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The One To Zen Organizing Blog

Breathe in Calm, Breathe out Clutter

  • Writer's pictureJill Katz

How The Loving Kindness Meditation Can Improve Your Organizing Practice


A gorgeous landscape with rocks, stepping stones, and a stream surrounded by a lush lawn and trees with fall colors
Brookside Gardens - my local meditative paradise

The Story


If you have ever seen the homepage on my website, the Loving Kindness Meditation is featured prominently on the page:


"May I feel safe,

May the path before me be smooth,

May my surroundings bring me calm."

-Loving Kindness Meditation


I placed this meditation front and center because it plays such an important role in my organizing practice. Here's why.


History & Meaning of the Loving Kindness Meditation


The first time I heard the Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM) was in yoga class about 7 years ago, right before I started my organizing company but during a time where I was already working with clients. I was very taken with the words and I felt transformed after saying it. I was intrigued and googled this meditation the very same day. I found the following information:


  • The Loving Kindness Meditation, also known as the Metta Meditation, originated in India about 2,500 years ago and was later incorporated into the Buddhist tradition.

  • Repeating this meditation every day is thought to calm the mind and create a sense of peace and love with ourselves and the world.

  • There have been multiple studies like this one that showed that subjects experience more self compassion and less judgement for themselves and others after saying this meditation for an extended period of time.

  • The LKM creates positive emotions that have been proven to create lasting positive change for those experiencing depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia and other mental health struggles.


The Connection Between Loving Kindness Meditation & Organizing


What initially drew my attention to the LKM and organizing was the line: "May my surroundings bring me calm." But as I practiced this mediation alongside my organizing practice, I noticed other connections:


A woman in yoga clothes and her hair in a bun standing on a yoga mat indoors in tree poste

Combating Anxiety

I am an organizer that brings mindfulness to my practice. I struggle with anxiety and I know that the Loving Kindness Meditation helps to calm my brain and combat overwhelm so I can approach my day with clarity and compassion. It is important to me to showcase this calm   approach as the center of my organizing practice. In fact, I begin every organizing session with an invitation to my clients to practice breathing or other mindfulness exercises because I find that it helps my clients cancel out all the "noise" that might have been going in internally before I come through their door.


Increases Self-Compassion and therefore, compassion for others

In this meditation we are saying that we all deserve goodness. Therefore, recitation of the LKM fosters self-compassion, which, in turn, expands into compassion for those around us. . Developing Self-compassion is another important component of organizing, on both the organizer and client end. If you are wasting your energy berating yourself for your clutter, then you won't have the energy and openness for self-discovery and development of new habits and routine that work for you. Likewise, my job as an organizer is to create an environment without judgement and to model compassion.


Emotional Regulation

The Loving Kindness Meditation also helps with emotional regulation. Many of the people I work with, struggle with executive functioning (including myself!) and one of the challenging pieces is to learn how to balance a barrage of emotions in order to work through them in a healthy way. The balm of wishing upon yourself a safe, smooth, and calm space creates a sense of stability the sets the stage for emotional regulation. When we are emotionally regulated we are ready and open to learn, explore, and discover.


General Positivity

Guess what? Not everyone is as psyched as I am to organize and declutter! But the loving kindness mediation is all about positivity. And having a positive approach to organizing can breed success. So say this meditation and create the positive vibes you need to get you through! It's a neat trick to say the words of the meditation to psych yourself up when you need to complete a less desired task. Trust me, it works! I consider it one of the "fake it until you make it" approaches (a subject for another blog post, perhaps?).


In Conclusion

Today, I incorporate the Loving Kindness Meditation into my organizing practice by practicing it myself and offering this practice to my clients before our session. This practice has not only transformed my approach but also enriched the experiences of my clients. Here are some guided loving kindness meditations if you are interested in exploring this practice.


Wishing you and your loved ones safety, a smooth path, and calm surroundings.


Do you have a meditation practice that you love? Have you ever tried the Loving-Kindness Meditation? Please share with me in the comments.




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8 Comments


Julie Bestry
Julie Bestry
May 28

I love the concept of the Loving Kindness Meditation. I'm historically awful at meditating because my brain is jam-packed, but having something (rather than nothing, or breathing) on which to focus is definitely workable. I suspect I'd be on the lowest end of the the self-criticism scale (short actual psychopaths or narcissists), and I feel like I have a good handle on self-compassion. However, while I'm not a spiritual person, I like the semi-prayerful, almost wish-fulfillment aspect of achieving calm through this meditation, especially in an election year! Thank you for sharing this!

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Jill Katz
Jill Katz
May 28
Replying to

Julie, your comment made me laugh! I think it's great that you have a high level of self-compassion for yourself. I also have trouble focusing while meditating. When I practice the LKM, I visualize heat radiating from my body and the heat represents healing and compassion for myself and for all. I also picture myself bobbing around in the universe which I find lightens them mood but also quite soothing. Let me know if you try it.

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Linda Samuels
Linda Samuels
May 27

I love this, Jill! It's a beautiful way to center yourself and also offer that grounding to your clients.


As a daily meditator, I do a variety of practices. One of my teacher's favorites is the LKM, which she does daily. For me, I appreciate that type of practice, but do it less frequently. You've got me interested in exploring it more again. Thank you.

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Jill Katz
Jill Katz
May 28
Replying to

And you now have me interested in your variety of practices. What meditations do practice?

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dnqsolutions
May 27

Lovely thoughts and a beautiful gift for your clients.

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Jill Katz
Jill Katz
May 28
Replying to

Thank you!

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Janet Barclay
Janet Barclay
May 27

This is wonderful! Now I want to find a way to display it, along with one of my calming photographs.

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Jill Katz
Jill Katz
May 28
Replying to

Janet, I'm glad this resonates with you.I love the idea of displaying the words to bring you calm!

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