Genius Tool: The Low-Energy Options List
Everyday is different. #understatement #amiright
I want you to
1. Know about and
2. Consider adopting
Your own version of a Low Energy List.
What is that? Essentially, it’s pre-thinking for your future self who may not have the energy, drive, or enthusiasm you do on a more-regular day. This is a helpful little list of small tasks or ideas for Future-YOU who may be sick, who’s been blindsided by lots of feelings, or who is experiencing some low-grade resistance when “nothing sounds good”.
Here are a few of mine:
There’s also a For Business version of this list. Yup. And I use that one too.
Feeling better can feel like its own job. Having a little list of pre-thought-out options is a gift. Plus, if you can allow yourself to look at it, and even do 1-2 things, you can create a little bit of momentum and shift some energy as well. Small things are enough on tough, sick, or low-energy days.
No such thing as an unimportant day
I love the quote by Alexander Woollcott:
“There’s no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.”
And. It’s really tough to remember this… or even feel this when you’re operating inside a season of grief or heartbreak. It might even feel annoying, this quote.
I hear clients share that they are scared or mad that “life is passing them by”... Definitely understand the feeling and empathize… it can be so baffling to not know how to disengage and allow for even a few minutes to feel something else.
Something less charged. A feeling that is calmer, more peaceful… I’ve even wished for feeling less intense… I think I’ve prayed to feel “more neutral” about many losses… just so I could feel like I could have a break.
The thing is, It’s time that goes by, impersonally and no matter what…
This is a real path. In your real life.
Even the painful moments are part of each important day.
For those who are ready to step onto the path of more intentional healing, more specific support around reclaiming a sense of aliveness, this is your invitation to reach out directly and schedule your free Connection Call with me now.
This next year is about…
This whole new year is going to include a lot of info and details about mind management, feelings, getting quiet, being with yourself, and writing. I’ll also be sharing and talking about my new program: Going Inside.
Consent, Informed Decisions, and Management
Since we’re off to a new start these first few days inside of 2023, I want you to see where I’m going.
This way, you have full knowledge - and you get to choose - whether or not you’d like to stay on in receiving these weekly visits.
Your answers, for your own dear self, are inside of you. Always.
Your consent is key.
And I get it that you need info about what’s coming in order to make informed decisions. Whether it’s a purchase, or whether it’s a free content bit… Informed choice and consent is also about management too.
You’re always invited. I’d love for you to stay on and be in my space.
And, if you’re not feeling it, based on what I’ve mentioned is coming, make it an empowered Unsubscribe! Feel awesome about it! - I only have love and hope for you - and maybe we hang out in different spaces together in future. For fun. And for a full life.
For those who are ON and staying tuned for these weekly visits:
HURRRRAYYYYY! Happy New Year!!!
And, buckle up.
🙌Let’s do this thing! 🙌
It’s not about “figuring it out”
I was just working with someone who feels an intense need to “figure out why it’s so painful”. This is tough. But it’s also important to tell some more truth around this line of thinking.
And similar to a brain wanting to “figure out” overeating, over-drinking, or over-spending, it’s scared and stalling. It’s not wrong or bad to do this… it’s a coping mechanism because it feels so real, the need to figure out…buy time… determine… but days are going by without the critical do-ing… or the critical feeling, is a better way to say it.
Figuring out won’t release emotional pain. Won’t unpack what’s inside the body and the heart. Will not help lighten a heart. Feeling the feelings will.
I urge you to reconsider your willingness to stay in the familiar discomfort and sorrow. Even for a few moments at a time each day.
Ask yourself, “Am I willing to try something utterly new and unknown, like feeling this… without having to figure it out?”
I’m eager to know what comes up… and am here with support.
At the ready, with real tools. Here for you.
If you’re still with me on this, allow me to ask:
Is it possible you’ve been in your head too long or too much?
1. Certainly, if you have headphones or earbuds, the podcast is a quiet tool. When you give yourself a few minutes to gain new concepts, insights, or even perspective, you can create a shift in feeling and/or outlook. You can also repeat, regenerate, and recreate, or increase those shifts.
Ask yourself, “How else can I apply this?” or “Where else is this message relevant in my life?” Each episode has some or many options… delivered with a gentle approach and even some laughter.
