(Damien Hirst Star Spin Painting)
Not a single person I have ever encountered “welcomes” chaos. After all, chaos is the opposite of balance, so we all strive to avoid it at all costs. I want to make a suggestion….
Welcome a bit of chaos!
Here is why…
I use a home analogy that usually holds true to explain this chaos theory. I think it will make sense to lots of you.
Have you ever overstuffed your closet? It becomes impossible to find anything to wear. You might start saying you have nothing nothing to wear, strangely enough, even though your closet is overloaded.
At a breaking point- maybe you lose your favorite shoes or have to find a special outfit- you decide it is time to tackle the closet.
Fifteen minutes into the closet project, your room looks like a cyclone hit it.
Everything is everywhere. You had no idea how much was stuffed in this small space until it all got excavated.
A few hours into your closet, you might feel like meting down, but you have to find something to wear.
You might give up at this point and borrow an outfit, get something new, or decide to stay home. If you decide to ditch the project, stuff gets tossed back into the closet as it was, stuffed away. You still have nothing to wear, and now you might have a sinking feeling that it is too much trouble to try to dig into the mess. Some other time. You’ll get to it later.
The lucky and tenacious might actually keep going and happen across some clothes that have been long forgotten about. That favorite sweater you hadn’t seen in ages! The shoes you never wore even though you loved them! Hidden treasures are found and suddenly the chaos is a bit more bearable because there are good things coming from this exercise in digging through a mess.
Those of you who dig through the chaos will ultimately reorganize the closet so that everything makes sense. Outfits are easier to put together. So many options emerge where there were none. You may have found things to give away, to donate to help others. You likely have created space for new things to come.
It seems that life is this closet.
I find that often we have many closets in our lives, actually. Closets for work, for our emotional well-being, for relationships, for health, for our creative life. They tend to all affect each other. You will feel where one is “stuffed” with issues you don’t want to deal with right now, things you can avoid for a while.
Sooner or later, a stuffed closet in our lives starts to block us from seeing hope, potential and future in some area. Those of us that decide it is time to make some changes to organize that areas of life dig in with gusto. It is a positive change, so we expect all positive results, but then we are suddenly met with chaos.
Some of us promptly stuff everything back in its place because we aren’t ready to deal with sorting through things. It can be shelved for another time. After all, you were not in the market for chaos, you just wanted peace and light.
But… Those who embrace the momentary blow up start to find those treasures that were long forgotten. Hope emerges. Space is cleared. New opportunities have room to appear.
Embrace momentary chaos. Learn to dig through it and you’ll find the good stuff. Keep sorting through it. Even just a bit a day. Be consistent. You will get to the other side. I remind myself of this every single time I expand some part of my life and a storm ensues for a few days.
I used to panic and want to pull back. Now, I keep going, and use chaos as a sign that I’m waking up what’s been stuck. It has been the best decision, and best new habit, I have ever adopted.
I hope you find it the same for you! xoxo Dana
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Lovely post – makes me want to clean as well.
I’m so glad! xoxo
about 5 years ago I got a tattoo written in arial 12pt font all lower case that says embrace chaos on top of my left wrist. I saw it in a ray ban sunglasses ad around the time. I always get caught up in being overwhelmed and get hard on myself when really I just need to sit and be with that feeling that I can’t control what is happening because that is the only way through to the other side. I still have a problem with it but its the bests reminder EVER!