More than ever, I have felt the need to simplify. It’s essential to have all that energy that gets dispersed in a zillion directions all consolidated into power.
Waste of all kinds (including wasteful actions, conversations, thoughts) started to translate into major energy drains.
Energy drains become life drains: less sparkle, less inspiration, less fun, less money, less productivity, less time, less love.
Couple that with the recent string of alarm bells about the state of the environment (most recently, THIS report that is a call to action) and it was the convergence of motivation to minimize, to eliminate the non-essential, to focus and connector and to do it all in the spirit of consolidating personal magic even more profoundly.
This year I minimized a lot. I let go of so much. It’s the kind of life-clearing that has created a total next level (announcement coming soon— maybe tomorrow!) in life. Here are some of my ideas to lessen the life clutter and be more in sync with Nature and creative power.
- No more dumping things as much as possible— Now: when I come upon products I was sent to review, including food, swag and more… donation is great. But for many things, I know there’s a slim chance that someone will buy (or even be looking for) some of these things at a thrift store. Instead I call friends or offer things to clients. Things they will need, use and enjoy. I just had a haul of stuff head to a friend’s place. It is super-rewarding to send things where they will be used.
- Shopping less and shopping vintage as much as possible. I started this years ago and it’s been a mainstay to shop more vintage, to support second-hand vendors, to buy at the popular flea markets or even to borrow or rent clothes for events rather than shopping more. When I do shop, I buy things that are meant to last. I am done with “fast fashion” and trends and I’m excited that my wardrobe is far more conscious and ever more streamlined. Vintage can still be expensive (I do love the classics) but it’s always something that feels like art to me to find and collect.
- Fast decor is over. Gone are the days of furniture that is meant to last for just a few years. Not only am I recommending largely sustainable and recycled materials in furnishings for all my clients, I am insisting upon it for myself. I just got a sustainable couch (*more to come on this soon) and I have a sustainable mattress with a 30+ year lifespan (as opposed to 8 years for the typical mattress) on the way. I have, for the last 10 years, repurposed lots of what is in client’s homes rather than buying more things that are not needed. Efficiency is always on my mind, whether I’m working in a studio apartment or an estate. We all thrive with less of the extra.
- I stopped automatically answering the phone and responding to each message in lightning speed. There’s something wildly good about being CAUSE over my communication. These days, I can get 100+ messages in a day and I bet you might be in the same boat. I used to spend my energy checking and answering each one in rapid fire and I never had solid concentration. Now, it’s all prioritized.
- No News. Or, I should say, bare minimum news. News has been sort of the albatross in my life. It feels responsible to be informed. I can be informed in a few minutes. The rest of the time is just wasted time, emotional turmoil and it’s unproductive on every level. My energy has soared since giving up extra “analysis” and other programming and reporting that was unessential but had made its way into my days.
- Letting go of guilt about saying “NO.” have you ever said “NO” and because you didn’t have time to do something or just didn’t want to and them, suddenly, you spend just as much time trying to let go of the guilt? Guilt has held me back, and those days are gratefully over.
- Bye bye lots of big makeup containers that I could never finish before they expired. More waste: all the expired full-size makeup that I will never make it through. I started buying small and paring down my routines to the very essentials. I also learned how to clean brushes and sponges so that when I do wear makeup I don’t need to use new ones constantly. Again— so much easier and better for the planet.
- I stopped leaving electrical things ON. Including my giant computer. My house looks like there’s half a blackout after 7pm. I only keep lights on where I am. Now, in an effort to decrease EMF (air pollution from electronics) I turn OFF my computer, phone and everything else 100%.
- No more using plastic straws. A no-brainer. This one was easy. Just say no to straws.
- Driving around looking for things… no more! If I needed to find something specific, I’d drive around looking. Now, I call. It saves time, it saves energy, it saves gas, it is so much more efficient.
- More meditative time and less surfing internet time. I’ve taken my time wasted surfing the Internet our of idle curiosity and spend it taking walks and doing more of my Buddhist practice. It’s a big win for my energy and my body, too.