2. Consider engaging in a writing practice. Pen to paper, old school, 100%. For a few minutes. Daily if you can. Imperfectly? Yes! Absolutely. It can look like picking up your pen and making a solitary mark on a page. This can count as showing up, especially if you’re feeling totally resistant to the idea at all.
You may be thinking something along the line of, “I can’t possibly add one more thing to my day,” or, “It’s not that important that I make time for myself or my feelings, my healing or some peace… I’m fiiiiine.”
I would offer that maybe you need time for care and settledness even more, if those are your initial kinds of thoughts.
Feelings come to be felt and then they get to move on once we’ve experienced them. The thing is, we’re encouraged to not feel… much to our detriment. We get more wound up, tighter, and pressure ourselves more. We can’t get to peace or healing with pressure. We get to peace and healing with presence.
And it can be simple. And it doesn’t have to take all day, or an hour, or even half-an hour… it can take a few minutes. And it can count. When you count it.
I have 2 brand new options for you below, in addition to the latest podcast episode. Scroll on down and know that you are invited to either and both: Pen-to-Paper Daily and Going Inside.
It’s worth the following reminder: Memories can create missing or longing. It can feel tender. Sore. Bittersweet. Just plain sweet. Memories can take a moment in your day. Feelings can last a moment (or just a few moments) at a time.
There may be more memories that come forward to be noticed during winter holiday months. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s a time for traditions, either practiced or recalled. You notice who is new in your world or at your table… and who you miss seeing too.
Memories are a conductor of feelings. Meaning, feelings of all kinds flow in on memories… good, painful, or both.
Could it be that the feelings that come in thru memories have both love to be felt and grief to be released? You get to keep what you want to keep. Allow your feelings by observing them and trust that there may be pain that is ready to go, to be transformed or transmuted… and to allow that to happen too.
Allowing Feelings by Observing Them
When we resist feeling the feelings - no matter what they are …
(truly, no matter what they are)
We prolong our own season of emotional pain.
How to Allow
One way to allow the feelings to come up is to observe them. The key here is to observe the feelings and thoughts that come up as though they were a bird that you can see outside of a window.
Your inner dialog may sound something like, “Oh, I’m noticing anger.” Or, “Looks like I’ve got some sadness at this moment.” Feel free to include some expletives if you’d like, but noootice first. “Oh, this is here, in this one moment.”
If you can offer yourself specifics of what you are noticing without judgment and without worry, this can feel like a relief.
Allow it. Let yourself know that you’ll allow those feelings. Stay with them without making yourself wrong for feeling them.
Allow your feelings by observing them.
Feel the feelings so they can be released.
I tend to not have opinions about the weather, other than, “this is what we’re working with today.” Sometimes, and for some topics, not having an “it’s good” or “it’s bad” outlook can be a relief. And it can free up mental and emotional space for people, places, and things I can actually impact, direct, encourage, and support.
Are there opinions or perspectives about circumstances you cannot change?
Weather or otherwise? Would you like to spend time on other topics? Or with people in your life who are right here, right now?
How would you like to spend your time this upcoming and final month of 2022?
It Counts When You Count It
Well, listening to the podcast could be considered a way to work together too.
If you follow my personal Facebook page, you’ll catch my Weekly Video Visits. It’s another way to work together. 100%.
And, absolutely, YES, 1x1 work is another way to work together too.
Where I am all in.
And you are all in on your healing too. (By the way, this 1x1 option is the only paid option I have so far… the cost for the others? Your time.)
So, paid 1x1 work together is not the only way to work together.
All of your effort. All of your heart. All of your yearning and all of your actions (huge and tiny) …All of it counts toward your healing.
It counts. Oh yes it can.
It always counts when you count it.
This is sometimes what happens when a person in your life dies and accumulate, like things get accumulated from their place, from their life, from their house, from their garage into yours. And it may be that grief has such that you wake up kind of, you know, a year, 18 months, two years after this death. And you realize all this stuff is now with you and you don't know what to do.
There may be things that you want. There may be things that you're ready to let go of. There may be things that you feel bad about letting go of... what do you do with it? This is what we're talking about with Katrina Hamilton today on the heart healing from loss podcast. So glad you're here. So I'd like to welcome Katrina Hamilton of Katrina Consults to the show. Katrina! Welcome!
Thanks so much for having me. I'm glad to be here.
Really delighted you're here. Now I want to jump right in and ask what is grief clutter?
