All Posts by Noreen Music

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About the Author

Owner of Organize My Space Calgary. A Trained Professional Organizer passionate about helping you become free from clutter and disorganization both at work and at home.

Gift Certificate BOGO Offer
Apr 03

BOGO Gift Certificate Offer!

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts

BOGO Gift Certificate Offer!

Give the Gift of Organizing

As we cannot provide our Done With You or Done For You in home residential organizing services with the current global pandemic, we are providing you a limited time BOGO gift certificate offer.

You can also use this gift voucher towards our Virtual Home Organizing Services which is available to you anytime.

Purchase one gift certificate (minimum $50 value, maximum $700 value) and you will receive one gift certificate for the same value FREE! 

Call us at (587) 889-7198, fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page or follow the link to purchase your BOGO gift certificate voucher while this offer lasts!

https://squareup.com/gift/PPGRA4PVWQHKW/order

PROMOTION CODE: BOGO

An Organizing Gift Certificate is the Ultimate Clutter Free Gift!

An organizing gift certificate is a great clutter free gift for Mother's Day for a pantry make over or for Father's Day to help dad clean out the garage.

You can give one gift certificate away or you can use both to tackle that organizing project you've always wanted to get too!

What an amazing BOGO gift certificate offer!

Giving Back In Our Community

Giving back to deserving families, charities and non-profit organizations in our community is a must for us.

We provide a high quality service that gives people and businesses a solid foundation for getting organized and systems to help it stay that way.

But the fact is, not everyone has the means to afford such a transformative and valuable service.

By choosing to support us, 10% of every gift certificate or package purchased goes back into your community as free service of our time.

If you have a suggestion for an individual, family or charity that could use our help, please fill out the contact form below.

We are committed to working with deserving families and organizations to give them the gift of freedom.

Booking BOGO Gift Certificate Home Organizing Services

When we are able to provide in home residential organizing services again, we will book BOGO gift certificate holders on a priority basis so your organizing project will be completed right away.

For more information on the cost and what's included with our home organizing services, check out our Home Organizing Service page here!

You can also check out our Virtual Home Organizing Services which are always available while we continue to stay at home and beyond. This is a cost effective and convenient option to get started on those organizing projects!

BOGO Gift Certificate

BOGO Gift Certificate

We've made it easy for you to buy a gift voucher!

Call us at (587) 889-7198, fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page or follow the link to purchase your BOGO gift certificate voucher while this offer lasts!

https://squareup.com/gift/PPGRA4PVWQHKW/order

PROMOTION CODE: BOGO

Our thanks to you!

If you need DIY organizing help, we have taken the time to prepare a comprehensive list of community resources for you here.

Thank you for supporting a local small business in this challenging time.

You mean the world to us and we are always here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Buying Less Helps the Planet
Apr 01

Buy Less to Help Save the Planet

By Noreen Music | Freedom Fridays

Buy Less to Help Save the Planet

Earth Day 2020

Earth Day is April 22nd every year and this April marks 50 years of Earth Day!

This is a critical environmental movement to drive transformative change for all people and our planet.

As an individual, you can contribute positively to reducing climate change by changing your consumption of single use goods. Practices such as bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store and not using plastic straws are becoming more and more commonplace. 

But we don't always talk about our intense desire to buy new goods and accumulate more and more belongings that we don't actually need.

Pulling raw materials out of the ground, using them once or twice and then burying them in a landfill is just not sustainable. It makes no sense and is damaging the world we rely on for our food, clean air and safe drinking water.

We can each do our part to reduce climate change and help save the planet by simply buying less.

Buy Less to Help Save the Planet

Buy Less to Help Save the Planet

Be Content

Do you really need the latest and greatest iPhone? Globally we buy approximately 1.5 billion new smartphones a year.....WOW!

Electronics make up about 70% of the toxic waste in our landfills so unless your phone is broken, you don't really need to replace it.

How many pairs of jeans or t-shirts do you have in your closet? The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters on the planet. We have tripled our consumption of garments since the 1960's. 