- WALK. Walk. Walk. Skip elevators when you can. Skip the extra ride. Take an Uber Pool or public transportation. I know it’s not glamorous to hop on the bus all the time, but you now what it is? Very efficient. And, you can read, answer emails, do some work or listen to a podcast as you do more ride-sharing and walking!
- I stopped flying around. My quick trips to New York, the weekend flights, the extra trips. It’s not fun for me. It’s extra. I will fly as a last resort or as a big celebration. Sometimes 30 or 40 planes a year. That has decreased dramatically and it feels fantastic.
- BULK BINS are AWESOME! Bring your jars and old containers to the bulk bins and fill them up. We have bulk bins for raw honey, olive oil, salt and more in my neighborhood. It beats buying nuts, dried fruit, beans and more in plastic bags, and I can get as much as I need and want so that things aren’t going rancid in my pantry.
- Make grocery lists. Instead of over-shopping, plan your groceries! You will waste nothing! You may just save money! And: it’s creative. Bonus points if you shop at grocery stores that give their “expiring” food to food banks and soup kitchens and other programs to feed the hungry. No food should go to waste!
- Learn to recycle properly. It took me 16 years of living in Los Angeles to realize that the Green bins in Los Angeles are also for COMPOSTING. !!!!! Now, I have a whole new mission with my groceries. You can google how to recycle properly in your neighborhood and get started. I was doing several things wrong and now I am on a straighter path. I also tricked myself into thinking I could recycle certain packages which are 100% not recyclable.
- Do I really need this? As yourself before you buy more stuff. Buy things that are a RESOUNDING YES!
- Respect Nature Tools. Did you know Palo Santo is a wood that comes from special trees and it doesn’t need to be burned incessantly? Things like sage and other herbs grow freely and can be burned liberally to do Space Clearing. Salt is plentiful. Resins (also often from trees) are not as plentiful. So, keep these things in mind as you reach for Space Clearing tools. Thank you to my friend Rebecca for underscoring this one for me.
- Stopped ordering small things. Yep, I no longer order small things. If I have no choice but to order things online, I add together an order of everything I need so that tin packages aren’t getting created because I wasn’t able to find what I wanted or needed locally.
- Lists are magical. They help me to be more efficient. I make about 6 kinds of lists that have been life-changing. I am doing a video on some of my favorite lists soon, but the simple to-do list can help you to focus all your brilliance!!!
A big P.S. today: Every New Year, an intimate and extremely magical group of people come together online for eight weeks of Feng Shui to clear all their clutter, eliminate creative blocks, doubts, disorganization and negativity from their lives.
The results never fail to astonish me. It’s the most mystical way to multiply your manifesting magic with practical action.
It’s The Catalyst Camp, and it’s now OPEN for 2020!!!
And, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101. Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks. It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do. Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow. Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE… And, as always, please let me know what happens!
Thank you so much Dana! You told us in the past that you had some health issues. What are you suggestions on Feng Shui to improve good health. Thank you very much and love learning from you.
You are so welcome!!! I don’t give out specific health advice, even where feng shui is concerned… but here are a few things I did initially that made a big difference for me—
I stopped using fragrance products and anything made with artificial additives for beauty and for housecleaning/laundry. I started clearing lots of clutter and cleaning even more often. And I keep lots of plants at home. Also: I started to work on my attitude, my fears and my mindset so that I had less stress— the most important!!!
Love these ideas! Will try to implement them, especially the ones related to buying stuff :p
I need to work on these things 🙂 especially n.4!
Thanks, Dana. There is a website called Rooster in my area near Portland, Oregon.
All free. It’s a “band of neighbors” who offer and ask for what they want. Often, washers and dryers, extra produce or children’s clothes offered for free after the Rooster’s child has outgrown them. I am disabled and a group affiliated with a local church will come over in two weeks and saw up fallen trees and mow my back field and lawn. YES YES! Will keep you posted on how it turns out.
How wonderful to have such a service, and what an incredibly great thing to have such loving people come to lend a hand. You have my best thoughts that it is all excellent!