Week 1
Departing
Check-In

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
—Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

The focus this week was to provide an overview of clearing and to anchor some intentions for the journey. As with any adventure, it helps to gather some provisions to gain the most out of our experience.

Take a few moments today to reflect on your goals for the year using the journal prompts that follow. Use your time, too, to release any apprehensions or worries, and reflect on what it would mean to feel more spacious in your home and life.

Note: The “Explore” prompts that close each of the 52 weekly summaries are especially designed to bypass the thinking mind and release buried insights (and unprocessed clutter). Don’t think too hard or force an answer, and don’t be fooled by their simplicity. Allow your highest wisdom to reveal itself in these responses:

Explore

  • Some worries I have about taking a whole year for myself to clear what’s holding me back include . . .
  • After clearing what no longer serves and supports me I hope to feel . . .
  • I hope to let go of . . .
  • I hope to attract . . .
Showing 180 comments
  • Brelevan

    Day one – a new journey. Have been on this type of quest for a while. Hoping this brings it all together for me.

  • Sara T

    My worries.. are all about how my perfectionism likes to derail me (that’s a major piece of clutter I’ll work to clear). For instance, if I miss a day, or feel like I half-assed my journalling, I may give up. Or if I discover down the road a “better way to do what I’ve been doing” I may get frustrated at myself for not having seen it sooner and thus will want to give up and try again later (“later” is actually a signpost for my perfectionsim) so that I can then do it “properly”. I will persist, because i know t his going in, but ugh.

    I hope to bring more compassion and connection in to my life, two things that seem spacious to me, and which crushing fear and perfectionism have eclipsed in my life so far.

  • Laurie

    Finally, here is the posting box! Was I supposed to read the reams of other’s posts before I post? Add more clutter to my brain with other women’s problems with their husbands and kids? Seems the opposite of clearing to have all these posts pile up.

    Does anyone else have problems with writing journals? Tried Artist’s Way once and gave up after four days of just writing random words over and over to fill up the required three pages. Oh well, will try this anyway, gotta get this house emptied so I can move on to my next life. Guess I can use this as a sorta journal.

    Worries about a whole year include…
    I don’t want to take a whole year. The first week did nothing for me, I am already past that in my journey. What terrible thing will happen if I speed up?

  • mtyokawonis

    I bought this book on Kindle. I saw it on my Facebook feed. So I guess this is my day 1. Week1. I don’t have any expectations yet. I already journal (art journal) so I am open to letting things happen slowly and mindfully.

  • ponies

    Day 1. I bought the book about a month ago. Everything about my home is a mess and I’m recovering from the shingles. I plan to retire later this year but need to make sure that my finances are in order, too.

    So I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and realized that I was getting tired of political comments and wondered if I had a Facebook addiction. I don’t post much but I spend a lot of time on that feed which is actually kind of stressful.

    I disabled the app on my phone and decided to replace that time sink with something more useful and remembered the book…the book, the quilt, several unfinished projects, and how I used to brush my horses every day no matter how long that day had been.

    I’m pondering who I think I am as I write this.

    I’ve read your posts and wish you all well.

    • Thistle

      Welcome! I got so tired of Facebook and all the negativity that surrounded it that I had to limit myself. I now make sure I don’t go on there daily. When I do go on, I don’t spend much time. It was definitely bringing me down. I downloaded an app on my phone called “Happier” and I like that much more. It’s little moments of happiness that people from around the world share. Anyway – I found I was glancing at that for a little “boost” of happiness and inspiration, rather than facebook, which was making me anxious and moody.
      I also use to have a horse. How I absolutely loved brushing her. I would tell her all my problems, cuddle up to her and she would just stand there; accepting of me. It was one of the most therapeutic things I use to do. I no longer have that horse. Anyway – wishing you well. This is tough to stay with, but I hope you do. Be well. Hugs.

  • sarahpearson

    Thank you.
    Onto Day 2, now. I realise that my mind is so cluttered, no wonder I get tired!

    • Thistle

      It is exhausting! And good for you for recognizing that! I got the book – held onto it for a year, and finally started. I also had a cluttered mind (and house). Be well! Hugs

  • sarahpearson

    It is day one for me and I am excited about shedding my outer skin and revealing the real me. I think that putting myself first will result in the clarity in life that I need, which are currently lost in thoughts, fear and anxiousness. I hope that with decluttering my physical space, I will gain emotional and spiritual clarity and all my friendships and relationships will get much better, drip drip drip.

  • AnnRainbows

    Thank You lovely people who are writing all their comments here!

    Well, I am admitting I didn’t start on the 27th December as planned, and it’s 6th January now! Never mind! I will write again when I have completed this week 1, however long it takes! It will be interesting to see who makes it into week two, next week! =D
    Last year a year ago, I began Konmari and did pretty well. I have kept my clothes in neat order, books too and sorted papers.
    Now it’s exciting to begin this program of clearing. I will check in and let you know.
    Cheers! Ann

    • Thistle

      Yeah AnnRainbows! So glad you joined. If everything went as planned, I don’t think any of us would be here. I hit a bit of a road block on day 5, and now I am on day 8….slow and stead…drip by drip

  • Country girl

    I am at the start of this journey. Today is day 5. Besides the clutter of ‘stuff’ from a previous marriage and kids that most have all moved out and started their own families, but somehow left me with a portion of their ‘stuff’, I need to rid my life, mind and heart of the clutter and stress due to losing my husband 5 months ago. The shell shock and the hole his death has knocked into my heart is overwhelming and has ground me to dust. I’m trying to rebuild, but this time I’m putting the pieces together in a different pattern. I’m still trying to figure out just what it is I need to de-clutter. So many places to start……

    • HeatherChap

      Hey country girl, my thoughts are with you. I can only imagine how you are feeling. I am happy that you have found this group. One step at a time we will all help each other get through this together.

    • Thistle

      Hello Countrygirl,
      So sorry to hear of your loss. I can’t imagine what your going through. I hope you find this a safe little “get away” from it all. – we’re all in this together. Be well and know we are here to cheer you on or extend a (cyber) hug.
      I like this group. I think it’s helpful to know you can check in and someone will be here to hear you.

  • HeatherChap

    Well I just finished day # 5. I am so grateful that even though I have not been able to do this first thing in the morning I have still made it a priority in my day. Once things settle a little here my night time and morning time routines will fall into place. The timing of this course is no coincedence for me… I am taking things slowly, listening to my body and inner knowing and trusting my gut on moving forward. With my husbands health and all that will come with that challenge I am just so grateful to have a place to share. My wish for each one of you is that while working through this course you will experience a freedom and joy that you did not imagine could happen. A whole year seems like such a more reasonable time to be able to move through this. Today what jumped out at me was putting myself first, and what I know for sure is that this is no longer a choice but a must do.

    • Country girl

      I am at the start of this journey. Today is day 5. Besides the clutter of ‘stuff’ from a previous marriage and kids that most have all moved out and started their own families, but somehow left me with a portion of their ‘stuff’, I need to rid my life, mind and heart of the clutter and stress due to losing my husband 5 months ago. The shell shock and the hole his death has knocked into my heart is overwhelming and has ground me to dust. I’m trying to rebuild, but this time I’m putting the pieces together in a different pattern. I’m still trying to figure out just what it is I need to de-clutter. So many places to start……

    • Thistle

      Hi Heatherchap!
      I just wanted to check in. I am in the next week now, but I wanted to let you know I am still here. I want to keep checking in with you (if that’s okay) because I know you have a heavy (mental) burden with your husbands health. I remember it all to well with my Mom. Cancer is unbelievably scary. Hope you are doing okay. ? Hugs

  • Thistle

    January 5, 2017
    Day 7 – Check in – Departing
    HURRAY! I made it to day 7! Okay – that in itself is great for me. I hope that I will continue and this becomes my morning habit.
    Prompts:
    Some worries I have about taking a whole year for myself to clear what’s holding me back include…
    Total guilt! I have basically been programmed not to take time for myself. It’s a huge undertaking! My partner is supportive – first time ever I have had a loved one that doesn’t make me feel guilty or stupid or silly for sitting down for 5 – 10 minutes to write. He’s also willing to help me. I just need to learn how to ask and not expect angry responses. I’m so use to having someone be angry with me, that I don’t ask for help. Now I have people willing to help – I just need to learn how to ask. I also have a friend that has offered to come help, as I have helped her with her new place…but it just seems overwhelming to do it. I know I must have the plan in place before she gets here.
    The good news is, I met with another friend yesterday who also wants to do this program with me and we are going to check in with each other. We live 1 ½ hours away from each other so our plan is to arrange a time to say, fill a box with books or clothes that we don’t want. Call at the start time and call at the end time. I think it will be a fun way to do this. Also – one of the things I stall out on is taking that box to Good Will or whatever. I fill it, but then the box sits there. So the plan is to call, meet for tea, and drop off the boxes! YEAH!!!! I think this will be extremely helpful and rewarding! Plus, when I get the winter blues, this gives me something to look forward to!
    After clearing what no longer serves and supports me I hope to feel…
    Anxiety lift and a sense of accomplishment and pride.
    I hope to let go of…
    Anger, anxiety, stress
    I hope to attract…
    Peace! Joy! I want to feel the weight lift off my shoulders. I want to feel the burden slip away. I want to develop good habits…for me! But also – I want my kids to see and remember this so that they don’t grow up with feeling the burden.

    I made it through 7 days. I stuck with it. I have even developed a few plans and I have a support team. That! – my friends, is already a positive step in the right direction. Those are all things I have not done until now. Only a week, but this is cause for a celebration for me! I just love that there are others out there who also want to tackle this and chime in to say – Hey! You’re not alone. I really needed that! It’s such a comfort! I have felt quite alone for so many years. A big thank you to you all, I just want to say – keep the comments coming. I really do appreciate a kind word. It’s lovely. Hugs – and have a great day – really. :0)

    • ponies

      I’m a day behind you and am starting to realize that this is going to be fun. I didn’t expect to have any aha moments this soon, but guess what? ? Long ago I stuck with morning pages until I literally ran out of things to write and made a few quantum leaps. This kind of clearing is something that can be made a lifelong habit by just starting over when finished, I think. I stopped morning pages partly because some issues were resolved. YTC provides focused yet open-ended guidance. Love it so far.

