The Life-changing 8-part Series, Begins NOW!
Phase 1 Detach & Spy: Part 1 Espionage
Ok everyone…here we go!
So the bad news about phase one of the RightSIZING process is that it can feel like starting yet anther diet. Ugh! You have high hopes but deep down, very little faith. You decide not to broadcast that you’re going to try to lose weight again as a precaution to failing AGAIN. This time, you tell yourself, “It’s a quiet thing. It’s between me and…well, me.” You tell yourself to be prepared to go through that horrible time when your body starts to freak out wondering, “Now what the hell are we doing? ---Hold fat in case this crazy human decides to starve to death? Release fat because there’s exercise coming down the pike?” ---All while once again, you mantra to your self, “It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s not about the weight, it’s about health.” Blah, blah, blah.
Well here’s the good news! Once you’re emotionally in the zone to really begin the purging process, you see results ASAP! It’s as simple as this; First all that crap that you don’t use, don’t need, fought with, and have been paying a fortune to keep, is there. Then, it’s not! YAY! It’s all in your total control. When it’s finally gone you will have just instantly shed a ton of baggage from your life.
Remember, if you could drag it in, you can drag it out…eventually.
Yet, like with dieting, there’s the same emotional ramp-up required. I know it seems counter intuitive to purge at a time when you’re trying to redefine your new life, but you haven’t got a clue what that is. But trust the process even if it feels like packing for a vacation without a destination in mind. Seriously. A parka on the beach? Not so much, right?! Or worse, because you’ve no idea what to expect, you pack everything and spend the next ten days cramming things into overhead compartments and looking for the porter while everyone rolls their eyes at you and you know they’re thinking “Amature!” Well surprise! It’s kinda how you probably created your life in the first place. So if it seems familiar don’t worry because this first part is all about just looking at all that.
So here’s more good news. You don’t have to know where you’re going at the beginning of the RightSIZING process---yet. You only have to conduct a really accurate inventory. However, you have to get yourself emotionally psyched to detach yourself from your stuff first. Wait! What?
See, as I’ve previously stated, everything you own and chose to drag from the outside world to under your own roof has a memory attached to it. It’s embedded in every single thing you own. The time, the place, the need, the desire, the rational, the denial, the money, the excuse and…well you get the idea. Yep it’s all encrypted into every single item you’ve put around you whether visible, or cleverly stashed.
Over time, you get so used to the stuff that it literally becomes invisible and with it all the trigger information attached to it goes silent. However, the moment you commit to actually re-seeing every item again, it all starts screaming at you like a room full of angry monkeys (as one student, having gone through the process, observed).
Oh yes, I guess I owe you a quick back-story before I ask you to blindly hurl yourself off a cliff…right?
Okay. So, when I wrote the bestseller The Seven Layers Of Organization years ago (and of course way ahead of it’s time) we actually put hundreds of people through the RightSIZE process. I hated using the world “Organization” in the title. What’s worse than crap? Organized crap dressed up as something else! However, the publishers insisted the word be clearly in the title because it was the buzz at the time. Yet I knew that until the economic crash hit, that the “RightSIZE” concept was still premature. Hell breaking loose was still looming in the close distance. It would be the first time in our history that many Americans would be forced to reprioritize.
Anyway, once published, we then put another couple of hundred readers through the process again. We then used it on TV for another few million viewers. After all, we couldn’t design a great new makeover for a homeowner that actually reflected them, without first getting rid of their crap too. So, bottom line? Trust me, we’ve heard all the stories and all the ways this process has emotionally affected many who’ve been through it. Oh, and can I also say (brag)—ALL who RightSIZED, using the process as designed, ultimately experienced life changing results. Back story over!
The key to beginning the first phase of this process is through nothing short of self-trickery. Yep…kinda like visualizing yourself thin at the beginning of a diet. You know, frolicking on the beach in a size 2 bikini as a gorgeous man in breezy Baja white linens, slips an engagement ring on your finger? …Yeah. Like that.
In this case the initial illusion is to completely detach yourself from your own stuff. In so doing, break (or at least separate) all those emotional triggers and decisions associated with them. The only way to do that is to pretend that everything under your roof isn’t yours. It’s called acting! LOL!
So, to set the scene, think of a real experience (I know, so “method”). Remember when you walked into someone else’s home for the first time? You knew instantly (without ever saying a word) so far much more about them then ever before. Right? It was revealing on so many levels whether you could totally pinpoint it or not. Now, every time you see, hear or think about them, images and impressions about their home come also into mind immediately without even knowing it. Weird, right? Um, no actually.
Being in someone else’s home is about the most intimate experience you can have with them because you know that everything in those personal spaces are well…personal. You know that what’s there is where they, themselves, put it. Out of everything available to them in the world…those were their choices!
It brings out the natural voyeuristic “snoop” in all of us. We can’t help it. And we judge. BOY do we judge. We just can’t help it. Not out loud, mind you, but internally we absorb more information about them through what they’ve put under their roofs than we can even consciously process.
(If you’re someone like me, well forgetaboutit! I’m trained to read a house like a surgeon reads an x-ray).
