Showing Up

I have been reading a book by Natalie Goldberg called the True Secret of Writing, which is about developing writing as a practice. She encourages her students to commit to writing on a regular basis as a way of learning to be a writer. Part of this commitment is the simple act of showing up. Never mind if you feel like it, or have something to say. Just put pen to paper and write. Establishing the habit of writing is part of the learning. By showing up to write on a regular basis, students learn that they can trust themselves to honour their commitment to writing. If you want to be a writer, you have to find your way into it and that takes time. You can’t just write a great novel from scratch.

I have been thinking that this attitude could be valuable for people wanting to simplify and organise their belongings. What if you were to consider yourself a student of organising, and allow yourself to learn how to manage your things, and maintain your home in the way that you wanted? Students don’t have to know all the answers, and they don’t have to get it right every time. Student’s take time to learn, and ask for help if they need it. They learn from doing, and they learn from their mistakes. They make themselves open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. The most important thing is for the student to make a commitment to learning, and show up for practice.

What if you were to take up this role of student, and set yourself an exercise in your home. Perhaps you could commit to four consecutive Saturday mornings sorting the garage, or 10 minutes a day tidying up before bed for the next week. Think about what it is that you need to learn, and set yourself a small task. Make it manageable. Then show up. Try it out. Maybe you make progress. That’s great. Maybe you get stuck. No problem, that’s information on what you need to learn. Notice what you get stuck on and ask for help.

You could keep a journal of your experience. Be a curious observer of your own efforts. Note down what was easy and what was difficult. What surprised you. How did I go? What was it like? What did I achieve? By showing up you learn to trust yourself to take on a challenge and open yourself up for learning and change. Its not just about having a tidy garage.

The links to the book are affiliate links with Australian online store Booktopia.  A small percentage of the purchase price is paid to Live Light if you buy the book through this link.


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