  • HeatherChap

    Hey all, well here I am on day 4 and we received not such great news…My husband has a mass on the main heart valve and the base of his spine. This is coming even though he has been on matience chemo. Our home is not paid off and we do not qualify for mortgage insurance. Even though I am only in the start of my third year of business (from home) I need to make it work. One of the ways I am going to do this is by releasing aall the clutter. Emotional, mental and physical. Once we know the protocol I am going to start working through the konomara method and this book also. I hope that once his treatment is over we will be able to put the house on the market. Today I am just staying in the moment, and focusing on now.

    • Thistle

      A big hug to you. I wish you and your husband the best.

  • Thistle

    Day 6 – January 4, 2017
    Yeah! I made it! Last time I tried this, I stalled out after day 5. Yesterday was one of those days and I was feeling quite doubtful. I started to beat myself up mentally. Then I remembered the words of what one lady told me on this site; to accept it, and not do that internal fight thing I do…be nice to myself instead. THAT is my ah ha moment. I have to accept, contemplate, and know that tomorrow is a new day with new hopes.

    I have so much to clear. But for the first time, I have direction. I have goals! While I have days like yesterday, I am able to wake up and realize, those goals are still there and they are still obtainable. I think that was the biggest thing for me was to realize – your goals are good, they aren’t stupid, they aren’t unobtainable, they aren’t silly or fantasies – they are real, they are me, and they are totally obtainable; one baby step at a time.

    • forensicurator

      Thistle,

      I was thinking about you ever since you posted yesterday and was planning to reply today. I’m so happy that you were able to let go of your negative thoughts and found the strength/will to continue one more day. As you told Mina – you are not alone. We’ve come here to support each other in our journeys.

      I started this over a year ago and then stalled around day 192 when my husband retired. That threw my daily routine out the window! We’ve started to settle in to retirement and I’ve decided to begin again, at the beginning. I know that there’s continued to be a slow drip effect over these past 8 months – I can see improvement. He’s even started to let go of a few of his things – all without me saying anything.

      I think it will be interesting after another month or so to go back and read my journal from the first go round. What will have changed? I’m waiting to learn that.

      I can sympathize with being afraid to be around angry people. My parents were and I learned not to express myself so as not to bear the brunt of their anger. I’ve never really learned how to express a lot of feelings, especially my own anger, as a result. I’m hoping that by the time the year is over, I’ll be able to own all my feelings. I think that will be liberating.

      • Thistle

        Forensicurator, thank you! I really needed that. A big hug to you.

  • Thistle

    Okay – so this morning was difficult, but the kids are home now and I just got back from a walk. I folded laundry today. I cleaned the kitchen area. It’s steps in the right direction. I will keep reminding myself baby steps are still steps…and it’s not going backwards so…onward!

  • pianogirl

    I just ordered your book!!! I have been retired for a little over a year and find that I am without direction now that I don’t go to work every day. My home is in need of massive decluttering, but I cannot seem to figure out how to start and I also know that I have an emotional attachment to a lot of my stuff. I am looking forward to getting your book in the mail and embarking on this journey.

    • Kit

      We’re in the same retirement boat that seems to be drifting. This is the third time (!) through this course but this time I look forward to actually having the time to do it at my own pace and energy level.

      I have made some progress in this time including dealing with the same emotional attachment to stuff. That has actually gotten easier. For one thing, any book, magazine, brochure, or recipe I could ever want is so likely to be available on line that I seem more willing to let it go. Now that I dress in fleece and sneakers most of the time, I am willing to at least consider parting with about half my wardrobe. (I gave away a large bag of dressy scarves and accessories last week and felt a thrill of freedom.) This week I’m working on shoes.

      My retirement was two months ago and I found that I was just tired and very willing to be patient with myself. But now that holidays are over, I really do want to get on with it–whatever “it” may be. So I hope you will just relax and allow . . .

  • Thistle

    Day 5. January 3, 2017
    Losing steam. I am having a doubtful start to my day. Woke at 4:30. It’s now 5:13 am and I have flooded my brain with doubts. Last time I tried to do this book, I stopped after day 5. I will try however to keep going. Interesting how today’s prompt is about making it last.
    Today I was suppose to have a psychiatrist appointment but I called yesterday morning and left a message that I was cancelling my appointment – the office was closed. Guilt invades now. I didn’t know they would be closed yesterday so I know they haven’t had 24 hr notice. Why did I cancel? – anxiety. Although the doctor has helped my situation, she also has a strange bedside manner. She herself seems down in the dumps all the time and she snapped at me once for my caffeine consumption. One of my big issues today is dealing with angry people. I just can’t do it. I am petrified of encountering another angry person, so I avoid anything where this may happen. It isn’t realistic, I am sure, but I avoid the public for this reason. Anyway – so now I avoid the dr.
    I need to find one I like, but that is proving very difficult for me. I feel stuck in a loop.
    (On the bright side, my kids tidied their rooms which did make me feel better. ) So much stops me from continuing ….the mental clutter has such heavy doors – it’s hard to open them, keep them open and be freed. Stuck stuck stuck.

  • Thistle

    Day 4. January 2, 2017
    Clutter and clearing in a nutshell:
    Some ways that clutter shows up in my life include…
    you name it, it’s there.
    This is how clutter stops me from accomplishing what I most desire:
    Well – I sat down this morning and have been typing my heart out (my journal is on my computer). I have basically figured out that without tackling the emotional clutter, I couldn’t tackle the physical clutter. A little while ago (as in about 8 – 9 months ago) I also figured out, until I tackled the physical body ailments, then I couldn’t tackle the emotional ailments. So – I started physical therapy. Being able to walk pain free has allowed me to work more successfully on the negativity that clutters my mind. If I can get the mental clutter under control, I have more energy to tackle the physical clutter. What I most desire is to be happy with myself. It’s a huge undertaking – I have years of conditioning to undo, but I am a bit more hopeful now that I can indeed do it. I have taken those baby steps.
    I share here daily to reinforce what I know I must do. If I do this, it helps me hold myself accountable…just keep swimming, just keep swimming…lol

  • renae

    Day ONE. Here we go… *drip, drip, drip*

  • Mina

    Hello my friends…Ive had this book for about 10months…It stares at me everyday and I say, “tomorrow I will start.” I do that with too many things and I have to ask myself a question, “what are you afraid of?” Maybe Im afraid I’ll start this like so many other projects, books, ideas etc.. and never finish or complete it. Maybe I dont feel I am not worth the “time-out,” of lifes hustle and bustle. Maybe its all of those reasons, but, something clicked in my depressive self over the last few weeks and once I looked at the book I said I will start on Jan. 1st and here I am. I hope I can stick with it but if I dont try I will never know.
    I wrote in my journal and it is late. Maybe I will share more in days to come, but I am tired now…
    I am grateful to have this forum and look forward to learning and growing with you all.

    Peace to you my friends…

    • Thistle

      Good morning Mina. Welcome :0) Just know you are not alone. You really aren’t. I had the book for over a year. Started once, beat myself up over not staying with it, and now have started again. There’s another lady on here that gave me some good advice. If you miss a day or 2 – don’t beat yourself up over it. Accept it and just move on from where you left off. You drain yourself of more energy beating yourself up, then you do of accepting that you missed a day. It’s not a race. It was good advice and I myself am trying to remember it. I have many unfinished projects. Just remember, that’s a big reason why we are all here. The clutter, in our mind or in our house is an unfinished project and we are slowly tackling it.
      Anyway – you have a great day and just remember – you aren’t alone.
      be well.

  • Thistle

    January 1, 2017
    First – Happy New Year Everyone!
    Second – a big Thank you goes out to Stephanie Bennett Vogt! I didn’t realize how much I needed a space like this where I could be safe, write, and be “accepted” – I get a huge lump in my throat when I think about it. I live in a rural place – very rural. There is no coffee shop to sit and chat. Having a day out with a friend means at the VERY LEAST a half hour drive and that’s only if we are meeting at each other’s house. I could go on and on – but really – just thank you!
    Third – Day 3. Whew!
    okay – I know it’s only day 3, but I sure am glad this is a slow drip method because the first couple of days required some major deep thinking for me. “stuff” came flushing out of my brain that has built up for a long, long time. I needed this. I need this…I must continue.
    I get up – I write – it’s a good system. And then I contemplate throughout the day – revisiting the morning mental dumping (sorry – sounds bad, but it’s kinda like that! lol).
    so here goes…
    Some traits in my new-to-me self I’d like to cultivate are…
    All of them…I can be humorous, but it’s hard when the kids are fighting and the house is driving me nuts. I try to be compassionate – but ptsd and what has happened to me makes it more difficult to do too – however, I think being compassionate to myself may be the first step. That may help with the 3rd – Ambition. My ambition comes and goes, but the long term goal is to clear the house and mind in the next 5 years. In five years I want to move to Maine. It would be helpful to have the clutter cleared well in advance of that.
    One small way I can integrate these traits into my daily life is to…
    Hmm…okay, first, increase the level of exercise/stretching – be true to the physical therapy. This will help aid in the being compassionate to self. Then I am starting a new diet – the I Quit Sugar diet –( a book written by Sarah Wilson – who had a host of health problems and decided to cure herself) which is supposed to be a lifelong change and suppose to increase energy, slow down aging and fight off disease plus help with mood swings…much needed. That will be challenging but a few years ago I had to quit gluten, so really, I already know, it’s not a matter of quitting, it’s a matter or finding new yummy foods. By the way folks – the 8 week detox program book is amazing – read it! I sat in Barnes and Nobles for a while and just started reading this cookbook and I can’t stress enough…it’s not just a cook book.
    Also – since the PTSD diagnosis, I have trouble relaxing, etc. And when I say I have trouble relaxing – I mean I REALLY have trouble relaxing. Anxiety and panic attacks are part of my new deal. I want to incorporate a treat/relaxation once a week for myself. A year plus ago, my daughter cleaned my bathroom for me; lighted a bunch of non-scented candles (I am allergic to a lot of scented candles) and drew a bath for me for my birthday. I have to say – that was one of the best birthday presents ever! My bathtub is a crappy plastic shower/bath – but it was nice nonetheless and it was so lovely that she did that for me! I think I want to incorporate a “be nice to self-day” which would include the day before, making sure the bathroom was clean, tidy and beautiful! So – clean the clutter/mess – so I can treat myself! YES! I like that idea! Then maybe it won’t seem like such a punishment when I can’t seem to get anyone else to clean the bathroom. I clean it and I get the rewards. I like it! Kill 2 birds with one stone so to speak.
    Ps – just replaced the toilet seat because it looked like hell. It’s amazing how something so simple can be rewarding. I know sounds silly – but it bugged me – it was losing this clear coating and was yellowing -NOT what you want to see on a toilet seat. It was one small thing that I could check off the overwhelming list, so it was a plus!
    Be well everyone! Hugs for the New Year!

