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This last spring, I asked Patti Morrison, Image Strategist to come into my home and help me to clean out my closet. Let me add here, I was reluctant. VERY reluctant as I intuitively knew this process would not be easy, and as an introvert welcoming someone into my home to dig through my closet, in my most intimate of spaces, my bedroom, was not something I was looking forward to.
However, I knew I needed this and I also wanted it on some level. Patti is very disarming and not the least bit threatening so you know you can move forward without feeling forced or intimidated in any way. THIS is very important when working with someone for any aspect of your self or your home.
Personal growth is something that never stops. As soon as you think you’ve got a handle on things, something else will pop up to challenge you, stress you out and sometimes even bring you to your knees. And this experience of cleaning my closet, as innocent as it may sound, ultimately brought me to my knees in the most uncomfortable yet eye opening of ways.
So, how does a simple closet clean get so dramatic? Well, let me start by explaining the process and what Patti does with you so you understand what happens.
On Patti’s website she offers many services. You can get all sorts of support when crafting your image. I asked Patti to come and do the ‘Closet Clean’ which includes a ‘Style Assessment’ and on her website this is the description of the service:
Patti will come to your home and do a one-on-one review of your current wardrobe and give you an objective opinion about each item. She will help you put together new outfits using your existing wardrobe. Based on your budget and lifestyle, Patti will also make a list of the items you need to add to complete your perfect wardrobe.
The Personal Style Assessment will get you moving towards having a great wardrobe and a fresh up-to-date look. It begins with a detailed questionnaire designed to assess every aspect of your appearance including:
- Best colours for the season
- Your personal style
Complete the Personal Style Assessment Questionnaire and return it to us for analysis. Patti will then get together with you to review your responses and create an action plan.
Having a ‘bit’ of a panic attack as I await the arrival of Patti Morrison Image Strategist – Why? Oh because…many THINGS!
Posted by Kaare Long on Wednesday, 26 April 2017
There are all sorts of things that can be difficult to overcome in this process. Body Image issues, Letting Go issues, Intimacy issues, Shame issues etc etc. All of these things are easily hidden day to day, but when you ask Patti to go through your closet, they will all rise up and come to light for you to see and hopefully deal with. Be sure to view the video above, because you will witness my fear, my anxiety and my nervousness about the process ahead of time.
Patti arrives and we start going through my closet. Initially it was kinda fun and then it started to feel good as I saw how much STUFF was going. I started to realize how much crap was sitting in my closet that I wasn’t even really aware of. Things like:
- New clothes with tags still on – never worn
- Old clothes that don’t fit anymore
- Worn out clothes that I don’t wear anymore and I keep them…why?
- Underwear from my 20’s? Really? Yes, go check your underwear drawer – you might find some too.
One of my concerns was how the process would go, and as I explain in the FB live video below, Patti doesn’t bark orders, or force you to do anything. Much of what I was doing was actually instigated by me and the experience of having a WITNESS during the process and someone to guide me through it made an incredible difference.
Closet Cleaning with Kaare Long
Posted by Patti Morrison on Wednesday, 26 April 2017
The videos above really do give you an accurate inside look into the process, but what I must tell you about is the AFTERWARDS. And, this is where the ‘fall to my knees’ did indeed happen.
After this session with Patti, I was exhausted, drained both emotionally and physically. I had gotten rid of 4 BIG garbage bags of clothes and I had let go of clothing that I had had for YEARS, even some from when before I was a mom. It was a huge cleansing process.
The next day I started to feel sick, and then I got somewhat sick. This is unusual for me since I rarely do get sick enough to notice these days. The stress of the ‘unload’ was THAT taxing to my body and my spirit. I had also been feeling ‘off’ before the closet clean out and that I was pushing things a bit and I should probably slow down. BUT, I also remember ignoring that inner wisdom and driving through anyway. Do you ever find yourself doing that? If you say no, I wont’ believe you. I think most moms and business boss ladies do this. It’s ingrained in us. It’s not healthy, so it’s good to be aware of when it’s happening. But, as I can attest to – it is very difficult to remember this.
The most important event that happened though, was two days later as I put on an outfit, with a my newfound confidence, and some nice new Spring heels ( it was April, and a sunny, warm day ) and attended a business meeting. When I left the meeting I was walking briskly back to the car ( my normal pace) and out of nowhere I lost my balance, twisted my foot over in my heel felt a ‘pop’ and went face down on the pavement, laptop and purse went flying and I got the wind knocked out of me. I was momentarily stunned. A woman on her bike came to help me up and it was then I started to notice the searing pain in my foot. Luckily I had packed some flip flops that morning (foreshadowing insight perhaps?) and I was able to take my heels off and put them on. The kind woman asked if I was OK to walk, and of course I said: “oh I’m FINE! Thank you so much, I’ll be ok” – she said “ Are you sure?” – I replied ” oh ya, totally! Thank you again for stopping!” And I started to limp away trying not to look like I was in pain. I got to my car which was a whole block away and I got in, sat down and then….I started BAWLING. Not gentle tears, just hot mess, crazy crying that just took me from strong, independent business woman, to 2 year old toddler panic attack and crying fit after falling down. I called my partner and told him what had happened and realized when he said to come home and put my foot up, that I would be forced into downtime now, for a long while. This terrified me.
The drive home was hard. Painful, anxiety ridden, but also with that wise calm that states ” I told you so, I told you that you needed to slow down, well, now we have to, if you weren’t going to listen, this is what had to happen” – I also realized that much of the stress I was feeling was all of that old energy from the clothes I had let go of, the intense healing crisis that the closet cleaning had initiated.
So, as it may seem innocent, fun and frivolous to get a closet cleaned and a style assessment, it ended up being much, much more for me. It caused an epic shift in me, one that had me adjusting and changing my life for weeks after and that allowed me to listen to myself, learn and heal. It’s likely this would have happened eventually to me as I was pushing hard even before the closet clean, but the full on PURGE just escalated my evolution that much more.
I don’t do life in a high level, easy, and frivolous manner. I am a warrior, I am deep and I am a thinker. It is when I forget this that life steps in and reminds me to always listen to my inner guidance. To take time to process and feel and to allow my spirit to take the time in needs to assimilate the world that is happening around me.
We get so lost in our day to day, entangled in the busy and the doing that it is so easy to forget ourselves. This warrior was reminded, and in one of the most obscure of ways. I wrote a blog while I was ‘healing’ – it was all about SLOWING DOWN.
So, if you’re looking for some clarity in your life, start with your closet. But, we warned – you’ll find a lot more than you bargained for, so be prepared to honour yourself, have patience with yourself and to hold compassion for the energy and the life you’ll be letting go with those clothes.
BELOW: A photo shoot I did a few months after the closet clean in my new sense of STYLE! Photos: Anita Alberto Photography
Enjoy the cleansing process!
To contact Patti to explore her services, visit her website: http://www.imagestrategist.com
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