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How He Finally Found Flow at Home

How He Finally Found Flow at Home

Years Went By

During a recent trip to Puerto Rico (I’m from PR, if you didn’t know), I listened to a good friend talk about his place- a condo with a killer view and more than reasonable space for a bachelor. This friend also has excellent taste, so his place looks nicely put together.

During a recent trip to Puerto Rico (I’m from PR, if you didn’t know), I listened to a good friend talk about his place- a condo with a killer view and more than reasonable space for a bachelor. This friend also has excellent taste, so his place looks nicely put together.

But for the last decade, he had tried to sell his condo.

During that time, the property had been on and off the market. And although my friend had done everything within his power and seemed to do it all right, the sale never went through for various reasons.

All the while, he had felt emotionally detached from his own home, as he said.

Deciding To Flow

At some point during those years, his life significantly changed – It sped up exponentially. Consequently, he was spending much less time at home. The timing was ideal because now, he did not need to spend so much time in a place he did not love.

However, he thought maybe his path was not to sell his apartment after all and that he probably needed “to flow” with his home instead.

And by “flowing,” he meant he had decided to align his actions and feelings with the energy of his dwelling so it could be the source of joy he wished for – a home that would delight and support him. (I swear I had nothing to do with his decision or process – this was all him).

As he started to plan some upgrades on his apartment, it was clear he could only begin those after emptying several areas that have been storing a lot of stuff through the years. He had not seen, touched, or needed that for long.

As you can imagine, this was not a project he looked forward to doing.

The Unexpected Happened

But then something unexpected happened- as soon as all that stuff started coming out of the many “hiding” areas, he felt a rush of energy compelling him to declutter and reorganize everything in his home. He could not explain it, but that feeling was enough. He took action.

Unbeknownst to him, this was a first-hand experience of clutter causing stagnant energy and the contrasting feeling of unleashing the positive energy that comes with decluttering.

He witnessed how this fresh, vibrant energy carried him forward, infusing his environment with the attitudes and feelings he longed to experience in his place.

Comfort Coffee at home

Becoming Mindful

It might be easy to ignore the draining effects of stagnant energy, settling for the status quo. However, becoming mindful gets us in touch with ourselves, our feelings, their why, and how. Then, it’s easier to discern what should be done and the path forward.

So yes, my dear friend has a beautiful, well-appointed condo that he loves and is no longer trying to sell. He made peace with his home, which is now a place that supports his hectic life and gives him joy.

His Story Is My Wish For You

Listening to his story made me realize his journey perfectly embodied everything I wish everyone to experience.

  • Becoming mindful
  • Making the right decisions
  • Taking action
  • Eliminating clutter and chaos from their lives
  • Shifting their energy
  • Loving where they live

(My friend should become My Space Reclaimed poster child, right?)

It’s simple- once you decide to love your place and act mindfully, your house becomes that HOME that supports your life and speaks of rest, comfort, and joy.

When that happens, life becomes easier, bigger, and better. That’s when you experience the flow.

Fighting Back Contagious Illness at Home

Fighting Back Contagious Illness at Home

Order and Cleanliness to Fight Illness

There is no better remedy to cure me of an illness than cleaning! Although that is not my line of business, I am a self-proclaimed eminence in this field. I don’t always clean joyfully, but I love the feeling when everything is squeaky clean and shiny! So, I have a few things to say about fighting back contagious illness at home.

I spent the whole day cleaning the other day. It was not an act of inspiration. All of us got sick at the same time. And when illness attacks everyone in my home, nothing gets me in cleaning mode like the desire to fight the virus and bacteria and eliminate the mess our collective condition throws in our lives. When every family member falls ill at once, the environment turns chaotic. Chaos is not conducive to healing.

To heal from any illness, we need to surround ourselves with order and cleanliness. For example, don’t we feel instantly better after a shower when sick?

Feng Shui teaches us that Ch’i, the vital energy, does not thrive in chaos and dirt. Therefore, from an energetic point of view, cleaning, disinfecting, and keeping the place in order makes sense. And also, the less clutter we have, the easier it is to clean.

I genuinely hope flu and COVID do not get any of you this season, but it would be good to remember these things when illness attacks you or your loved ones.

