : Well, one box of memorabilia is great if you say you have many more, I would caution you. Save the most precious not everything.

iVillager crittermama: What about keeping old letters and gifts? Any advice? It's difficult for me to throw away people's thoughts, and the nice things my husband USED to say!!

Regina Leeds: It depends. Let me tell you about myself and you decide what course of action is right for you. Every so often I go through my memorabilia and I toss things that came to me from those who, over time, left my life and showed themselves not to be friends. Sometimes I find cards from people and I have no idea who they are! On the other hand, I have a folder with every letter my dad wrote to me the last year of his life.

And I also have one box filled with letters my mother wrote when I was a teenager traveling abroad. Both of my parents are dead and these communications are dear and irreplaceable. In my book I have an area called 'The Clothing of the Dad' (it's in the chapter on closets). The point of it is that you can't save everything, but you can decide which things represent the best of that relationship. Don't ask me why I saved those letters, instinct I guess. I had two dear women friends who died of breast cancer and I have their letters as well. "Something" spoke to me.

iVillager toylady3 94: I have a habit where save everything for a "rainy day?"  When my husband left his last job four years ago he acquired numerous office supplies that I just can't throw out because of practical purposes.

Regina Leeds : This is a fear manifexting itself, Toy, and I would journal to get at the root of it. Please know that it is a COMMON fear. Let me know what you discover because it will help others. But I assure you, you are wasting space and energy!

iVillager berly.in.oz: Maybe you could donate some of your things to some organization so you don't feel that you are wasting things.

iVillager la_vie_en_rose : Give it away to someone who needs it, that's what I do--works wonderfully.

iVillager sandyhiii : How do I stop being so freaked out about time?

Regina Leeds : It is VERY IMPORTANT to master time because it is a commodity like food or money -- you use it or you lose it! It takes you to your future. Time is a huge bug-a-boo for many, so don't feel you are alone. It's so powerful to live a consciously directed life, as opposed to being a victim of time.

iVillager handone : How do we know that our journaling has revealed our answers?

Regina Leeds :You will know. Something inside will click.

iVillager handone: Based on how many tears flow I'd guess.

Regina Leeds: Yes...an excellent indicator! Now, once it is revealed and recognized, don't think the work is over. The fact that your are brave enough, to tackle this journaling is an indicator that you will succeed. Good night all, I love you!

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