DETACH FROM CLUTTER & THRIVE!

In the spirit of SPRING CLEANING – I’m sharing a guest post from Claire Noelle Frost from Bliss Coaching:

claire DETACH FROM CLUTTER & THRIVE!

Website: ClaireNoelleFrost.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blisscoaching

DETACH FROM CLUTTER & THRIVE!

Hello, everyone. My name is Claire Noelle Frost, and I’m a Green Organizing Coach. I guide clients as they question the beliefs that keep them attached to their clutter. I got started at a young age, having a natural affection for sorting items into recycling bins. Although I loved to organize my tea set, my prized possession was always my journal.

Writing got me through the daily physical trauma of chronic health challenges and of course emotional trauma I’m sure we all experience at some point. After ranting for a few pages, I would go back and circle the truest statements and create an action plan. As an adult looking back, I see that this was a rudimentary coaching system that has blossomed into my present day practice.

I first became interested in organizing as a career when I met my family’s professional organizer. I noticed how much I LOVED the feeling of releasing things that weren’t serving me to create space for peace and healing.

I saw Searching for Angela Shelton while attending Sarah Lawrence College, and it inspired me to make a short documentary of my own. It appear at Eve Ensler’s New York City Women’s Film Festival, Until the Violence Stops. Exploring such unpleasant topics always motivated me to brainstorm solutions. By the time I began my master’s degree in Media Studies at The New School in 2006, Bliss Coaching was open for business.

I have long been fascinated with the connection between trauma and clutter, and yet, I am NOT a psychotherapist directly treating disease. I am now training to become a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, where I work with clients who are past the healing phase and are ready to thrive.

Here are my favorite two tools for clutter-detaching which I use on my clients:

Please note: Letting go of clutter may be emotionally traumatic if it overwhelms your ability to cope. If you are feeling triggered or overwhelmed, stop reading and seek out the best psychotherapist specializing in trauma or grief that you can find to support your clutter-clearing process.

TOOL #1: FIND THE CORE CAUSE OF ATTACHMENT

Adapted from Sakichi Toyoda’s “5 Why’s” tool. He used it in the Toyota company to identify root causes of mechanical errors.

Fill in the blanks: (Examples in brackets)

  • I need to keep _______________________________________________________ [my rubber band collection].
  • Why? ________________________________________________________. [Because I started it in childhood.]
  • Why? __________________________________________. [Because it was the only thing I could keep for myself.]
  • Why? ____________________________________________________. [Because my parents didn’t buy me toys.]
  • Why? ________________________________________. [Because I misbehaved, so I didn’t deserve good things.]

That last part, “I didn’t deserve good things,” is a painful belief that causes suffering and ultimately, attachment to clutter.

TOOL #2: RELEASE CLUTTER-ATTRACTING BELIEFS

This tool was adapted by Byron Katie’s The Work. Her theory is that all suffering is simply painful thoughts or beliefs that haven’t been questioned.

Using the painful belief from Tool #1, ask yourself:

  1. Is it trueYes or No (Is it true that I didn’t deserve good things?)
  2. Can I be certain that it’s true? ____________________________
  3. When I’m believing it, where in my body do I notice any sensations? ________________
  4. When I’m believing it, what do those sensations feel like? ____________________________
  5. When I’m believing it, how do I behave toward others? ____________________________
  6. When I’m believing it, how do I behave toward myself? ____________________________
  7. WHAT IF my brain was physically incapable of thinking that thought? How would that affect my life? _________________________

The idea is that the body is a lie detector. When it hears a lie, it cries out in pain or shuts down its energy. When it hears the truth, it perks up and lets pleasure flow. When you connect to what your body is feeling, you can use it as a compass to guide you forward.

When you no longer believe that belief that is keeping you attached to the clutter, your body feels energized about decluttering.

If you are ready to blissify your life and release whatever is holding you back, I offer 1-on-1 clutter detachment coaching.

