Your Temporary License to Complain

This post #1 in the Essentialize Series. Click here to view #2.

I can’t tell you how many times I talk my clients into wearing their naturally curly hair. It’s not that I am nostalgic for the 80s (remember those perms?). NO. Many women have naturally curly hair, but they decided (or someone helped them decide) that it looks better straight. So they go against who they are and how they are made and spend time straightening beautifully curly hair. Once they try curly hair on again, and find great products, they are visibly more satisfied with their look, their hair and their extra time in the morning. They have essentialized.

This is the core of what essentialize means. When you pare down, edit, modify, re-work your idea of who you are to a more core place — you are essentializing. When more of who YOU are shows up in your closet: WOW.

Any time you face your open closet and realize you are not dressing the real you — the one that has to actually leave the house, and the one who doesn’t — you are looking at MORE than just your clothes – you are essentializing.

The first step of essentializing is — to get in your closet and complain. Yes, I grant you a temporary license to complain, with purpose. Grumble, whine, and kvetch about is not working. Don’t worry, the license is temporary. Like getting your learners permit to drive, it is an important part of the process. Because to get to a more core place, you must first acknowledge what isn’t working.

What Isn’t Working Inside Your Closet?

Is there not enough light? Too many clothes piled on top of one another in a corner? Too many clothes – can’t see them all? An overwhelm you don’t quite understand? Go ahead and keep going. Write it all down.

Here is a short fill in the blank cheat sheet to get you started:

I am tired of____________________

I cannot find_______________________, and it makes me feel__________________.

This (dis)organization makes me feel__________________________.

I can’t concentrate in here because I feel ________________________.

My excuse(s)/reason(s) for having my closet this way are______________________

I am losing ______________________ by having my closet this way (e.g. time, money, relationships, self esteem, etc.)

This arrangement of my clothes, accessories, personal items is not working for me, and even though I am not sure why, I do know that it’s true because I feel _____________________.

When you complete this exercise it should begin to come clear that there is a bigger picture than just too many clothes, not enough light or any one thing.

Seeing that big picture is essential. If we only work on one aspect of a closet you don’t love, you are setting yourself up for more disorganization and overwhelm because something else you did not pay attention to will rear its head at some point again.

There are, of course, some facets of your closet that are working for you, and it is a good idea to make a list of these as well, but not till next time. Try using your temporary license to complain several times over the span of one week INSIDE your closet. Go into the space and feel what it going on. I promise it makes a difference, and we will get together next week and move onto what happens after this initial (inaugural) essentializing exercise.

This is part 1 of 4… Click here to read part 2

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