When I trained as a life coach in 2005, we learned tools that access our clients’ issues quickly. It’s not necessary to have a life coach for life. You want a coach to partner with you in creating your best journey, and your best solutions. Your coach will do the heavy lifting to move you through change, but the rest is up to you! You may need booster shots along the way, if at all.

Any type of successful coaching will usually broach getting rid of clutter, before bringing in anything new.

Clutter can be anything that blocks you from moving forward. It can be physical clutter, which most of us relate to easily. (Have you seen Hoarders?…or heard about Feng Shui?)

Clutter can also be mental: filling your brain with so many tasks that you can’t actually think.

Or it can be emotional: the story that holds you tight like the details of being wronged 20 years ago, or the thoughts that hold you back like “if I commit to this relationship, I’ll lose my freedom.”

Any type of clutter will grab and drain your energy, whether you realize it or not. But starting with clearing your physical space, allows all sorts of clutter to be teased away.

I call the tool Life Space. I love working on this activity with clients because it is so revealing, and I get so much joy out of bringing clarity to their Space – both mentally and physically. I’m an organizational expert and friends would say “a bit OCD with space” so this tool is right up my alley.

Let me explain:
Our living space is a direct reflection, a metaphor, for what is happening in our life. It reflects how we feel and how we view our present and future. It gives us great insight. When I am feeling lost or confused, it helps me to weed the garden or create something new because I gain clarity either within the process or afterward.

Here are some real-life examples of this tool at work.

  • “My house is a mess, but I can see the flowers starting to bloom outside my clean windows.” Client sees clean potential of things to come.
  • “Because my house is spotless, no one would ever guess there’s one room where I keep everything boxed up and closed tightly.” Client has a mysterious tsunami tucked away, better buckle up.
  • “My home is where you come to when you are absolutely spent. The closer you get, the more you relax.” Client is a safe haven for those around her.
  • “My bedroom has green walls and a comfy king-sized bed, but nothing else.” Hmmmmm…

I’ve watched my entire Life Space change over the last year.

For months, I said, “I want to sell my house” but knowing what I know, it made me feel like a prostitute every time I said it! I wasn’t really trying to sell myself! So I changed the language to “I thank my house for everything it has given me.” That felt much better. And the next day, I got an offer! Coincidence?!

Here’s what ensued.

I cleared and thanked every room of the house. Translation: I am getting rid of what’s not serving me any longer, and thankful I’m still standing.

The new house was old but strong, in a beautiful spot by the ocean, and close to the activity of a small New England village. Translation: I felt old (at that moment in time), but really I am strong and in beautiful active space.

I downsized, but I constructed exactly what I wanted with a new kitchen and new master bathroom. This probably meant my digestive system was about to go through a major overhaul! As well as, well-being and self-care.

My kitchen, the heart of my home, was gutted. Yes, my heart. Only when my kitchen is clean, when friends and family are well fed and satisfied, do I feel like all is right in the world. Feed and be fed.

Everything was in boxes, strewn in rooms where I wasn’t sure they belonged. The boxes overflowed the rooms of this smaller house, telling me there was more to shed. My new life remains to be seen.

At one point, I thought I wouldn’t continue the construction project, but it reminded me I’m getting everything I asked for. Yes! Translation: tearing down, building up, creating beauty.

Anyway, you get the point.

When I ran a team of ten brilliant young women, I would tell them to ask their dates: “So, what does your house look like?” We had great fun de-briefing! …and they say the eyes are the windows to the soul. Nah! This tool is the dead give away!

How does your physical space reflect your heart and soul? Is there a door yet to be opened? a window to be closed? Does your space have everything you need? Or do you want something more? Or something less?

*Photo by Alexandra Bicki (New Orleans)