Schedule your free compatibility session instantly to see if we are a good fit! I love working with healing-focused people like you.

Not ready for 1-on-1 work? Email me mentioning Angela Shelton to get 57% off my clutter-uprooting email training series, Bliss Bites: Creating Space for Your Dream Life.

With much love and gratitude to you all,

Claire Noelle Frost
Owner of Bliss Coaching
Get to know me on Facebook!

Open Letter to The Walt Disney Company

Dear Walt Disney Company:

My three-year-old cousin was innocently wearing her favorite Little Mermaid bathing suit on a public beach, unknowingly providing porn for child rapists and perpetrators, thank you to your design. The bathing suit has the fin of the little Mermaid placed on the crotch of the suit, making it appear to an open vagina and labia. Yes, shocking.

I wondered if I was overreacting so I shared the photo with my brother-in-law who is a special agent for the federal law enforcement agency and has twenty-five years of experience investigating the sexual exploitation of children around the world. He too was appalled and urged me to share this letter immediately.

I myself have worked for over a decade in the trauma and recovery field and have seen how child rapists, abusers and traffickers use all kinds of ways to lure and exploit children. By essentially providing porn to perpetrators at public pools and on public beaches, your company may also be putting these children in danger.

Being a fan of a lot of Disney work, and having even worked for Disney as an actress myself, I was shocked that a company with such a family friendly image would allow the manufacturing of such sexually exploitative clothing for kids.

In the 90’s there were complaints about the cover of The Little Mermaid video, where the castle looks identical to a phallus. According to Snopes: the artist hurried through the background detail (at “about four in the morning”) and inadvertently drew one spire that bore a rather close resemblance to a penis. The artist himself didn’t notice the resemblance until a member of his youth church group heard about the controversy on talk radio and called him at his studio with the news.

The offending castle was later removed from the lasersdisc version, as I hope the offending child clothing will be removed from mass market.

I realize that a lot of cartoons have adult humor but putting a fin in the shape of labia on swimsuits for little girls is going too far.

You own Star Wars now! I cannot imagine you want to provide material that allows little children to be ogled and possibly worse by perpetrators. I’m going to hold out hope that this was an oversight or a blatant addition from one of your employees or outsourced manufactures (who should be removed) and not the views of Disney as a whole.

I searched for other Little Mermaid swimsuits and most of them are innocent, as they should be. Please remove this suit and any other sexually exploitive clothing for children from the market.

The tag on this particular suit says Disney Princess, Manufacturer: Bentex Group Inc, Location: Bangladesh, Date of Production: Sept 2009, Lot #: 707000LM-WM-4

Thank you very much!

Angela Shelton Kail
Public Speaker and Concerned Mom

UPDATE: Good news. We’ve been searching for the suit and with the help of a few others, cannot find this particular one in the Disney store or on Ebay so it may have been discontinued since 2009. Cue sigh of relief.

Writing Your Book and Donating Proceeds

Ever want to write a book and donate the proceeds to help a great cause? Sure you do!

Here’s a great question about it and a reality check.

womanatcomputer Writing Your Book and Donating Proceeds

Question:

Ok, so I finally have my book basically finished, about ready for professional editing and artistry. (as soon as someone can drag my fingers away from the keys) Basic concept spiritual/fantasy self help book for abused children. (not their parents)

My question is, I want to donate part of the proceeds to an organization that actually goes into the schools and speaks to the kids and advocates for the kids that have been abused, but what is a good way to go about doing this. Such as contacting them, should that be on the book somewhere and what percentage seems right.

 Answer:

Yay you! You wrote a book!

You should do a happy dance around the room.

Do that. Right now, just get up and do that. Happy happy!

Finding an Organization to Donate to

This can be as difficult or as easy as finding an agent as an actor.

There are TONS of organizations out there. The best thing you can do is know them personally. I donated to Darkness to Light because I knew the founder personally and know the people who ran it AND saw that they actually did the work they said they did.

As far as finding one that fits your requirements – ask!

