10 Lessons From a Decade of Organizing
Happy May to you and your family! I hope all is well on your end!
Last month our company, Alejandra.tv, celebrated 10 years in business. While it does feel like a decade has gone by (possibly longer!), I still remember the exact day Ed and I decided to start a business – we were sitting at the kitchen counter on our light blue stools in my studio apartment near the city!
Starting the business was a key decision that has shaped not only our lives for the better but has served the greater good. I feel proud – proud of you, proud of us, and proud of the entire village that it takes to make this all work. Looking back 10 years ago, today feels like a completely different life. While still organized, I feel more grounded, content, and at peace than ever before. Ten years ago I had NO IDEA what I was in for! 🙂
Ed and I quietly celebrated our 10-year anniversary together, spending more time outside than inside. We walked in nature, expressed our gratitude, sat by a pond, had a glass of wine, listened to an acoustic guitarist, had a lovely conversation with another couple in their 60s, and just enjoyed the day together contemplating the past 10 years as entrepreneurs. I couldn’t have asked for more. I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more I appreciate the simple things in life – good people combined with nature. A glass of wine and cheese doesn’t hurt as well! 🙂
In the past 10 years I’m grateful for the countless opportunities to have helped you and your family. I hope I’ve improved your life in some way, shape, or form. Through helping you, meeting others, successes/failures, challenges, books, teachers, experiences, and events, I’ve learned so much. I’ve probably acquired more knowledge in the past 10 years than I ever did in my 16 distracted years of going to school! There is just so much wisdom to learn in our short lives. I’ll be a student for life!
That said, to celebrate our 10 year anniversary, I thought I’d share 10 things I’ve learned in the past decade with the hope of spreading inspiration to you or anyone who may need it:
1. I’ve learned a lot about organization in 10 years. Not just the shuffling of papers and the plethora of storage bins that exist, but the deeper emotional stuff as well. In my 10 years, here’s why I think being organized is a vital life skill: Being organized is important so you can fulfill your highest purpose in life without clutter stealing your focus. I believe we all have a higher purpose in life. And in order to fully fulfill that purpose (which can change over the course of our lifetime), it’s critical that you’re organized. Every item you own should support you and your life purpose in some way. The great news is that it’s never too late to learn how to get organized. The best time was during childhood. The next best time is now.
2. Love is everywhere. Love is everything. Love is energy. Love is laughter. Love is #1. When life feels uncertain, the house is a mess, a problem pops up, things aren’t getting done fast enough, things aren’t going as planned, you get interrupted, someone doesn’t live up to your “expectations,” someone doesn’t put their shoes away, or you don’t complete your to-do list for the day, the true test (I believe) is if you can continue to keep your heart open despite the messy moments of life. Always open, never closed, because love conquers ALL!
3. Your comfort zone is a great place on a cold, dreary, rainy Monday, but it’s not a place to live the rest of your life. The best things in life are found outside your comfort zone. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and life will be beautiful! This is probably the biggest and hardest lesson I’ve learned in 10 years.
4. No amount of success (by modern standards) will bring you true happiness. Of course, it’ll bring moments of “happiness,” but it won’t last. It’ll quickly flee and your mind will then want bigger and better things to achieve that temporary so-called happiness. True happiness is you and it’s already inside you despite modern success, physical items, fame, or any amount of money. It just needs to be activated! Jim Carey once said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
5. Fears are either real (a bear is chasing you) or imagined (fear of public speaking, fear of harmless spiders, etc.). The latter ones eventually go away by practicing the right strategies enough. One of my biggest fears until last year was the fear of public speaking. And for the longest time I believed it was impossible to overcome. Like IMPOSSIBLE! All other things were possible but public speaking, for me, was not. I was convinced I would never get past the nervousness, panic attacks, performance anxiety, shortness of breath, sweating, dry mouth, etc. Well, I was wrong. While I continue to practice, improve, and say yes to speaking opportunities, I can confidently say this part of me is no longer in the driver’s seat. If I can share any advice for anyone reading this that fears public speaking, you just need to practice the right strategies enough.
6. Peace can be obtained through an organized house, but not sustained. If you’re easily affected by your environment, it’s easier to feel peaceful when the house is organized. No doubt about that. But you don’t need a tidy home to feel at peace. Peace is always available despite the amount of clutter that lingers. Your best bet is to learn how to tap into your natural state of peace right now (wherever you are, in any space, messy or organized, decorated or not, loud or quiet) combined with taking action and getting organized. If you associate feeling at peace with an organized home, it’ll flee when the house gets messy again (which it will, as long as you’re alive!). After all, don’t you live there? 🙂
7. Find a teacher. But not just any teacher, a teacher who understands the ins and outs of your challenges. When you’re learning something new, it always, always, always, pays off to learn from a proven expert the first time around, instead of wasting time and energy trying to figure it all out on your own. We know what we know. We know what we don’t know. But we don’t know what we don’t know. That’s where the teacher comes in. Find the right teacher. Make the commitment to yourself. Show up. And always do your best. Some of my favorite teachers include: my spouse Ed, my family, our team, you, mother nature, Tony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle, Michael Singer, Jack Canfield, Louise Hay, & Oprah.
8. Make time to know thyself and heal thyself. The saying, “the truth will set you free” is true when realized. Figure out who you truly are, heal the parts that need healing, and the rest falls into place.
9. It’s easy to get caught up in our busy lives and only focus on our own challenges and well-being. But I believe one of the reasons we’re here is to give and share our gifts with others. Opportunities to help others are plentiful, abundant, and everywhere! What are your strengths and how can you use them to serve the greater good? If you feel great, help someone. If you feel sad, help someone. If you feel lonely, help someone. If you feel bored, help someone. If you feel overwhelmed, help someone. Fulfillment lays in the contribution to others. And… if you have excess clutter in your home, guess what? You’re already surrounded by opportunities to give! How lovely! What items can you donate to improve someone else’s daily life?
10. There are always two choices when it comes to “problems:” resist or surrender. What you resist persists. Contrary, when you surrender to what is, you’re allowing yourself to transcend the situation and move forward. Accept what is, do what you need to do (without complaining), and look for the bigger lesson. Problems tend to repeat themselves until we learn the lesson.
Thank you for being a part of our past 10 years. I’m enthusiastic about the future of our company and I’ve never felt more inspired than I do now. If you’re reading this right now, please know I pray for you daily that you find order in your life. While I hope you achieve your goals and move on with your life feeling organized, I also hope you’ll stick around for the next 10 years! We look forward to continuing to serve you. Thank you for this opportunity. I am forever grateful in my heart.
With love and appreciation,
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