Friday, September 4, 2009

Before and After (Part One)

Well, I’m back from my travels!

With every adventure I come back changed, and this was no exception.

This time, I flew from Birch Bay to LA to help Amy get her life back from the clutter that had overtaken her apartment (Amy is a friend, coaching client, and part of my Shaklee business organization). I don’t normally do this, but there was an urgency about it that just made it feel right.

I took with me the inspiration of my sister’s re-energizing of my own home (see previous postings), and couldn’t wait to re-create the experience with Amy too. Now there are plenty of places who will come in to clean your house, or organize your files, or re-do your interior design. But I wanted to do something more….I wanted to transform Amy’s place into an orderly oasis of peace and spaciousness, so that she could BE who she truly wanted to BE in the world.

But the sheer amount of “stuff” choking Amy’s apartment was truly daunting, and it took 2 separate trips to make a dent in it. But Amy was courageous…she pushed on with me, even when it was obvious she wanted to quit.

Afterwards, she wrote me about her experience:

Once upon a time, there was a gal who let her living space get so full of stuff that it got out of control. It seemed to reach a point of no return. Friends and relatives tried to help. Each would make a dent, but in the end, the task was too much. One day, along you came, with the patience of a saint and a positive attitude that would not quit.

In spite of my feelings of failure, you were able to inspire me by pointing out my strengths. Every time I completed a task, you reinforced me and taught me to appreciate myself for what I did.

Where others might cave in and give up, you made it into a fun game, fitting puzzle pieces together one by one. Like the Rubik’s Cube, where certain color blocks are moved out of the way so that others can return to their matching color line, you helped me find space where there seemed to be none, categorize obstacles, move them out of the way and strategically put them back where they belong.

I loved how you put “Whistle While You Work” into practice, by encouraging me to put on my favorite CD’s, making the work so much more enjoyable. To finally be able to unbury my piano from years of clutter and play it again is such a gift. Thank you for helping me to welcome the music back to my living space.

Words can only begin to describe my gratitude for your help to organize my life. Now it’s up to me to put this start to good use. If I begin to feel discouraged, I will always remember the way you encouraged me, and the good feeling that I got from our work together will return.

Thank you! -- Amy

What was the secret that kept me going? Visualizing the “After” photo, even when we were still mired in the swamp of “Before”.

And isn’t that what any great effort does…takes such a clear shot of “What Can Be” that it pulls us forward into it, despite “What Seems to Be Now”?

Perhaps she’ll let me post Before and After photos sometime, and the fun of that would be in the celebration of transformation…the hurrah for change…the recognition of the freedom that she always knew was within her. This is how Life should be Lived!

Yet, for all my enthusiasm for her triumph, I was shocked by what was to come straight at me…and was completely unprepared for my OWN transformation.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Before and After (Part Two)


  1. Yay, Sister! Isn't is amazing how one human being can lift up another. That is what we are here on earth for, and you are doing just that. You have magnified your call, your service was in your action. Not only has it touched Amy, but you are feeling how it reflects back to you, how it is changing your perspective. I am so glad for Amy. And happy for you as well. Hugs-your Sis :)

  2. Thanks, Sis! Just wait until the next installment, too! More change on the horizon...