Thursday, June 2, 2011

So it's not about the air conditioning...

It's been pretty hot here in New Jersey these past few days. In the spirit of green and frugal living, I was adamant that we not turn on the air-conditioning for as long as possible. I certainly was not turning it on in May, forgoodnesssake!  We dug out all the fans and installed a ceiling fan in the living room. We were managing despite the 85 degree temperatures in the bedroom at night. The bedroom where we all sleep as a bedsharing family. Bedsharing at 85 degrees isn't fun, it's sticky.

On May 31, with the bedroom hitting 85 by noon and with the children being crankier than even usual, I caved. If the kids were going to whine and scream at me, I was going to be cool while they did. I turned on the air-conditioner. I set it at a modest 78 degrees to take the edge off, and we enjoyed a break from the stifling heat.

Fast forward to this morning. Kids didn't sleep last night. Dishes weren't clean, and I needed to pack lunches for school. I had a two hour crisis involving tears, hyperventilating, dragging out every piece of technology we own, and eventually unearthing the four years of digital picture files I believed I had lost forever. I was frazzled and tired until it was time for the boy and I to head to school so I could do lunch duty.

I rushed out the door of our temperature-controlled home and froze. My jaw dropped as I discovered an absolutely blissful day that had been hiding outside. I mean blissful. The sun was shining. There were blue skies and white fluffy clouds. The breeze was perfect. 66 degrees. It brightened my mood immediately. I had been oblivious to it all while boxed in my temperature-controlled, grumpy-attitude-filled home.

I know it wasn't exactly my air-conditioner's fault. I was the one who turned it on. But air-conditioning has a tendency to isolate us and box us into our environment leaving us completely unaware of whatever is going on outside it. On a sweltering 90-degree day, that's helpful.  Other times, it keeps us from seeing that the circumstances have changed, our needs have changed. A tool, a habit, or behavior that at one point improved the quality of your life can quickly turn into something that is preventing you from seeing new possibilities.

Clearly this is about about much more than air-conditioning (which I admit I'm not giving up anytime soon!).  This is about considering what behaviors in your life might have been helpful at one point but are no longer so... or which things protrayed as conveniences or improvements are actually hindering you. What do you continue to do because it's a habit and not because it's enhancing your life experience?  Where have you boxed yourself in? Is it time to take a peek outside?

Dawn is actually this fun!

Next week, I'll be embarking on a 4-week journey with Dawn Trautman. You might remember me raving about her when I took part in her e-course Personalize or when I shared my personal statement. Along with developing my personal statement, I looked at what experiences shaped who I am, evaluated my strengths and weaknesses, and considered what beliefs and behaviors were serving and not serving me.  This time, I'll be taking the course Organize which will run Monday, June 6 through Saturday, July 2.  Here is what Dawn says about the course:

  • Week 1: Examine your current state: What creates chaos in your life? How do you manage it?
  • Week 2: SPACE: Organize your home or office. What are your beliefs about your work, family and living space?
  • Week 3: TIME: Organize your schedule. How is your use of time affected by your beliefs about your health and spirituality?
  • Week 4: MONEY: Organize your finances. How do your beliefs about money affect your relationships? 
"Organize" is best for: Someone who wants to understand how their thoughts influence their world around them, and how to set better patterns.
She describes it i greater detail on the course website. I love that this is about more than just cleaning out a closet, because finding order in our lives is about so much more than our external surroundings. In fact, most often what we feel like on the inside resembles what we surround ourselves with on the outside and vice versa. They go hand in hand! 

I'm thrilled to be taking another one of Dawn's courses, because it gives me the opportunity to interact with other participants as well as receive personal attention from an experienced life coach while doing it on my schedule and my budget.

I encourage you to check out Dawn's services, but especially her e-courses: Personalize, Organize, and Realize! I would love to journey through Organize with one or many of you.  Take a peek around her site or go straight to e-course registration. Please note: in some places, it may say that the Organize course started June 1, but the dates were changed to better suit some of the participants. That's how much Dawn goes out of her way to connect with her clients!  The course will begin June 6.

The fine print: I was not poked, prodded, or encouraged to write this blog post, and I'm not receiving anything in return for my kind words. I think Dawn's great and wanted to share with you this fabulous opportunity! I truly hope some of you will join me on this or maybe check out another one of Dawn's offerings. At the very least, go see her Urban Nomad blog!


  1. Organize sounds amazing ... I work with the idea that each piece of clutter is "a decision deferred" - the thought that I'll know better what to do with this thing "later". Later doesn't arrive on its own. I'll have to check out the shameless plug - but you know, better to have a shameless plug that is HONEST about reality than one that pushes a product that just gets us to consume more. It's nice to know that there are other flawed-but-focusing humans out there!

  2. This week we turned on the AC for about 30 on Sunday morning to take the humidity off and it was wise (it was not my idea, DH did it). During the day we keep the doors, windows and sun facing curtains closed. At night we open the windows and run a big window fan.
    I hate AC, it gives me sinus pain, I'll do everything I can to not use it, even if it means sleeping downstairs in the living room for a night or 2.

    This Organize course looks awesome!


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