  • Thistle

    Day 2. I have made mornings my time for writing and working with this book. So far so good. Kids usually aren’t up as early as I am. My beloved partner sits in bed with his coffee, I with my tea in the same room, at my desk – which I recently cleared of clutter!…but have entirely dealt with yet.
    I write – or rather type – a journal on my computer now. I use to keep paper journals all the time, but I got nervous that my “stuff” could be read and I needed to have a space that was mine and not so easily accessible. Not that my family is untrustworthy – I just have my own psychological issues. plus – frankly – the last thing I need is another paper journal accumulating dust. I have so many already. You know – “oh that’s pretty! let’s buy that one!” only to find another pretty one…
    So now my morning emotional dumping! lol
    “My thing is…” WOW…did that open up a Pandora box or what! YIKES! I sat and typed my little heart out. Not sure I am done for the day either, but I must get on with my day so it will have to do for now.
    “One of the ways I resist being true to myself is…”
    AGAIN! total emotional dumping…HOLY CRAP! so much is holding me back and nearly every bit of it is me, me, me. So much of the household clutter is tied tightly with the emotional clutter. I have to get some of the emotional baggage weeded out before I can tackle some of the clutter that drives me crazy! okay – not all of it though. I am starting – albeit slowly – to tackle some of the piles of accumulated stuff. It’s quite an undertaking. about 3 years ago my partner and I sold our 2 houses and moved into one, so we have many duplicates – at present we have no less than 4 coffee makers! UGH! And here I am saying to myself – well, when one of my kids graduates in 2.5 years, she may want one – so lets hang on to it. Only there’s no room in the house for it! ….and I have an attic but my fear is, it goes into the attic only to be forgotten and then I am just accumulating crap in the attic.
    So now – crap in the attic is not only a description of what I am trying NOT to do, but also a euphemism of what’s going on in my head. UGH.
    Anyway – the journal and the prompts are proving good for me. I have to take these to therapy! :0)
    I hope you all have a wonderful day! Happy New Years Eve to you all and be safe! – I am staying home.

  • HeatherChap

    It is 5:18am on Dec. 31, 2016, I woke up at 4:00am with the book at my bedside. I was wanting to start it on January 1 however the gnawing in my gut told me I needed to start now. So I just completed day one and without going into to much detail all I can say is I wrote out five full pages in my new journal and I am feeling like I could write five more. I am 56 years old and have never been one to shy away from doing deep work, however I believe that self discovery and healing are an adventure that never really ends. I am coming off of one of the worst Christmases in my life which is hard to admit to. Our family has always been very close and supportive of one another…but those that love deeply feel deeply and unfortunately with us can fight deeply. My husband also has cancer and is on matinence treatment right now but may need more treatment due to a recent CT he just had. We will know this week. I have a feeling this book is going to be my life jacket this year. I am also tackling the konamara method too. I am wanting to rush head long into this book and jump forward but I know that baby steps are needed at this time. Looking forward to see what unfolds and getting to know everyone here. Happy Day all.

    • Thistle

      I am so sorry to hear of cancer in your family. I lost a few members of my family to cancer. I know for my family, it brought a whole host emotions and struggles we simply weren’t prepared for. I’m not sure much prepares you for such things.

      I just started yesterday. Today is day 2 for me. Welcome. If you want someone to follow along with for encouragement, let me know. I hope you have a Happy (Happier) New Year.

      • HeatherChap

        Thank you so much, I will definitely take you up on that. Happy New Year.

        • Thistle

          Happy New Year Heatherchap! We can do this! Hugs!

  • Thistle

    I decided that waiting until January 1 was too much like a New Year’s Resolution and I decided that there was no time like the present.
    so here goes…
    Day 1: Unwinding:
    Being coiled into a tight ball feels…
    Being coiled into a tight ball feels not normal, but semi-permanent – explanation to follow. It angers me because I wasn’t always like this. PTSD did this to me. PTSD for me is an accumulation of many traumatic experiences – hence the semi-permanent feeling of tightness I currently have.

    It is easy for me to experience spacious goodness… (notice the part of you that in unconvinced or confused by this concept)
    Totally not easy for me. This past autumn (2016) I physically got where I could take walks without or with little pain. It was a huge deal for me! I know that mentally I feel more at ease when I can exercise, but for a while, walking was painful – radiating pains in my back leading down my leg; sometimes stabbing pains. It was miserable. Now I can walk 2 miles – mostly and usually, pain free! Anyway – spacious goodness for me could only be found in the woods – where it was quiet – no one around – peaceful; just me, sometimes my dog, and a thermos of water or tea. I could sit and be quiet physically but more importantly, mentally. I finally discovered what it was to meditate. My mind was at ease. I didn’t think it was possible! It’s now winter and much harder to do. I am now trying to find a way to carry on my new found form of meditation.

    Who I think I am is…
    Two years (plus) ago, I might have been able to answer that. Then I was threatened by a man with a gun. The accumulation of years of threats of various kinds broke me. I developed PTSD. I am now 2+ years into therapy. While it has helped, I am not “fixed” and it has taken me this long to realize that the old me is not coming back. But the most important part of that is that the old me was not the person I wanted to be. This was a forced change and now – I am trying to accept that this is a blessing in disguise. I am a new me and I must figure that out. I am learning what can make me happy now. It’s a rocky road, but I have more hope now than I have had. There are things that I still can’t do, but I should remind myself that the fight going on in my head is to get back to the old me and that’s not going to happen – nor should it. I need to let that go (let it go!) and discover the new me. It’s a huge challenge. Some days are good, some bad, but I am taking this year to figure out who “ME” is. AND – I am hoping that A YEAR TO CLEAR will help me do just that. I know I don’t want a cluttered house and I don’t want my brain cluttered with useless nasty, negative thoughts. I think knowing that is a huge step in the right direction…baby steps…but steps nonetheless.

    • Alexita

      Hi Thistle,

      Today is December 30th, 2016.
      Congratulations on NOT WAITING UNTIL JANUARY 1st TO START YOUR JOURNEY. I did the same thing and started 29 days ago at a random day because I knew that my “perfectionism trait” would want me to start on such a “perfect day”: January 1st, but then, when I mess up (and I knew I eventually would mess up) I would feel horrible to mess up such a “perfect record” and then…to hell with the journey and “A Year To Clear” would make the list of another abandoned project half-way!
      Now, if I miss one day, I just let it be and come back the next day, sometimes I do “catch up”, sometimes I don’t but I am still in the journey.

      One thing I just discovered is that is not resistance that gets me tired! It is resisting resistance. Sometimes I just do not want to do the exercise of the day, and I don’t want to “feel my clothes”, for example. When that happens, I am just learning “to be” with my resistance, not fighting it, just allow it and it feels peaceful! I am telling you this because when we start as most of us are “doers”, we want to instantly write our “to do list” and we want already to see a difference in our environment, but “doing the same thing we have been doing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity”, so: no more insanity. This time we are doing things differently and we are to conquer the hardest challenge we have: ourselves.
      HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

      • Thistle

        Hi Alexita!
        Did you hit the nail on the head or what? So true! ??
        I actually bought the book a year ago. At the time, I was totally not ready to do it. I thought I was. I made little faint hard to read notes in my book – nervous that someone might pick up my book in the house and judge me…I know – crazy right?! But now I am mentally in a much better place. I never wanted to reach out to anyone and say “help” or “hey – I need your support” but now I know for me that was silly and totally unproductive….both for mental clearing and household clearing (I need both!). I thought I had to be this super tough person!…until my world came crashing down. Now I realize I need my friends, my family (kids, partner, dog) and that – that is what makes me stronger, not weaker. Thanks for the encouragement! I know I will have those down days where I just can’t seem to pull it together, but it’s really helpful to know there is someone to remind me/us to “pick yourself up, dust yourself off and CONTINUE. Hugs to you and Happy New Year!

  • Thistle

    Day 1 – Dec. 29, 2016
    I haven’t gotten through all the messages above yet, but when I started reading some, I got a huge lump in my throat. So much sounds familiar. I am 49 years old. Mom of 3 teens. Divorced. (I am with a very good man now.) I have felt for years that I walked on thin ice. A little over two years ago – the ice cracked beneath me and broke. I have slowly been putting my life back together again. My mind is cluttered and my home is cluttered. I actually bought this book about a year ago. Tried and failed to stay with it. This will be round 2. At least this time I registered, right?! Lol. I cleared off my dusty, dirty, cluttered desk today enough so I could get my laptop on. I started a journal. Tonight I picked up this book. I signed on. I was going to wait until January 1. I think that will still be my official date. It may take me a few days just to contemplate the “who I think I am” part of Day 1. I stress over the clutter of the house and my mind has been cluttered for too many years. I think I am ready to start clearing now. I would love to join some of you and follow along. I could use the encouragement as well. ? Be well

    • kimfehly

      I also bought the book over a year ago and started but only lasted a couple of weeks. Here I go trying again hopefully I will be successful this time around. I think that I am in a better place to try again. Wishing you well with your journey.
      Kim

  • AnnRainbows

    Hello Friends!
    Its the 26th December 2016. I just discovered This, I know I am going to love it.

    Like many others here, I am in my fifties, 56 years young, living in North Devon, England.
    I am recovering from burnout that began more than 10 years ago! So it is definitely a journey to Serenity, Calm and Harmony. I am now in a very good ‘place’. Mainly, I am a Housewife and a Healing Therapist. I married my lovely husband in 2014 and I am still adjusting to a new life, still wanting to have a career as a self-employed Healing Practitioner. This book and course is coming to me at a right time, to support me in dealing with old garbage or whatever else is stopping me, keeping me stuck in paralysis.
    I have had a busy interesting life with three children who are all grownup and living far away, and used to be a nurse for 15 years. Many different things contributed to burn-out. I think I have come a long way already by seeing burn-out and accompanying depression as gifts! When I didn’t slow down and live from my heart, life made sure I stopped and changed. I am ready, I am listening to my heart, a lot more than I used to!

    It would be great to join one or two people here on our journeys, Some have already started, I see, and I am actually keen to start tomorrow, the 27th December. Perhaps it will just gel and flow, as we ‘follow’ each other and can comment and support as we go. But if you would like to, let me know if you want to ‘buddy’ up with me, and I will be delighted!

    Have a Great New Year!

