I had a witty blog post planned with some clever tips about how to organize this or declutter that. But watching the images from Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, I just couldn’t do it.
My career is based on helping people create happier, healthier relationships with their possessions and their homes, to question the constant craving for more and to focus on what truly feeds them. Together we uncover the true treasures – some tangible but, mostly, intangible – and to richly invest their attention and energy there, so they can be more successful in their work, happier in their personal relationships and express their true Selves, unencumbered. I truly love my work.
But images of disaster and utter loss, like those coming out of Texas right now offer an even deeper perspective on the subject of “things.” I’m not at all saying that we should live in anticipation of imminent tragedy. But I am saying that reminding ourselves that all things are impermanent can give us the power to face the fear of “not enough” and to edit our environments even more boldly.
I invite you to ask yourself, “What can’t I live without?” I suspect that your answer doesn’t lie in your closet or in a $100 a month storage unit, but in your relationships.
Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”
When the images of loss literally flood our newsfeeds – disaster, poverty, animals, or whatever touches your heart – we can be reminded that there is always someone who is in greater need than we are. It’s an invitation to be grateful for what and who we have in our lives and to see the abundance and love that surrounds us. And if we’re moved to do so, we realize that helping others can make us rich no matter how much – or how little – we own.
If you too would like to be a helper, please visit these websites listing several vetted organizations helping with the relief. Links: Here’s one and here’s another.
Yours for richer or poorer,