Saturday, July 2, 2011

Personalized, Organized, and now onto Realize!

Today marks the end of the Organize e-course I told you I was taking with Dawn Trautman.

As part of the course, we picked a project to complete that would be an active step in organizing our lives while we dove into re-considering our habits, how our external and internal spaces interact, and how the organization (or lack thereof) of our time, space, and money affect each other and our lives.

I am on a bit of a successful high, because not only did I meet my recent running and fitness goals but I completed my project for this course in time.

I chose to clean out and organize our office/guest room. It is the room where everything has gotten shoved over the past year or so, and much of it was never unpacked from when we moved in two years ago. It holds lots of important paperwork and belongings that produce stress when we cannot find them. It is also home to many of our books and pictures which are a source of joy for us. We were missing out on that joy when we could not get to them.

It feels fantastic!  Ready for some before and after pictures?  I thought you might be.  Here's the "before"
... (pretty bad, no?)

Eeek!  But look at this lovely "after"!

Look at all that floor!
Clean desk and pictures on the wall

Simple and clean.

Even the closet is organized!
Check out all that clean organized space. I love it. I walk by the room and I cannot help but smile because it is so inviting, and it's the result of completing a goal!  Even those desk drawers and filing cabinets are nicely cleaned and organized.

There's lots of things I could dream of doing to this room that would cost money and involve completely re-designing it. Those ideas were part of what stopped me from doing this project before. When I let go of this idea that it had to be done 'perfectly' I was empowered to tackle it. I spent about $7 on the whole room, and that was used for spray paint to paint those shelves white so they matched better.

I have some projects left to do in the space like organizing pictures and  filing some paperwork. But now, I can do all those things, because I can get to them! It's an enjoyable space to be in.

Additionally, I created a peacemaker's basket. This was an idea from the 30 Day Vegan e-course I took with Heather @ Beauty that Moves. (She's starting another e-course soon so now is a great time to go check it out). Yes, I know, I really like e-courses, but I have learned so much from some great people! Anyway, the peacemaker's basket is a basket filled with things that bring you peace when you are having a rough day or rough moment. I didn't make one when I was in the other e-course because I felt like I had no quiet, peaceful place to put it where I could actually enjoy using it or go to it stress-free.

I have come to realize that my disorganization leads to stress and disconnects me spiritually in addition to all the other things it does. But, when you think about spirituality or faith as one more thing on your to-do list or one more place that you can't manage to find enough time or the perfect space, it makes that stress and disconnect grow bigger. The peacemaker's basket is a simple way to ground me when I need a moment to myself and it enables me to grab small opportunities to nurture my spirituality and faith.

A peacemaker's basket will be unique to the person it's for, and the contents may change overtime. Mine holds the following objects:
My peace stone, given to me by my child's Montessori teacher as they have them in the classroom. Holding it's smooth, cool surface is calming and relaxing.

My tattered, devotional Bible. This is not my Bible choice for study, sermon preparation, or anything scholarly, but it is well-loved, well-highlighted, and full of bookmarks. It is the Bible I carried through many challenges and rough times growing up.

A favorite candle from SimplyHenry (so I know it's safe and phthalate-free) and matches.

A set of Chinese meditation balls I've had for years. They make the most beautiful sound when you master the motion of them in your hands.

A journal and pen.
Over time I am sure I will add and take away from it. Other things might include music, photo of loved ones, favorite tea and mug, essential oils, inspirational messages or images, a small piece of dark chocolate, or anything else that helps you find renewal and reconnection.

Next, I will be joining Dawn in the final e-course of her series, Realize. In Dawn's words,

Realize: From To-Do Lists to Life Lists and Back

This course is based on the latest scientific research about setting and achieving goals. Learn the difference between different types of goals, the way you respond to various challenges to your goals, and the best ways to overcome challenges and reach your life long goals.

Week 1: Create exciting lists of your own future achievements for different areas of your life.
Week 2: Choose a short term goal and create a plan.
Week 3: Take action on your plan in a few easy steps.
Week 4: Evaluate, Celebrate and Plan for the next goal.

"Realize" is best for: Someone who understands themselves and wants to learn how to make a positive impact on their own life and the lives of the people around them by setting and achieving lifelong goals.
I considered not taking this last course or at least taking a break. I have been taking a lot of e-courses lately, and it is a time commitment. At the same time, it is such a great experience to connect with others on this journey, gain some valuable outside perspective, and interact with a certified life coach at a really economical price. I always walk away with new insights and having taken the time to focus on my goals and aspirations in a way I wouldn't with outside accountability and perspective. And my husband singing Beauty School Dropout with the lyrics changed to  "Dawn Trautman School Dropout" might have been a little shove in this direction, too.
Dawn Trautman school drop-out, no graduation day for you
Dawn Trautman school drop-out, missed your midterms
and flunked shampoo??

Okay it doesn't work that well, but he didn't have to sing much for me to get the point. I'd love for you to join me (again, my disclaimer is that I'm telling you this because I like Dawn and I think her courses are valuable! I'm not receiving anything in exchange for my statements) in Realize or for you to take Personalize or Organize and share about your experience! Not ready for a course, but want to hear more from Dawn? Check out her blog.


  1. Jamie, these "after" pictures are such a victory! Also, I LOVE the peacemakers' basket. Thanks to Chris for the song dedication. Perhaps I could get a YouTube video of him singing that so I could send it to others who take only 1 or 2 courses? :)

  2. Wow! That is fantastic Jamie...can't wait to come stay in the newly cleaned out and organized beautiful space.

  3. Amazing transformation. Feels good to get that done AND on the cheap too! :)


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