I don’t believe in coincidences. I do believe in the Law of Attraction though and that when things enter our lives it is for a reason. Hence this blog post is dedicated to a young man who I met whilst attending Grand Designs Live, who truly was an inspiration and a reminder of why I love doing the work I do. I want to share his story with you because it is a testimony to his courage and I hope it will help to remove any self-doubt that Uncluttering is an amazing tool to shift your mindset.
My first day at the Exhibition involved a little bit of prep. Things to carry, props to set up and being my first time in attendance I was unsure where I was going. Kindly a young man offered to stop and help me, to show me the way to the stand and to help me carry my load. He happened to be working for security at the Excel and was happy to accompany me to the “Ask an Expert” stand where I was due to pitch up for the day. On our walk, we talked. It went like this:
“Are you an Expert then, what is your expertise in”?
“I help people to Unclutter their lives, it usually starts at home and room by room I remove, reduce, recycle, unwanted items that do not deserve a place in a space”.
“Really he said, that’s amazing because I know exactly how it feels to live with chaos in my life. Life for me has been tough, I have been in foster homes all my childhood, my Mum is a substance addict and I have moved house constantly but now I have learnt that when my life feels unstable and when I feel overwhelmed, the single task that I always do is clear up my room, I rearrange, I organise my books, I throw out the rubbish I change the sheets and then I feel calm, my mind feels less distracted, I think clearer”.
Wow, I was so taken by surprise at his response, I stopped in my tracks. I was drawn to understand more about his story.
For the last 5 years this young man had been given the opportunity of a long-term foster home. This foster home was very structured, almost regimented. The foster mum kept it very tidy and organised. For him he said, he imagined it was her foundation that helped her open her home up to a young man and create a place of stability and routine. He referred to being in this environment as a therapy. This feeling of knowing where everything was and what was coming next, it gave him comfort. He told me without a doubt that living in this clutter free easy way, had given him the chance to relax and to feel secure. We talked about how life throws up so many changes and how he has been dealt a difficult situation. Despite all of the upheaval in his life he has found peace with being in charge of what he owns, how he displays it, what he chooses to keep and what he chooses to let go of. He doesn’t have a lot of belongings but he treasures what has meaning to him.
The moral of this young man’s story really touched my heart. He said he wanted to share a philosophy with me on how you can move forward in life without getting attached to the outcome. He asked me for a piece of paper and a pen and wrote the number 3 on the page. He then turned the page to the left and asked me what I saw now, at first I wasn’t sure. It now looked like the letter m then he turned it anti clockwise again and it now looked like the letter e and finally with the last turn it was the letter ω.
I was intrigued. He looked at me and said, this is my view-point on life and all the stuff that goes on in the world, Religion, love, work. “There is always a different angle you can look at things and have a different view-point, the key is to roll with the punches be able to see a different perspective”. To keep moving freely, unencumbered by stuff.
This chance meeting we both agreed was a connection that doesn’t happen often and in his willingness to help carry my boxes, he felt he had met someone in me who affirmed all that he was doing. He was so grateful that he felt understood.
The next day when I was delivering my live speech, I remembered this young man when I was talking about the Magic of uncluttering your mind.
In summary, our teenage children have a lot on their minds, How much do we really know bout their lives? which are entwined with social media, advertising, the pressures of looking perfect, exams results, young love. Creating a space for them at home, to feel calm and uncluttered, leading by example is my motto of this blog post. We only have to take a look at their bedrooms to see how their minds are working. Give the young person in your house a helping hand to unclutter their personal space, it will create some fresh air in their minds.