Let’s Decide

Determining a specific day when illness will leave your household helps this process. I recommend this day be after 24 hrs. of following the prescribed treatment, whether it is antibiotics or any remedy you might follow. Usually, it is best to establish this date after any fever is gone. Powerful energy comes from “deciding this illness ends today.” After all, we are energy, and our thoughts determine our reality.

On this particular day, I was determined to end the absurd week we had spent being sick. I kept visualizing the virus and bacteria, desperately trying to jump out the windows. Sounds ridiculous? Try using this image the next time you are going through this process. It works wonders in terms of how you feel. It will give you the energy to eliminate the bug that sickens you and your loved ones.

Best Practices

Here are some tips when declaring war against illness in the household.

Air Quality

  • Open windows if you can. Invite fresh air into your home. It is my practice to eliminate the screens from windows. Windows look cleaner, more light comes into your home, and if you decide to open the windows, you won’t get the dust and dead bugs accumulated on those screens in the house. I prefer a few insects flying into my home than all those dead ones mixed with crusty dust.
  • Diffuse a mixture of essential oils that can purify your environment and help you heal. I only thought essential oils were beneficial and effective once I learned about Young Living Essential Oils. You should check that.

Kitchen Wise

  • It’s an excellent time to clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Toss anything expired, growing mold, anything you don’t recognize, or you don’t know when or how it got there. Pay special attention to decaying produce. Sorry, it does not matter if you bought it.
  • What do you do with all those medicine cups? So many people keep those little cups in their cupboards, sticky with cough syrup from the last person who used them! Aside from the tacky factor, doesn’t washing them with soap and water every time you use them make sense? I mean, we use them because we are sick, after all. So, prepare a bowl with soapy water and disinfectant agent if the whole family uses medicine cups “like there’s no tomorrow” (as my husband says! LOL). Then, have everyone place their cup there after each use. Then, rinse and dry the cups once a day and change the water in the bowl to repeat the process.
  • Throw out the used kitchen sponge. Get a new one. Alternatively, place the sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes. That works!

Pet Care

  • If you have dogs or cats, thoroughly clean/wash their bedding, particular spaces, and dishes. Make sure they are not sick. Our furry loved ones can often get the same bacteria or viruses we get.

Washing

Make your washing queue with all the things you can wash. Separate by whites and colors and by type of items: towels, sheets, bedding, and clothes. My advice is to treat the home as a flea or lice infestation. Wash everything! Wash in the hottest water available and include natural disinfectants like Thieves Essential Oil Blend or Thieves Household Cleaner. Include in your washing queue:

  •  Mattress and pillow covers (and if you do not use these, you better get some!)
  • Blankets that you keep in the family room for when you are all cozy watching movies
  • Furniture covers, if you use them to protect your couch from dogs or cats
  • Towels, including washcloths and kitchen towels
  • Sheets (all used)
  • Stuffed animals kids sleep with
  • Decorative pillows from beds and couches
  • Clothes in hampers

General Cleaning

  • Dust and wipe all surfaces with some disinfectant of your choice. Pay special attention to door handles (especially the pantry door) and the fridge. Remember toilet handles and all water faucets. Lysol and bleach can do the job, but go the natural way with essential oils if you can. Again, you are trying to purify your habitat, not make it more toxic.
  • Do your regular weekly cleaning as usual. Use a disinfecting agent if you don’t usually use one.

Personal Items

  • Use new lip balms and lipsticks, if possible. Wipe or cut off their top portion if you can’t replace them. That might help.
  • If using disposable contact lenses, throw out the ones in use and their case. Use a new pair.
  • Change all toothbrushes. How many people forget to throw out their toothbrushes after being sick? Toothbrushes are Petri dishes of bacteria. Wash retainers and mouthguards with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and alcohol. Remember to disinfect their cases, too! Ah, also remember to change the heads of electric toothbrushes.

What Else You’ve Got?

Please don’t take me wrong. I’m not germophobic at all. Heaven knows my kids have excellent immune systems they have worked hard at building (if you know what I mean).

But I wanted to share with you all some things that came to mind while I was busy eradicating viruses and bacteria from my home recently. 

You can add many more helpful tips to this list, depending on your experience, family, and how you live. The more, the merrier!

