Monday, 8 June 2015
The Year I Threw Away
I have been travelling a lot lighter these days. The month of May was a big one for me. I just completed my Blog Society Digital Bravery E- Course in Marketing and Social Media. I took on Mindful in May, an online meditation and mindfulness course designed to kick start daily meditation. A friend gifted me Arianna Huffington's Thrive course. This is an amazing series of online lessons, assignments and reading to renovate your life. By reconnecting with ourselves and focusing on the importance of wellbeing and health, we are able to redefine what 'success' means personally and professionally. I have been training for a 12km Fun Run on 14 June. Phew. Who knew with my busyness and lack of time I would find space in my schedule to complete all of the above. I have to say I am a different person now than I was a month ago. I am more present, less anxious, more mindful, more focused and more confident in how I go about my day to day personal life and how I approach my business. I am not screaming at the kids (as much). I am more calm within myself and with my partner and when things get chaotic or the house gets messy - it is ok.
I have also been throwing things away. I began with small ambitions about 6 months ago. Recently, as I have processed emotionally, spiritually and even physically, I have been shedding in hyper drive. I look at it like a spiritual and emotional purge. Another friend told me about the 30 Day De-Clutter Challenge that is circulating #30daygetchuckedchallenge - each day you throw something away. Day 1 one thing, Day 2 two things and so on. In a month you chuck out 465 items. Be it an old comb, a kitchen plate that has chipped, something broken you ain't never going to fix. I have not followed this by the book but have to say each day I get rid of something I am loving it. As I build my start up business we are operating as a one-salary family, so I am not able to be the constant consumer of all things beautiful and 'necessary' that I used to be. However, as I carry a small pile of things to the trash each day I am feeling like my load is lighter and I can breathe just a little better and more deeply than before.
There has to be a growing global shift in consciousness if that many people are onto it. You would think. Why has it taken so long and why are we so over laden and attached to 'things'? In the West we live in a consumer driven, money driven, technology driven world. I love my retail therapy as much as the next girl (so much so I am still paying in some way or another for the debt I accumulated in my 20s and 30s). We tend to fill unresolved emotional holes in our lives with things, instead of dealing with the real core issues and stresses. As a result, the holes are only temporarily filled, so the need for the next fix is pretty quick. It is like an addiction. Retail and consumption are the drugs. Clutter and hoarding are the come down.
We take medication as a quick hit to treat emotional and physical ailments, rather than facing fears and dealing with the cause. Medications are prescribed pretty casually and are rattling around in most people's bathroom drawers. As an over-medicated society, we are disconnected from ourselves and those around us. We are so very 'busy', sitting on our digital devices and operating in a potently digital world for both work and play. Even I am a great example. I live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, run an estore and take all my courses online. I use Social Media as the key method in building my business. Surrendering our digital-ness completely is out of the question, however we need to at the very least put away our devices for set times during the day. Embark on a digital detox and as Huffington notes in her course, disconnect with our devices in order to reconnect with ourselves. It is OK people. Life does go on.
Once we have dragged ourselves away from phones, iPads and computers, we can reclaim ourselves in the present moment - breathe, meditate, take in our environment, be more mindful. Our perspective changes. We can re-prioritise our lives a little and refocus on what is important, be it goals, people, things and how we spend our time. When we face our issues and are really able to tap into what is going on within us, even for a short moment each day, this shift produces amazing results. One of mine has been very tangible - little piles of plastic crap the kids no longer look at and that I have to clean up each day. Broken mugs. Odd socks which will never again find their mate. Ten year old face creams that are more like acid than anti-age. A pen. Whatever. Things I don’t need around me to clutter my home, my life and my mind. You don't have to live like Bettina in Absolutely Fabulous - the minimalist designer friend who guts Eddy's basement kitchen, reducing it to a white cube. Just be a little more streamlined, a little better organised, a more current and present version of yourself. Peel back the layers and you might be surprised at what you find.
Pic from valentinofialdini.com.br