    • Lena

      Hello Ann! We are apparently on here at the same time and same place for a reason. I have just made the decision to the book as well. Plan is to start tomorrow. I live in Milwaukee, WI, USA. I do not have children, but am also a nurse. I am transitioning to go back to work with plans to become a chaplain. I am first having to go to school to become a licensed professional counselor.

      I have a family history of needing to clear stuff both physically and in the soul. I am very much looking forward to doing the clearing work both on the inside and out. Let me know if you are interested. Thanks!

    • Thistle

      Hi Annrainbows! I am a few days behind, but I would like to join up with you as well. I use to live in Kent Co., England years ago (for 2 years). I am now in Vermont, USA. I have 3 teen kids. I was totally burnt out – then crashed. I am in the process of rebuilding my life. I would be pleased to follow along with you. My clutter is both household and mind. I am ready to start he clearing journey. Be well.

    • HeatherChap

      It is 5:18am on Dec. 31, 2016, I woke up at 4:00am with the book at my bedside. I was wanting to start it on January 1 however the gnawing in my gut told me I needed to start now. So I just completed day one and without going into to much detail all I can say is I wrote out five full pages in my new journal and I am feeling like I could write five more. I am 56 years old and have never been one to shy away from doing deep work, however I believe that self discovery and healing are an adventure that never really ends. I am coming off of one of the worst Christmases in my life which is hard to admit to. Our family has always been very close and supportive of one another…but those that love deeply feel deeply and unfortunately with us can fight deeply. My husband also has cancer and is on matinence treatment right now but may need more treatment due to a recent CT he just had. We will know this week. I have a feeling this book is going to be my life jacket this year. I am also tackling the konamara method too. I am wanting to rush head long into this book and jump forward but I know that baby steps are needed at this time. Looking forward to see what unfolds and getting to know everyone here. Happy Day all.I can relate to all that you said and look forward to this journey with you.

  • Wellable1

    Is December 25 I am currently about to board a plane, so I am truly departing! Would anyone like to partner with me, to hopefully get us to next Christmas and be able to give ourselves the gift of space and clarity?

    • JoanCR

      I would love to! I just saw the course mentioned but I bought the book and am starting now! Christmas present to me! We can do this!

    • Janet

      Can anyone tell me how to follow someone in these posts?

  • Alexita

    Good morning,

    Today is Dec 3, 2016. The reason I am posting the date is because to me it would be great to know the date of the postings as different people would be now in different weeks postings and they might not see the replies we post for them? I don’t know how this works.

    Anyway, I am 56 years old and on my first semester of law school. I have been an empty nester for a year (but just now realized it when my daughter who goes to school and wants to stay in New York told me to change her room to my liking as I use it to study). LOL My mother who lives with us is 89 and I know I need to get ready to let her go. I am always that “positive”, “strong” daughter that is telling her how blessed she is as she does not suffer from many of the illnesses that are so common in our elderly population, but I have noticed she is getting tired and might not want to stay with us much longer, and it is about her, not me. So, letting go and releasing is something I am looking forward this year.

    I know that the only way to face the challenges of my life is by coming from a place of peace, tranquility, love, light, order, wisdom and aplomb but also joy and laughter. I know that is about “being” and not “doing” and I am up for this. To start I did let go of the idea of “perfection” and started my journey on the day after I received the book: a Friday, instead of waiting for Monday to start the week, I also started it on December 2nd, instead of waiting for January 1st. Paradoxically, I think, not having the pressure of “not missing one day” will give me the freedom and the permission to just be.

    Wishing you all a wonderful journey into yourselves. The clearing of clutter will just be a wonderful bonus.

    • steph

      Alexita, May I adopt you as my partner on this journey, though I’m three weeks behind you? Today is 18th Dec 2016. I too, decided to do things differently, by not waiting till January 1st. I think we have some things in common – last month we redecorated my eldest son’s room so it is now my study and sewing room (I work full time but am also studying for an exam). I am a tiny bit behind you in age (52), behind you in the empty nesting (I still have two of my three at home though they are now young adults), but sadly ahead of you on letting go of my parents who both died relatively young. I think it’s the thought that life is finite that has prompted me to try to be a calmer, more contented person but also to try to achieve a little more over the next year. Today is day one for me so I can’t say how things have gone except to say I have chosen a pretty notebook to be my journal, of course.

      • Alexita

        Today is December 19, 2016 Hi Steph! I am sooooo excited to be your partner in this journey! That is awesome. I am on my day 18 today and I am focusing just on the journey, I am a VERY goal oriented person and extremely focus when I want to achieve something, and this is (like with everything else) a blessing and a curse (depending on how we look at it). So, I have just relaxed and “let it be me”. I have been writing in my journal every day, I missed one day once but the next day I felt the need to do two days and have been reflecting a lot on my journal. There have been times that I just resisted with all my might to allow myself to “feel” and refused to do the exercise of the day, but instead of forcing myself, I have just acknowledged it and moved on, allowing myself to be “the observer” instead of getting into a fight with myself. This is a journey of self-discovery and had some AHA moments and big realizations. I still don’t know how, but I have cleared over 30K (I think, or may be more) emails that I had and have done the first garage cleanup round. It will take another round to get rid of old paint, floor tiles in boxes that I am not planning to use, cables, an old desk and other stuff that I have to take to the special dumpster. However, I am learning so many things about myself and I am peeling the layers gently and learning to be compassionate to myself and more flexible. Steph, keel moving forward, even if you don’t do your “lesson” that day. I think that we are on a journey as long as we keep going, we set our intentions and just because we stop walking for a day or two, that doesn’t mean that the journey is over. Hugs

    • AnnRainbows

      How interesting to hear about your life! Age doesn’t really matter but I still get a thrill from finding like-minded people at the same age as myself.
      Today is 26th December, I will also post the date of writing, or otherwise it might get a bit confusing here or make it easier to know who is on this first week this week.
      Recently I have also cleared a spare bedroom in our house and making it into my own study, or office. Any clients can come for a session with me, I can play with my oracle cards or do my drawing and other studies in this space. Mind you, I find it hard to not feel guilty by the piles of stuff that needs to be dealt with, like a cardigan that needs a button, ironing, windows need cleaning….. Yes, I need this journey!
      All the best to everyone!

      • Alexita

        Hi AnnRainbows, I loooove your nickname! Welcome! You go Girl! Today is December 28 I am in day 27 and I feel great. Lots of spaces (physical and emotional to clear) but I decided to just focus on the journey and not look at what I “still need to do”. I have been enjoying my kids that came home for the holidays and just focusing on making the home welcoming to them. My boy flew last night to LA where he lives (I live in Miami), but things are getting lighter and prettier. Two things I love I did: I got rid of a lot of unrelated mugs I had, mugs that served a purpose but that somehow I got either as presents or whatever (I don’t remember buying them), they were in good conditions but they did not make me feel good. I kept a couple that are pretty and meaningful and bought a nice set that I was obsessing about. Every time I open my cupboard and I see them I feel happy and I donated the old ones to a charity. Also, I had a set of purple goblets that I love, I moved them to my cupboard and those are now the “official glasses” at home. I love to use them and set the table with them.
        It is soooo interesting what you are doing and wonderful too, I agree, it is so important to clean our own prism so the light can go through!
        I wish you peace in this journey, and that you keep going.

    • HeatherChap

      Alexita you are already an inspiration of courage to me! Law school Wow that is such a big under taking, you go girl!

  • SunnyDay

    I am beginning my journey for a year to clear as a way to radically change the way I treat myself. I have held onto the remnants of past relationships for too long, as if shopping for the pieces of a whole partner. I am a single, divorced mom of two teenaged children. My baggage is less of the clutter in my house (although that is there too), but rather the emotional ties to people who do not feed anything positive in me. I am hoping that through the year, I will become more comfortable with my less attached self so that I can give of myself more willingly.

    • Thistle

      Hi Sunnyday! I have similar issues – perhaps we could cheer each other on as we go!

  • JB

    Day 1.. and I think patience is going to my challenge. I’ve always been a Doer, make lists, go, go, go.. so reading Day 1 and stopping, to contemplate and just to Be is a challenge in and of itself.

    • grandmakris

      Just started day 1. Again. Keeping a journal this time. My space in my mind and home are unbelievably cluttered. I have been overwhelmed for years. Hoping to slowly clear, but right now I feel panicky.

      • Alexita

        Relax Grandmakris. Nobody is chasing us. 🙂 Wishing you peace and tranquility.

      • Thistle

        I am with you! Feeling overwhelmed. I think this is a good place to start though. Be well. Hugs

    • Alexita

      Hi JB. I totally understand, same here. However, I know that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. In my case I am tired of the “new year resolution of: I will get organized this year”. Now, I see how that (for me) didn’t work and will never work: I need to work on myself first, instead of trying to “do things” with my “being” that has not transformed. Just be. It might at times be not a pleasant feeling but I know it will be sooo worth it.

  • Peaceful

    hi everyone .I just received the book yesterday and am joining here today. My user name is Peaceful because that is the feeling I am hoping to achieve ,at the moment I am overwhelmed with physical ,emotional and mental clutter ( I think my present name could be Chaos!)

    • Mina

      Hi all,
      I’ve had this book for about 3months. It just sits on my dresser staring at me. Everyday I say, tomorrow I will start and it’s 3 months later and I finally picked it up now. I really need to do this , however, I trouble staying thru to the end. I pray God will help me to help myself. Blessings to all?

      • forensicurator

        Mina,

        You will find that this is relatively easy to do. Stephanie has it set up for small gradual changes – in your head, especially. As your thinking changes, you will find that the rest changes, too. There’s no rush to clear a room or X pieces of clutter from your life. No demands. Just little things to think about and then make adjustments.

        All the best as you take these little steps toward a clearer life and home.

    • CoachErica

      hi Peaceful! I know you will love it here. One thing that has supported me in this journey (well, two things), is to remind myself to “keep breathing” as I gently enjoy each page, and also I use EFT “tapping” each day as I use the book to help calm the overwhelm. I’m glad to show you how to do this if you’d like…

    • Wilma

      Hi all. I am a 48 year old mother of two. Aged 8 and 12. I am.married to a wonderful man whose main flaw is he is probably more untidy than our kids!!! Lol.
      I am so tired of being mentally exhausted. I think I have made myself too available to people over the years so now that I want to simplify and step back a bit it’s hard
      I would love to share my journey as I fear I will lose motivation and its always great to know that you’re not the only one who feels overwhelmed and that they are going mad sometimes!!! Lol
      Here’s to a simpler and more peaceful 2017. Good luck all xx

    • HeatherChap

      Peaceful I can totally relate to all that you said. We can tackle this one day at a time.

