Creating a Container for Success

Every  year as we head into spring, I clean and organize my office.  It is not something that is planned, I'm too right-brained for that.  It's just that it feels like its time.  Last year I bought a new desk set from Ikea and did a rigorous clearing out that took months.  While I've enjoyed the fruits of that organization, piles of papers and notebooks and journals and spirals still managed to spring up.  And finally they drove me so nuts that it was time to get down to it.  Which I've been doing over the last few days.

And what I found myself doing was creating containers. Engrave-engraving-vase-34458-l

The act of clearing away the old creates a container for the new, just in the sheer act of doing it.  Getting rid of the gunk creates a vaccum of space, and you know the saying–nature abhors a vaccuum.  It's a cliche because its true.  Which is why if you need business or are longing for something new in your life, you gotta go make room for it.   Yesterday, I consigned items to the give-away pile that I never thought I could get rid of.  Things like a small mirror a friend gave me years ago, a tacky quirky piece of kitsch I bought at a craft fair, a pop-up book featuring images of buddhist icons. 

I also found myself making file folders for new clients.  I've got several people who expressed interest in working with me, but haven't yet made definite plans.  Just the act of making files with their name on them made me happy.  I thought about them, wished them well no matter what they decide to do, and felt ripe with possibility for both them and me.  Because in creating containers for new clients, the universe will send them to me.  Could be the ones whose names grace the folder, could be others.  Its the act of making room for them, of showing the universe that I'm serious in my intent, that creates the end result.

Today, as I waded through a gazillion junk messages in my inbox, I realized I could create some containers there, too.  I am the worst when it comes to signing up for email lists, and my inbox reflects that.  It is full of mail from hard-hitting internet marketers whose freebie I wanted once upon a time, but whose ongoing message I'm not interested in.  And so instead of hitting the delete button repeatedly, I took the time to unsubscribe.  There was a wee moment of panic, I will admit, when the thought occurred that perhaps I would not have any emails left.  But then I reminded myself that cleared out the junk leaves room for the jewels.  My inboxes are now containers for new energy–from clients, from editors, from agents, from friends.

And here's the deal.  As I wrote in my journal about finishing up this organizational project the thought hit me: what will I do now?  As in, what will I do, now that cleaning my office isn't hanging over my head?  What will I do now, that I don't need to keep telling myself, I'll do that when I've organized my office?  The answer is clear, of course.  I'll commit myself fully and completely to my writing projects.

For a moment, I felt the fear in that.

And then I felt the glorious rush of liberation that creating a container for success brings.


What kind of containers for success are you creating?


Photo by Hamed Saber, from Everystockphoto.

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13 Responses to Creating a Container for Success

  1. Suzanne 02/21/2011 at 15:21 #

    I kept waiting for you to get to the part where you rolled the papers up so they would fit in that jar in the picture. It’s a SYMBOL, I get it now. You are so good and so right, Charlotte. Good luck filling up those folders!

  2. Charlotte Dixon 02/21/2011 at 15:47 #

    Well, you have to admit its a gorgeous jar, isn’t it? Thanks, Suzanne!

  3. vivi 02/22/2011 at 04:49 #

    nice post.. thanks…

  4. Charlotte Dixon 02/22/2011 at 09:59 #

    Vivi, you’re very welcome.

  5. Trisha 02/22/2011 at 21:32 #

    My email makes me want to weep right now. Both my work email and my personal one. I only just realised you can organise Gmail messages into folders, and I’ve started work on that. But man I have a long way to go! 3,700 emails long.

  6. Lynn Hershberger 02/22/2011 at 21:48 #

    I’m frustrated with Typepad, it lost my post while it made me wrangle with a login. Not the first time, either…

    The long, thoughtful note I posted said “me, too” but with detail.

    I find stuff easier to let go of now than ever before, having worked on it in depth for the last two springtimes.

    Time, though… that is my last frontier. Passionate people die with a to-do list, I remind myself.

  7. Lauri 02/23/2011 at 05:56 #

    Thanks for this. My desk and surrounding area are scary at the moment. It’s not a space I want to be in. I love the concept of making room for projects. Anyway…I only have a bit of free time today, but I will go clean off a small corner of my desk. Thanks!

  8. Charlotte Dixon 02/23/2011 at 08:04 #

    Trisha, The downfall with gmail is that you can keep so many emails! And they’ve got a great search feature. I’m embarrassed to admit I just let emails pile up in gmail. I use Comcast webmail for my other account, and I organize emails into folders there. Its saved me more than once. Good luck with your organizing!

    Lynn, sorry about Typepad, I’ve noticed that too, that sometimes their log-in requirements are random and arbitrary. Sorry we didn’t get to read your long, thoughtful note! I love hearing about your successes in organizing–inspires me to keep at it and let go of more.

    Lauri, Just yesterday I rearranged my desk. Last year I bought one of those massive Ikea Galant desks, and its great, because there is so much room. Of course, you guessed it, because of all that room things get out of hand really fast. I was stalling myself because before I started rearranging I told myself I wasn’t sure I was going to like it the new way. Well, duh, then I don’t have to keep it that way. But those are the kinds of thoughts that keep me from getting organized. Good luck with cleaning that bit of desk!

  9. Fear of Writing 02/23/2011 at 13:55 #

    I love the energy of this post! And thanks for the marvelous ideas. I especially love the idea of creating containers for new clients. I’m going to do that for new coaching clients and students. I think I’ll start by printing some fresh 8-week checklists (students) and assessment surveys (clients).

    I’ve also just created new websites for both services. Not sure if you can classify those as “containers” – though maybe I can add a secret symbol to my contact pages (behind the templates), which could be considered containers since they both have contact forms. I’m doing some inner healing with symbols right now and I have a special symbol for my business that I can use.

    Thank you, Charlotte. Great stuff.

  10. Charlotte Dixon 02/23/2011 at 14:55 #

    I think that you can indeed think of websites as containers for your services. The idea of doing inner healing with symbols is intriguing!

  11. sharonholly 03/03/2011 at 08:50 #

    i like this idea of creating space for good things. probably something i should try, as i am one step away from making an appearance on hoarders! inboxes, closets, drawers…you name it, i’ve over-stuffed it!

  12. Karen Phillips 03/01/2012 at 15:36 #

    Charlotte, you have spoke to me before about containers for fears. Then I read something else about using writing as a container for fear. There is a blance in reading this post about containers for success.

    I’ve meant to send you a link to a blog post that I mentioned you in. So it’s below.

  13. Charlotte Dixon 03/01/2012 at 16:03 #

    Karen, I just read your great post and commented on it. Also subscribed to your blog! Thanks so much for pointing out the post. I guess maybe we need containers for fears and containers for success. The trick, of course, is to know what to put in each one.

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