Here’s What a Sustainable Relationship with Your Home Looks LIke

One of my favorite teachers, Gay Hendricks, says that we live our life in one of four zones:

  • The Zone of Incompetence: I believe this is the uncomfortable place we ALL start, every time we begin to master a new skill. The temptation is to get STUCK, depressed, and stay in this zone.
  • The Zone of Competence: for me, it’s such a relief to get to this zone. A feeling of mastery grows as we realize we can do it well—most of the time!
  • The Zone of Excellence: In this zone we can even teach others how to do it, and we feel even more positive about our life.
  • The Zone of Genius: Now we’ve developed personal power—and we enjoy offering our own unique methods and programs to support others!

As I pondered Gay Hendricks ideas, and remembered moving up the Zones in my life, I realized that the homes in which I’ve lived and worked in have literally partnered with me to move me forward.  How?  Because I’ve consciously partnered, in sustainable ways, with THEM!

Here’s how you can create the same kind of conscious, sustainable relationship with your home:

  1. To move up from the Zone of Incompetence, make changes in your home that allow you to feel more PEACEFUL
  2. To move up from the Zone of Competence, make changes in your home that allow you to feel more POSITIVE
  3. To move up from the Zone of Excellence, make changes in your home that allow you to feel more personally POWERFUL


TO MOVE UP —> allow your home to help you feel more PEACEFUL!

tableWhen we start mastering something new, the Zone of Incompetence is a pretty uncomfortable place to be!  And when we are frustrated and short-tempered, it can be harder to make progress and move up into the Zone of Competence.

So, when I find myself in the Zone of Incompetence, I know cultivating inner peace will give me the compassion to forgive my mistakes and keep going.

To cultivate PEACE, find something to organize.  Usually, when I’m in the Zone of Incompetence, it’s not hard to find a messy surface!   And when I’ve spent an hour de-cluttering, my mind is more spacious and open to creativity and new ideas.

If you keep going with your de-cluttering projects, you are going to end up with a high-functioning home and workspace—which will give you that sense of inner peace!

Because when we’ve created order in our homes and workspaces, we consistently experience the calm, centered, congruent feelings that accompanies inner peace.  When our home and workspace embodies peace, we do, too. And when we embody peace, we more gracefully move up to the Zone of Competence.


TO MOVE UP —> allow your home to help you feel more POSITIVE!

home-officeAfter the clutter is gone, it is important to focus your attention on your big vision, your long term goals.  How?

Remove everything from your space that does not relate to or support that big vision.  Display reminders of your goals.  This is where Feng Shui can really help activate your intentions!

Cultivate a POSITIVE vision by creating an altar that activates your goals.  An altar is any item or grouping of items that alters—in a positive way—your mood and energy level.  It’s impossible not to be up-lifted when we are surrounded by images that anchor our intentions!


TO MOVE UP —> allow your home to help you feel more PERSONALLY POWERFUL!

excellenceHow can we allow our Genius to deliberately create a bigger vision for our lives, and for our work in the world?  Allow your home to help you embody your PERSONAL POWER!  Personal power is not power over others. It’s personal mastery of your time, space, money, attention, energy.

To cultivate PERSONAL POWER, put yourself in the “command position” and surround yourself with ONLY those colors, textures, furnishings, accessories and symbols that make you feel powerful.  In the command position, your back is against a solid wall and you can easily see who is coming in the door.


TO STAY THERE: Celebrate — and Focus on Serving Others!

microphone_audience1When you get to this level, your focus will be on serving others in a bigger way. And, don’t be surprised if living in your Zone of Genius gets you started learning something new… and you find yourself back in the Zone of Incompetence.

Just look around for something to organize and the resulting inner peace will propel you up to the next zone!

This process really does work.  Back when my home was a mess, so was I.  I wasn’t able to manage my time or energy well.  I was depressed and unhappy.  But as I went through the process of getting rid of the clutter and creating sustainable systems, I changed.  I began to correspond to those changes, becoming first more peaceful, then more positive, then more empowered.

I would love to hear from those of you who are also experiencing the benefits of creating sustainable relationships with their homes!  Share you comments with us below.

Connecting The Dots: The Relationship Between Clutter and Emotion

itsnotthestuff_postIt’s more than just “the stuff” that’s the problem

If you have physical clutter in your home, you’ve probably experienced what I call “mental clutter.”  You’re so distracted by the piles, especially when you can’t find what you need, that it’s harder to focus and get things done.  


You may also have what I call “emotional clutter.”  You might feel shame, sadness, or depression because the rooms you live in don’t reflect your ideal.  These emotions sometimes correspond to negative emotions you felt during childhood.    


Here’s the truth:  physical, mental, and emotional clutter go together.  


And, their relationship may not be what you think.  Most people assume that they feel the shame and hold the limiting beliefs BECAUSE of the clutter.  But, it’s more complex than that.  


As Within, So Without

You see, the reverse is also true:  we have clutter because we’re holding onto limiting beliefs and negative emotions.  


In ADDITION to CAUSING mental and emotional “clutter,” the physical clutter is a mirror for that inner stuff we’re holding onto that isn’t serving us.  It’s a white flag waving, calling our attention to something that needs to be integrated and healed within.


What if the Clutter is Serving You, Somehow?

What if the clutter in your home is like a cold, trying to alert you, to motivate you to better self care?  


Experience teaches us that if we push our bodies too hard, ignoring it’s cries for help, the physical symptoms will intensify and become more serious. 


Perhaps the clutter in your home is trying to get your attention in a similar way.  


In my experience, it’s WAY harder to get rid of the physical clutter until you become aware that it’s trying to serve a powerful purpose for you.


My clients who are ready and willing to look squarely at this cause/effect and effect/cause between inner and outer clutter ALWAYS get their de-cluttering done faster, with more ease and grace.


What might your clutter be trying to get you to see? Tell us in the comment below or share your thoughts with us on our Transforming Space Transforming Self Facebook Page.