  • Thistimeketo

    I have been in survival mode for 28 years. 3 kids, bills to pay. I need a break, I need to rest and also need to nest. I need to make a space in this world for me to relax and be me. The kids are nearly all grown, I am 51 and still trying to express myself and finding it difficult. I always think it comes down to money, but I know in my heart this is not true. Time to get to the bottom of it. Yet another restart with a self help program…I hope this is the one.

  • CoachErica

    Hi. I’m on day 3. I’ve known this was mine to do for quite some time but had to set the space. I did. I’m delighted. My clutter is not so much on the outside, in fact people always comment on how clear my home and office are…my clutter is on my computer desktop and in my head. I can’t wait to bring peace to both. I’m curious. How recent is this? Are others of you here now (6/2016) or is this from awhile back?

    • Trina

      Hi! I subscribed to each week when I commented so that I could know when others joined. I started last year and I have sort of stalled at week 6. I am not abandoning this though! I tried taking on a few other 21-day or 6-week challenges and I overwhelmed myself and lost focus.
      I love the focus on the internal clutter. Most programs try to work the other way around and that’s where I think they miss the mark.

  • Becky

    Joseph Campbell… “follow your bliss.” I am at an amazing place. A new love, a return to the valley and a new home – quiet, surrounded by nature, birds singing, old friends, church life, being a couple again. I am returning to Brigadoon… to the dream-come-true place I experienced through the ’90’s an idyllic life – living secluded in nature, horses, a barn, pasture, happy kids. The kids have kids of their own now and live away. Now, my old friends are retiring. Not us! Need to make money to support this dream for now, or three years at least, and for retirement… another adventure to anticipate. Excited by my good memories and the grace of a new lifetime in a place that I love. I need to let go of the willful thinking that my son will return to live with me. He is in his own home now, in his own new life. I am having cold feet! while entering in to a full partnership with a man that loves me dearly. What am I afraid of? Loosing my independence, my freedom? Having to consider the work involved in building a solid foundation. It is trusting again, after having been hurt. That’s it! And, isn’t trust somewhat of a decision, a choice? He is a good risk. So, go for it, say a hearty “YES,” Becky! I trust Joseph Campbell.
    I hope to attract a deepening of friendship already established. I envision an inviting home, brightly lit for sitting around the table playing games or cards. Laughter. Adults playing together with child-like abandon. These are the golden years. Taking walks together. Bike-riding. Hiking again, once my hip is replaced! Getting back in to my artwork – creating stain-glass and painting in oils. Making wind-chimes with stones and mirrors to reflect the light. Gardening – planting, seeing plant-life grow through this kind of nurturing. I will be living with a man that keeps an orderly, sparse (through divorce) apartment. He will inspire me to keep our house in order, company ready, though not perfect. He says he would like a cleaned-off kitchen table. yea, me too. Somehow, it doesn’t happen with me. Something to work on. Comfortable for drop-by company, and back-door friends, Barbecues and dinner on the porch. Note to self: we don’t drop in on friends like my parents did when I was young. This is something to consider, to talk more about. I AM in the midst of force-cleaning and pitching. I pared my books in half. Pitched old bills and mail. Medical office reviews. I can get to my records so easily on-line. It feels wonderful, freeing. My son shames me for all my “stuff.” I returned to Goodwill all the wool coats I collected for the future day when I will cut the fabric in to strips to make a braided rug… they will be there again if I really get to it! Clothes I don’t wear, anymore – gone. So, I am there. I am doing the clearing. I like the deadline… it is forcing me to clean-out. I am thinking of others who can use this stuff. This helps.

  • Kathy Life

    I met Stephanie Bennett Vogt at a writers’ conference in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, probably around 2009 or 2010. She was getting ready to publish her first book. She was one of the folks there that left a positive impression on me. I kept tabs of her progress, signing up for her newsletters. I left NYC, USA and retired to a quiet mountain village in the Costa Blanca of Spain. Still have MY memoir to complete, though. Talk about a lot of clutter! But it’s coming along. I was kind of lucky — I HAD to get rid of 85% of my possessions to relocate to Spain. It was stressful. The up side: I’ve been able to start a new home fresh. But there’s more than just home-clearing. I started Day 1 today and am really looking forward to this. At my age I’m more aware there’s less time before me than behind. I want to find/feel the spirit that I am before I leave this world (as well as get the book published). Writing a memoir requires clear retrospection and I want to get it right. I’m in a place now where the old perspectives I had on my life are changing, leading me to reconsider some of my old beliefs. Particularly, those about an ex-husband as well as my mother, how she lived her life and how it affected mine. I hope A Year to Clear will help me to build even more mindfulness around my daily life and bring meaning not only to each day but to my entire life. It was fun doing the automatic writing. Thanks ever so much for this Stephanie!

    • Hamletnomore

      Hi Kathy. congratulations and all the peace, joy, and fun to you as you establish your new home and new life. I shall live vicariously thru you as I attempt to do the same. I am also starting Day 1 today. This book was recommended to my BFF by a mutual friend who is a Buddhist monk in India. I have read and studied many things on the same topics but can surely feel and see how this process will be different, beneficial and hopeful fun for me. It would be wonderful to take parents of this journey with you from time to time if you are open to that.I too have less life before me. I too was formerly married. I too think and feel a lot re: my aging mom. My dad passed this last year and we were very close. My 19 yr. old cat passed. My health failed. I couldn’t get a consistent job. And my second daughter decide to become estranged. No pity party here..I try anyways and have good professional and personal support..so I am not seeking a therapist etc here. I too am planning and preparing to write a book based on certain experiences and perspectives. this has been in the works for many years now.I am excited for you and if I don’t hear back..I wish you all the best. Barb

      • sandybee

        Hamletnomore: I’m in awe of all the family issues you have, yet such a positive attitiude! I want to channel you, for sure! My second daughter also decided to estrange herself from our family- and it had been so hard for me to get my head around it… I guess that is one thing I will work on while I’m on this journey- but I really admire you and your strength.

  • Hamletnomore

    Hi there..is anyone just starting the process and would like to go thru it together? I about about to read and try week 1

  • Jess

    The quote for this first week really resonates with me, and is my biggest worry: Saying a big hearty yes…and sticking with it without putting something “more important” before myself. I am saying a big hearty yes though! After clearing what no longer serves and supports me I hope to feel content, spacious, and free. I hope to let go of things mentally that I have no control over and also to let go of guilty thoughts about letting go of stuff that does not serve or support me. Finally, I hope to attract peace, positivity, and tranquility.

  • Miss Lisa Nic

    Day 8: confessions

    One thing I know I’m holding onto is boxes of greeting cards that I have received over my lifetime.

    It makes me sad to think of getting rid of them.

    • Hamletnomore

      that’s definitely a hard one. I kept a few and a few love letters. some I reminded my self and continue to do so , are not the memories ..just a representation of them. You may already have photos or other items that remind you also of the sender. Or maybe you can keep digital photos of the cards that you really want to hold onto.I tried this with clothes that reminded me of a special time and a lot of my children’s art.I really support you in this difficult task.

  • Miss Lisa Nic

    Day 7: check- in departing

    After clearing what no longer serves me I hope to feel calm, free, relaxed and more energized.

    I hope to let go of fear and feelings of being overwhelmed, and physical things I no longer need.

    I hope to attract spaciousness and energy.

  • Miss Lisa Nic

    Day 6: shedding the layers by shining the light

    I’m just exciting to have an inviting home

  • Miss Lisa Nic

    Day 5: make it last

    I know for sure that I’m putting myself first.

    I will take the time for the slow drip method.

  • Miss Lisa Nic

    Day 4: Clutter and Clearing

    Physical clutter shows up in the kitchen and dining room like paperwork, things that I use for work and clothes that haven’t been put away.

    Mental clutter shows up with fear and overwhelmed thoughts that I’ll never get anything done.

    Clutter stops me from inviting people over to my house and from feeling calm in my own space.

    • Thistle

      I don’t invite people over either because of my clutter.

  • stalgirl

    I just started week 2 and am still here. I have already seen positive changes namely in my attitude. When a negative thought threatens to pop up, I can now brush it away pretty easily. When I feel myself getting wound up in a ball of stress or self-doubt, I can unravel. This is AWESOME!!

    Stalgirl

  • Debra Leigh

    @Debra Leigh Scott
    Day 1 – I begin this journey on March 10, 2016 after struggling for three months – from the first week of December, 2015 – to integrate a whole 10 x 15 ‘ storage unit into a 2BR apartment in center city Philadelphia. That storage unit was crammed with my “old” life, and it sat there for a few years before I could even confront what was there. The ending of a marriage, the financial meltdown of 2007 – a lot of ruin and heartbreak. But I found that I was spending a fortune just keeping all this “stuff” jammed up, so I decided to bite the bullet, hire a mover and bring ALL of it into my apartment. It’s been something of a disaster in terms of just how much chaos it has moved into my home. Boxes and boxes and boxes, piled floor to ceiling in every room. I’ve been going through them, hauling things to the curb, shredding lots of old documents, donating things. But there is still so much to go through. Some of if feels wrong to throw away when there is so much need ion the world: bedding, for instance, for single beds and double beds. Children’s books. Toys. Dozens of very expensive porcelain dolls that used to be in my daughter’s bedroom when she was a little girl. My son took all his toys and lots of my Christmas decorations, but my daughter has a small apartment and wants nothing because she has no room. So, I’ve gotten stuck with things that I feel guilty throwing away, but that I can’t find anyone to take. I’m also jammed up with boxes of my own life as an academic and a writer: graduate school research, my curriculum design, dozens of file folders of notes for a variety of courses. Then there are the unfinished plays, the short stories, the novels – and the bits and pieces that haven’t even taken shape into a genre yet. This is all the life I put aside to be married and raise children, and that all has been waiting for nearly two decades. I have to enter it again – all this material – and figure out how to assimilate it into the life of who I am now. So I signed up for this course because I really, really need something to help me. I realize there is so much emotional charge around all of these things, and the difficulty in letting go was to be expected.

    • shardington

      Well done for starting the journey – that is often the most difficult step. When you feel discouraged, remind yourself that it is a journey and with each day, you are healthier and “lighter” than you were the day before. As to all the dolls, toys, bedding, etc, I have some great donation suggestions. Domestic abuse shelters for women and children would be very happy recipients of such items, and those toys could bring joy and comfort to children who have suffered through trauma. And you will feel both lighter and so good about the joy you can so easily give to others in need. Blessings to you!