Nothing puts me in nesting mode, like having had a couple of days of family illness. But then, Mama Bear fights back with all she’s got.

What other ways do you use to fight back against family illness? Let’s hear about it!

Restoring Proper Body And Mind Energetic Flow

Restoring Proper Body And Mind Energetic Flow

The Body Knows

Our environment can make us sick. I’m not necessarily referring to pollution but how we react to our environment. We react consciously and subconsciously. We are energy. Everything around us is energy. Even the colors we see are nothing other than different wavelengths of energy, and we know colors have the power to impact our mood. Thus, restoring proper body and mind energetic flow seems essential to practice self-care.

It is impossible not to react to our environment in one way or another. You might not react consciously, but our bodies know. Our subconscious minds know. I first learned this through an acupuncturist when he showed me how the “muscle test” works. He showed me how the body is the best lie detector. The body can’t lie, and it has a mind.

So, regardless of our thoughts and what we perceive from our environment, the subconscious mind and the body know the truths we might not be aware of or purposely ignore.

The Energy of Clutter

I have discussed clutter and its psychological and physical effects in previous articles. 

In her book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui, Karen Kingston says:

“The word “clutter” derives from the Middle English word “clotter,” which means “to coagulate” – and that’s as stuck as you can get. Clutter accumulates when energy stagnates, and likewise, energy stagnates when clutter accumulates. Clutter begins as a symptom of what is happening to you in your life and then becomes part of the problem itself because the more of it you have, the more stagnant energy it attracts to itself. It starts with a bit, and then slowly, insidiously, it grows – and so does the stagnant energy around it, which has a correspondingly stagnating effect on your life. Sorting out your life by sorting out your junk results in a tremendous renewal of your life force energy.”

It’s no surprise that clutter directly interferes with the correct flow of energy at the physical and metaphysical levels (spirit and mind). So often, the surrounding mess creates a physical or mental imbalance. However, the process can work in the opposite way – pains and tensions that make it impossible to deal with our clutter. Most times, these two scenarios feed off each other.

When clutter surrounds us, our physical and emotional energy is cramped. An impaired energy flow can cause adverse mental and physiological reactions. Unhealthy patterns emerge, and illness might follow. We should strive to be on the defense rather than relying on corrective methods when it comes to the energy in our bodies.

Holistic Practices That Prevent Disease

Traditional Medicine is mainly an interventional solution for health problems and falls short on prevention. Practices such as essential oils, Chiropractic care, and Acupuncture are examples of holistic ways to correct our energetic flow and health.

Essential Oils

In my article The True Power of Essential Oils, I share my story with essential oils and my genuine surprise to discover their true power. 

Chiropractic Care

Plano Chiropractor Dr. Brian Dillon explains: 

“One of the many hidden benefits of chiropractic care is creating a more effective immune system by removing interference with the nervous system at the spinal level. For example, when the spine is out of alignment, the immune system is impaired, interfering with the body’s healing ability. Being aligned allows the body to heal itself and help prevent “dis-ease.”

Acupuncture

Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist Xenia Maradiaga-Gross explains:

 “Acupuncture is part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine considers and treats patients as whole individuals, looking into the physical, emotional, and mental aspects, with the conscious and subconscious. When we suffer physical or emotional trauma that is left unaddressed, this might create an obstruction of energy over time. When this happens, energy gets stagnant, which disrupts the flow of blood and vital fluids. Then, we experience physical symptoms like headache, tension, tiredness, cramps, and bloating. Those symptoms are the body telling us that it is out of balance. Those symptoms affect our mood and quality of life. Ignoring chronic imbalances affecting organs and body systems might result in severe conditions and disease. Acupuncture addresses the patient’s symptoms and the root cause of energy imbalances creating those symptoms. It increases blood and energy flow in the body to restore its systems’ functions properly.”

Prevention Is Key

Prevention is the best strategy, given that the body and the subconscious mind perceive what we can’t notice. We don’t necessarily know when/where energetic disconnections occur. Leaving these disconnections unattended might result in those strange, spontaneous pains we experience occasionally. Even worse, illness might follow sooner than later.

Make Space to Create The Life You Want

Make Space to Create The Life You Want

Creating The Life You Want

It is possible to create the life you want for yourself. And you might not even imagine how much this has to do with being organized, but let me connect the dots. Keep reading.

