Tag Archives: Transitions



For quite a while now, I’ve been thinking about downsizing.

Clutter has always been a bit of a challenge for me. My home isn’t overrun with items covering every available surface. That said, the closets, shelves and drawers that were empty when we moved to this house 28 years ago have managed to attract enough stuff to more than fill them (and we’ve added a considerable number of storage spaces along the way).

So I began to explore different methods of dealing with my possessions. The KonMari clutter cartoonmethod, which is very popular right now, tells me to put every item I own of a specific type in a pile on the floor, then pick up each item and ask myself if the item gives me joy. If the answer is “yes,” the item is a keeper. If the answer is “no,” it goes into a garbage bag for removal from my space.

Based on Amazon reviews of the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, the method works amazingly well for the many who have used it.

That said, just the thought of pulling every item of clothing I own out of closets and drawers feels crushingly overwhelming. It literally stops me in my tracks. So I investigated a number of other clutter clearing/downsizing methodologies. During this investigation, one truth stood out—it’s not really about the stuff. It’s about my own mindset, my own habit patterns, and the way I work best.

This led me to think about how my clutter clearing might relate to my Life School, and how I would most naturally work towards the downsizing goal in a way that would be effective, rather than overwhelming, for me. I’ll be exploring those ideas in a little more detail in an upcoming post.

But for right now, one thing I know is that (even though I’m an introvert) I am much more inclined to tackle a challenging task if I have real, live support around me. And that led to a conversation with my business partner, Mary McDowall, a Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, and one of the creators of the KMI Master Mind. I’m a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, too, as well as a newly-minted KMI Master Mind facilitator (yet another story for another day).

And this radical idea took shape:

Rather than creating yet another course or writing yet another book about clutter clearing, why not approach the challenge from the perspective of a creative masterminding circle? Using a format that allows me to combine the concept of Kaizen* with the creative spark and support of a group of women who are also downsizing?

So—Mary and I are busily putting the finishing touches on The 10 C’s of Creative Clutter Clearing.

Stay tuned!


*Kaizen: Breaking huge, overwhelming tasks down into very small steps

Permission to Change

Permission to Change

There is a chance of a big life change in the offing for me, and looking for ways to make this change interesting, I began to look at what positive feelings I have about it. And what came up was the ‘clean slate’ idea that change can bring.

I am enormously contented with my life. I am living my Life Purpose of creating connections and relationships, and am continuing to work with with my Life Lesson of ‘Ms. Not Enough.’ But along with this contentment, a deep-down feeling of excitement emerges when I think, “What would it be like to completely start over, with my days empty and my home free of clutter, both ready to be filled solely with things that delight me? To paint more, to have writing time on my schedule, to meet more often with people I love, to volunteer for a cause I believe in?”

And then the answer comes—I can do this right now! I don’t have to wait for someone Change Pin Boardelse to give me permission, or for circumstances to create that space for a new beginning. It is all under my own control, and I can make the choice to create (or recreate) my life to match whatever vision I design.

This is the power of creativity.

What life changes would you like to make?

You do have permission to make them, you know. And if you didn’t think you had it before, rest assured that you have it now!



Empty Nest


For many women, the days following the day your last child moves away from home are days of major transition.

I’ve always had ‘my own life,’ and was very determined not to make my children the complete and total center of my universe. I believed that my job was to help them to grow into independent people who would lead their own lives. And as a young adult myself, once upon a time, I knew that when my children did move out, I certainly wouldn’t be at the center of their orbit.Empty Nest Reduced

So I expected that ’empty nest’ would essentially pass me by. 

I was wrong.

The day the last of my children’s major possessions disappeared into a U-Haul truck, and I closed the front door behind her, everything felt eerily quiet. It was a different quiet than the quiet of school hours. I was used to being childless during the day, and for many evenings, and over most weekends. But the door would always bang open eventually, and that youthful energy would permeate the house. Now, those times would be restricted to visits, when we provided the home base for our children’s dates with friends. Which isn’t quite the same.

So I had to do something with this emotion, which had taken me quite by surprise. The first step was to acknowledge it, then share it with my husband, who is a very understanding person. Then, I realized it was an opportunity for me to take a hard look at my life.

My search for my life purpose, which had been hovering in the background for years, came to the forefront. I did a lot of journaling, thinking and praying. While editing an e-zine, I found an article by Ronelle Coburn, a master hand analyst and teacher. Synchronicity?? When I asked her permission to include the article in the e-zine, it was the beginning of a new relationship, and a new journey, for me.

Getting familiar with Ronelle and her work, and eventually training as a hand analyst myself, gave me a fresh start. Time has eased most of the ache of the empty nest; the quiet house has become the ‘normal’ now, and I only experience an occasional, sincere flicker of nostalgic desire for at-home children. But decoding my life purpose, and taking steps to live it, helped me to focus on what’s in the here and now, and what lies ahead. Just as my children are experiencing their own here and now, and what lies ahead for each of them. As it should be!

If you’ve experienced that emotional wallop they call the empty nest, or a similarly challenging transition, what helped you cope?