Most of these clothes we don't wear for long and they end up in the trash. "Fast fashion" contributes to serious pollution in landfills as the dye's in clothes leach chemicals into the ground.

Our appetite for merchandise is trying to fill a space inside of ourselves that only relationships, love and gratitude can truly satisfy. 

Be content with what you have and only buy what you need.

Be Content

Be Content

How Can You Help Save the Planet?

  1. Buy less stuff.
  2. So "no" to disposable, single use items.
  3. Purchase quality, not quantity.
  4. Purchase items that are made from natural, sustainable or recycled materials.
  5. Try living a minimalistic lifestyle.
  6. Shop second hand.
  7. Downsize your home.
  8. Try a "no spend" day, weekend or month.

More resources to help

If you are interested, we have another blog on how buying less means less clutter in your home. Check out the post "Buying Less Means Less Clutter" here.

You can also go to our DIY resource page for more great ideas and resources on where you can take your gently used and no longer wanted goods instead of sending them to the landfill.

Let us know how we can help you reduce, reuse and recycle by commenting below.

We want to help you find more freedom to live your best life and help save the planet by buying less!

Find your freedom. Live your life.

Find your freedom. Live your life.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Virtual Organizing
Apr 01

Virtual Organizing Services FREE OFFER!!

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts , Virtual Organizing

Virtual Organizing Services

Do you have an organizing project you've always wanted to tackle?

  • Is your pantry disorganized?
  • Do you have a cluttered calendar?
  • Does your closet look like a bomb went off?
  • Are you suffering from email inbox overload?

In the spirit of supporting you during this challenging time, we have opened a limited number of spots in our calendar for you to book two free 30-minute virtual organizing sessions.

Take advantage of this FREE OFFER to work with a professional organizer and finally clean out that cluttered area you haven't had the time to organize.

We are here to help!

We will help you prepare, plan and complete that one organizing project at home or work that you've always wanted to do.

Virtual organizing is a simple and effective way to claim more freedom in your life.

Now is a great time!

Fill out the contact form below....

Contact us by completing the form below to claim your two free 30-minute virtual organizing sessions as these spots will fill quickly.

Check out our DIY resources for more great ideas on how to get organized!

We are always here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

People not stuff
Mar 31

People Over Possessions

By Noreen Music | Freedom Fridays

People Over Possessions

Our loved ones are far more important than our stuff.

People over possessions. 

Always.

If you struggle with too many possessions and it is impacting the people and relationships in your life, please let us help.

We promise you, no one has ever regretted making the decision to put people over their possessions.

We are always here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

FB - How to Organize Your Paper Clutter
Mar 31

Organize Your Family’s Paper Clutter

By Noreen Music | Organizing Tips

How to Organize Your Family's Paper Clutter

Paper Clutter Challenges

Are there piles of unsorted paper all over your house and things get buried and lost?

Paper clutter is one of the most challenging and prevalent forms of clutter in our homes.

One of the main differences between managing paper at the office and your family's paper clutter is that there is many different sources, sizes and topics of paper making its way into your home.

Think of your children's artwork, junk mail, newspapers, school papers, magazines, notices, bills, vital documents and more!

Read on to discover how to organize your family's paper clutter.

Paper Organizing Strategies

Types of Incoming Paper

Even though each family member contributes differently to the paper clutter in your home, paper tends to fall under one of these categories:

  • Urgent or time sensitive
  • General information or current activities
  • Reference
  • Archive

To properly deal with the incoming flow of paper and organize your family's paper clutter, it is important to implement a system that takes into consideration each of these different types of information.

Decluttering Your Paper

Before you organize your family's paper clutter, the first step is to edit the quantity of papers you keep. This means going through each and every piece of paper and asking yourself these questions:

  • Does this need action?
  • Is this information recent enough to be useful?
  • Would I use it again?
  • Is it difficult to obtain again?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Is there a tax or legal reason for keeping this?
  • Does it belong with my memorabilia?