We, Organizers, preach how much easier life becomes when we get rid of clutter and get organized. We discuss how organization saves money and gives us more time to relax and enjoy what matters. But those benefits are only achievable if you do your part. They require attention, intention, and slowing down.

Your commitment to learning and practicing new habits and systems until they become second nature to you and all others sharing your home space is fundamental to freeing your brain and soul to find the point of creation within you.

Slow Down to Find That Point

How about you possibly slowing down with everything to do every day? So many things need your attention and intervention. There are so many things you must solve.

Rene Descartes once said: I think, therefore I am. And he was entirely correct. We are co-creators in this universe. Thus, we must be able to create the life we want.

Whether we call it God, the Universe, Vortex, Life Force, or Spirit, there is a place in the human mind where the power to create our reality resides.

We can decide what we want our lives to look, feel, and be like. We can manifest it!

In this high-paced world, most people don’t ever stop to reflect on their high-level ideas. However, people who meditate, for example, can decrease their pace and raise the vibration of their creative energy. That’s when and where the magic happens- they access their point of creation and create the life they want.

But how do we slow down or free up headspace? Breathe. Listen.

That learning curve in the organizing process requires that you stop and understand some essential things:

    • There are habits to eliminate, while there are new ones to adopt
    • You need to understand the systems implemented as your physical space is organized – understand how these systems work to maximize your productivity and efficiency.
    • From this point on, it is essential to become intentional in everything you do

Like a Well-Oiled Machine

As a Certified Professional Organizer, I am responsible for educating my clients in organizing methodologies and principles, uncovering the root cause of their clutter, designing solutions for them, and showing them strategies and tactics to move forward confidently.

My clients seek results and effectively solve those issues that cause them to live small, disorganized, over-complicated lives.

However, their understanding of the organizing process and their long-term commitment to it are crucial to the long-term success of any organizing project. Without their understanding and commitment to the process, the best systems and most detailed organization efforts will fail.

When your home space is transformed, your old habits and routines won’t support the new way of living anymore. You can’t expect results compatible with your new home environment, acting as you did before.

Also, the brain depends on action repetition for the body to develop that “muscle memory” to adopt a more intuitive way to do things. This is how routines become second nature – when newly created habits flow effortlessly. That’s when you have achieved a home that runs like a well-oiled machine.

Systems to Engage Autopilot

A system is a series of sequential actions to execute any given activity. Simple examples of household systems are how and when someone does the laundry, how they plan meals (or not), and even how they shower.

When we declutter, we remove excess from our home. But when we organize, we sort through things, classify, allocate, and then custom-develop systems for the household and individuals within.

However, the multiple benefits of an organized life depend on that person’s ability to systematize and automate their day-to-day tasks and effectively incorporate those systems and routines into their everyday life.

When daily tasks run “on auto-pilot,” that’s when a person finds the time and headspace to rise to the level of creation in their life.

When New Habits Become Second Nature

When new habits and routines become second nature to you and yours, then you can:

    • Be proactive instead of reactive.
    • Dedicate time to what matters most to you.
    • Spend more time with those you love.
    • Work towards the achievement of your goals.
    • Create your life and circumstances (in every sense of the word).

Voila! Those are the benefits of an organized home and life.

Higher Thoughts Turn Into Goals

Imagine three levels of existence within you. All those menial, mundane tasks should happen at the base (lower level). The mid-level is where you execute most of the time and where your attention should be 85% of the time. That mid-level is where you make things happen, no matter if it is stuff from the basic level or the upper one. Finally, the upper level is for high-level, life-changing thoughts and goals.

When you have lower-level tasks on autopilot, they don’t need much of your attention. On the other hand, upper-level ideas need sufficient attention from you to bring them down to the mid-level. Bringing those thoughts to the mid-level is crucial because it is in the mid-level where you give them shape through concrete planning and execution. This is where goals come from!

Removing Attention From Menial Tasks

The benefits of being organized and having an efficiently managed home do not negate the need to attend to the menial daily chores. However, when we plan, schedule, and streamline everything that should happen in everyday life, we automate all those lower-level tasks.

