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Sunny Schlenger

Living at the Speed of Life
by Sunny Schlenger

It turns out that my parents were right about more than I ever gave them credit for. One thing they impressed upon me was that life has a tendency to go by much faster as you get older, and that you'd better become a quick study while you can.

It's best to try to keep up.

Take the importance of getting organized, for example. Every new year you promise yourself to simplify your world - to get on top of your stuff, to streamline your activities, to better manage your schedule. Like most resolutions, it usually peters out after a few months. You tell yourself that there's always next year.

Organizing for the Spirit by Sunny Schlenger

But what if a catastrophe should occur, such as a house fire or a Hurricane Katrina? If you had just enough time to save your valuables, would you know where to go and what to grab? No one wants to have to make these decisions at the speed of spreading smoke or rushing water, yet many people do. Despite the abundance of articles warning "Don't Let This Happen To You!" it seems we often prefer to learn the hard way.

Winston Churchill was quoted as saying, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." Is there a truth in your life that you've been avoiding?

Maybe you get a tap on the shoulder from your Intuitive Self, reminding you to make your 6 month appointment with your dentist. Does that mean that you have trouble brewing? Not necessarily, but seeing the dentist is a pretty good way of heading off trouble before it arrives. And it's possible that your body knows something that you're not conscious of yet. Life lessons are necessary for our growth, but they don't necessarily have to be painful or expensive. What's imperative is to honor our experiences - to "know what we know". Denial is actually more costly in the long run.

Back to organizing: Even though the odds are probably in your favor as far as catastrophes are concerned, it still makes sense to get things in order while you have the opportunity. Life has a tendency to continue to fill to the brim even as our capacity to deal with it all diminishes.

It's best to try to keep up.

As exhausting as it may feel to make decisions on a daily basis, I recommend that you try to make them. Postponing decisions is the cause of many a messy situation. While I can't guarantee that all of your decisions will be "correct", I can guarantee that you will be better off exercising your right to make them.

How to Be Organized in Spite of Yourself

The future can come at a gallop rather than a trot -- do you have your papers in order? Do you know where your retirement money is coming from? Do you have long-term care insurance? Is your will up-to-date? Nobody wants to think about these things, I know. But an integral part of soulful living is to be an active participant in the progression of life, which includes the many practical decisions that we are called upon to make.

If you haven't kept up as well as you would have liked to, now is a great time to begin again. Just ask yourself, "What truths have I stumbled across lately? How can I most effectively act on them?" The answers will come.

And then you need to follow-through. Keeping up means to follow through as best you can. Do you need encouragement in order to follow through? Do you need assistance, or specialized knowledge? What is preventing you from honoring your truths?

One of my biggest life lessons was recognizing that regardless of my circumstances, I was always being shown the way to go. However, it was up to me to choose to follow that lead. I wish I had learned this earlier, and thereby avoided a lot of false trails, but I'm just grateful that it did happen in time for me to benefit from that wisdom.

Life lessons give us a chance to do it better, to get it right. If we can keep up with those lessons - honoring our truths by following through on them - we can successfully live at the speed of life.

© Copyright 2006 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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