We are attached and engaged, indivisible from our world, and our only fundamental truth is our relationship with it. [Lynne McTaggart].
When we think of organization, paring down our possessions is usually what comes to mind. We typically do not consider that adding more into the mix could actually be transformative, both in terms of what we consider important and how we manage our time. Just five years ago I acquired (for the first time) a dog. I now have a high maintenance pet (a Japanese chin) to be exact, named Prince Charlie.
He helps me to organize my day because his activities are time dependent; I must now arise at a specific time to ensure that his day gets off to a good start (or face some very negative consequences!).
In the afternoon I walk him three or four other times, which servces to help me on several levels:
- I’m able to meet and chat with others in my neighborhood.
- I am forced to take a mental break from whatever I’m doing.
- The exercise and fresh air provide health benefits.
- I watch less television, and I do less unnecessary work on my computer.
- The respite helps me generate ideas for future blog posts!
Ann Curry of NBC Morning News remarked that her kids helped get her organized; Jennifer Lopez (when speaking of her twins) said “It’s harder, but it’s so much better.” Tasks tend to fill the time into which they’re allotted – if we subsequently find ourselves with more responsibilities, we are forced to better manage our time. If these responsibilities are familial, we are then granted the privilege of seeing what is truly important.
People and pets within our lives are invaluable for improving our organizational skills, and for enhancing our overall mental health. Research on the concept of “social support” suggests that having friends and family with whom you regularly interact can serve as a stress buffer. Reaching outside ourselves, including volunteering, has also been suggested as an antidote to depression. Close ties mimic the quantum connection that Lynne McTaggart explains in her book The Field. If everything is indeed interconnected, it would appear that providing helpful service to others is a surefire way to create joy within our own lives.
You have probably heard the phrase “An idle mind is the devil’s play shop.” A mind left to itself with little upon which to focus can become self-obsessive. A range of goals to which we aspire (enmeshed within a loving web of interconnection) produces not only a more ordered mind, but a more productive life.