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Sunny Schlenger

Places in the Heart
by Sunny Schlenger

My family’s philosophy seemed to be, “Bloom where you’re planted.” They were apparently nourished by the Maryland state soil and never got “called” to another field. Baltimore and the surrounding area was always home to almost all of my relatives.

And then there was me.

Organizing for the Spirit by Sunny Schlenger

I don’t suppose my family has ever known quite what to make of me, but I know that one thing in particular always puzzled them: Why didn’t I ever move back “home”? Especially since I’m so nostalgic and am forever reminiscing, “Remember when…?”

Up until the last few years, I’ve been quite comfortable in Fair Lawn, New Jersey where I’ve lived since 1978. We reside in the first planned community in the country, called Radburn, “the town for the motor age”.  It’s been designated a national historic site, and was a wonderful place to bring up children.

But then my youngest left for college, and the following spring my husband retired. Roy and I were just beginning to re-think our housing needs and where we might best meet them, when we took a trip to Sedona, Arizona. Roy had never even heard of Sedona before I suggested it as a travel destination, but within 24 hours of arriving, he announced to me, “I think I could live here.”

I remember just staring at him and saying, “You what?” My husband is a former surfer boy I thought I would have to pry off of Long Island, NY with a crow bar.

Sedona had always appealed to me on a number of levels, but I hadn’t thought of it before as a place to live. The truth was, I never really considered any place much west

of the mid-Atlantic states. But now I realized that I was feeling the same way as Roy. Somehow, we both “knew” that we were “supposed” to be here.

Since that day, we’ve heard many similar stories from people who have been “called” to a place. Not just to Sedona, but to places all over the globe. In a sense, it’s not surprising because today’s society is more mobile than any that has come before – we move to go to college, for jobs, to bigger houses and for retirement. But how many of us move in answer to the yearnings of our souls?

Have you ever visited a place for the first time and it’s felt like home? Have you felt a sudden connection to somewhere you’ve never been before? Have you ever read a book or seen a picture and thought, “That’s where I’m supposed to be!”

How to Be Organized in Spite of Yourself

We bought a house in Sedona and have never second-guessed our decision. Yes, if you had told either one of us ten years ago that we would ever be living out west, we would have had a good laugh. But so many things happened so quickly – so many synchronicities one on top of the other – that there could be no doubt. This is truly where we’re meant to be.

There can be more than one place in the heart. We also found a little condo in the mountains of western North Carolina to retreat to in the hot Arizona summers. The area around Asheville has a similar “feel” to Sedona, probably because we’ve learned to follow our intuition.

 We stayed in the Northeast as long as we did because it felt right to be near family. But as circumstances changed, we broadened our outlook of possibilities to include the non-familiar and the not-expected. Every person’s choices have to be made in light of their particular situation, but do listen.

Take time to listen to the voice of your soul. It will show you where you need to be.

© Copyright 2007 Sunny Schlenger.  All Rights Reserved. 

Sunny Schlenger
Sunny Schlenger has been a professional organizer for over 25 years, working with large and small corporations, non-profit agencies, and individuals to help them manage their time and space more creatively and effectively. She does personal coaching as well as group training and special project facilitation. Sunny is the author of the best-selling How To Be Organized in Spite of Yourself, a Book-of-the-Month-Club featured selection. Her next release will be Organizing for the Spirit, to be published by Jossey-Bass/John Wiley & Sons in April, 2004. Sunny has degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her clients have ranged from the producers of Live with Regis and Kelly, to her husband, an air traffic controller who tells us that the skies are now safer, thanks to her assistance.

Her website is www.suncoach.com.

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