yes, i’m sure.
no, i don’t want the weekly email.
not the sales emails.
not the blog.
please unsubscribe me.
yes, i’m sure.
“just streamlining. thank you for your work.”
it’s incredible to me how difficult this process is.
i am decluttering my inbox. i am decluttering my mind.
i am making space to integrate my life.
what is it that makes me think i need to get all these emails? i have subscriptions to many online experts—on health, wellness, spirituality, business, living your best life, self-care, sexuality, women’s work…phew. it makes me tired just typing it out here.
and yet, i’ve had a really hard time letting them go.
why? it all comes down to thinking i don’t know enough…
- it’s my type One personality, always trying to do a good job and get things right…
- and this information age in which we are supposed to know everything, be experts in our field, leaving no stone unturned…
- and my upbringing with two smart parents, who were always keeping up on the world, on science, on important things, my mom even a tenured ceramics engineering professor…
- and even my dearly beloved husband who has a Five mind that awes me in its ability to know and remember stuff.
as i write this, i see that thinking i need to know more information feels like a very masculine orientation. this emphasis on the mind. i must gather more knowledge. i must expand my mental capacity. so i can give this information to you, to the world. the collage below depicts the average levels of type Five, the type that pushes this need to know to its limits, and how i can feel in relationship to this energy…
my foray into the land of subscriptions happened because over the weekend, a few things came together to help me midwife a deeper understanding and move me into more congruency:
- in preparing for my Spring Self-Care Mini-Retreat, i decided to talk about decluttering, simplifying…in order to make room for new growth;
- in the SHE School, where i serve as a mentor, our monthly theme included looking at the unfolding of our lives and where we could surrender more;
- and then when i backed up my Outlook email last night, it was clear that i was allowing the file to grow too big, and much of that was related to all the emails i subscribe to.
so, in order to make room for new growth, for the new beginning energy of Spring, i saw that i need to let go of not only all those emails, but the belief that i do not know enough.
i need to surrender more deeply into trusting that i do know enough and that “my life will unfold at a perfect pace,” ** showing me when i need to study or learn more. that i can let go of this hoarding and along with it, this constant fear of not having enough time to read it all…(and make my Outlook box more manageable to boot!)
so, Monday morning, i dug into the pile. i had already created a folder and a rule to drop all the emails into so they didn’t clutter up my inbox. this was a good plan for not inundating myself, but i also didn’t realize how many i was actually receiving because they were tucked away in the “READ” folder.
all ready to go, i clicked on the first unsubscribe link and felt a moment of near-panic. in surprise, i checked in with myself and found that it felt too threatening to unsubscribe and lose track of all this information. so, instead of letting it stop me, i decided to create a word doc that lists all the emails i am unsubscribing from by content-type so that if i want to find them again easily i can. that feels good, even if it takes a little more time…
the first round is done. now the trick will be to keep evaluating if the ones i kept need to be released as well. and not signing up for more! yikes. that may be harder…
so, what do i get from this process?
as i mentioned, it is definitely about trusting that life will bring me what i need if i pay attention, that i don’t need to hold on and try to learn more and more and more. what i really need is to allow the rhythm of learning and integrating, both necessary parts of the process. it’s time for integration…until it’s time for learning again…
i also see how this is related, as most things seem to be in my life, to cultivating the more relational, receptive, holding qualities of the Feminine. i am really good at being a go-getter, at taking in new information, doing more things, pushing with my mind. yet again, i am invited into a more relational, trusting, surrendered place. one that is about following the flow, receiving intuitive clues about what i need to learn next, and working with others, in relationship, not just in my head.
this is why my coaching work is such a good fit. it invites me, over and over again, back to my body and heart and to the relationship with the client in the moment. from this place of connection, what i already know easily comes forward. and what i still need to learn is revealed—we can explore it together and if needed, i can study and get back to them later.
so, for now, i’m taking a break from loading up on more information. i’m integrating, trusting, and letting life lead me into what is next.
i do have space and time in my calendar to be in relationship with a few new coaching clients, though! read more to explore how my holistic life coaching can support you.
p.s. do you have friends who would love to simplify and focus on what really matters? i’d love it if you would share this post with them on Facebook!
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**a type One mantra from Andrea Isaacs’ EnneaMotion work.
2 thoughts on “decluttering to make way”
Hmmmm. I hear you, Katy. And it’s not that we Fives don’t have an obsessive passion for stuff, i.e., knowledge and info. I subscribe to lots of stuff, too, but am less anxious about what I may be missing or just the fact that it’s there. As long as it doesn’t bother me mentally and doesn’t involved taking over my physical space, it’s OK. It’ll get me some other time around if I really need to know it.
I’m crediting some of my more relaxed nature to the slow pace of life we had growing up on a farm. No telephone, I might add. When you really can’t plan the heck out of things, you learn to adapt to powerlessness and learn to see what happens as it happens. There is danger there, too, but that point of view hints at a certain truth about trust and maybe even fear. Lack of control. Also a certain kind of laziness. I grew up on laziness as another way of being content. A feeling of space as an underappreciated element of time?
A metaphor of rests in music comes to mind. As a string bass player, I picked up where percussionists were short-handed. I spent a lot of time counting bars (rests) until I got a chance to ping that triangle or clash a cymbal! I guess this doesn’t speak to clutter. Perhaps I interpret your need to strip away things as a need to clear your mind and I’m suggesting you don’t need to strip away things if clutter doesn’t bother you. Perhaps it IS time that bothers you — stuff waiting for your attention. My point of view is that it will keep. Like dust, it’s patient.
your slower farm time sounds wonderful, Irene! no phone–wow. i have lived in the backcountry without running water and electricity, but not without a phone. dave often speaks of building spaciousness into his life–it sounds like you had that. 🙂
some clutter doesn’t actually bother me, but the feeling of unread, unprocessed potential knowledge does! and since it’s time for me to integrate, this stripping away to make space for that feels very needed. i’m in search of a feeling of spaciousness i can’t get when there are hundreds of emails sitting in my READ folder with more coming in every day…time will keep, the emails would keep, but i’m not reading them, and even if they are patient, i’m not! it’s time to let them go and come back mindfully when i’m ready to actually read them…