So grief clutter is the stuff that comes with the grieving process. We think a lot about bereavement. This could be actually any kind of grief. I see it a lot with past jobs that the stuff you have left over from your old job is very common for grief clutter, but specifically when a loved one dies you know, there's the practical concern of maybe clearing out their house and an estate and everything.
But what tends to happen is that individuals close, loved ones, come home with a couple of boxes. You know, maybe it's just, you know, two or three, maybe it's 20.
And they bring those into their home. They're in the middle of the grieving process, they don't really know what to do. They can't imagine how they could possibly process, you know, grandmas prized, possessions, or whatever it is.
And it just sort of sits there for a very long time. And it to kind of take on a life of its own as far as the weight that it brings into the home. Just being there, even, even if it's, you know, in the garage, in the attic, in a closet, whatever it's almost certainly not in a state that anyone decided to have it be in. It is, it is probably in the boxes that happened to be around when you were cleaning out the house and you brought them all home.
Especially if you had to travel, it's like, you just got home from like being away for a week. You know, you're scrambling, they get pushed away. And then they just sit there and they accumulate over the years. The there's sort of a mental baggage that they start to build on their own, even though they don't physically grow at all. So that's kind of what I think of most when I think of a grief clutter.
Amazing. So yeah, these like to just sort of paint the visual picture could be in the garage, like you were saying, probably not the most sturdy boxes, especially if it's like at the last hour last sort of like day or days at the house, before it gets prepared to sell that kind of stuff. There was one instance I I'd love to just share.
It was my grandmother's passing. And there were a lot of things that were just getting rid of it was the house that my mom had been in for a lot of years, the house that I knew my grandmother to be in, like her only house I ever knew of. And we were just kind of down to the last couple of bowls of Pyrex like mixing bowls and kitchen utensils and stuff that I already had.
But my mom was also really like, do you want to take this? Do you want to take this? Like, she really wanted to be sure that it was getting to a useful place or a family member or something like that.
And the intention was, you know, can we, can we keep grandma's stuff or my mom's stuff? Like, are you sure you have a use for it? Like really trying to keep it inside of the, either the family or its usefulness. Do you find this in your with your clients as well?
Yeah. So when, when we finally do start to sort out the grief clutter, you, you realize that in that, in that moment, that sort of like hot feeling of grief that happened right after someone died. It's not a great decision making time.
And I tell people like, it's not going to be, and you shouldn't feel bad that it wasn't, that's not really what it's for. You know, that was for you, for your family, for processing those feelings, the fact that you maybe grabbed everything in sight, like that's a perfectly reasonable, valid response.
Rather than trying to, to actually think about what to do and you end up with a lot of stuff where it's like, I grabbed all the stuff. That means something to me. And now there's also just like perfectly usable HomeGoods here. I, I feel like they should go somewhere.
And so you end up with those two. And so what happens is that time has passed now. I always tell people, I recommend that the ideal time for grief clutter, like going through it is actually a little more than a year after they died.
Which is kind of the only time in my work where I specifically tell people to wait because anything before that, and you're really too close to, to the death. You're too close to that. That hot grief that happens right away. But after a year, you know, you've now had all the seasons, all the holidays without them.
And your, your kind of picture of them, the memory that you're going to keep forever now that they're gone is a little bit clearer. And so you open up the box and you start to realize that, you know, my memory of, you know, my mom does not involve these measuring cups. You know, my, my picture of her is not this particular, you know, set of Tupperware.
It's, you know, these are just things that, that we, that we happened to take while we were there, because we didn't know what to do. And so, but you need that kind of space to, to really understand, you know, what did I put in here that actually means something to me.
And before you really like handle any of those grieving feelings that loss, sometimes we don't know what means, you know, what it means to us. Like it could be the mixing bowl that we always made cookies in together, or that especially bad brownie batch that happened and exploded. Like that could be the memory that you're keeping, but we don't always know until we kind of go through our, our feelings first.
I'm, I'm thinking of one, one particular client that he had all these like kind of crystal candy dishes that his mother always had on, you know, the, the coffee table and he loved peanut M and M's. And so the sound of the like ring of the crystal lid coming off the bottom, which means that it's time to grab the peanut M and M's like, that is what meant something to him.
And when we were going through stuff, he had four of these dishes you know, this is not going anywhere in his house. It's not his style or anything, but it certainly reminds him of his mother. And so we actually did, was I just like one by one lifted the lid off of all of them to like, get that like thing of the crystal coming off.