If you’re reading this and know of an organization that goes into the schools and speaks to the kids and advocates for the kids that have been abused – please share in the comments!

Contacting the Organization of Your Choice

Organizations always need money and are happy to accept your donations.

So, contact them directly!

Don’t be afraid to just email them directly.

Keep your request/offer short and “above the fold” if you will.

If they have a marketing department listed on their site, call them up!

A lof of these orgs doing great things are run by pretty small teams so getting someone on the phone or in an email thread is not that hard.

Here is an article about getting your story into the media that also applies to these kinds of requests.

Partnering with an Organization

When you have an organization you love and are donating a portion of your proceeds to them, they usually love that and will even help you by providing a link to your book on their site or talking about you in their newsletter.

If they are happy to do that, then I’d put their logo on your book or on on the back, even write up a blurb inside about why you’re donating to them.

If they are not gung-ho about it, you can donate to them anyway!

What Kind of Proceeds?

First of all, if you’re like the rest of us with the save-the-world complex – you need to stop for a minute and talk to someone with a more logical business mind or put on your logical business mind hat!

You have to go over your budget and what your NET is, not your gross.

I know a large company that was donating a portion of their gross proceeds to an organization and it ended up shooting them in the foot because the donation came off the top of the sales, not leaving them with enough money to cover all the rest of the costs. In fact, it kept them from making an actual profit for years and put them into the hole!

So, think before you give. You have to put your oxygen mask on first, remember? Just like you have to feed yourself first before you give the keys away to your storehouse.

You don’t usually think about those things when you’re in the creative mode, but you need to.

If you’re brain does not work that way, find someone who does and ask them to go over your budget and projected earnings.

You need to cover printing costs, unless you’re printing on demand through a place like Create Space. Even going POD, you still have the set up costs, your editor, your artist and buying copies of your book yourself to use to market it.

Soo… a safe number is usually 10% to donate.

Share Your Book!

The best thing you can do now is to share your book!

You don’t have to officially link up to any organization now if you don’t know of one either.

Believe me, when you start sharing your book, the contacts will come to you.

You may meet someone and get a first hand look at what they’re doing and think oh my gawd, I want to donate to you!

So, you can keep your options open and say a portion will be donated to organizations helping abused kids.

The best thing about your question – is that you wrote a book!

Happy Happy!

Feeling Sorry for Your Abuser?

Ever feel sorry for your abuser?
Or have you reached the place where you forgive?
How about have that feeling that you will never ever forgive that jerk?

eww 1024x503 Feeling Sorry for Your Abuser?

Question:

I was looking up the status of my spermdonor yesterday on the sex offender’s registry and I noticed that he had been sent back to jail. I looked at the inmate registry to see why. When I got there I just stared at his mugshot, it must have been close to 20 minutes, examining each element of his face. I noticed a section on the website where you could contribute to an inmate’s bond.

That’s when I noticed that I felt sorry for him. It made me sad to see how sad his face looked and for that brief moment I even considered putting money towards his bond. I don’t know what to think of that. It’s like my experience with him goes in cycles.

When I first came out about the abuse I felt guilty and bad that I was sending him to jail. Then about two years ago I was filled with such hate and disgust towards him that my therapist diagnosed me with PTSD. Now, two years later, I find myself feeling sorry for him again.

Although, I haven’t forgiven him and I still don’t want anything to do with him and I still flinch with disgust every time I think of him, I don’t feel the hate towards him that I once did. Is this normal? What does this cycle of feelings mean?

Answer:

Great question and perfect timing actually, I was just talking about this to a friend.

I can only answer from my own experience and what I’ve witnessed firsthand in others. I’ve seen two types of “feeling sorry for the abuser”.

  • One: those in denial that it happened and they are really enabling the abuser.
  • Two: those who have moved on to a place where the abuser is no longer affecting them, and they see him/her for who they are.

I’m guessing you, like me, are in the second group.

