An ex-lover once called me spartan. I wasn’t sure how to take it at first. 

Then recently, a guest commented that the Dome was “well curated.” I took it as a compliment, even though I had never considered “curator” to be one of my job titles previously. 

Upon reflection, it turns out one of my talents is knowing what to eliminate to create something extraordinary! Which is what I do as a coach. I listen for what a client wants (which is not always what they say) and help them clear away the things that are not in line with what they want to accomplish. Even as this idea of creating by eliminating came to me, I was cleaning up the wood pile in the side yard, that had been crowding the keyhole garden, and noticing some dead branches that needed to be cut and cleared away behind the patio. 

The Dome itself has benefited from careful pruning. Most of what I’ve created has been by removing what doesn’t belong, including its last two tenants. People and toxic relationships can also be curated from our lives. I’ve learned that in most cases, removing the thing (or relationship) that’s not working, has just as much of an impact, if not more, as adding something (or someone) to make it better.

Like in music, rests are just as important as notes. Choose to remove the things that drain you, over adding things to the already existing clutter and its correlated stress in your life. Less is more. Take away what is not, to reveal the masterpiece underneath, like Michelangelo sculpting David.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

My first experience in creating through editing was learning the practice of saying “no.” Many women (and men) are overcommitted because they feel they can’t say “no”. Most of the time, that feeling is all ours. The people we say “no” to, are not as impacted as we think they will be. In fact, it is more our ego that is injured by the no, than the person hearing it. Luckily it is for just a minute or two as the freedom you just declared for yourself kicks in.

There are many benefits of saying “no”. Some of them are: having more time. Saying “no” frees up a lot of time, leaving you with more energy. You will feel more in control, choosing what to say “Yes” or “No” to, which leaves you with confidence, and with confidence, comes respect. People will respect your time and you will respect yourself.

Want to give yourself a challenge? Practice saying “no” for a day. Decline all requests made of you for a whole day. We will get into how to tactfully handle situations in another post, but for now, politely decline. You will start to notice that people are constantly making requests of you and if you don’t have a plan for your time, someone else will. 

Your mindfulness will allow you to notice other things too, like what requests or invitations inspire less than enthusiastic responses from you internally. Check in with situations that you may be tolerating. What happens if you just say no more? What do you gain? Tolerating is a very dangerous game. People can tolerate a lot. We tolerate unhappy circumstances because we are more afraid of change than pain or discomfort. We focus more on what we would lose, money, toxic relationships, status than what we stand to gain, peace of mind, energy, and happiness!

Extra Credit: Next time you’re cleaning your home, take inventory of your clutter, I mean possessions. Do your they empower you? Do you feel good when you look at it/wear it? When was the last time it was used/worn? Is it in good repair? Are you going to fix it? No really. How long has it already been broken?

Consider that the more we let go of the old, the more room we have for the new. Share with us what you discover!

Happy curating!