Now think of an “Open House” you’ve been through. One where you were free to roam at will, in a house that had not been properly “staged”. You kind of felt like a burglar don’t you? Without knowing it, you began to form a rather clear impression of who lives there. Whether the actual impression was accurate or not, you’d never know because, thank God, you’d never have to meet them (unless you actually bought the house). Nevertheless you totally got to vibe into this total stranger’s inner world, making the assumption that they actually “were” how they “live”. Just like people make the same assumption about you…gulp!
Wait, no? You mean that just because they live that way doesn’t mean they necessarily arethat way? Are you giving them a break or giving yourself a break were the roles reversed? LOL.
Well, let’s see…shall we?
The first phase of the RightSIZE UP purging process is to find that very thing out.
Step 1: Detach & Spy. It’s Espionage time!
With your own home grab a pad and pen then literally walk outside the door (or into your apartment hallway) and close it behind you.
Take a deep breath. Wipe your mind clean. Do the best you can. Trick yourself into the Oscar-winning role of a lifetime. Tell yourself you’re about to enter the space beyond that door for the very first time. You know nothing of what to expect.
As you enter pretendyou're spying on a total stranger whose house you just broke into and you’re looking for the good stuff—stuff you’d gladly steal for your own home. Oh, if you find nothing you want?Well let the games begin.
NOTE: We had a student who just could not suspend the disbelief so he brought someone they knew on the adventure. It was someone who had never been in the house before. This also works well if you’re willing to be a bit more vulnerable and keep your mouth shot only observing their reactions and accepting them without any defense.
Now, walk through the rooms one by one. Take your time. Look at everythingthat this "stranger" owns. You must open every drawer, every closet, look from the attic to the garage, under beds and in every potential stash space. Yes, step stool required. If you don’t look everywhere it defeats the whole purpose. Those out-of-sight-out-of-mind places are often the most revealing.
As you wander (loot), ask yourself, by the things you see, “Who lives here?” and “What do these things reveal?”
Write it down as you construct the narrative of the dweller. But look at everything! Seriously, really ransack the place with as much objectivity as you can possibly muster. This is not like scanning a department store until you find the linen department. This is like actually setting your eyeballs on every little thing. Because unbeknownst to you, your brain is taking a brand new picture of it from today’s perspective. Click, click, click. So make sure your eye camera sees every little thing because it’s the little things that are collectively in the hottest water…..dig?
Oh, just so you know, there will be far more stuff there that you actually HAVE forgotten you even owned, just to make it more interesting and real as you snoop. He He. If you do this exercise right, it will take you several hours so plan accordingly. Stick your ear buds in and have at it.
Once done, then ask yourself, "Does the narrative of who lives there match mine?” Does it match who I am today?" Give yourself a day or so to contemplate this since it’s the biggest question of your new life!
That's it! DONE!
That’s all you have to do for them moment.
Don't physically do anything else yet. It’s not as proactive as you may think.
For now, you’re finished. Just let these observations seep in.
Over the course of the next few days, stuff will start to surface all by itself because what your also doing is reopening your curiosity, which lives in the same place your inherent creativity does. It might be buried under a bunch of personal “issues” but it’s there. The trick is to find that toolbox again.
Curiosity, especially without judgment, is a major gateway and the first step in the reconnecting of your inherent personal creativity back up to the tower so you can use it again. And you will need it. Creativity doesn’t live in the brain, only just dexterity does so the brain can’t help you here much as it wants and insists on doing so.
As you move through the phases to come, your natural creativity will strengthen, re-root and bring more observations to the surface. These are from the heart not from those dead letter files in your head.
As you begin to slowly and methodically re-choose and do the physical grunt work required later, sifting through, item by item, a new movie will start playing in your head. In fact you’ll have emptied out a dresser drawer without even knowing it as the scenes start to unfold….But that’s later and very cool! Patience, patience.
Right now, detaching yourself from the fact that these are actually even yours will have you seeing them in a whole different light. You'll soon find that a narrative about who lives there will begin to emerge. As it does, simply write down those observations without judgment. If you can’t help yourself then remember the judgments you are writing down are for the pretend person not you. Remember it’s not your stuff, it’s not your home, it’s just there like, say… an Air B&B you’re spending a week in.
Don’t project or qualify about money or work or time or all the other “whys”. Just be. There will be plenty of time to get into all that stuff while in the act of actually “doing” once you’re personal creativity re-kicks back in.
By next weeks post, you’ll be ready for what’s next. Until then I urge you not to share. This is between you and your own new life decisions only. Remember, you’re not emulating someone else’s life this time. You’re getting ready to create an environment that reflects more accurately, what you (and only you) believe NOW. It’s the new narrative that will begin to unfold in due course so don’t leapfrog. That’s cheating!
Having said all that - doubts will come up as your fearful, noisy brain begins its tug-of-war with your quiet, fearless soul, which it knows is a whole lot smarter and wiser. After all, the brain holds only what you (yourself) put there up until now. It will store all that misinformation until you have something new to replace it with and it will, of course, be pouting the whole time. Waaaaaa! But remember, no new information there. Just tell it keep you safe and run your body and shut up!
Unlike a diet, if you get crazy you actually can grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and feed the brain while you wait for the real spiritual nourishment…creative soul food.
Next Week: Why we hoardplus part two: Some of the case study conclusion of the Detach & Spy espionage.
You can do it!