And he was able to tell me like that one, that one sounds like mom. And, and it can be stuff like that where it's like, you're, you're trying to look for like, what is it? You know, these crystal dishes remind me of that moment, that sound. And so that's the one we kept in. The other ones could go away.
Because that, in a sense just brings it right back. I mean, that's what we're talking about is like that, like that loving memory of mom in his case, like that's so gorgeous and like, wow, we don't need all four to do that. We can achieve that.
Now this brings up since I mentioned, like going from four to one, can we talk a little bit about like minimizing and like the whole tidy thing that happened with Marie Kondo and our, like, when I've talked to you before, it really hadn't been about like, make sure that we're going down to this like, type of aesthetic that is minimalist and that's not what you do, correct?
Right. I would say that it's not actually what Marie Kondo does either. It is, it is what it seems like she's doing sometimes, but but it's not actually the message that she promotes and she even has like, w it was always funny to me when people got on her case about books, because she even uses books as an example in her book that like, some people want a lot of books.
That's great for them. And I feel like with the, with the grief clutter, it's similar, which is that you got to look what she advocates for. And I totally agree with this is you know, what is the area of your life that you're getting joy from? And that's where you should invest your valuable space resource that you have.
And so, you know, like going back to this crystal example, it's like, he does not need to spend space in his house for four crystal dishes when one is what he really needs, especially because it's just going to go into a glass case to be admired nine, be used.
It's not like he's going to break it. Like, that's not a concern. And so that's what you have to look for because what happens and I see this a lot is that it's like, well, grandpa had a coin collection and everybody remembers grandpa has having the coin collection.
So when he died, everybody took home a bunch of coins because there were so many of them and now we all have so many coins. And the thing is, is that no one else collected coins. It was just grandpa. You don't need a collection to remind you that that was what he did. So you got to look at it and say like, how many, you know, how many of these coins, and it's probably not this, you know, entire giant pickle jar worth that I took, you know what, what would actually really remind me of grandpa, especially cause if you go through them, you'll start to realize that, you know, some of them are like, you know, just cheap, old, you know, things that don't really mean anything to you, whatever, but you can go through and really look and say like, okay, so what, what do I personally think is cool or what reminds me of him?
And you start to go through and you might end up with five maybe which to me then turns into something a lot more precious than the full jar was because now it's, it's not just I, you know, crap ahead, 10,000 coins. And I walked home with 800 of them, and now they're in a jar. They in a plastic bag in my hall closet.
It's, you know, these are, these are the ones that I found in his collection that I really loved and make me really happy. And they make me think of him. And now I can take that small number and say, keep them, you know, maybe by my desk, even if I want to see them all the time or put them in a display cabinet, or even put them in, you know, a cute little box and keep it in the hall closet.
So that's the other thing that I tell people is that, you know, we talked about how grief clutter, you know, one of the sort of signature identifiers is that it's in a box. It never meant to be in it's, you know, whatever, whatever we left the house with is, is what it's still probably in.
Sometimes the stuff that we take from our loved ones that we want to keep, we do just want to store, you know it's not, it's not our style, it's not our use. Maybe we're keeping them for like our kids to be able to see maybe we were imagining that we're going to use them some later time in life and we just want to hold on to them. That's totally fine.
The thing that is not fine is having them in this sort of uncared for way, because that's what creates the guilt of how I'm treating, you know, the stuff this important cared for stuff.
I'm just letting it sit in this old box. That's probably going to get wet and mold damage, and that it's all going to be destroyed. You know, you gotta take it out of that and say, okay, I want to store this. I'm going to even just get, you know, an ordinary plastic bin that you got from target. It doesn't really matter, but it's a choice that I made to put it into this thing and put it into this area of storage in my house on purpose.
And that's really the process that I think is most important for people. And the thing that I encourage them when I realized that we're encountering a piece of grief clutter, because sometimes they'll, they'll come at us individually. I had a client recently that it's like, I pull out this vase and I'm like, what's this? And she just kind of sighs.
Because it's, you know, it was basically the, the last gift that her mother-in-law gave the two of them before she died. And so it's this weird thing that like doesn't quite mean anything, but it means a lot at the same time. And so it was just a lot to deal with, and it just kept being shoved in different corners.
