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Archive for February, 2012

I just read an article in the March issue of O magazine called De-clutter Your Life. Specifically the article described Adam Glassman’s challenges in de-cluttering the closets of Gayle King, editor at large for ‘O’. Despite resistance on her part, he helped her purge, (you better sit down for this one) 152 dresses, 77 sweaters, 17 skirts, 12 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of pants, 13 belts, 62 pairs of shoes, and 67 handbags. I found the sheer number of purged items unimaginable as I am pretty sure that I have not owned that number of dresses, etc. over an entire lifetime. De-clutter indeed – and I am left wondering how much still remains in her closets and how much space was created.

In a recent roadSIGNS TV Show, one of our audience members confided that she could not seem to de-clutter her desk because if she did, she feared that her life would no longer have a purpose. The papers, journals, and books piled on her desk and jamming walls of bookcases represented the accumulation of her wisdom and knowledge over a lifetime. Ah! the real issues emerge. You begin to understand that to accumulate ‘stuff’ is more than jamming your physical space full of cloths, boxes, furniture and more, it is about the emotional attachment associated with them and the fear of letting these go. It is as if each item becomes a part of you, and if purged, is like amputating a limb.

Clutter occurs in all domains: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. To de-clutter implies releasing what no longer serves you, that is, what no longer fits, is out of date or is fear based. In releasing you have the opportunity to open space around you filling it with all that is in your highest good. You may not know the specifics of what you want to fill the space with right now. Just be clear that you do not want any backwash from what you have let go of and fill it with what is perfect for you.

Imagine for a moment your spiritual-emotional space and a desire to de-clutter. You might examine the following: the 13 old hurts, 23 resentments, 14 unforgivens (including yourself), 5 fears and the 72 voices that make up the choir – your self-critic’s voice. Man that is a lot to release and were you to decide to work on this de-cluttering initiative, where would you start? At the beginning!

If you can see yourself in this article and you are thinking that perhaps it is time to de-clutter, it may be time for ‘a “Radical Spring Cleaning Fest”. You begin by making a list: Name the old hurts, resentments and unforgivens. Chances are they are intertwined in some way. Imagine how much space they are occupying right now in your emotional-spiritual field. Wow! No wonder life never changes; there is no room for new things to come in as the closet is too full.

I encourage you to consider the following: as much as you want your life to change, very little can shift until you release and de-clutter your emotional-spiritual field. Just as in de-cluttering a closet, it takes time and patience and a strong will to let go. As you do this however, realize that you are creating new space for you to grow and expand, to attract a life which is much more perfect for you.

Once you reach this realization and make the commitment to de-clutter, begin with chewable chunks. Create a ritual. Take two or three of those hurts, resentments and unforgivens and shake hands with them. Bless them as they have offered you important opportunities to learn. Understand that hanging on to them harms no one but you and that you are ready to move forward. Attach them to a helium balloon and lovingly release them to the Universe. See yourself replacing these hurts with beauty, light and healing.

Notice how good this feels. Repeat this process again and again until all those hurts, resentments and unforgivens have been released. Note that some hurts are bigger than others and may need to be released more than once. That’s okay!

Are you ready? Radical Spring Cleaning it is! Watch out for the dust bunnies.

Until next time…

Betty

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“If you don’t look after your body, what house are you going to live in?” I am coiled up in a pretzel like yoga pose as our instructor cites this quote from some unknown author. At that moment it wasn’t clear to me if I was actually being kind and taking care of my body – my hamstrings were screaming too loud! Despite this, and five yoga classes later, I am appreciating the slight advance in my flexibility and a greater sense of well-being.

Back to the quote – it keeps rolling around in my head and I have found myself musing more and more about ‘my house’. Mostly I have been realizing how, over the last 60 years, I have really not appreciated my body, and have certainly not treated it like my house. If my body could only talk, what stories it would tell! I have abused it with unhealthy choices. I have criticized it for not being perfect – too fat, too round, too flat chested, too….

Rarely have I stopped to appreciate the appendages that fall from my pelvis nor have I thanked these sturdy legs of mine for standing with me through thick and thin, for walking me through difficulties and triumphs, and for supporting me wherever I go. Rarely have I acknowledged my arms and hands for giving and receiving hugs, for assisting me as I reach for what I want and pushing away what I don’t, or for simply allowing me to wash my face, brush my teeth and comb my hair.

I have not consciously thanked my heart for pumping life giving blood through my arteries and veins every moment of every day. Nor have I expressed gratitude to my lungs for ‘prana’, the breath of life. Then there is my brain which serves as computer central for everything I do, feel and think – how neglectful have I been of her as she helps me navigate the complexity of everyday living?

Isn’t it time to step up and to become consciously aware of the gift our bodies are? Although your body, like mine, may not be absolutely ‘perfect’ (at least in our eyes), it is still pretty darn amazing.

The day I turned 60, I stood in front of a full length mirror and spoke to the reflection, “This is what 60 looks like”. After years of war with my physical form I had finally made peace. My only regret is that it took me 6 decades to get there. How much time I had wasted trying to be more perfect in one way or another? What a waste of time and energy this was.

I like the peaceful place I have now landed in. I am filled with gratitude for my skin, bones, flesh and fat and every molecule that completes my physical form.

Thanks to my yoga instructor, I was pulled back and offered yet again another reminder to love, honor and cherish me and in doing so, to take care of my body. Yoga is new to me and I think it will be staying around for a while as it is teaching me a new relationship with my house.

What about you – will you join me and identify one thing you can do for you that honors the house you live in. It doesn’t have to be yoga; it can be as simple as stopping from time to time, taking a deep breath and on the exhale expressing appreciation to your body. It is really not a stretch. It starts with closing your eyes and saying to your body “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for your endurance, for your support and for housing my spirit”.

By the way, if you do not appreciate you and if you do not look after YOU, who will?

Until next time…

Betty

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