The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time

Make Room for Your Mess

Of course my life is a mess.  It’s chaos.  Sure, my surroundings are quiet and organized, my house is serene, my pace is measured.  But internally?  My mind is buzzing.  My head spins with ideas, plans and dreams, which are constantly interrupted by uncertainty, anxiety, and gaps in my knowledge. 

When I was training to be a coach we learned how to “be messy” when we were with a client.  To fumble around when we couldn’t find the exact words, to venture a guess when we didn’t know.   To be as imperfect as we needed to be to help our clients.

I’ve found that the willingness to be messy, to embrace not knowing, serves me in life as well as coaching.  It’s perfect for those times when I don’t know what to say but I know I need to speak.  Or when I need to get from point A to point B but have no idea how to do it. 

I know, messes are, well, messy.  They’re uncomfortable, and when we find ourselves embroiled in one our insecurities tend to get kicked up a notch.  But when we’re willing get messy, to fumble through, we often find the information we need in order to leave the mess behind.   

I don’t know about you but I’ve never known anyone who was actually perfect, who didn’t have a mess somewhere in the back rooms of their life.  I’ve seen lots of people try to be perfect, and I’ve also seen folks try to seem perfect.  And, as they work to radiate perfection, what they end up conveying is desperation.  Because we get closest to perfection when we are most fully ourselves, mess and all.


When it it hardest for you to get messy? 


Note: The term “Make Room for Your Mess” was created by my coach and good friend Michael Huskey.  Thanks, Michael, for the loan.

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6 responses to “Make Room for Your Mess

  1. Beth September 21, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Hi Melinda,

    This is so true! I always know when I am on the brink of something important because I allow myself to let my surroundings get messy. I give myself permission to play or indulge in activities other than keeping everything perfectly orderly and neat. When I first started living alone I didn’t always jump up and do the dishes right away or even make my bed every day. I thought it was because I didn’t care enough to look after myself but I realized that it was a way of exercising my freedom to think and do things differently. I didn’t care if the bed wasn’t made and no one else had to look at it so I just let it be. Often when things get messy on the outside I can see the caous and in the midst of it I can imagine putting things back together in a different way. It helps me to think outside the box and be fully present in the caous of life without anyone else ever having to engage in my creative process. Life is messy and some of the most beautiful moments are created from all the mess. I remember fondly finger painting in kindergarten and just making a mess with paint. Great fun!

    Thanks again for this!

  2. Debbie September 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I think my mess needs to make room for ME.

  3. Dawnika September 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I LOVE when something forces me to change my perspective and this message does that for me.
    I know what you mean about those times when you don’t know what to say but know that you have to speak, and it’s wonderful to think that it’s perfectly great to be messy in that situation. The coaching scenario makes so much sense to me also that being messy can be really helpful in certain situations. The bottom line is you are what you are and it’s beautiful.
    I also love that your, “head spins with ideas, plans and dreams!!!”
    I just love it when my head spins with ideas, plans and dreams!!!

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