  • stalgirl

    Day 4–last night I washed the van, and thoroughly cleaned the inside without any moments of frustration or careless speed (thinking I had so much else to do). It felt really good to get this done. I have also found myself feeling much more patient and in the moment instead of letting little insignificant moments of frustration exert themselves with verbal expletives that only raise my blood pressure and cause the domino effect. A small straw “does not break the camel’s back” so I am trying not to let a small moment build into a pile of smaller moments which then ends up making my day less than joyful. I’m trying to not “sweat the small stuff.” Boy this journal entry has become a plethora of idioms and metaphors. LOL–Stalgirl

  • Miss Lisa Nic

    Day 3 Your Spacious Self

    -some traits I’d like to cultivate
    Humor, organization, energy, spontinaety, relaxation

    -one way I can integrate these traits is to do laughing meditation in the car

  • Miss Lisa Nic

    Day 2 What is Your Thing

    My thing is… Procrastination, feeling overwhelmed, fear of failure

    These are also ways that I resist being my true self

    • Hamletnomore

      great insight and activities. I thought about what my thing is and at first also could only think of things I consider negative or unhealthy..procrastination, rumination (ergo the Hamlet reference),feeling panic about the unfamiliar, the void left, the shift in identity markers, grieving an old life and things and memories etc. Then I tried to consider my thing in positive terms (more difficult for me): creativity, luv of the arts, listening and seeing music,inviting friends over (when I am more comfortable to do so). trying to live zen and healthy and more. I will try..yes try is the operative word to focus more on the positive of my thing.

      • Trina

        I love the idea of coming up with a positive “My thing is.” I am currently working through Week 4 (I’m dripping very slowly,) but I try to come back and see what others are commenting. I am so glad I did. I had to look at what I put when I worked Day 2, and I said my thing is “being a martyr and feeling like I have to do everything myself.”
        Taking this for a positive spin… My thing is: being insightful and seeing things from a new perspective; being hilarious and laughing easily; raising beautiful, compassionate children; loving art and nature (especially birds); stretching my body, mind, and spirit; reading and discussing books; transforming and evolving.
        What a refreshing exercise!!

  • stalgirl

    Truthfully? I have completed the exercises for Day one a few moments ago…and actually feel a little worse except for the meditation minute on being “wound up like a ball.” WOW that was sure “telling” and releasing that tight physical sensation felt really good. I have so much work to do on myself but I need to turn it over to this “a year to clear” opportunity AND trust the journey. The work I need to do has more to do with ME than it does with actually de-cluttering my habitat…although I am totally willing to “go there” as well. For today I’m going to let go of those moments I feel tightly wound up–and breathe deeply.

  • Miss Lisa Nic

    Day 1:

    Being coiled into a tight ball feels suffocating.

    It is easy for me to experience spacious goodness. – this feels like a true statement

    Who I think I am is not all that I am. There is more.

  • WoodNHeart

    I’m excited about starting this program. I know better than to make a resolution to clean; that doesn’t work for me. But without meaning to, I found that I had already started what Stephanie calls “slow drip”. interestingly enough, I naturally started clearing my space as I have been coloring for relaxation the past few months. Making something beautiful has made me want a beautiful space around me.

    I know I have a lot of mental “stuff” that needs to be cleared as well as my home. The past few years have been some of the worst times in my life, losing my father in an accident, my husband to cancer & my home to downsizing. I have moved from 5000 square feet (finished basement) to 1250. I gave away, threw away, and moved a TON of stuff that I don’t know where to put now. The hardest things to clear are my husbands things, although I gave a lot of his clothes to a young man who only had two outfits. My daughter is making a quilt from his jeans and I am still hanging on to his t-shirts. The second hardest are my knitting yarns and supplies. I can’t knit right now; it reminds me too much of quiet times spent with my husband. Books aren’t too much of a problem; I kept a few & Kindle is wonderful! I do like my new home and after almost 6 months it is finally starting to feel like mine.

    I hope I don’t sound like I’m having a pity party; I feel like I am bearing up pretty well most of the time. I have supportive family and friends that I love. I just know from what I have learned already from Stephanie that I need to be realistic about where I am and what is going on inside me as well as my physical space. A close friend and I are already accountability partners for each other & I’m looking forward to making some more accountability friends here.

    • Michele

      Bless you Woodnheart! I love the way you have captured this process as a part of your healing journey rather than just one more thing to do… Your courage and personal insight into where you are starting is inspiring! I was also relieved to see that you too have an accountability partner! I chose a dear friend (that I have not spent nearly enough time with!) and whom I greatly respect. Unlike you, I have been self indulgent and embedded in my own sensations ~ and fearful of what I may find once I “clear up”. My coloring passion, like my love of all arts, is developing a life of its own!! LOL seriously! The pile of papers, pens, pencils and goodies that daily grows – has begun to take tentative shuddering breaths!! It is taking on a life of its own!! LOL.
      I am honored to join you in this journey!

      • WoodNHeart

        Thanks Michelle. I have made baby steps. I’m on to week 2. See you there.

      • MichelleA

        Though this is just day one of this particular adventure, it does feel familiar. I’ve been taking a stroll down the path that leads to a simpler life for about a year now, and one ridiculous thing stands in my way. Me. My dear friend Michele, who always seems to know what is in my heart even before I do suggested this course, and I’ve spent the last hour reading without being able or willing to tear my self away.

        My physical closets don’t scare me too much, but I know there are monsters in my mental ones. Can’t wait though, to do a little exploring here, perhaps there’s some way to domesticate even the worst of them. Thanks for inviting me along for the ride!

  • KatieJ

    It’s so astounding how clutter and disorganization hinder our lives in so many ways: A disorganized kitchen keeps you from cooking and eating healthfully. A disorganized office makes you unproductive. Disorganization causes hours of wasted time looking for things, money wasted replacing things you already have, and keeps you from inviting people over. I know that clearing my space and my mind will create room for me to live the life I want: a life of peace, productivity and joy. I am SO ready for this. Looking forward to this process and transforming my life!

  • Carolynn

    First week was worth slowing down to think and get in touch with my feelings about clearing. I was surprised by some feelings that did not emerge until late in the week. I hadn’t thought that my avoidance (excuses) for not clearing were so connected to my thoughts and emotions. And I really did make more space at home this week. Now to keep it clear and maintain the motion. On to week 2. Cheers!

  • Emhala

    Today is my Day7. I am really enjoying the “slow drip” method because I am normally and all or nothing type person and that has only led to overwhelm when dealing with clutter inside and out. Slowing down has definitely led to more excitement to start my day with A Year to Clear.
    What surprised me today is that I realized that while I am so so excited to do this and I know I will be much happier in a year, the thing I fear most for this year is being happier. Isn’t that crazy?? I want it but am afraid to get it.
    I think I am intimidated by the courage I know I will have to have to shed what I need to in order to find the calm. My life started getting so much more cluttered when my marriage started going downhill and I know that is the biggest change I want to make. I have been hiding behind the stuff and using that to procrastinate. For 6 years I have been saying I need to go through everything so moving will be easier…. This year I am committed to making that happen. I am looking forward to overcoming the irrational fear of being happy.

  • PlumIslandGal

    I agree with those who mention sentimentality. I am very sentimental and, with both my parents passes away, I tend to hold on to things that remind me of them. However, I now live in a small space so it gets very crowded with no room to make use of these items. I am hoping this process helps me complete projects and feel more spacious.

  • Emily Brandt

    This looks like a fantastic program! Is this not the 365-day program though? I ordered the book and registered. But I just discovered that there was a typo in my email address. Maybe that’s the problem. I just fixed that. Are there daily emails being sent out? That’s what I’m looking for.
    Thanks!!

    • Stephanie Bennett Vogt

      Hello Emily, and welcome!

      This site is for all readers of the new book (A Year to Clear: A Daily Guide to Creating Spaciousness In Your Home and Heart), not the online course on which the book is based. Though I created the 365-day course, the emails are handled by DailyOM directly. You can contact them if you’re still having trouble at: http://www.dailyom.com/cgi-bin/email/contactus.cgi

      The book is double the content of the course. It is not a carbon copy. It has a lot more features: personal stories, practical tools, and inspirational wisdom. What you get in the course that you don’t get in the book, however, are the short daily messages that arrive in your inbox every day, and a few multimedia features like audios and videos. That said, the two resources complement each other really well.

      Hope this helps!

      Happy clearing, Stephanie

      • Emily Brandt

        Thank you, Stephanie. Yes, that clarifies the resources available. This is the only place I have registered so I’ll go back to the original link I found on Facebook and get set up there too. Thank you!!

  • Carolynn

    3rd day in the process and I’m writing again first thing in the morning. I like the prompts to think about all day. For clearing space, one thing I have work on continuously is putting away projects when I finish, making the putting away part of the creative process. I do better when I clear up just one little area at a time. A few days ago I put away theater teaching and directing materials that I had left on the floor in the loft. I hve a big space now to go yoga. But it’s unbelievably hard not to start filling that space with furniture stored in another room. I’d like to have just pillows on the floor against the wall for writing space, the 4-6 extra pillows I can’t get rid of because when the family visits they like to choose their own, the kids sleep on the floor on cushions they take off the furniture. But it’s a start – KEEP IT CLEAR. It might have been easier when the kids lived at home since the family had regular chores and it’s easy to not be routine about it now.

  • Shelly Myers

    I’m excited about starting this journey today. Stephanie’s language resonates with my heart and draws me in to a sacred space. I am happy to support and be supported by the members of this group. Peace and Blessings everyone!

  • Trina

    I just finished my journal entry for Day 7. It took me a while to get the habit of the journal, but I have been on a roll this week, so let’s hope I can stick to it over the long weekend. The questions in Day 7 were great for the last day of the year. The thing I am afraid of, and I am sure many can relate, is that I won’t stick to this and that this time next year I will be making the same promises to myself all over again. As Stephanie says about this site, each of you who comments is helping me. I hope that I get email notifications every day because someone else is commenting and that will keep me coming back. See you in Week 2!

  • Carolynn

    I’m starting today with the book and lesson 1. I wrote the day 1 questions on a slip of paper to ponder as I go through my day. Departing is an appropriate theme as this is the last day of the calendar year, departing the old year. And I have been planning for a long time to visit my mother’s grave and update the decorations. I do this frequently throughout the year and for the other family graves. My ancestors have departed this life. Many of them as wind up toys, very wound up, others unwound. What can I learn from them and their experiences? My mother’s side of the family was the pack rat side. Much of what I need to clear from my home is “stuff” I brought home from Mom’s home. She left way too much “stuff” for me to deal with, perhaps because she was a young child in the Great Depression and needed to see, really see, that she had enough. I have too much now. I moved one house into another a couple years ago and have been sorting and disposing of duplicate dishes and towels, and now I’m down to the sentimental furniture and “things”. I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning from this cohort as I move through this journey.