And the problem there is the not making the decision, not making the choice of either we're going to have this out, we're going to have it in a box or we're going to have it leave the house. It's, it's leaving that on thought of an undecided that creates guilt about how we're treating our loved one's possessions. And therefore it feels like how we're treating their memory and to them.
So clarity is kind of a goal just around, like, it doesn't matter what I choose to do with it, but how, how am I going to do it? So, you know, like, let's take care of it, let's put it in the bin. I can actually see what's in there. It's not in some anonymous box that, you know, like, wow, what if it accidentally gets tossed?
And I didn't really have that decision already, like, would that compound some guilt or like feelings of like, dang, I wish I didn't do that.
And the thing is, is that even before that happens, a lot of people it's like, it's a weight that they live with of worrying that that's gonna happen. You know, it's because it's like, they know, they know that, you know, my mother's like lace whatevers, you know, her that, that beautiful, like bed set that she made herself or something is in one of those boxes that I took home from her house and it's in the garage and the longer it stays there, the more likely it is to get mold or get mobs or whatever.
And I know that's possible. I know that every single day I'm risking that, and that weight is huge. Because even though it's, it's just S you know, theoretically small practical problem, like I said, it, it feels like that's how I'm treating my loved one to have it be there. And that really, really sits heavy on people.
Mm well, also I've noticed, that if they don't know how they're gonna feel like around grief, and they may not feel like they have time to go into, it's not that they don't have time to like, take care of a box it's they don't have time to like, go through and discover how they're going to feel when they see that thing again. Exactly. Right. Like, am I going to be on done with that if I open that box?
And, and that's actually, I would say another thing that I see most often, and I think part of the reason that people find it more helpful to do it when I'm there because I'm kind of forcing the issue and, and making them deal with this and look at this what happens is, so I said, you know, I don't encourage people to go through the box, you know, in the first year.
But the thing to keep in mind is that the longer it stays in, in that condition. And however, it came home, the longer it stays there, not going through the more you'll build a relationship with that box that isn't accurate. Because what you'll, what you'll have in your head is a memory of the most difficult decision that's in that box that you, that you knew at the time you could make.
And that's why you didn't make it in that moment. And it was it, you know, something about like, so let's say this is like, grandmother's silver. And so, you know, it's really valuable, you know, it meant a lot to her, but you're kind of like, is that really for my style? Am I ever going to use fancy silver? I'm not sure.
And that was an impossible decision to make at the time. Totally reasonable. And you know, that that's in the box, there's a bunch of other stuff in that box that is plastic you know, Tupperware that she got from Walmart. And you know, other like photographs of people that you don't recognize and just like other things that actually, aren't very hard for you to deal with. They would have been hard at the time, but they won't be hard now, but because your memory of that box is all around that one really difficult decision.
It feels like everything in the box is going to be difficult. And if there's more than one box, it feels like every single box is just as hard as the hardest decision. And the longer, the longer the boxes stay that way unlooked at. And the longer you put it off, the more it's going to feel like the decision is really big. It's really difficult. And every single inch of what I kept from my loved one is that difficult. And that's why it's going to be such an impossible thing to do.
Much overwhelm. Like, I just feel like it's like the snowball that like becomes an avalanche of potential emotion. And that frankly sounds like there's more of a relationship with the stuff that they don't want to deal with than there is with the memory of the person that they loved.
Oh, and I love the way you phrase that too, because that is 100%. What, what starts to happen is you build a relationship with the stuff that is different than the relationship you had with the person. And so while you have spent all of this time healing from that grief and loss and defining for yourself what your new relationship is, because you still have a relationship, even with someone who's not here anymore.
But you've, you've figured that out, you've, you've processed it. You've been going through your life. You're starting to get better, but you haven't had any of that work with you in the stuff you and the stuff are in this very stuck place that is not changing, and nothing's getting better. It's only getting worse. You're probably building some resentment as well. So your relationship with the stuff is getting worse as the relationship with the person gets better.
And so it just, it, it feels like you said kind of impossible thing to tackle even when it's very likely that it's not like if you, if you actually did it, it wouldn't be as bad as it seems like it's going to be. And I think, like I said, that's like when, when I show up and kind of force the issue, people ha you know, stop making excuses.
And they're like, well, you know, Katrina's here. I hired her for this. So this is, I guess what we're doing. And that's when they realized this is not actually as bad as they expected it to be.
