Manifest This!

Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines

Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“…the way a man does one thing is the way he does everything.”

~written in Zen according to Regina Leeds

I will be the first to admit that I take instructions well, if I like the instructions. Case in point: Regina Leeds, in her book “One Year to an Organized Work Life” suggests that we create a dream board as a prelude to getting organized. She says that by taking on this project “you invite your inner thoughts and longings to rise to the surface; you will discover more of who you really are and what you’d like to manifest in your life.”

I am not too sure I want to discover more of who I am, but I would not mind doing a little manifesting—which is a term that seems to be thrown around a lot these days. Manifesting according to the Manifesting Your Dreams website is the “process to create what we want in our lives by bringing ideas and desires into physical form.”  Alrighty, then. According to Leeds, one of the ways to bring our ideas and desires into physical form is to cut and paste “images that correspond to the life you want” onto some poster board.

Anything that involves cutting and pasting is right up my alley. I can cut and paste with the best of them. So I gathered a bunch of magazines together and perused the pages, looking for things to manifest. Manifesting sounds like a lot more fun than organizing– maybe I can “manifest” my way to being organized.

Calling this exercise “simple, creative, inexpensive and powerful” Leeds believes that once the board is completed and you keep it in a prominent place, you will be inspired to go in the direction that it leads you. So, just where is my dream board leading me?

It immediately becomes apparent that I am not averse to the good life and all it entails.  I have a picture of a house which is a little smaller than a mansion, and a little bigger than one really needs; a Mercedes-Benz logo; a pile of cash with the word millionaire placed strategically across it; and a fine bottle of wine. But if you fear I may become a bit crass, I do have a whole corner of my poster board devoted to family life, home and good food; another area dedicated  to good health; and smack dab in the middle, a picture of my dream “ home” office, organized to the ‘nth’ degree.

The words “giving” , “smiles”, “friendships”, “laugh out loud”, “imagination”, “logic and emotion” (a seemingly weird and at odds combo), “gratitude” and “live life graciously” are dotted among the pictures.  The whole right hand lower corner of my dream board has a number of travel destinations listed that I want to manifest (how I am going to go to Hawaii without boarding a plane though is a mystery to me).

The centre of the dream board features a quote by Humbert Wolfe, a poet who was born in 1885. He said; “Listen! The wind is rising and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evening, now for October eves.” This celebrates my love of all things autumn, and of course there is a picture of my favourite fruit of all—the pumpkin. (I know I cannot manifest Fall all the time, but that is what gets me through our hot, humid summers.)

There is also a picture of a drawer, with neat little compartments, and everything in its place. This denotes my need for organization. Under it are these word by the graphic artist, M.C. Escher: “We adore chaos because we love to produce order.”

Creating a dream board is introspective, and it took me months to do it because I had to talk myself out of thinking that it was silly. But it appeals to my sense of order, and if something comes of all this manifesting stuff, all the better. (Tried to talk my husband into doing a dream board, but his heart was just not in it. Guess he is not as enamoured with cutting and pasting as I am.)

Control Freak

Meyerheim: Three children playing "hide a...

Meyerheim: Three children playing “hide and seek” in a forest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was written before I started on my official quest to become organized–

Enlightenment can be a painful thing. You would think that once you have come to a realization about something then that particular clarification would give you insight into how to tackle the problem at hand.  But what if that problem is you?

I am reading yet another book on how to get organized. This one is called “One Year To An Organized Work Life” by Regina Leeds. I am hoping to find a filing system that will work for my particular situation, since the one I have now, which I like to term “hide and go seek” is not working for me. I know that when you put something in a file, label it, then file it, you should be able to find it again. I know this. I am just trying to find out why this theory is not working for me.  Hence I am the problem here. (I think the disconnect comes somewhere after “label it” and before “file it”.)

But solving that dilemma is not what caught my attention. The book is meant to be read over a year’s time, and we are supposed to take the full year to put the actions suggested into play. Of course that is not how I am using the book—I am reading it from front to back in as short a time as possible and taking notes (not copious or I would never get through it) to remind myself of the points I should enact.

I skipped forward to the month of June for some reason and came across the chapter called “Dealing With Difficult People”. Since I generally work alone this does not particularly apply to my situation, but then I came across the section called “When the Difficult Person Is You”.  Thinking this might have some intelligence I might gain wisdom from, I read the section, and winced, then chuckled. The author was once an actress and found herself in a personal “situation” that makes her point. She says,

“I learned a big lesson many years ago when I was a professional actress. I was in a play and there was a lull in the dialogue. It was probably a  heartbeat in time, but when you’re on stage it feels like ten minutes of dead air. Just as I smugly thought to myself, ‘I wonder who the idiot is who has the next line?’ I realized I was the idiot. I did not have to jump in and cover for another actor. I had to cover for myself.”

Now admit it, something similar has probably happened to you.  I think we all have, with a tad bit of self-assured smugness thought that someone else was responsible for a gaffe when in fact we were the culpable party. I know I have been guilty of this, and I would share my experiences with you, but they are a bit too embarrassing. Over the years my gaffes have waned somewhat, not because with age comes wisdom, but with age comes “been there, done that, don’t want to do it again.”

The key, the author says, to dealing with difficult people is to recognize them for who they are. Since we generally know ourselves pretty well this should not be too gruelling. She categorizes difficult people into three groups: the naysayers, the control freak, and the underminer. If I were honest, I would have to say that I am a closet control freak. Now if you got a look at my house right now, it would be apparent to you that my control freakiness is not in how neat I keep my house, (though deep inside I am a really neat person, and someday I am going to let that person out).

I try to keep my control freak under wraps, but she comes out when people (read: my husband John) wear their work boots in the house—you know the kind—with deep ridges that hold tons of dirt, then when you walk the dirt is deposited in the ghost of the footsteps left behind? I like sand on the beach, not in my carpet. Sometimes I do not complain. Sometimes I just get the vacuum out, but there are other times…well, we won’t go there.

Taking Up the Gauntlet

It has only been a little over three months since I have written for Organizing -101 so I thought I should take up the gauntlet and let you know what has transpired over the last little while.

I have cleaned up the initial mess in the dining room—some of it has been replaced with more files and things to be filed, some of it has been recycled, and… well, some of it has not yet been dealt with. But the good news is–I have found the top of my dining room table.

From the book, “One Year to an Organized Life” by Regina Leeds I have gleaned a few hints, a few bits of wisdom if you will, that may help guide me on my way to a somewhat organized life.  I took a few notes from her first chapter and thought I would share a few of them with you. They are supposed to give me “inner peace”.

Without further ado, here are the first four:

1. Make your bed every day. (Sounds easy, but for some, like me, who think that we are only going to get back in the bed at the end of the day, it seems like a waste of time. But I understand the wisdom—and if making my bed is going to give me inner peace then I will give it a whirl. Some of you reading this will be appalled to find out that some people do not make their bed every day—I am not one of those people, but maybe by the end of this exercise I will be.

2. Walk at least 5 minutes. (No problem—I have this under control.)

3. Find a routine.

4. Okay – they seem to get harder from here on in: Come up with a blueprint for Achieving your Goals by

(i) Figuring out what you want

(ii) Ascertaining steps to bring to fruition

(iii) Scheduling these steps in a logical way

And last but not least:

(iv) set a target date and a plan to reach the target date

Okay, I am going to work on the “make the bed every day” commandment for a while, and figure out what I want before I start ascertaining, scheduling, or finding a routine.

Bed Jump

Bed Jump (Photo credit: jamesjyu)

In the meantime, I will leave you with these words from Joseph Campbell:

“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”