First of all, it’s totally okay to have those feelings. You are a caring human being. Just because someone was a horrible human doesn’t mean that you can’t see them for the soul that they are, learning their lessons.

For some that is so foreign and the OH HELL NO flares up immediately. I totally understand.

Once, years and years ago I was speaking to a class in a university and I made a wisecrack (who me?) about getting over my own dad, but still wanted to crack him across the face. The professor nodded and then later pointed out that I had obviously not reached the place of forgiveness yet.

I thought she was an idiot. I seriously was like who do you think you are, I will ALWAYS want to crack him across the face. What are you, nuts?

But then… YEARS later I got to the place where I no longer cared about anything violent. I had no violent fantasies about taking vengecnce. My blood didn’t boil thinking about what he did to my sister (that was the thing I had the hardest time letting go of). And I was no longer scared if I ran into him.

I actually wish him healing and wellness on his own path, because he certainly is on his own path with his own lessons to learn.

WHAT?

I know! I know those on the other end of this read that and think are you freaking kidding me? There is NO way in hell I will ever feel that way.

I am not one to ever tell you otherwise, I say feel what you’re feeling right now. There are many stepping stones on the path, and each are important.

If you have reached that place where you’re loving your life, you feel safe, healthy, and happy – and the thought of him/her no longer triggers anything – then I urge you to just feel that too.

It’s okay to move on.

You know I talk about the Sword all the time – even have the year-long healing course. 

Well, this is another analogy of the sword. When we are still wounded by it, any reference to our abuser is going to cause all kinds of flare ups! It makes sense, it hurts!

When we’ve removed it and healed that old wound, those triggers no longer send us into a tizzy like they did when we were wounded.

Picture yourself wounded with the sword aka all that old pain. Now picture yourself free of it, but you have the sword to play with!

I invite you to watch this video and think about transforming all that old yuk.

This is one part of the year-long course (that you can take at your own pace) during the Healing Course. Try it!

Stop Working for a Second, Perfect the Art of Lounging

Any work-a-holics out there?  She asks with her hand raised.

There was a time when I worked every day all day, even ate my meals in front of my computer.

Yes, when you are on a deadline or even better – on a project you love – you can be swept into so much that you eat, drink, sleep it.

Then comes the question of balance.

That was a hard lesson for me – balance of time.

Over the past three years and especially now that I’m pregnant, I’ve set up my life so I can unplug more often than I plug in.

Weird!

I’ve successfully gotten on a schedule where, shockingly, I still get loads of work done (just finished two TV pilots and another movie script and almost done with another book) WHILE also eating full meals with the family, enjoying TV shows I love, going on hikes AND the most elusive one – lounging.

Believe me, I am amazed myself and wonder what I was doing wrong (or unsuccessfully) all those years that I was in over-work to the point of panic mode.

I wasn’t scheduling the work, or the playtime, or the do-nothing-but-sit-and-think time.

Now I literally schedule lounge time in.

I write in the morning before I attend to any emails or Facebook messages. I ignore the world and write until about noon.

Then I work on the other projects I have going. Whichever is top priority gets my full attention until dinner, with a break to eat (not at my laptop) and a break to walk or go on a hike.

Then dinner time rolls around and it’s family time.

Then rinse and repeat.

While waiting for food, post shower time, late at night and on the weekends I set aside do nothing time – to lounge.

Practice the Art of Lounging

Lounging seems like it is doing nothing, but resting your mind is actually doing everything to add to your creativity.

I sit on porch staring out at the flower field, pondering some plot point in my book. (that is when it’s NOT -5 outside)

I sit in a chair with a view of the forest reading a chapter, or not reading, or just lying there with the book in hand, daydreaming.

I scrolling through Instagram or Facebook on my phone and check in on my friends, with my feet up.

I watch silly cat videos.

Lounging and doing nothing could lead to all kinds of things!

I’ve had those AH-HA moments of how to end a scene. I’ve thought up ways to fix a tech problem. I’ve come up with another book idea. I’ve even remember where I put that damn file I was looking for. All those these things have happened when I stepped away from work and lounged.

