The greatest clutter of all is self-judgment. It is the antithesis of Joumor.
When a baby cries, it is honestly expressing a need as loudly and surely and quickly as it is aware of it. The baby does not pause to wonder who might disapprove or have overly sensitive ears. As we mature and learn social cues and expectations, we modify our own behaviors and expectations. In many cases, we become riddled with self-doubt, criticism and judgment, and we lose the sureness that once came naturally.
Sometimes we can soothe ourselves out judgment by thinking and speaking positively. Or we can exercise and boost our beta-endorphins and dopamine, increasing our overall feeling good-ness. We can call a friend, get acupuncture, do EFT…but in many cases we are still asphyxiated with self-loathing. Why?
The subconscious is powerful. Whether we realize it or not, we are secretly keeping track of all the things people said, all the things we didn’t do, all the negatives. “Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi (please say 5 times fast!) contends that unless we are occupied with other thoughts, worrying is the brain’s default position.” It is argued that the smarter we are, the more we think about and talk about negative things. OY! So how can this help us become productive, happy people? You guessed it, Joumor.
When we look underneath our causes for upset, there is often an experience of overwhelm and helplessness. And here’s the cool part: we can feel better by doing the dishes. Whaaaaaat?!?!?! Yep. Choosing a simple task that is repetitive and does not rely on higher level thinking will calm us, give us a sense of accomplishment, and set us up to do better, including make decisions.
We might not be able to get that love interest or opportunity back. And it’s important for us to grieve properly. But in many cases, we are not grieving, we are avoiding. And you know what? If we dealt with all the things we are avoiding, we could do everything better, including grieve…because unitasking is where it’s at.
It happens over and over with my clients. They start getting organized, and their spouses get happier. They have better sex. They spend more time with each other. On the surface, it seems like it’s because the socks are “finally in the hamper.” And it’s true that environments affect behavior, absolutely. But underneath, there’s a more Joumorous explanation: clutter free (less self-hate/anxiety)= more love. Because clutter attracts clutter and the opposite is true.
This might sound outrageous! And it’s so simple it kind of is:
- Make a list of every single thing you are avoiding or is unfinished.
- Once your list is complete, take 1 minute to meditate on how things would be if that item were taken care of.
- Rinse and repeat for each item on the list. Think how good that would feel.
Therapy and exercise and personal development are great. But never underestimate the far reaching power of getting organized. A little Joumor leads to an easier environment and automatic self-love that goes a long way.