This requires paying attention to planning and executing the menial stuff before automating these things. But once we do this, we can operate in a more stable environment, thus making it possible to focus on bigger, more important things.

In other words, daily living tasks get streamlined and automated in our schedule so that they don’t require our constant attention. When this happens (and these tasks become second nature), we hardly notice them. As a result, we stop feeling these to-dos bug us. And thanks to greater efficiency, we have more time and headspace for the big picture and higher-level thoughts, which is where the point of creation resides.

Move Forward To Create The Life You Want

And this is how you move forward to create the life you desire. The more streamlined and automated the lower-level tasks and ideas are, the greater the space in your mind to shape, plan, and execute more significant thoughts – our goals and dreams – the point of creation.

Not having the space or capacity to attend to the planning and execution of those ideas means living in the rat race where everything has the same priority and where we continually run around putting off fires.

That is an exhausting, reactive life. This unintentional life does not provide space or energy to think about what we want in life, much less to make it happen.

The Universe Conspires And The Energy Follows

The Universe Conspires And The Energy Follows

The Universe Conspires

Paulo Coelho, the author of “The Alchemist,” said, “And when you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”

This quote makes me think of a blog I wrote some time ago, highlighting the importance of summoning your strength and will and using your head when your heart won’t take you where you ought to be. And when you do that, the universe responds accordingly by boosting your journey.

The Energy Follows

Some weeks ago, a dear friend wrote to me recounting her story, reminding me of the words from Paulo Coelho and my blog.

Thinking about her journey, I saw that some instances are more challenging than others. However, no matter the circumstances, when we put our attention and intention towards a goal, the energy around us will carry us forward.

When emotions prevent us from acting, we must do whatever it takes to bypass those emotions and raise our energy. Soon, that energy will change your feelings. In time, it will feel easier to achieve your goal.

A Story of Hope

Here is the story of my dear friend and her emotional journey following one of the most challenging times of her life:

After my marriage ended, the kids and I returned to our previous home in the Fall of 2017 after Hurricane María. We came to a sad, dark, beaten, dirty house without running water or power. Even remembering this makes me so emotional.

Right after we moved back, as sad, dark, and dirty as the house was, I knew I had to face this move with grace, determination, efficiency, and elegance, or the situation would defeat me.

So, I started cleaning, decluttering, and organizing right away. And then something fantastic happened! Plants welcomed me with palpable excitement, birds would come to watch me rebuild our life here, and orchids suddenly bloomed. I felt like Snow White!

I had stimulated the home’s energy, and it came to my rescue. I felt at peace. Only the home office remained to tackle. But one day, I just felt exhausted. So, I shut the door to the home office to avoid dealing with that room for a while.

This room quickly became chaotic because I had momentarily abandoned my systematic decluttering and organizing efforts. And maybe because this room was already messy, the movers continued piling random things and unopened boxes in that room whenever something else came home from the last house.

As time passed, I recognized why this home office was a pause point for me. It carried a heavy emotional burden for all that it represented:

  • a broken business partnership
  • the place where we envisioned so many family plans
  • pictures and memories of a once happy couple
  • past team effort toward my professional goals
  • a smaller space where I needed to start all over again now
  • physical and emotional clutter I needed to let go of to move forward

It was a lot, and I had placed all these emotions in that room. So, finally, I had to pause and decided to shut the door.

Although that room still needs attention, my feelings have now changed. At this moment, I feel the strength to open that door and face it all. Even more, this change in feelings has a lot to do with the fresh energy brought by the much-needed pause I gave myself. I recharged my emotional battery by keeping the house organized and clutter-free.

Maristella, your blog validates my path on this journey. Along the way, reading your blog, that connection between clutter and emotions you write about dawned on me. I saw how the states my home had been through correlated with my path to emotional healing!

Your blogs are very helpful, even for those of us who have already experienced what you preach. The life principles you promote through your business are a vital ministry that enhances the lives of others, helping us heal and live with greater peace and well-being.

So, please send me your best wishes and energies to engage in this final effort – I promise to send you pictures of the room once I finish!

You’ve Got This!

When you direct your attention, intention, and best effort toward those big goals in your life, the universe conspires in your favor. It whispers: “You’ve got this! I’ve got your back.”. Don’t doubt it!