Once you have sorted and organized all of your family's paper clutter, you are ready to set up your paper management system.

Did you know that we generally only refer to 20% of the information we keep 80% of the time? Be brutal with what paper you hold on to.

Paper Management System

When you are setting up your family's paper management system to capture and sort all incoming paper, think through these questions first:

  • What types of paper do we deal with?
  • Who brings in the paper?
  • Where should the paper management system go so paper coming into the house will land there?
  • Who has the main responsibility to oversee the paper management system?
  • How do I ensure my family members use the system?

It is important to be clear on what kinds of paper your system needs to be designed to handle and who will be using it before you decide what your system will look like.

Having one person ultimately in control of ensuring your system is being used by family members and that the papers are being dealt with will ensure your paper management system will continue to flow well.

Organizing your family's paper clutter is a group effort but it generally lies on one parent or the other to keep the paper in order.

Family Command Centre

Every family should have a family command centre to contain your family's paper clutter. The main purpose of it is to keep the family on track by providing a place to keep note of appointments, meetings, activities, weekly meals, the grocery list amongst other things. 

The main components and supplies needed for a robust family command centre includes:

Main Components:

  • Calendar (paper or electronic)
  • Chore chart
  • Phone book with emergency numbers
  • Information binder
  • Daily tickler file ("action" file)
  • Reference files
  • Archive files

Supplies:

  • Clock
  • Recycle bin nearby
  • Storage baskets
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters, sticky notes, note pads
  • Calculator
  • Family computer or tablet
  • Hooks for keys
  • Bulletin board (this is a great spot for your grocery list!)

Pick a high traffic and convenient spot in your house for your family command centre and use it to organize everything. It doesn't have to be fancy, just functional for your family's unique needs.

It will become the place where everyone goes to see what's going on with everyone else and your family's paper clutter will disappear!

Calendar

The calendar has all of your family's activities written or keyed in including activities for each family member, family birthdays and other important dates, holidays, reminders, doctor and dentist appointments and meal planning information.

Chore Chart

Use a chore chart to help your kids become more responsible and to help out around the house more as they grow. You can tie your child's allowance, screen time or other rewards to help motivate them to complete all of their chores.

There are so many great ideas online for different and creative chore charts so do a little research and implement one that your kids can help create and that they will stick to.

Information Binder

Your information binder is for current but not date specific reference materials such as game schedules, school contacts, team lists and so on.

You could also include important family, doctor, vet, dentist and emergency phone numbers in your information binder instead of using a separate phone book.

Daily Tickler File

Things that are date specific like school field trip permission forms, party invites, bills to pay, prescription receipts to submit, medical requisitions, etc. all go into your tickler file which is checked daily.

Your tickler file is for holding all "in progress" or pending paper - think of putting paper here that is categorized as ACT, PAY, READ, WRITE, CALL, PENDING.

Reference Files

Papers that are useful but not urgent go into your reference files. This is where home and auto insurance policies go, receipts, warranties, report cards, last and current year income tax information, medical records, paid bills to keep.

Many of these items can also be scanned and kept in electronic format to save on the amount of paper you keep in your reference files.

Reference files should be cleaned out once a year. This will ensure your family's paper clutter will not accumulate.

Archive Files

Archive files include tax returns, legal documents, property deeds, life insurance policies, old employment records, photos, memorabilia.

Paper versions of these types of documents generally must be kept.  

You could consider putting these archive files in a water and fire proof safe in case of a disaster.

Paper Filing System Examples

You can set up your reference and archive files numerically, alphabetically or by category. Here is how a home filing system might be categorized:

Reference Files
  • Child Care
  • Decorating Ideas
  • Employment
  • Activities
  • Family & Friends
  • Health
  • Memberships
  • Pets
  • Subscriptions
  • Travel
  • Warranties & Manuals
Financial Files
  • Auto
  • Banking
  • Budget
  • Credit Cards
  • Insurance
  • Investments
  • Utilities
Vital Documents
  • Birth Certificate
  • Education Records
  • Health Records
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Passport
  • Tax Documents
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Wills
  • House Deed

These are suggested categories and names of files for you to use however, the key to creating a filing system that works for you is to name a file with the first word that comes into your mind. That way it will be easier for you to remember where you filed something and it won't take long to find what you need.

