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Emails to my Therapist

Fresh Resolve: Create Beauty

Dear Nicholas, Here at the busiest time of year, I’ve come upon a new mantra, a fresh resolve: “create beauty.”

It emerged from an online course of sorts that I signed up for about a year ago, called Clearing Physical and Emotional Clutter  taught by Stephanie Bennett Vogt. This clearing seemed to me a good idea.

The course is essentially a year of daily emails, each with a tip or mini-assignment or question to ponder. Fee: pay whatever you want. I kicked in $15.

Grabbed By An Idea: #createbeauty

I didn’t start off deeply invested in this, obviously, either financially or emotionally.  But I opened an email about every third day and not long ago one of the ideas presented really grabbed me. Lesson 88: Inviting Beauty – Part 1. (Somehow this has transformed in my mind to “create beauty.” Guess I had to make it harder; inviting sounds too simple.)

The lesson began with a question: “Whether it is a drawer, a shelf, your car glove compartment, whatever… what can you do to make it more beautiful?”

My Glove Compartment?

I like this approach so much better than saying to myself: this is a mess, must do something about it when I get time.

I’ve been harboring the create/invite beauty cast of mind for several weeks now. It has resulted in my leaving clothes in heaps for much less long and for getting stray dishes into the dishwasher faster.

But on larger fronts, I find I’ve I’ve taken on too much. First I decided to bring beauty to the old steamer trunk of family pictures and letters. Oh, dear. Now the entire contents have been spread across the floor of one room for several weeks.

create beauty

I’m making progress, have discarded a lot of old birthday cards, and sorted items into various categories and eras. But still, stuff is scattered everywhere. I’ve yet to create beauty, but I know it’s going to happen. And I have several empty albums that have been sitting emptily in a pile for decades.

Then I looked at my wrapping paper bin and opened the slightly smaller old trunk that holds ribbons and my scraps-of-paper collection.create beautyand decided these really could be a thing of beauty if only I…. And so: another mess, and this is before I even introduced the Christmas paper and ribbons.


create beauty

Beauty still to come.

Looking for some stock photos on “create beauty” (rather than finishing the projects at home) what I found was almost entirely about glamour, hair and make-up.

Not what I had in mind. Not going to hang Christmas balls in my hair.

create beauty

I was thinking more along the lines of: ribbons-not-in-a-tangle.

I’ll get there. Beauty will be created; I just don’t know when. In any event, I like this way of thinking. It’s far more positive than “clean up the mess.”

Checking in as I have only every few days, I’m a bit behind in this course that should be wrapping up soon. I’m at class 111 out of 365. Looks like it’s going to take me three years to get my degree. That’s all right. Beautiful simplicity doesn’t happen overnight and paper is supposed to be strewn around liberally at this time of year. So all’s well.

Wishing you a simply beautiful Christmas (or other holiday)!






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  • Judy Carrino
    December 12, 2019 at 3:17 pm Reply

    I need this; if only it would translate into doing something – and not just thinking about it. My garage has looked like the set of “Sanford and Son” for the last 4 years, and it only gets worse. I always say “when it gets cooler, I’ll do something about it.” and then summer goes directly to winter and it’s too cold to stand out in the garage, sorting. I guess I’m doomed.

    • Peggy Payne
      December 12, 2019 at 3:56 pm Reply

      A friend of mine had a hurricane knock a tree over, smashing one side of her house, including the garage; that obliterated the problem. Less dramatically, Judy, there’s the alternative of closing the door. I like that one myself.

  • December 13, 2019 at 5:31 am Reply

    A saintly man taught once me a useful phrase, “Let’s take care of that now”.

    • Peggy Payne
      December 13, 2019 at 5:33 am Reply

      Not going to take care of it right this minute, but I’ll get to it.

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