Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Big Why


Why am I doing this? What’s the big urgency?

My One goal, decluttering my house, is a goal that will take months (perhaps six months to a year). That’s a long time to stay motivated on what could be an onerous task. I’m notoriously flighty when it comes to long-term projects, so I needed to find a resonant reason to keep going: something that would ring a clarion call whenever I hit another wall of Resistance. As a way to keep myself motivated for the long haul, I did the exercise from David Delp at to “hook up my heart.” This is a free-writing exercise that should only take about five minutes, and should yield an answer that resonates in my heart and soul. Why do I want to accomplish this goal?

To hook up my heart, I state my goal, “I want to declutter my house.” Then ask, “Cathie, why do you want to declutter your house?” Then (this is where the Big Why comes in) I write down my answers, keep asking why about each answer, and keep writing those answers until one answer rings out and resonates.

Cathie, why do you want to declutter your house?


Because all this stuff weighs on my mind because my mother hoarded so much stuff and left a house (and large storage shed) so full there were only paths through the rooms and we children had a huge job to clean it out when she passed away; because several of my stitching friends left massive “stashes” when they passed away and it was a nightmare to sort through; because when I look around I feel overwhelmed with stuff; because I feel scattered and unprepared and shallow; I feel unproductive because I can’t decide what to work on among my many unfinished projects, and not wanting to start another thing.

Cathie, why do you want to declutter your house?


Because I feel stuck; because I have wanted to move to a smaller home but feel intimidated by the amount of stuff that’s in my possession; because when I go into my studio all I see is stuff piled up everywhere and can’t focus on any projects; because it’s all visual noise; all those potential projects and unfinished projects are clamoring to be done; because I have to spend time clearing off a surface before I can work on anything; I own lots of stuff, but nothing is important, it’s all just stuff.

I long for simplicity; I want to be free to move house or travel or work on a project without being distracted by stuff on every surface. I want to edit my life down to the essentials. I feel like something great is ready to come into my life when I let go of all the excess. I want the freedom to explore new possibilities. That’s why.

Freedom to create art and a life I believe in \ Freedom from overwhelm

The word Freedom! resonates with me; it will be my symbol that rings the bell, my "Big Why".  

Without a "Big Why" we eventually lose motivation to do the work necessary to accomplish great things."  - Glen Smith (The Growth Coach)


  1. I'm a firm believer in getting to 'know' yourself throughout your life -- and also to be good to yourself. You are on the right path. Obviously you have memories that are very uncomfortable and that's a good motivator to do this. Like you, if there is too much clutter around I do not work well. The older I get, the truer this is. It almost frees my mind to flit and imagine and dream if I'm not surrounded by a lot of external 'stuff'.

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