This Guest Post comes from Cathy LeHew at Abundance Organizing in Richmond, VA. Main Street Homes worked with Cathy and her team on a presentation to “Maximize your Kitchen” in October. Since then we’ve been huge fans of their organization skills and advice. Please enjoy Cathy’s post below:
A couple of days ago I was working with one of my favorite clients that has also become a dear friend. We began our work together two years ago, two days before Christmas. She was good friends of my neighbor/client/friend and called me in a panic. She had just moved into a new house, was partially unpacked, and expecting family on Christmas.
During our first meeting, “Sheila” confided in me her history of trauma that contributed to her call for help. She was completely paralyzed by the process of unpacking her boxes of household goods she had not seen for some time. She was one of those clients I just knew I had to help the first time we met. We managed to rearrange schedules to get her settled in enough for Christmas and I worked up until I jumped on a plane to visit my family.
As many of our sessions start, “Sheila” makes coffee and we sit and talk about what she wants to accomplish and go over questions that she needs some guidance on from me. “Sheila” and I were talking about how far she has come back to life in the past two years. I was surprised to learn that she still gets a little anxious before our session, but sitting down and talking (coaching) over coffee always settles her down.
Our “coffee chat” this session was about resolutions, planning, and setting goals. As we talked, I felt she was still thinking about last year. This had me thinking about so many things I didn’t finish last year that I shared with her. My suggestion to her was the same one I had to make to myself, forgive yourself for what you didn’t finish and then you can move forward. She felt so relieved afterward and we easily moved forward. It was a wonderful way to finish another busy week full of many accomplishments for my clients.
On Saturday I was thinking of what we discussed the day before. I decided if I was going to talk the talk, it was time to walk the walk and listen to my own advice. I needed to forgive myself for not getting some projects done at home and become my own client. It seems that so many times, whether we are an organizer, wife, or mother; we take care of everyone else but ourselves.
It was time for some self-care and become my client on my third floor. I lost most of my meager storage and closet space with the new central air conditioning unit and duck work. By new, I mean six months ago–slacker. As I said, everyone else comes first and now I’m paying dearly for it. I already purged several items and they were still sitting in the middle of the room.
It was time to get tough with myself and move forward. I can’t tell you how many times I had to say to myself, “you will not be a size 2 again anytime soon….let it go.” Anyway, if I ever make it back to that size, I want some retail therapy to reward myself. Needless to say, after 2 truck loads to Goodwill, I feel great. It was such a relief to check that off the list, forgive myself for not getting it done earlier, and move on. I feel like I just lost 10 pounds.
I shared my progress of the third floor with my client and she moved me even more with this reply. “Good Job. I hope you see yourself as a beautiful woman with interesting little physical changes that can be played up and integrated as a reflection of the Wisdom Keeper, educator, present moment life appreciator you are! If you ever can’t, just put on lipstick, look in mirror, and remind yourself you’re in a cutting edge field (I can say that… It has saved my life!)”
Sometimes our clients actually inspire us. I LOVE this job! Thanks “Sheila”.
To learn more about Cathy and Abundance Organizing visit their website.