You can also colour code your files by category so it is easy to see, files are a breeze to put away and it just looks great!

Keep on Top of Your Family's Paper Clutter

Deal with incoming mail and paper every day.

Open the mail, put the bills you need to pay in your tickler file and recycle the envelope and inserts.

Have the kids take out their school papers from their backpacks every day and put the papers where they belong in your new family command centre.

Reduce your family's paper clutter by going electronic! Have your bills come to your email inbox instead of your mailbox.

Unsubscribe from newsletters, publications, magazines that you never get the chance to read. Go digital by reading the newspaper and your favourite magazines online.

Let us know how we can help you.....

We hope you enjoyed learning about how to organize your family's paper clutter and that you are motivated to conquer your paper mountain!

You might also like to read another one of our most popular articles called "7 Tips to Conquer Your Clutter". 

Leave us a comment if you have any questions or if you need help with organizing your family's paper clutter.

We are always here to help.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Buying Less Means Less Clutter
Mar 31

Buying Less Means Less Clutter

By Noreen Music | Freedom Fridays

Buying Less Means Less Clutter

Do you want more energy, more money and more time to pursue the things in your life that bring you real happiness?

Then buy less, choose wisely and take care of your things to make them last.

It sounds simple and it really is.

Buying Less

Buying less means less clutter. Less clutter leads to more energy and reduced stress. 

Plus you will have less to clean and less to organize. BONUS!

Consuming less reduces your carbon footprint which is good for our big blue planet.

You will experience increased contentment which comes from reducing the burden of owning too much stuff.

Buying less is far better than buying green.

Choose Wisely

Choosing wisely means buying better quality and buying only what you need when you need it.

Only buying what you need at a higher quality saves you time by not having to repair or replace items as quickly as an inferior item. 

Buying new isn't your only option! There are many ways to buy previously used goods in great condition for much less than buying new.

You save money by spending wisely more than by any other way. Being in control and making smart buying decisions will go a long way to lower your financial stress.

Take Care of Your Things

Taking care of your things makes them last longer which saves you money and can ease any current and future financial burden.

Being responsible and respectful of your belongings is also a reflection of how you take care of yourself. 

Less really is more and you can be content with what you have. Consumerism and comparing yourself to others is not a healthy way to live. 

How can we help you?

We love to help our clients find freedom from clutter, get organized and stay that way over the long term.

Fill out the contact form below if you have any questions for us.

Let us help you make your home a place that exemplifies who you are and all that you value.

Here is a link to one of our most popular articles on Being an Organized Person. Enjoy!

We are always here to help you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Share kind thoughts or appreciation
Mar 23

Share Kind Thoughts or Appreciation with Others

By Noreen Music | Freedom Fridays

Share Kind Thoughts or Appreciation with Others

The Power of Kindness and Appreciation

The power of sharing kindness and appreciation with others cannot be disputed. There is a "happiness high" generated as serotonin is released into the body of the giver of a kind act. It just feels good to give kindness and appreciation.

Think about a time when someone told you how special you are to them. How did it feel when they expressed how much they care and appreciate you? When they told you how loved you are, how hard you work or they appreciate you going the extra mile? It lights us up to hear kind words and expressions of gratitude.

Kindness and appreciation are really simple concepts. Yet they have the power to magically open our hearts leading to strength in relationships that is hard to break.

Not only does treating people kindly boost the recipient, it does wonders for the giver. It reduces your stress, helps with depression and improves your mood. The gift of kindness and showing appreciation to others is a win-win.

What a beautiful practice we can share with the ones we love and care about. Sharing kind thoughts and appreciating others truly makes the world a better place.

"Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” ​- Harold S. Kushner

Selflessness vs. Selfies

Our modern society has drifted from valuing and taking time to express kindness and appreciation with others. We tend to view these acts as weak or exposing ourselves as vulnerable.

