I've learnt so much during the 4 weeks of The Welcome to Now Project. I've had my highs and lows. I've achieved some of the things I set out to but also made slow progress in other areas. Here's my review:
The-once-and-for-all-declutter. My biggest success was streamlining the kitchen cupboards, giving everything a thorough clean and reorganising our storage in this room. Making joint decisions with my husband meant more radical action was taken. We now have only 4 white mugs that match although we do have some white cups and saucers for entertaining. Our worktops are clearer and the room is easier to clean. I've also ventured into the loft and donated any clothes that were stored there. This is quite a big thing for me. The final stage of clothes decluterring was dealing with the 'donate in 6 months' box. It means all the clothes that I own are in my wardrobe and not squirrelled away in reserve. I also got rid of 3 old suitcases that were in the loft and emptied some boxes of random items from our last move. I still have photos to edit and electrical wires to sort. Decluttering big areas like the kitchen and loft inspired me to tackle smaller areas like consolidating 3 address books into 1.
Be Fabulous. I have definitely walked more often during the project and realised it's probably my favourite way to exercise and meditate at the same time. The gentle rhythm of walking and the delight in opening my eyes and mind to new horizons as I walk soothes my mind but stretches my body at the same time. It's great to walk alone or with someone else and walking for the sake of walking (instead of getting to a destination) is a simple indulgence. I've maintained my running during the project but it's sometimes felt like a chore. It's taken a lot of motivation to keep running 2 or 3 times a week. My meditation practice has improved but again at times I've resisted it and missed more days than I care to admit. Reading Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn was a great insight into how to use everyday life moments as time to be, accept and learn.
Finding Focus. I enjoyed blogging about the project but found it difficult to produce extra motivational pieces for readers. This is partly bevcause I found the extra decluttering quite draining and also I've been teaching more hours than usual during 3 out of the 4 weeks of the project. It's led me to think about planning my time better and making time for writing more of a priority. I have some new ideas for Just a little less which I'm looking forward to developing over the summer. I've found it hard to reduce my online time and this will be a priority over the next few weeks. Being selective with my blog reading, setting time limits on screen time and remembering that online lifestyles whilst inspiring can also be damaging and lead to lifestyle envy are all important. The Eisenhower Decision Principle will, I hope, help me to improve my time management.
Try Something New. This is an area where I think my readers had more success than me! Whist I've had some fun and enjoyed simple pleasures it's made me realise the importance of planning more time for fun. Time to draw up a list of fun things to do.
Overall, I think the project has made me realise what's important to me and more aware of what gets in the way of my progress. I've enjoyed decluttering and making my home simpler. I've learnt the simple pleasure of daily walks. I've discovered that's it healthy to see my failures as an opportunity to learn more about myself and that they'll lead me to make changes in the future. The Welcome to Now Project has made me more determined to find ways to simplify my life. It's helped me to practise daily habits and given me the motivation to declutter some difficult areas of my life. It's made me understand that now is good.
So, how did you get on with the project? What have you learnt about yourself? Please share.