Clear the Clutter

Actioning any change when you feel stuck can be overwhelming with an effect of absolute paralysis. But if you can mobilise to make one small change, fresh energy begins to bubble up. Clearing the clutter physically seems to simultaneously shift your mental clutter so your wardrobe or your bedside table is a good place to start.



Thinking for yourself is a radical act”.

These words from Nancy Kline, the author of “Time to Think” are a stark reminder of how little we think for ourselves. Most of us, constantly being influenced by feedback and opinions of others, take very little time to pause to consider how we actually think and feel.

Journaling gives us time to pause and consider exactly what is going on inside our own minds. It gives us the opportunity to explore our own thoughts and feelings and ask ourselves what we would like to do about how we are thinking and feeling. It gives us time to track our behaviour and our responses. We get to explore our belief systems, identify the limiting beliefs that are holding us back and create a mechanism for digging for the truth in ourselves. By facing ourselves on the pages of our journals we are able to find a place for expression. We can say exactly what we want without any recrimination. We are able to talk about a problem and start to find the beginning of a way out. We begin to design our own solutions for ourselves, by ourselves, true to our own needs. Journaling paves the way to authenticity, owning what is ours to own and gently discarding the issues that are not.



Mindfulness is a form of attention or awareness training. It means maintaining a present-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment. Mindfulness means to be present, aware of what you are doing and where you are. The practice is simply remembering to notice when you’ve been caught up in thoughts or feelings, and, in that moment, redirecting your attention to a particular point of focus. Awareness can be applied to every little thing you do – both passive and dynamic activities, indoors and outdoors, at work and at play, and alone or with others.

What you’ll notice when you practice consistently is that not only are you present to experience everything you do (quite literally living life to the full), but it also feels very calming. And with calm comes clarity. You begin to observe how and why you think and feel the way you do. You start to notice patterns and tendencies of the mind. And what this does is to give you back the choice of how you live your life. Rather than being swept away by undermining or unproductive thoughts and emotions, you can respond in the way you’d actually like to. It will enhance your ability to hit the ‘pause button’ and respond in a more considered way rather than being triggered unconsciously with a habitual and less than satisfying reaction.


Self Compassion

Kristen Neff has been studying the effects of self compassion and she says that suffering often comes from our own self criticism. Why do we self criticise? We believe we need our self criticism to motivate ourselves. If we are too kind to ourselves we will become self indulgent and lazy.

Self criticism actually undermines our motivation and this is why. When we criticise ourselves we prepare ourselves for threat. We become both the attacker and the attacked. Self criticism releases a lot of cortisol. When the body is in stress for prolonged periods of time it will eventually shut itself down and become depressed.

This we can agree is not the best motivational mindset.

Another way to feel safe is to give ourselves self compassion. We then reduce cortisol levels and release oxytocin and opiates which are feel good hormones.

When we feel safe and comforted we are in the optimal mindset to do our best.