Category / Alchemy for Moms

Alchemy for Moms The Alchemist's Heart

Organizing Chaotic Households

How to Transform A Chaotic Space

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got an area in your home you want to change.

Not just an area that needs a little tidying…a space that makes you cringe when you walk by.

Shocker! I have more than one.

Here is a panoramic pic the knot I tackled a week ago…..


Awesome, isn’t it? Brings lots of creative swear words to mind.

I’m still kind of amazed it didn’t eat me while I was in there!

Here’s what I tried first…..

My Top 3 Knee-Jerk Strategies For Organizing Chaotic Households

1. Positive Thinking messes away. Want to try this with me?

Ready, set, AFFIRM: “My messes are gone and I live in a beautiful space now…..”

Now look around…..mess still there? Shit.

It’s OK, I’ve got your back.

2. Ignoring chaos, leaving the lights off and groping around for whatever I need in order to avoid witnessing the truth. (Feel totally free to extrapolate what this might look like as a metaphor for our unconscious minds….)

Effectiveness of this strategy? Dismal.

Works about as well as trying to make love without feeling confident enough to enjoy being seen in the buff.

Which leads to:

3. Mastering the fine art of guilting myself. You probably know the tactic – enforcing change through personal shame.

Honorary graduate degree, anyone?

Imagine my surprise to discover that despite incredible consistence in reaching for these strategies, for sustainable change, they’ve never worked!

Want to know what DOES? Here you go:

Kick-Ass Cleaning in 13 Simple Steps

  1. Get clear on the feeling you want in the arena you want to change. What would feel really GOOD to you instead of “Aaaccckk?”
  2. Dedicate limited time brackets for your project. I recommend no more than 3 hours in a day. No marathons – I’m serious. Consider what you would advise a friend!
  3. Give yourself the gift of an honest evaluation of the situation “on the ground” so you’ll know the difference once you’ve worked your magic. Considertaking a picture or one minute video complete with commentary.
  4. Call in help from people who are gifted in what you want to do.
    Living or not, you can request assistance from their hearts to yours.
    Seriously ~ I asked for guidance from my Grandma June. She was a masterful cleaner.
    I’ve since learned this is probably because she had OCD, but all I knew was that chaotic environments bowed under her glare and shifted into order.
  5. Declare your intention to safe people in the world to create accountability. We want people rooting for your success in REAL TIME if possible! My personal cheering team came via Anna Kunnecke’s Queen Sweep cohorts. Amazing women who made all the difference.
  6. Promise yourself a genuine treat at the flip side of your day. Something small, something sweet (for your soul, not just your tongue) something just for YOU. Alchemist’s ordersflirty-emoticon
  7. Invite a little (or a lot of) joy into the process – Turn on 80’s music, make your favorite tea or hot cocoa, pour some wine, put on your tiara, stick chocolate in your pocket, keep friends who make you laugh on speakerphone.
  8. Create work “bursts” (15 to 30 minutes) + mini breaks within the larger time frame. Stick to pieces of time even a squirrel could stay focused on.
  9. Gather as many sorting containers as you can lay your hands on – bags, boxes, you name it – grab it! And garbage bags – big ones!
  10. Sort the mess into the simplest possible categories – like with like – bedding, wrapping materials, party supplies, bathroom “goop,” hair doo-dads, pantry items, donations, and “never-ever-wanted-that-how-did-that-get-in-there?” sections. You can always fine tune later.
  11. Take pictures and video halfway through AND at the end of the day’s process. Share these with your support team.
  12. Celebrate your magic ~ Give yourself the promised treat(s) ~ YOU DID IT!
  13. Give yourself full permission to REST. This will feel SOOOO good 

And just the fact that you’re considering this transformative act of courage? Here’s my toast to you!


Alchemy for Moms

You are Better than June Cleaver!

Finding Your Authentic Self

you, body, mind, soul, spirit - a simple mind map for personal growth or development sketched with white chalk and sticky notes on blackboard with eraser smudges

A talented mom wrote me recently to say that she’s been a mother for 15 years, but she’s still “no June Cleaver.” This led me to an “ah-hah” moment:

Each and every one of us is better than any TV mom, June Cleaver or otherwise.


Because we are real parents nurturing real families the best we can with the resources we have.

In my book, authentic is always better. And this applies to our bodies as well as our souls. From a cosmetic perspective, implants may give the illusion of a generously endowed figure, but they have nothing to do with our ability to nourish and care for a family. Lip injections add temporary fullness, but they don’t do anything to enhance our ability to kiss our kids. Botox may erase lines for a time, but it can also give a stiff, unnatural appearance to an otherwise softly loving countenance.

Am I against cosmetic procedures?

No, I think they can be tremendously helpful in certain circumstances.

Do I think they’re overused?


I believe we should honor our authentic selves, including our minds, bodies and spirits, and allow our innate beauty to shine through. Trying to be like someone else may give us a start in the right direction when we’re working to co-create a better life, but at some point, we have to trust ourselves from the inside out and take a leap of faith.

When you catch yourself thinking you should be more like another person, ask yourself this question: “What would that give me?” And then listen and feel for the answer.

If you come up with an answer that seems fairly superficial, ask the same question again: “What would that give me?”

If you follow the trail, you will eventually come up with an answer like “peace,” “love,” ” abundance,” ” a more harmonious life,” ” happiness,” etc.

In which case, it is time to honor your heart’s desire.  Like a seed preparing to sprout toward the sun, you are ready to begin manifesting that which you seek from the inside out. You, with all your perceived flaws, are beautiful and good enough just as you are. And you, not some social icon, are the amazing person your family actually needs!