I’m really proud of my friend and former neighbour Susan Sohn. She is community personified. She lives and breathes it. She is a bright bubbly bombshell who loves people so much she can be kind and patient with everyone. Best of all though she’s a ton of fun and she really wants her life to count towards making the world a better place.
Sohn has lived all over the world but was born in Saskatchewan. You can take a prairie person out of the prairies but you’ll never take that practical prairie-ness out of the person. She never loses sight of what is really important in life. She treasures her family and friends.
Sohn co-hosts an internet radio show Get Real Live with Scott Bakken. He’s in Calgary and she has returned to Sydney Australia. They have done a few live events and on April 20 they are bringing Peter Walsh to Calgary.
You can find the link to the Calgary event here.
Get Real Live presents Peter Walsh
April 20, 7p.m.
Boyce Theatre, Stampede Grounds
You might ask, how did someone from Canada’s humble heartland end up being “buds” with Oprah’s famous organizer and host of the OWN show Extreme Clutter Peter Walsh? I believe it is because Sohn emulates the fearlessness that comes from living life with openness, love and faith. Sohn asks because she believes she will receive. She believes she would not have been created in the first place if she was not worthy of receiving the infinite abundance that the universe/God has to bestow. You’ll notice I included the universe and God. I’m a very spiritual person therefore I refer to a universal energy that I believe I came from and will go home to when I’m done here. I could definitely call that God. I’m not really “new age”. I’m just really practical and spent many years at the bedside of dying people when I was a nurse. Death always just seemed like this beautiful change in energy pattern. The more I experienced it, the less afraid I became of it and somewhere along the line I started thinking of it as changing back into what we really are and going back to our oneness – our completeness – our home or God, if you will. Sohn is a Christian (who walks the talk) and loves it that we have the ability to have different faiths but still support each other on our life’s journeys. There’s that openness again. I’ve always agreed with Confucius that “The only way is to have many ways” and really if you believe in a God with infinite power doesn’t that makes sense? Ah, but I digress.
Back to the topics of clutter and organizing. I’m a virgo. We are inherently in love with organization. My spice drawer is alphabetized. My clothes in my closet are arranged by colour, category and season. Every season I take stock of what is working around the house and what isn’t and I delete and edit what needs to go. I’m not really proud of this. It would be better if I had never bought most of that stuff to begin with. All in all, I’m proud of my home. It has a calm, comfortable inviting aura to it and yet it has our identity and a coziness about it as well. My areas in need of “constant vigil” are my desk and my pantry. I mean for Pete’s sake, I write a pantry column! That sets me up to constantly collect “ideas” for my column. I’ve learned not let that get crazy. I use it up, share it or pass it on.
So really, it’s my desk that I need to keep organized. I believe it is a reflection of the state of my brain at any one time. The picture below was the day after arriving home from a holiday with a couple of writing deadlines staring at me and a stack of mail to deal with. Needless to say, I had to take care of the clutter before I could get the clarity I needed to write well. I took an hour to organize and then the thing I love the most about being organized happened; everything started to flow. My thoughts and my writing came calmly and easily. That is the gift of being organized. You identify how you really want to live; for me that’s with the feeling that things are just flowing easily for me, and then you let it happen. Living with a mess creates stress, uncertainty and tension. It’s difficult and it typically signals procrastination and indecisiveness.
Would I get anything out of going to spend an evening with Peter Walsh? You bet your junk drawer I would. Let’s face it. The man is a genius. I don’t even watch TV and I’ve heard of him. I’ve read his wonderfully insightful magazine articles and couple of his books. When my mother visits and has “the Oprah channel” on, I’ve sat down and watched when he came on. I’ve seen him in action and he’s really helping people and his motivation seems pure. That’s a pretty rare thing. He was a teacher, he has tremendous skills in communications and organizational change and he has the adept ability to translate all of that into compassionate help for restructuring people’s lives so they actually live a life determined by their values and not by their “stuff”. No wonder Oprah loves him.
And besides, I just went to my bedroom and saw this…
Do you think the collection of books on my bedside table might be considered clutter? Am I in denial about how much time I really have for reading? Am I secretly hoping to be confined to bed for a year? (NO!) Is it weird that I’m actually reading about 10 books at once? How does looking at this pile really make me feel? Why do I keep buying books when I haven’t got through all these?
Some people might say, buy a reader but I’d still be buying books I don’t have time to read and I’d have digital clutter instead of these very real words of others that I treasure holding in my hands and being amazed by. You probably own a TV with 500 channels with nothing on. I own too many books.
When I look at my bedside I’m starting to wonder, Does this Clutter make my butt look fat? (another of Walsh’s fabulous books). I think I better take my butt on down to this show and find out what Mr. Walsh will have to say about that. I certainly don’t want anything to block the flow of creativity and energy that allows me to stay focused on savouring my life. Maybe I’ll see you there?