Right. Oh, that's exciting. Hey, I'd like to go to back to that grandpa's coin collection in the pickle jar example, because, you know, depending on the relationship and this may happen, this may be something you're seeing a lot in your practice as well.
Like even if grandpa is like the biggest baddest coin collector in the world a relationship with a grandfather that doesn't have anything to do with a coin collection, let's say, like it had more to do with the pickle jar than it did with the coins. Like, what if I just want to keep the pickle jar? And I feel bad that he was like all about the coin collecting, but I don't have any reason or enthusiasm or memory value that has to do with his coin collection.
What do I like? Is it okay to just keep the pickle jar? Because we may pick us that one summer. And that was awesome.
And, and I love that you bring that up too, because that's, the other thing is you know, the person who, whose who's gone, you know, their style is not your style and they never expected it to be pro hopefully, probably not in life. You know, you're two different people and they always knew that. And it's not, it's not your job to maintain their house after they're gone, it's your job to maintain their memory.
And the only part of their memory that you really have is your memories of them. So whatever memories you have of them, whatever objects help with that or cement that, or make you happy, those are the ones you want to keep. And a really important thing to keep to that. I love about that example specifically too, is that the coins might be monetarily quite valuable depending on what kind of collector he was and the jar is not.
And that doesn't matter because something that I, I usually don't say it, this bluntly to someone's face, but in general, this is the point I'm trying to get across objects. Don't actually have objective value. Objects have value to people whatever value they have to you. You know, if you, if you think about like you know, if you live in a condo, a lawnmower is not valuable.
Yes. Technically it's valuable to some people, but it's not valuable to you if you don't care about coins, but you care about the jar, the jar is valuable and the coins are not, and it doesn't matter how much the person thought about them or how much the outside world might think about them. The point is you're trying to preserve a memory and a relationship. And so, whatever it is that we'll do that, that's what you keep.
And whatever it is that doesn't do that specifically, if it may be even harms it. So that's another thing that sometimes people will they'll feel, they'll feel kind of indebted to keep certain things. And when we really start talking about it and examining it, we realized that this is not actually the part of their loved one that they liked or made them happy. This is actually kind of a bad memory.
And you know, it's, it's okay to keep that kind of stuff. If you feel like it represents a certain amount of growth or history, like, there's something about that that does feel good and solid, but if all it's bringing up is negativity or resentment or sadness or whatever, and there's no real positive benefit, you feel like you're getting from that.
You don't need to keep those, those items. I'm just like, I wouldn't recommend you keep them in your own stuff. You don't need to keep someone else's stuff that makes you sad. Basically.
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Yeah. So there's some permission going on in like, kind of the work that you do around, like, yeah, this doesn't go with what your stuff is, and that's not the purpose of it. Isn't for it to go aesthetically or design wise or whatever. It's like, how does it make you feel? And what does it sort of like bring up for you?
And you have to ask yourself to, you know, assuming you had a good relationship with this person that you love them, and they love you.
Is there, is their dying wish for you really, for you to keep something that is a burden that that doesn't make you feel good, that is a big waste of time that is expensive to maintain? Like, are they really gonna want that for you? Especially when, you know, for all, you know, they really understood that. It's like, yeah, this is just my coin collection. I just do it for fun.
You can throw it all on a river for all I care, you know, depending on whether or not you have ever, ever even talked to the person about it. You know, you can imagine that if you had a good relationship that they're like looking down on you being like, oh no, don't get rid of my stuff.
Even if it makes you unhappy, please, please keep it. And the fact of the matter is if you had a bad relationship with them and you're like, actually, while you don't know my mother-in-law, she was terrible. And she would have definitely gotten mad at me for getting rid of her stuff. There's a certain degree to which you don't need to be in charge of holding on to a bad relationship with a dead person.
You know, that's not really benefiting you either. And it's just kind of it's reminding you of all of that. Person's worst traits, which is also not a great way to memorialize someone or honor, right.
Or, you know, spend time in your day.
Or heart, not a good use of your life, and it's not benefiting the debt at all.
Right, right. Oh, that's so good. So Katrina, if there's like some tips that you had for people who are maybe looking to say, they're not in sort of the Seattle area and you can't come over what would you recommend for the folks who are looking to just sort of like, get a sense of what this could be like for them to kind of look inside some of those boxes that are really heavy emotionally?