In many ways, we have lost this natural act of a healthy community in favour of the perfect selfie for our Instagram feed. We rush around so preoccupied with ourselves that we have lost the connection between our hearts and all other hearts that beat on this planet.

The inverse logic of God says that outward kindness is strength, not weakness. Being kind and expressing gratitude requires great courage and can transform your life.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” - Aesop

Be Kinder and More Appreciative with Others

The qualities of kindness can be said as being friendly, warm, considerate and generous. We also think of kindness and appreciation in terms of care and concern of others. 

  • Do you need to show more consideration to your spouse after they've had a stressful day? 
  • The next time you see your neighbour can you spend 5 minutes chatting with them and ask how things are going?
  • Or could you be more understanding of the co-worker who is going thru a tough divorce and she's not focused on the big project you are working on together?
  • What about the guy who just cut you off in traffic....perhaps he was up all night worrying about his teenage daughter whose been doing drugs and getting in trouble at school?

Think about how you express kindness and appreciation to the people in your family, your neighbours, people at your workplace or the strangers you encounter every day.

We all carry unseen burdens and scars. By being kind, understanding and appreciating people whenever we get the chance, we lift each other up.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” - Desmond Tutu

Adjust Your Automatic Responses

Try adjusting your automatic responses. Slow down and look for opportunities to share a kind word, a compliment or generous praise with others.

Seek first to understand if someone is frustrating or angering you. Why are they doing what they're doing? And then choose to be kind. Focus on appreciating the good in people not on the negative.

Be present in the moment. When you are in a meeting, talking on the phone or having a coffee with a friend, be there with them. Don't think about your to-do list, look at your phone or script in your head what you want to say next.

Do try this at home. We are generally nicer to complete strangers than our own loved ones. Be the hero and act with kindness and appreciation to your family. This could be the one thing that improves your relationships at home.

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act." - Proverbs 3:27

Put Your Hand on Your Heart

Sharing kind thoughts and appreciation is a daily practice and a powerful way of choosing to show up in your life. It is not a one and done project.

Kindness and appreciation are wonderful ways of being with others but it is also important how you treat yourself. If you catch yourself thinking unkind thoughts or undervaluing yourself, do this one thing....

Put your hand on your heart.

Really. Put your hand on your heart. This technique is scientifically proven to bring you back to yourself and connect with your inner compassion and gentleness.

Be kind and appreciate yourself for the amazing, unique and deserving person you are. Not because of what you do or your job title or how much cash you have.

Just for being beautiful you.

“Be kind to yourself as you proceed along this journey. This kindness, in itself, is a means of awakening the spark of love within you and helping others to discover that spark within themselves." - Tsoknyi Rinpoche

Share the Kindness Message!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on Facebook and LinkedIn to inspire your circle to be kinder and more appreciative in their daily lives!

In the spirit of this post, thank you for being the incredible person you are. I deeply appreciate each of you....my clients, my family and my friends. My heart is full of gratitude for you.

If you need me, if you have a question or if you are interested in starting an organizing project, kindly comment below and I will respond to you within 24-48 hours.

Take good care of yourself.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Time to Rise
Mar 22

Part Three: Time to Rise

By Noreen Music | About Me

Time to Rise

Climbing My Second Mountain

2020 is the year I will rise up to scale my second mountain. I can say with 100% certainty that I won’t be climbing it the same way as the first. 

I will climb this mountain slower, taking time to really see the beauty and wonder of it all. Listening for the bird songs. Seeing the purple crocus rise up out of the freshly thawed ground. Touching the rough bark and sensing the life in the trees that reflects mine.

I have learned in the dark valley that there is a deeper and more meaningful journey that I can choose to take up my second mountain.

My Intentions

I intend to put relationships first.

I intend to be open, vulnerable and allow more intimacy into my day to day life.

I will relentlessly pursue what is good, right and true by aligning with what will leave a positive and permanent mark on the people around me.