I even discovered ILoveCrumpet

I mean really. Had I not planned a few hours of do-nothing time I would not have discovered Crumpet!

Does doing nothing mean surfing the internet for cat videos? No…
Not necessarily.

But sometimes a silly cat video or discovering Crumpet can quiet your mind enough, make you laugh and stop focusing so hard on one thing enough – for you to have a thousand other new ideas and discoveries.

Just try it.

Learn to Lounge – says the pregnant woman with her feet up.

Wait, gotta pee… No I am not bringing my laptop with me. Those days are over.

 

Is Hollywood Crazy or just Popping Pills?

pills Is Hollywood Crazy or just Popping Pills?

I had never even heard of the pills people were popping in LA with their half-caf soy lattes or their martini of the moment.

I just thought people were up and down on highs and lows when I first arrived to Hollyweird fresh from North Carolina by way of San Diego.

When I began pounding the pavement of Lost Angels I noticed right away how one minute they love you, one minute they hate you, and the next they have no idea who you are.

I thought it was me; I must really inspire vast mood swings in people.

As most people realize as they grow older and wiser – much of life is not about you.

But you can find common denominators.

When I heard from the very very lips of a producer I was working with, an acting teacher, a group of actor friends, and another producer that they were taking pills daily for depression or anxiety I about fell over.

Is that where the mood swings were coming from, when one of those pills was missed?

The common denominator with all of these people was an almost tyrannical attachment to ‘making it’ and becoming famous.

They were crazy about it.

Of course there were the ones who had ‘made it’ and tasted the bittersweet fame and then didn’t get that next big part or the one they did get failed – and out came the pills.

Pop pop pop go the prescriptions to cover up the pain.

Upon further investigation I found that the underlying pain for many of my friends and acquaintances was a past with an abusive and/or neglectful parent. Funny, they were attracted to a business where you strive to be seen and acknowledged, but that’s an entirely different conversation.

I have had my share of anxiety, fear, doubt and worry. I know what that feels like; I grew up in a violent home with the added twist of sexual abuse. A full actor’s toolbox to draw upon. (Only actors know what I’m talking about there.)

Though I knew that kind of pain, pills always made me nervous, just like the ingredients on food that you can’t pronounce.

Plus, my perspective of all of the pain was dramatically shifted after I made Searching for Angela Shelton.

I got to see firsthand from my own experience and those of thousands of others that the things that make us feel ‘crazy’ can be taken care of and healed by purging the pain instead of covering it up.

I went through every whackadoodle healing technique I could find (and you can find many in LA) ended up inspiring more creative content instead of camouflaging it.

When I suggested this alternative path to a few pill poppers, they showed sheer horror at the mention of addressing the real reason for their pain. It was much easier for them to pop a pill than to address the much deeper ‘crazy.’

But is that easier in the long run?

What if you’re really not crazy, you’re just wounded?

If you don’t want to get in there and heal those old core woundes for your own personal growth, what about your career?

The directors and actors pipe up at the mention of that!

I have witnessed movie and TV pitches selling in the room, directors getting the money for their movies at the dinner table, and actors booking the part two minutes after they left the audition. These were experienced by myself and friends of mine who were not pill popping, but were the boisterous, passionate , ‘crazy’ ones who had gone through the hell of digging deep into the pain and healing.

That whole belief that you have to be in pain or covering up pain to be an artist is a bunch of malarky.

I don’t mean to sit on the high horse of no pill popping, I know some people really are imbalanced and need prescriptions so they don’t go attacking their local post office (or themselves) I get that.

After watching a lot of acquaintances in Hollyweird hold onto the rollercoaster of ups and downs, I just wanted to present the idea that maybe you are not crazy. Maybe covering up all those old wounds, fears, doubts and worries to appear functional in front of other people who are hiding their wounds – is crazy.

Just a thought.