So for starters, I mean, we talked about how it can be intimidating because it feels like overwhelming will take forever.
What I would say is set aside at least an hour, that you can kind of promise yourself, like I'm going to at least start looking for one full hour because that, that's an, that's a nice, healthy amount of space to really get into something and start looking for it. But it's not so overwhelming to imagine, you know, that I'm going to be doing this for the next week, if you can give, you know, normally when I come over and help someone we're working for like three to five or six hours, maybe total, but we're working on like a whole room.
We're not only working on these particular items. So if you can give yourself maybe one to two hours that you've really scheduled in your day and set aside then if you live with anyone, you should tell those people what you do what you're going to do and tell them what you would like from them.
Most likely either distance or comfort you know, depending on who they are and your relationship with them and what you're dealing with, it might be like, can you please just leave me alone for two hours so I can do this, or can you leave me alone, but don't go far away because I might come out crying and a mess and I'll want you there.
So just make kind of your expectation clear for the people in your house that like, this is, this is what I'm going to maybe need right now. Some other things to keep in mind when you talked about you don't need to rush through this. So like I said, if, if it's too close to it, if it still feels like really, really volatile, like don't do it right now. Wait, wait a little bit longer.
The other thing I'd say is sometimes when we're going through stuff we'll find these little ways to try to cheat ourselves out of it. And the most common one I see is I'm just going to go online real quick to see if I can buy this thing that I think I'm going to need to store it.
Like, like trying to go shopping online for like storage solutions is a great way to convince yourself that you're working when you're not. So avoid any sort of online research or purchases at all until you've given yourself some time to really go through everything. You know, you can make a little note that like, oh, I need to look for this. Because first of all, you don't actually know what you need until you're done looking through all your stuff.
So your needs might change and you know, you've wasted all that time looking for something, it turned out you didn't need or you need something different. But mostly it's so that you don't get sidetrack that you don't let yourself get us. Cause now, now you're on your phone and now you get a text message and now the entire hour is gone. And like, your husband comes in, he's like, oh, how was your mother's stuff? And you're like, oh, well, I opened up one thing and then I got sidetracked.
Right. I'm going to cook a four-course dinner now because now I really don't want to do it. Yeah.
So those are, those are kind of some of the things to, to keep in mind. And, and I'd sort of, I'd reiterate what we said at the beginning too, which is there's no bad choice to be made with anything that you find the, the choices, what matters.
So most likely either you're going to find something that you realize you have no emotional connection to at all anymore. And it just something that you took in the heat of the moment, you might not even remember doing it quite frankly.
And that can just go out of the house, you know, can go to Goodwill, whatever or you're going to find something that you actually really like. I mean, that's always kind of one of my first questions when it sounds like someone wants to keep something from a, a loved one is it's like, so should we put it out?
And actually do that, you know, you gave yourself an hour. So that's the other reason you give yourself that time so that you have time to actually take the thing and be like, okay, I want to display this in my home. I'm going to go get the hammer and the nail, and we're going to do it.
That's the kind of, that kind of sidetracking is fine when it's like, I'm actually going to try to put this up right now or put it out. And if you, if you ask yourself, like, do I want to put this on display? And the answer is no, actually I do not.
This is not something I want out of my home, but I don't want to get rid of it. That's when you start looking at, okay, so where do I want to store it? How do I want a storage that's that can be, you know, the, the end of that, that line there, but it's, it's probably going to be one of those.
The other thing I will say, and this will be kind of my other tip is a lot of times you'll find stuff where you can't make the decision because you realize that I need to ask my sister I need to check with my kids, you know, be, and, and I would also say, if you're doing this by yourself, try talking out loud to yourself because a lot of my clients come to all of their own conclusions on their own because they're explaining them to me.
And, and what I'm really doing is being the person that forces them to really articulate. And so it's like, they'll be going through why they kept it. And then they're like, I guess I just need to ask my sister, she wants this. And then text her right now. Like that is, that is another kind of distraction.
It's totally okay. Like if you realize that, like, I can't move forward on this until I get someone else's approval or okay. Or input, go ahead and reach out to them right now. Or, you know, put the thing in the spot. W'll, you'll take it to them next time you do whatever move you have to do to make it so that you're making that sort of proactive action because what'll happen.