My North Star

God will always be my true North Star. He is my beginning and end. The lamp that lights my path. My friend and encourager.

I desire that the work of my hands will have a purpose and be thick with service and kindness. His purpose for my life is now my will for my life. I surrender to the one who made me.

I want to live my life as a gift to others and not one lived for just myself.

I will make every effort to move my thinking and actions from independence to interdependence.

I cannot live this life well, full and whole without help from others. It is only through a rock-solid and connected community that I can bear the burdens on my back and truly thrive in service.

I have a deep yearning to care for others. To go beyond myself and my worldly pursuits and simply care for people right where they are. Sacrificial love is the best kind of love of all.

I'm All In

I am all in. No second thoughts. No keeping my options open.

I am committed and planted and will grow deep roots. I have planted this flag deep into the ground.

My second mountain is bigger and better than the first. It is richer and more generous. I don’t discount the journey or reject the things I achieved on the first mountain.

My second mountain is simply the more generous and satisfying journey after it.

And the view is spectacular.

Blessings to you

Thank you for being here with me. I hope my sharing my heart has given you something good.

I am never far away my friend. If you need me, I am here to support you on your journey.

God bless you, no matter where you are on the map.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Lessons from the Valley
Mar 22

Part Two: Lessons From the Valley

By Noreen Music | About Me

Lessons From the Valley

Seasons of Suffering

Seasons of suffering and pain in life cannot be avoided. As people living on this earth, we experience many highs and lows, fear and freedom, love and hate, pain and pleasure.

My time in the valley exposed the deepest parts of me, and I saw who I really am. Strangely, this season of pain and sorrow has made me bigger and braver.

Suffering well and seeking out the lessons hidden in the dark folds is the key I needed to open the gate at the trailhead at the base of my second mountain.

Lesson 1 - God is an Anchor

There really is a God and He never left me. Not once. He was my lifeline and anchor when the storm buffeted me with fierce winds and driving rain on all sides.

There were even a few times I faintly heard Him singing over me to give me His comfort and peace as I cried rivers of tears in the dark.

My faith knows that my entire life has passed through His hands with His blessing and mighty wisdom. So this season of suffering was meant for my good not to harm me.

He uses it all as His love story to me as his precious daughter. The ugly. The beautiful. The hard things.

If life was always smooth sailing, I would never experience the refining of my soul and the absolute need every minute of every day of my Father in heaven.

These lessons and seasons have all sharpened my faith in Him and I am grateful.

Lesson 2 - Courage

Vulnerability will not kill you. Suffering with not kill you. Fear will not kill you. 

It felt like I was dying while I was walking on the dark path down in the valley. But it didn't kill me because fear is a liar. Fear is no match for my hope and faith in the creator of earth and heaven.

Courage and bravery are the decision to walk through these doors anyway knowing I am never alone.

Lesson 3 - Letting go

Ego, selfish desire, prominence, prestige, pleasure is no longer where my focus and interests lie.

The things I strived for on my first mountain were thin, fleeting and held no real substance. What matters most to me now is living my true purpose and reaching out beyond myself to love and help others.

I want to make a difference and deeply contribute to those in need. To do this I must practice letting go of my own selfish desires and live in service of others.

Letting go is the ultimate in freedom and liberty.

Lesson 3 - Real Truth

True love and friendship are tested when the people who love you choose to join you in the valley, so you don’t walk alone. 

To those of you who walked in the darkness with me, my soul thanks you more than you know. I promise to do the same if you ever find yourself in the wilderness.

When you rest your identity on your job title, the money in your bank account, the social events you are invited too, you are constantly and solely preoccupied by the notion of only yourself.

Power, position and prestige do not fill your heart and soul. They are not where the real truth lies.

My Second Mountain

Happiness is fleeting and self-centered. Pure joy transcends any current circumstance and is the light that radiates from my brokenness and deep cracks. 

This is a treasure, a gift from the Holy Spirit. I am clay and He is the master potter. I am dust and His power lasts for eternity.

