A Great Way To Overcome Overwhelm!

puppy walking

Overwhelm is the reason why I used to resist making big changes.

It is inevitable at some point.  After all, in order to create something new you need energy and focus. But, you already likely have about 50 things to put energy and focus into… so one extra one feels like it will topple your sanity.

Overwhelm forces you to either 1. quit or 2. simplify and organize.

Now, I know none of you are quitters so today we are going to talk about leaning into your overwhelm, swim in it more peacefully, and sort it out in the process.!

Today, Bob is the star of my post because we just moved to an incredible new place and he has had a hard time sniffing things out.  I catch him walking in circles, trying to lick the gorgeous floors and whirling in confusion.

It culminated in his decision last night to pee on my bed at 1am.  I am glad I have been thinking about getting a new mattress and bedding.  Meanwhile, my 16 hour day stretched into 3am as I cleaned up and comforted him because he was crying.

Yep, no one is immune from overwhelm.

I am typing this from my loaded dining room table. Beside me is a jigsaw puzzle from a cient and super-dynamic artist Sara Jane Lapp, a computer to donate to the Apple recycling program, a random nail file, old WiFi gear, a sage and lavender wand, a money tree, hat, measuring tape and some magnesium powder along with painting supplies for a table out back that I am refinishing. I’m surrounded by boxes and the clothes that I am wearing are the only ones I could unearth so far.

Overwhelm is a small word for the 18 hour days of cleaning and coordinating and unpacking that happened yesterday. And the 18 in front of me.

The only thing that helped me and always does:

1. Leaning into the chaos: Rather than avoiding the hardest things, walk straight toward them.  

I have been unpacking the gnarliest boxes, selling furniture and scrubbing hundreds of kitchen items for the last 18 hours.  I detest all three things.  Getting them out of the way is helping me to feel lighter.

Rather than getting upset with the dogs being totally spun out right now, I’m taking extra time out with them to get them out and smelling their new neighborhood.

In the past I would fight the chaos and melt down, fresking out about how this was supposed to be a good thing that I was doing, but instead it was all chaos.

Starting a new job, a new relationship,  getting a new home, a new heath routine, new organization, new pets, new anything comes with its adjustment period. To adjust, lean into it so you can understand it better in an organic way rather than fighting it or trying to force it all to go your way.

fireworks

2. Celebrate throughout the days and weeks when you get through things. Whether its a fresh box of strawberries or a bath or a party, stop and consciously acknowledge the progress you are making.  This is awesome!

While I would have likely collapsed at home after intensive labor from 6am to 8pm on my actual moving day, my dear friend grabbed me to get smoothies at the local health food paradise and drove us out to Mailbu to celebrate our mutual friend’s birthday on the ocean.  Spending two hours with feet in foamy waves crashing white in the darkness with bright stars shining overhead, making mandalas in the sand and seeing people I love was the best idea ever!  Yes: celebration is the important part!

3. Simplify life more. 

Can you get rid of extra things you don’t need? 

Can you create a better way to do something? 

Can you sort out the things that you have been slacking on, like finally getting that sofa cleaned or the curtains hung? 

Can you simplify your routine by hiring a organizational professional or getting a coach to help you through? 

orange sofa

4. & Keep going! 

Things do come together… better than they were before!

The more you can embrace obverwhelm the less it feels like overwhelm and the more it feels like positive, challenging excitement.  Also, I have found that the more you love these overwhelming periods the more opportunities seem to arise that are expansive and awesome!

xoxo Dana

 

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Charin Adams May 4, 2014 at 12:48 am

I needed to read this today! xo! Thank you!

Patti T. May 4, 2014 at 10:04 pm

I am in the middle of moving to a new house and sorting through the accumulation of a 23 year marriage that has ended. I needed this encouragement to get through the mountain of stuff and memories. Thank you!

danaclaudat May 5, 2014 at 6:35 am

I am so glad. I m so sorry to hear about this. Clearing things can be very emotional. A suggestion? Have friends help so that you can be more objective, less into the emotion and more into the clearing out. The process is very difficult (I will not sugar coat it!) but its the diffcult times that really create the massive new beginnings. Also take very very good care of yourself. Better than ever. I know you will make it through! xoxo Dana

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