I see it a lot is someone's already realized this and then put it back in the box. I'm not really thinking about the fact that it's like, well, my sister's not here. So I guess I can't, you know, possibly solve this problem. And they just sort of without meaning to they give up. And so if you do see something that you're like, well, I think I want to keep this because maybe my kids will want it.
You know, that's a really important one. Anytime you're like, maybe so-and-so will want to keep this, go ask them. Because it may not be the case. I actually helping my own family cloud some stuff for my grandma. I was talking to my mom and she had kept some things from my grandma specifically.
Cause she's like, well, I want to make sure that you and your sister have these items of grandma. And I'm like, mom, we have our own, like, we were also there at the house. We took our own boxes of stuff. Like we don't need duplicates. These are, do, you know, we already have ours. We don't need yours as well. And she didn't realize that she didn't realize that we already had our own mementos from our grandmother and that she was not in charge of keeping those for us.
Yeah, such great information, such like usable immediately. Wow. Well, what, what else would you like to share that I am completely forgetting to ask you about at this one?
I guess the only other thing I was thinking about when you suggested this topic and I kind of touched on this in the beginning is we've been, we've been talking a lot about bereavement type of grief but pretty much everything I've talked about today also happens with other kinds of grief.
And like I said a job, so someone who's retired or at least retired from a certain field of profession all of the time, you see the same thing where here's the box that I took from the office my last day there and brought it home and put it in the floor of my closet. And there it is sat for the last seven years.
And once again, the relationship with that box has grown because that box represents my entire career. And what you realize when you open it is that box is usually full of a bunch of paperwork.
That means nothing to you. You know, there's not really anything there it's, it's the same weighty feelings that we have with a deceased loved one that we have after a job loss, even a proactive, positive, happy one like retirement or the ending of any kind of relationship whether that's like a divorce or just, you know, cross-country move or something like that.
So all of these feelings that come up and the same strategies for how to do it and the same reasons for why you avoid doing it, there are, they're all the same. It, it all presents in almost identical ways.
Thank you so much for your insight today, Katrina, it's really a gift that you are sharing what you've experienced and what you've learned and how you support people through, you know, organizing number one, but also through like finding those pieces in your house or in your garage that just can kind of have a lot more meaning and be a little more baffling as to how to deal with them.
Thank you so much if people thank you. Awesome. Please come back because we have more to talk about in terms of like kids and their stuff and what happens when they go through a grieving process, what can happen there and how stuff can change? I would love to bring you back. Will you come back?
Yes, I would love to. Okay, great.
Thank you. So if you're in the Seattle area or you think Katrina is totally your person for helping you with grief, clutter or digital organizing or regular organizing Katrina, how would you like people to get in touch with you?
So they can check out my website, which is Katrina consults.com, or they can email me directly email@example.com. And that's K a T R I N A spelled just like the hurricane. And I will say for in-person they need to be in the greater Seattle area, but for a lot of this work we can actually do a lot of the discussion, the discussion online and I've been a lot of very successful zoom meetings with people helping prep them for a difficult, you know, physical day of organizing their stuff on their own.
So that can be another thing if someone's just feeling really paralyzed by the task ahead of them, we can do, you know, a little half hour, hour long chat where we talk about what is, you know, what are they most afraid of? What are they most worried about and give them a plan, which is what most people are lacking is an actual plan for, how am I going to tackle this? What's my day going to look like? So I've had a lot of help, a lot of success doing that.
Is a debrief also like a possibility after the fact for those.
Depending on the client. Sometimes it's like, they just need a plan and then they're off on their own. And I might just, you know, text or email them later to ask how it went and they'll send me a little picture or something. Other clients will do, you know, a once a month check-in for quite some time where we keep going back and I'll give them new homework and then ask them how you do on the last thing.
And so depending on what the client needs and how much work there is sometimes we, I love that like accountability of all. Now you have another meeting with Katrina and she's going to ask you if you did your homework, I guess I'm doing it. Yeah.
Thank you. That sounds fantastic. So, you know, for the in-person greater Seattle area, but for the support of many kinds connect with Katrina consults.com. Awesome. Katrina, thank you again so much for staying with us, joining us here today. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.
Thanks for joining me for this episode of heart healing from loss. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast on Stitcher pod, chaser, apple podcasts, or your favorite podcast or app I'm Wendy Sloneker. And you can find me online at wendysloneker.com that's W E N D Y S L O N E K E R.com.