    • Lindy

      I have ordered the book on this last day of the year and looking foward to the year ahead. Your entry reminded me of how hard last year really was with my mother’s death, selling her home and rising to the top of the family. I was dreading January, since I would be re-living where I was at this time last year. My mom also had much stuff to clear, another child of the depression. I have kept some of her things, given away a lot, recovered and reused others… and it has taken all year. Departing 2015. I wish you well on your journey.

    • Shelly Myers

      Good for you Carolynn! You are a brave soul and I commend you for moving forward. My first husband passed away 17 years ago and I haven’t dealt with his “physical stuff” very well. I am willing to do something about that now. I have a house full of things that need to go. I will learn how to release them this year and move forward into this wonderful new year that is before me.

      • Carolynn

        Thanks Shelly. I’m the most “sentimental” one in my family. I attach memories and basically who I am to inanimate things. I used to name my cars but then it was too hard to trade them in for newer ones when needed. I stopped naming them. Losing your husband is quite different from my parents departing in their 70s. Somehow I feel I need certain objects as keepsakes and I’m trying to be practical. That enigma tortures my head and heart. Occasionally I set my eyes on something that’s in my way and wonder when I can unload it, if ever. So I just keep walking around it.

  • Magnolia Sister

    First day, too. I feel hopeful and apprehensive. I *want* to be in a different place next year at this time emotionally and in my journey to ‘declutter’ aka clear the junk out (which doesn’t seem like junk when I’m trying to get rid of it. It seems precious. Odd)
    My challenge will be the journaling. And I truly feel that will make the difference.
    ‘A rising tide raises all ships.’
    Raise Up!

    • Carolynn

      I agree the “junk” feels precious, much of it. I will have to do a lot of releasing to let go of that feeling about “things”. I’m reluctant to give away or even sell things that feel precious to me if I don’t feel the receiver will treasure them, too. It’s like I need to pass on an emotional attachment to the objects and know someone else will treasure them. Pretty sure my family taught me that when they gave me heirlooms. But not all of what I hav gathered is heirloom.

      • Marjorie Z

        Yes, this is the way I feel too. I have not been able to make progress myself in many years of trying so I hope this year I will do it!

  • artsymom

    I am so excited for 2016 to roll around in a few days and yet I love the stillness of the end of the year where I can gather my thoughts and plan for an incredible new year. SO many changes need to be done to help me feel like myself again. 2015 was very difficult for me and my family – there were many medical issues with different people in my family and packing and moving to a new city (again!). New home, new friends, new schools. Getting a new job after being home for 12 years….that was a wake-up call if there ever was one considering the position was in a language I had barely spoken since I was a child. I’m overtired, overstressed and feel like I’m about to run into a brick wall! It’s been 6 months already and I still haven’t connected with the home we are currently renting and it’s driving me crazy! On a positive note, I am proud of all that I was able to accomplish during 2015 in the face of lots of stress. I would like to make 2016 about finding balance for my own peace of mind and happiness. I’m very excited…

  • Mary Roberts

    Greetings! What a wonderful opportunity at this time in my life as I am about to become a grandmother in February. I go into the new year with less clear intentions than usual. I am filled with questions: What will it be like to be a grandmother? Will my offer of help be accepted and appreciated? How often can I get to Maryland to visit? How often will my son and his family visit us in Massachusetts.

    One thing is clear! I’m entering a new phase of life and know this is a perfect year to clear outdated things from my home. Then to be open to discovering what becomes outdated in my life as I take on a new role!

    • Mary Roberts

      Today my 25 year old daughter departed with a friends for San Diego where they will forge new lives! Lots of closeness and tears over the last couple of days. She cleared out many things from her room. I have clothes to consign and items to donate.

      She knocked down a holiday garland hauling things from her room. Instead of putting it back, I took it down. Time to clear out and move into 2016! I’m ready to embrace it with positivity, gusto and passion.

  • SeaBreeze

    My first day! Discovered this site on Facebook and excited 😉 My daughter and two grandkids (7 and 10) moved in with me this past March (due to an painful divorce). I am enjoying having them with me of course but my home is now cluttered and have lost my place of refuge. While this is a temporary situation, I don’t see it changing any time in the near future so need ways to make it work and this course is so welcomed!

    • Mary Roberts

      Having that place of refuge is more important than ever now – even if it is a part of your home. I hope this journey will guide to in the creation of a place for yourself.

  • CoCo

    I have a lot of goals and ambitions in 2016 and one of them is to strengthen my home base and my self-care base so I can achieve my bigger dreams. I really do best when I feel my home is at its best, and when I am consistent in self-care. As a fulltime working mom and wife, with teens and tweens in the house, my house is not my own. But I look forward to clearing our space more, so we can each shine a little more brightly and make it a great year together.

    • Dragonflywoman

      Very well-said! I also want to strengthen my home base and my self care so that I can be successful with my creative endeavors.

      • Carolynn

        I feel more creative when my space is in order. Seems I spend more time organizing my studio than using it. I have the biggest house I have ever lived in, except once as a child. And I seldom have a clear space to do yoga. As soon as I clear space I start filling it again. I want to stop that.

    • Trina

      I agree, very well-said. I believe we can all make 2016 the year that we turn our houses into our homes.

    • Marjorie Z

      My first day too. I wish I coukd just “like” posts here as on Facebook. This would be one of them. Me too.

  • deevmom

    A friend on Facebook posted about this book. I bought it immediately and have just end started reading it. I am very excited about the welcome changes this book can bring to my life and my home. The clutter in both has been keeping me from my creativity as a writer and musician. I look forward to clearing my mind, spirit and home to let in more light. It feels good to start this around the winter solstice.

    • Dragonflywoman

      I so agree with you; the clutter is keeping me from being creative. I feel like I can’t paint or do other projects until everything is in order.

  • donnampw

    I signed up this evening. 2015 has been a difficult year – changing careers, not having the money I had grown accustomed to having, and feeling very anxious. That anxiety is reflected in every aspect of my life … my house is a mess, my sleep is always broken, I’ve gained a lot of weight. I’m ready for this journey! I’m glad there are others taking it with me. Happy clearing to all!

    • artsymom

      i can soooo relate to you!!!!!!!!

  • Cody

    Just ordered book last night, reviewed some of it on kindle, looked at all Stephanie’s videos on this website, and 4 hours later I’m so excited, and intrigued, I haven’t slept at all!! Can’t remember the last time I’ve felt so motivated by an idea of a step forward like this.I guess it must have been 20 years ago when I found AA. Now I’m on a whole new level and ready to dig deeper and clear out more of the crap that’s been keeping me down for so long!!!!! I was thinking of waiting until January 1st to start this, but don’t think I’ll be able to!!! Is anyone else starting now?

    • Dragonflywoman

      I started several months ago and lost my momentum, so I am starting over again today. A friend is also starting today.

  • DMS222

    I chose this course because I want to address not just the excess stuff in my house, but also in my mind… and more importantly get to the core of why it happened in the first place and learn a better way so that it doesn’t just return again. I’ve cleared my space before, only to find it full again before I even noticed it was happening because I’ve been too mentally distracted. I am ready to slow down and explore this, and make lasting changes. Excited to get going, I’m on day 4.

  • Trina

    I downloaded the book and was going to wait until the new year to start, then I decided that I can take it slow and it may take me the 3 weeks leading up to the new year to get through week 1. I am picking a power-word for 2016 and it is HOME. I have lived in my house for 11 years but have not allowed myself to feel at home there for most of that time. A friend once came to my house and was shocked. She told me that you expect someone’s home to be a reflection of them and that I am awesome but my home does not reflect that awesomeness. I guess despite other people seeing me as awesome there is something inside me that does not believe that. I am ready to uncover that fearful part of myself and clear it out. I think I am afraid of being defined by my stuff. I am afraid of someone walking into my home and having a clear picture of who I am . There is vulnerability in that. I am not vulnerable when I can hide behind my overabundance of a mish-mash of random “stuff.” As long as ALL the things are there I can still be anything. When I narrow it down I am afraid of what will be left.

    • forensicurator

      Or you may be surprised by what it is that you really, truly love and value. And you may learn that your friend is correct – that you are awesome!

      • Trina

        Thanks for your reply! I suspect you are exactly right. I just have to uncover and clear whatever is holding me back. And since I am awesome I can totally do that.

    • Cody

      We are starting together! Good idea taking first week slow…

      • Trina

        I was reading every day but couldn’t get myself to sit down and write in a journal despite wanting to think that “I am a person who enjoys writing in a journal.” I was doing the reading during a break from work, so I decided to go back to an online journal I previously used and start putting my thoughts there. I think that was a good lesson for me to clear an expectation and focus on what I will do instead of what I think I should do. Since I am going to come here to see what people post anyway, it makes sense to journal while I am online.
        I also went back to the introduction and read the guidelines. “Take your time and keep it moving” probably needs to be my mantra.

    • Carolynn

      I understand your line about living in a space for a long time and not feeling like it’s home. You have a valuable friend who can put it straight out there to you that your home does not reflect the image she has of you. A lot of people wouldn’t tell you. I hope you are clearing for yourself, though, not for your friend. Sounds like she gave you a wake up call.

    • Hamletnomore

      totally relate to what you wrote here. I have had a house but not a home. and feel as if stripping away the things is like stripping away aspects of me…but who am I? not the files of past jobs in my file cabinet, or the photos of people I no longer even know or cherish or the clothes that don’t fit or flatter me..etc. but like you, I am not sure of what I like anymore and have discomfort even creating ” my space”. what is my taste in decor? I like many things/ideas but mostly can identify what I am not comfortable living in, not so much what I am. This is a scary and exciting creative process that I have just started to develop. I have decided I must really luv what i purchase, even if it is a needed item…something as basic as a garbage can or soap dish.I also decided that for every item I dare to bring in, something else has to go out. and I notice I am more able to “window shop” or return items .I support you as you make this journey to know yourself and cherish yourself.

