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Why Do We Hold On to Treasures, Clutter, and Stuff? »
Tuesday
May242016

How to Find Some Calm For Your Cluttered Mind

I just returned from the NAPO 2016 organizing conference in Atlanta. About 550 professional organizers from around the world gathered to learn about building organizing businesses, learn new skills, think about current and future trends, and discover the latest products and services to help our clients. There was a lot of note taking, conversing, laughing, photographing, tweeting, listening and observing. I loved seeing old friends and making new ones.

Some conference highlights included: 

  • Attending the IFPOA (International Federation of Professional Organizing Associations) meeting with the leaders from Japan, Canada, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and the United States

Photo by NAPO President, Ellen Faye taken at IFPOA Meeting

  • Going to the President's Black & White Reception with dancing and karoke
  • Talking with current and potential ICD subscribers at the ICD Booth during the NAPO Expo
  • Discussing influence of future trends on organizing industry including aging, downsizing, coaching, and technology
  • Learning new ways to combine video with social media from Mindy Rodenburg
  • Learning about Judith Kolberg's unique "to do" list, digital estate planning, and her dance break during her session
  • Seeing hundreds of old friends and making new ones

The days were packed from morning until late night. Everywhere I turned, there were new people to meet and old friends to greet. I loved that part. In between conversations, I attended sessions to learn about new trends, ideas and concepts. During the sessions, I took notes and tweeted some highlights. Mealtimes gave us further opportunities to talk, connect and share ideas. Are you getting the picture? It was wonderful. At the same time, there was a lot to take in and process. And guess what? My heart was filled from connecting with all the amazing people, but so was my head. By Sunday morning, my mind felt full and cluttered.

Fortunately, I scheduled a later flight on Sunday. This gave me time to visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden to see the beautiful gardens and Chihuly exhibit. If you live in Atlanta or ever have the opportunity to see Dale Chihuly’s art, definitely go!

Dale Chihuly - Atlanta Botanical GardenIt turns out that one of the best cures for my cluttered mind was to spend several hours being outside in the sun, exploring nature, the gardens, seeing and photographing Chihuly’s vibrantly colored and organically shaped glass sculptures, taking in the wonderfully fragrant scents, hearing the sounds of water and birds, feeling the breeze, and walking along the winding paths.

Returning home, I gave myself time to sit by the river to collect my thoughts and review my notes. There are still many people to follow-up with and ideas to simmer and implement. However, by giving myself the time with nature and art, my cluttered mind has settled.

I’m excited about the possibilities, and calm about the pacing. My heart is full and happy. My mind is calm.

What helps you when your mind gets cluttered? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!

 

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (7)

So great to be able to give you a hug last week!! I'm like you, being outside in the sun just seems to make everything better. I also took time on Sunday to capture my thoughts. Turns out airplanes have become one of my most productive workspaces! No distractions, glued to my seat, get it done!

May 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

I, too, need time to process my thoughts after a conference. And during. (I always get a room to myself.) There have been a few conferences where I drove and had the long trip home to reflect. But my favorite was the one in Minnesota where I rented a car and drove around the back roads for a whole week. It was lovely. Pretty sure I saw most of the 10,000 lakes! ;-)

May 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHazel Thornton

I loved seeing so many friends that I generally only 'see' in the virtual world. Like you I too need time to process that which I've learned. I'm a needle point addict. I love the repetitive action the needle takes through the canvas. Sitting quietly sewing allows my mind to wander through the great amounts of information I took in during the conference. It's amazing how much floats to the surface when I sit quietly sewing!

May 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

@Seana- It was wonderful seeing (and hugging) you too! I'm only sorry we didn't have more time together. The conference goes SO fast! I'm like you with the airplanes. I LOVE the personal bubble and no distractions that come with flying. It's some of the most productive time I get to read, write and collect my thoughts. Glad to know it worked for you too.

@Hazel- Ahhhh! The private room makes all the difference. I always do that too, for the same reason. Wow! What a fun thing to do with driving the country roads for an entire week. There's nothing quite like getting a change of scenery and exploring new places.

@Diane- It WAS wonderful being face to face with the friends we interact mostly with virtually. By the way, I never got to thank you for the fantastic French restaurant recommendation you gave to Judith and Tammy for Atmosphere. It was SO delicious and quiet. We could actually hear each other talk. I love how you describe what helps you process ideas...through doing needle point. Fantastic!

May 24, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Love this post on quieting your mind! The research shows that time in a green space centers us. I concur that time outside and time exercising in a green space both help us gain clarity.

Loved sharing time together at NAPO learning and connecting!

May 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Wonderful synopsis. So sorry to have missed it. I'm letting the universe know I plan to be there next year!

May 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn Caldwell

@Ellen- Thank you so much. The power of green (nature, that is) is truly remarkable. I've understood this for a while, but somehow it continues to delight and surprise me every time I experience it again.

It was WONDERFUL seeing you at conference! I'm sorry we didn't have more time together, but it's such a busy time. Just loved seeing your beautiful face...being that we usually interact virtually. I'm so excited that you're NAPO's President-Elect. Ellen Faye is a wonderful mentor and I know you'll be a great President too.

@Carolyn- I'm happy you liked the synopsis. I'm sure that there will be many posts about conference with other types of details and highlights, so keep your eyes open. I think Janet Barclay is going to do a series. Noted that you're planning to attend the Pittsburgh conference. I look forward to seeing you there and in Portland too for the ICD conference.

May 25, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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