My Soul Packed Away in Photo Bins
In recent months, I have been taking time out to write books about intention. I wanted to share with others my knowledge and the profound experiences I have had by incorporating intention into my own life and business. One of the items on my intention list is to author nine mini books with each focusing on a certain area of a person’s life. I thought what a breeze this would be, and although I have completed two of the mini books, the third book focusing on family life just was not flowing for me. I was STUCK but did not know why? I’ve raised a family and I’m close to my parents, so why could I not bring myself to write about family? Then I started questioning myself, how could I help support others in writing about intention on the subject of family when deep down there was STUFF that I felt disheartened about. I sat on this thought for a few days and wondered how I could get through this blockage that was holding me back. Then it came; an email for an online seminar with Denise Linn called Soul Coaching. I’ve taken a couple of her seminars and read all of her books except this one, but why? Again, I realized that I was shutting out something that NEEDED to be done. Hence,I signed up for the seminar and started digging deep into the depths of my soul. Guess what I found….
In the Soul Coaching seminars, Denise Linn states,“How we organize our outer physical environment, will often reflect our inner life”. Ok, so I know and practice this as a Professional Organizer and Feng Shui consultant, but what am I missing? The one issue I found with clutter that surrounded around family within our home was the family photos.
I then realized that there were deep-rooted anger issues surrounding my relationship with family. I had felt betrayed and let down by situations or circumstances that was beyond my control or really for that matter any one’s control. Sure, the situations or circumstances could have been handled in a different manner, but each of us did the best that we knew how at the time. The biggest issue that was surfacing for me was becoming a parent at a young age. It was hard, but I do not regret the decision I made to bring life into this world. Immediately, my inner strengths as a warrior kicked in; I became responsible for these little beings that I felt the need to protect at all costs. I had to fight their battles and be there for them at all times. As they became older, this put great strain on me not to mention the relationship between us or with others. I meant well, but I knew nothing more than to act as their guardian.
My children and I have a wonderful relationship, but we became too dependent upon each other. I felt like I had to be the one to make them happy, I would rush in to protect or rescue them from pain that was being manifested by them instead of me. Yes, it’s heartbreaking when they do undergo heart-wrenching issues where you feel the need to jump in to save them. With time I have learned to step back behind the curtain to just take a peek. I no longer tell them what I think they should do but rather listen to them and only offer guidance, if they ask. This was the key, letting them take the wheel by telling their own story in life, while I became the passenger but only when they had given me permission. They also knew that my views were only an opinion and how I perceived an issue, but they were the true driver of their own life journey. When they do ask for my views they also understand that it may not always be what they want to hear. I trust that they will find their own solutions to a situation and follow their own spirit for guidance.
Now, what about those pictures piled in the bins? As I opened the top of those bins, I just wanted to cry! Where would I start? It was such a big job with 20 years of pictures; I was so overwhelmed. Come on Kandi, you can do this! You’re a professional organizer; only you can get the energy flowing for this project! So I did, one by one I pulled those pictures out and started sorting. Oh my, it wasn’t getting any easier because some of the pictures were not dated. I then used my daughter as the time line because she was in many of the pictures over the years. This is when I found that my son was not in some of the holiday or vacation pictures. I remembered the falling out we had after his back surgery during his teens. This was a hard year for us all; my son undergoing a major spinal surgery due to scoliosis, I was let go from my position because I had to take off work for his surgery, and my son’s outbursts after the surgery towards me and his stepfather ended up with him leaving to live with his father without speaking to us for two years. This led to other issues with my husband’s family surrounding around my son and me so it was not easy for us all.
We began to not look forward to holidays because of the tension between family members. Overtime we have come together again during the holidays. During a recent visit from my son, he was looking through the pictures and made a comment about him not being in pictures over a certain period of time. When I reminded him of the situation he looked at me with great depth and then said, ”Now that I’m a father I realize the mistakes I made and I’m sorry for that mom”. WOW, my soul really DID know that I needed to dig into those pictures! What an amazing lift of energy I felt from those words!
The pictures are now in order with some in photo albums. Here are a few tips to get your photos organized:
- Designate an area that will not be used for some time. I used my dining room table but moved to another table once I realized this was going to take some time.
- Sort the pictures by year and place a sticky on top each pile with the designated year. If your photos are not dated pick a young person that is spread throughout the photos as your guide.
- Starting with the oldest dated pile, sort by date and events.
- Place the assortments in a photo archival box. Remember to place the sticky with the date towards the top and place the oldest at the front of the box.
- Block time out in your schedule to work through the archival boxes starting with the oldest date.
- Insert the photos in acid free photo albums. While doing so, indicate the date, year or event on the back or under the photo with an acid free pen.
- If you have more time and want to get more creative purchase scrapbook products. Possibly a family member could help you with this project or designate a time for a family scrapbook fun night for all.
This holiday season take the time to really listen to your family members while seeing yourself as the observer with gentle humor. Set aside your rules, believes, and ego to accept them as they are, a true being of Spirit. Pull out the photos even if they are not in order. This may bring up joyful moments or some issues that presented pain but don’t beat your self up over it. We can’t go back in time but you can take that next step to make a new beginning with your family.
By Kandi Phillips
Kandi Phillips is author of the Live Your Intention series. www.LiveYourIntention.com She also offers Decorating, Organizing, and Feng Shui services throughout the Treasure Coast of Florida. www.AwakenYourSpace.com or call 772-299-0705