      • CatYZ

        Wow! Your post resonated with me…. that I am “not the files of past jobs in my file cabinet” (have TONS of those) or “photos of people I no longer even know” (or don’t even remember who they are when I look at the pictures), and especially “clothes that don’t fit or flatter me” (absolutely no room in my closet, but have nothing to wear). Why am I hanging on to this physical clutter that no longer enhances my life? I also know what I don’t like, but haven’t figured out what I do like. It’s time. Just started the course (Sept 2016). Thanks for sharing – your comments really hit a nerve with me.

  • Charyut

    I am stunned by how many of us use the phrase “walking on eggshells” — it resonates so deeply with me and I know that I still do it, even though I’ve been working hard for so long; I’ve used the phrase in conversation without thinking about it. Just knowing that I am not alone in struggling with chaos & clutter is comforting and encouraging. I look forward to this journey toward what I think of as wholeness & spaciousness.

  • Helen O

    I’m embarrassed that I’m such a sloooow learner. This is my second year in the Daily Om class and I’ve also bought Stephanie’s other book. My house IS better now but I still have a long way to go. I’ve slowed down on shopping so I’m not acquiring so much lately, but I’m holding onto things that are “too good to give away” and also things that “aren’t good enough!”

    I also came from a childhood of walking on eggshells…and there must be some deep-seated issues or I wouldn’t still be having trouble at age 69 with letting go and trusting.

    But as someone said, you don’t fail until you stop trying 🙂

    • forensicurator

      Helen,

      Let the feeling of embarrassment go. Be kind to yourself. It takes a long time to change the habits and patterns of a lifetime. I’m a little younger than you (62) and I struggle with this also.

      I’m actually intending to do another year to clear when I finish this one. I can already see that I’ll be peeling away layers and layers of internal clutter for quite some time. As well as the physical clutter cramming my house.

      I do not want my children to go through what we did when my husband’s parents passed away. A house where the main floor looked pretty good, but the basement, bedrooms, and attic were so stuffed that it took over a year to get a handle on it.

      Here’s a thought on the things that are “too good to give away” and “not good enough” – How much are they costing you in terms of worry and space? When you are finally ready to let them go, you will feel a burden lift from your shoulders and your mind.

      • Hamletnomore

        I too have many reasons that prompted me starting this journey in earnest. I also downsized my parents many times in the past years, and now that my father passed recently and my mom moved to one room in a nursing home I can’t help but think “I don ‘t want anyone to have to go through downsizing me..but me” Just too difficult a burden for someone. I also may need to sell my house sooner than I hoped due to trouble now with stairs. I need and want to make the house marketable. Or maybe I will someday get a boarder or roommate to help financially. Or hopefully have more people over, since I rarely do in part because of the health of my house or me.
        I have decided to journal by tape recording. I have journaled in the past and notices I have a tough time not ” editing ” my own writings. It’s as though I am watching my self as I write, instead of feeling . so I recognize I need another way.

  • Kath

    As others have said, the question of “Where do I begin?” has become overwhelming. The clutter, both external and internal, has been at issue for the best part of 20 years, and has reached crisis levels during the past four. I welcome, with gratitude, this guidance and the possibility of making some serious changes in my life. It starts today.

  • Beverly

    I signed up today, hopeful, like the concept of SLOW…..

  • BonnieK

    With an intense work schedule and a tween, I am on this path of accumulating, clearing, updating by accumulating again. The cycle continues. I have done the prior 365-day class on Daily Om, and subscribe to the philosophy of slow clearing. Let’s see how this translates to more spaciousness in less space, and more clarity in a period of uncertainty.

  • diane

    Signed up today and feel hopeful. My house has clutter, in areas you can not see, such as the attic, closets, cellar. So begins the purging process,and hoping that this will help me to let go of items. Most are easy to let go of, but the special things that belong to people we loved who have now passed, is difficult to say the least. To also open up space and actually being able to find what I need when I need it would be fabulous.
    I have begun the process, and want to continue. To find the time to care for myself and become free and uncontrolled by the cluttered home and my uncluttered head. Looking forward to doing this one day at a time.

  • Carol J

    Housekeeping = not fun for me. Too many other things to do outside, plus, I just don’t like doing it. Consequently, I have an ongoing mess due to too much clutter and “stuff”.

    Buying this book and committing to journaling on a daily basis is my last ditch effort to turn this freight train around.

    Here I go… ready to enjoy the journey and feel the wind in my hair!

  • Ashtore

    I am just starting day one and I am a little disturbed by my answers to the questions, but I am not surprised by them.
    Becoming aware of how tightly I hold myself brought up feelings of fear for me from a childhood spent learning to walk on eggshells and I still wait in apprehension twenty year later.

    • forensicurator

      Ashtore,

      Your comment about walking on eggshells as a child resonated with me. I hadn’t realized how true that was for me, too, until I read that.

      Thank you.

    • Stephanie Bennett Vogt

      Beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Ashore. Taking a year to clear can be full of surprises. To the degree that we don’t get caught up in the not-so-pleasant ones is the degree when everything changes. Happy eggshell walking! 😉

    • Thistle

      I have walked on eggshells as well. Be well. You’re not alone. It may take me a few days to figure out who I am, say nothing about what it feels like to be coiled so tight! I am starting now. Dec 29, 2016. I am taking day one straight through to New Years! ?

  • Terrie

    I had been progressing nicely with tidying, but managed to overwhelm myself with high expectations and it all crashed down around me. I’ve come to realize that it is my inside that needs the clearing much more than the outside. I have been enjoying the book, but this time I understand why she starts with examining our feelings and intentions, which is helping me to really dig into the exercises and get a lot more out of the process.

  • Kaina

    I’e just started reading the book, but something really great finally happened to me. Ever since I’ve started living with my boyfriend about 8 months ago, I never felt really at home. And never had time and will to clean the apartment, because I didn’t know where to start and how to do it in a home that wasn’t truly mine. But when I began to read the book, I decided to start with intention) I paid a cleaning lady so she could help me with the apartment and now it feels much better in here.
    Maybe it’s not the best option to pay someone to do what supposed to be “your job”, but for me it was a great start and I feel much better now continuing dealing with my inner mess while the apartment is cleaned.

    • GypsyDancer

      Awesome, Kaina. That is a great job taking the initiative in clearing your space.

    • Carolynn

      Kaina, hiring help cleaning is a good idea to free yourself up to sort and organize the things you want to be dealing with instead of the toilet bowl. I considered how much of my Saturday was spent doing the cleaning chores and what I might be doing with my time if not doing that. If you can afford cleaning help, it’s good for you and good for the person you hire. Time is space and we’re working on clearing more space, right?

    • Hamletnomore

      Good for you to recognize when you needed/wanted some external support. Paying someone to assist you I have now realized is sometimes th only way to progress and make room to process the changes. I have paid a “girl Friday” who has a mass of skills and talents, to assist me, both practically and emotionally to deal with clutter, memorabilia etc. she now moved but referred me to someone new who is also wonderful, albeit in different ways. I am using the money my dad left me and I know he would feel good that he is able to help me in this way, even though I feel guilt and shame about this sometime.

  • GypsyDancer

    I feel ease and freedom when I cleared so much clutter from my home. Being coiled in a tight ball feels secure in myself and protected from the elements. It is easy for me to feel spacious goodness when all the things I value are easy to find in my home. Who I think I am is aware of the present moment and clearing distracting thoughts that do not serve me. I began this first day in creating a heart-centered space in my home and in myself.

    • Carolynn

      I’m frustrated that I can’t find things in my home. I love it when it’s in order, but keeping it that way is a problem. I cleared a big space in my loft a few days ago and now I can do yoga there. Wouldn’t you know it, my husband noticed the space and wants to move furniture there from his music room and the big screen TV so he has more space in his music room. I can see this course is going to effect my family as much as me. Not all empty space needs to be filled. His music room is our storage space, I admit, and we agreed to make a clearing date in there. It’s going to be interesting. Lots of what’s there just needs to be put away in cupboards where it belongs, or repaired and put back where it came from, or taken to the thrift store (3 boxes ready to go but not gone, just left in that room). I’m going to have to deal with working together with him to get through this. Two years ago we moved one household where we had been living into our second home where we live now. Funny, the old smaller home had far more effecient storage. Reading all these thoughts from you an other participants, I feel grateful I am not alone in this obstacle.

    • Alexita

      Hi Gypsydancer,

      I have started my journey yesterday and your post really made me realize things about myself and I thank you for posting. When I did the exercise of the tight ball I felt constricted and in pain, not secure and protected like you. We have different experiences but the same questions and that help us all. I wish you a great, joyful and peaceful journey.

  • SquareOneAlways

    Where to begin, I say to myself….thanks to Stephanie, I feel like I can actually have a starting place that I choose daily. I have plenty of physical and mental clutter to address, and feel encouraged that the “slow drip” methods will change my life….it has already started to occur…..here’s to a journey to renewed joy, simplicity and happiness with the way things are for us all!

  • eternalstudent

    I have found myself in a state of mind that I was unprepared for at this stage of my life. I am a fifty year old woman, wife and mother. My negative thoughts about myself, my cluttered home as well as my general state of unrest and dismay have become all consuming. It is my hope to find some peace of mind, body and home, with the help of Stephanie’s book. Today is my first day…

  • LinLeigh

    So many years of fighting with my husband about cleaning up and keeping a nice home. Years of roller coaster – from upbeat and inspired to depressed and defeated. Trying and trying different approaches to the problem and getting nowhere. I’m hoping this will help me transcend, help me find the joy again.

    • rogypsy

      I have struggled for the last 13 years to overcome chaos in my home, which was something I never struggled with before. It would take a novel to explain how this all came about, but the end result is clutter, chaos and disorganization that has robbed me of peace, joy and a sense of calm. I always managed before to make my home a sanctuary, but this has eluded me now. I too have tried many various ways to try to regain the sense of order in my home which I felt I could do with one hand tied behind my back before. But confusion, frustration and sheer exasperation is what describes the position I find myself in now.

      I had realized a few years ago that the outside clutter was a manifestation of inside clutter, and I am hoping now with this process to slowly process internally the inside clutter while I am working on clearing this year.

    • jbneal

      I so identify with LINLEIGH who says “So many years of fighting with my husband about cleaning up and keeping a nice home.” At times I have almost given up but decided to try this for me no matter what my significant other does. I can work on only the areas where I can make a difference and cannot take on any more disagreements, so I will still be living with his clutter no matter what I do to clear space. I have so much emotional clutter around this subject I know that this is way larger than my closet or kitchen drawers! I bought A Year to Clear and plan to start it just as soon as I finish listening to the audible version of Stephanie’s book, Your Spacious Self. I am already very impressed with the energy insights. I really have some hope for the first time in a long time.

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