The sustenance I need to fill the dark hole that caved in under my feet is not the little bag of trail mix I packed to eat on my first mountain.

The food needed to sustain me on my second mountain is rich with meaning and purpose.

It multiplies when given away to feed others. It is deeply satisfying and is best eaten slowly with others who I love.

You are not alone

Thank you for allowing me to share the lessons I have learned spending time in the valley. It is my privilege and honour to open my heart to you.

If you are in a dark valley of suffering, you are not alone. There is always a silver lining, lessons to learn and a God who will hold your hand. There is always a light at the end of every tunnel of hardship. There is always hope.

If you want to keep walking with me on this journey, you can read the last part of my story called "Time to Rise".

Please let me know if you need me. I am always here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

My Year in the Valley
Mar 22

Part One: My Year in the Valley

By Noreen Music | About Me

My Year in the Valley

In 2019 I cried many painful tears of loss, shame and injustice. It was the hardest time in my life but also a season I now look back on with gratitude. My year in the valley held many profound lessons.

More tears fell from my eyes and down my cheeks in those 12 months than in my entire 49 years before. I never realized I had so many sobs inside of me to express. They were hot tears. Cleansing tears. Renewing tears.

Early in childhood, I was taught to believe that emotions were to be held in and not expressed. Well I certainly made up for all of my suppressed feelings. 

This was my year of pain and suffering in the dark valley and I deeply thank you for coming with me on this journey.

Climbing My First Mountain

Life before entering the valley of suffering was spent climbing my first mountain.  

Finding love, raising children, building a career and hopefully finding brief moments of happiness along the way.

This was the journey I embarked on all in the pursuit of self.

I didn’t want to be lonely. I desired to be a mother. Climbing the corporate ladder in thin places was just what you did to get ahead right?

And so, for 30 years I climbed my first mountain.

At the Top of the Mountain

Somewhere along the trail, the rocks under my feet started to get slippery.

I was married but still felt lonely. My children grew and needed me less and less. My career was no longer my passion but a drudgery to be endured. 

Fleeting moments of sunshine seemed to forever be behind thick, dark clouds. Deep down I knew there was a piece of me that wasn’t getting fed and this piece was getting hungrier and hungrier.

I asked myself questions at the top of the mountain. Did I take a wrong turn somewhere along the path? Where were the rewards I thought materialized at the highest peaks? Why was climbing down the backside of this flipping mountain so much harder than the climb up?

The disappointment and despair at the top of the mountain was surprising to me and not at all what I expected.

The Valley of Suffering

Then suddenly the rocks under my feet started to crumble. I fell hard from the mountain into the wild, dark valley below with a shocking and painful thud. 

My memory fades a bit here. I do remember it was dark and I was terrified. My entire life was turned upside down. It shattered into a thousand broken pieces at the bottom of my mountain.

Eventually, slowly I got up. I was badly battered. Some of my gaping and jagged wounds were bleeding openly…” these will scar for sure…” I thought to myself.

I sustained other injuries that only showed up later as big, ugly blue and purple bruises. I was injured but still alive. I honestly didn’t know if I was relieved or not.

My life on my first mountain fell away and the dark valley of suffering welcomed me in.

There was no going back to my first mountain.

Thank you for sharing a piece of my heart

Thank you for reading this post and allowing me to share a small piece of my heart with you.

As a human living on this earth, you will have experienced pain and suffering in different ways and degrees and I honour those broken places in you. 

I see you. I feel you. I want to draw closer to you. Your cracks are beautiful as they let the golden white light that powers our universe shine through your broken places.

Our pain and suffering becomes a masterpiece like a beautiful stained glass window or Kintsugi the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending it with gold.

My prayer for you and for me is that we learn and expand in positive ways from these painful times with a deep knowing that our story is not over and that the best is yet to come.

Part Two - Lessons From the Valley

I invite you to read part two in my personal journey called "Lessons From the Valley" on our Freedom Living page.

Take good care my friends and if you need me I am already there.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen