Keep or Toss

When I was a kid I learned this great way of cleaning my room. I mean the heavy-duty overhaul known as Spring Cleaning, although it could happen at any time of year whenever the mood struck. My mom would participate when I was young, and as I got older I learned to go through this process on my own.

Image from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, via TheLawnSprinklerGuys.com

To start, we’d get two grocery bags (wow, they were paper then!), something special to drink (Coke for me, coffee for Mom), and fun music that we both liked (couldn’t go wrong with John Denver). Then we would go through ALL of my belongings with an eye for Keep or Toss.

Nothing was spared–my bookshelves, stuffed animals, desk, closet, bulletin board, boxes of treasures under the bed. I would pick up an item and decide if it would be kept or tossed. If I decided to Keep it, it went back where it came from. if I was finished with it, it went into one of two Toss bags–Give Away or Garbage. My things, my process, my choice; Mom was neutral moral support who kept me in motion. She was also the one who taught me to Keep if I was conflicted, setting it aside and allowing myself time. As I got older I would go through my things myself, and Mom would check in and encourage.

The whole point was to be aware of what “things” we carry, and to choose what we surround ourselves with. If we have items that no longer serve us, perhaps they might serve another and we can move them along that path. If we have habits we no longer want, we can change them and still remain true to ourselves. And if we find our beliefs no longer serve our highest self, we can let them go knowing we will not lose who we are in the outcome. We are safe to let go as we become; we will be supported and held in loving arms of the universe.

Mom would say she was just trying to get rid of clutter. That’s the Twitter version.

If you find you have clutter, either physical or emotional, I encourage you to examine what you are carrying with an eye for Keep or Toss. If you’re conflicted, set it aside and allow yourself time. You are safe.  There’s really no wrong answer, either.  And I have to say I felt great at the end of the day!

Be bold, be fearless.

How long has it been since you tried something new?  I mean really new, with an open mind and heart?  It doesn’t have to be something big, it’s just the openness that is important.

Picture from Google Images

When I think back to younger days, I tried new things all the time.  I mean really, when I left home as a young adult (or is it an older adolescent?!), practically everything was new!  Now that I am older (ahem–let’s call it evolving) I am more comfortable with what I choose to do and not do with my time.  And time seems to be more limited than it once was, but I suspect as I lovingly watch my retired parents that time will once again open up in unplanned ways.  The very act of choosing with awareness how I use my time now creates more of it…but that’s another thought for another day.

I wonder if I am hiding behind shoulder arthritis when I choose to no longer shoot my bow?  It was a new thing for me when I tried it 20 years ago (bowhunting, not arthritis–I tried that new thing later, ha ha!) but never really pursued it.  Same with poker.  Perhaps they just didn’t resonate?  Do I really need a reason why, anyway?  Maybe it’s enough to simply be aware that these are things I don’t need to do to feel complete–and that trying them was enough, and perhaps even important.

When we authentically try new things we learn about ourselves.  I’m not talking about going through the motions just to get someone off our back, I mean really opening up ourselves to divine possibility.  We try things for a moment, a season, and a lifetime.  (Even doctors call it their practice!)  Maybe it’s the attempt, much more than the mastery, that is important.  (Except with doctors?!)

I look at my beautiful 95-year-old grandmother.  When I get to her age and look back on all the things I gave a shot but am no longer doing, I will know I am a more complete soul for having experienced them all–the large and the small.

I overcame my fears and now write and communicate in a blog.  I bought a juicer and today I will fearlessly make and drink green juice, for the first time.  If anyone has a good juice recipe to share, I surely welcome it!

Through Indigo’s Eyes

I just finished this wonderful novel by Tara Taylor and Lorna Schultz Nicholson.  Through Indigo’s Eyes is a story of a 17-year-old girl named Indigo who has visions and is visited by the deceased, but who just wants to be an average teenager.

The book is incredibly well-written: although not every reader is clairvoyant like Indie, every reader will identify with the journey of discovery this young woman makes.  Her evolving dynamic with a long-standing friend, her exploration of self in relation to her first romantic interest, her concerns about life after high school, and her desire to find herself independent of (yet in context with) her family will resonate personally with readers.

This book handles teenage situations in a way that is overall upbeat and positive, yet is realistic and validating to adolescents.  Now that’s saying something, because it does not at all read like a fairy tale, and it deals with multiple pretty tough topics.  I was impressed with how a teenager reading this would feel understood, validated, and is provided with alternative ways of looking at such situations that is open-hearted, open-minded, and lays a foundation for personal strength of character.  We need more books like these, and I am donating my copy to the local high school library.

In addition to the “normal” adolescent aspects, the quality of clairvoyance is a wonderful and interesting read!  Many teens feel “different” at some point in their life, and will identify with this character and know that they are more than okay.  It is refreshing to read a story that treats intuition with respect and normalcy.  I enjoyed this novel very much and eagerly look forward to the sequel!  (Chapter 1 is included at the end of this book!)

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Holy Crap!

There I was, answering one person about another with a less-than-complimentary but truthful comment–and Surprise! That person I described was in the room and heard me.

Image from Zachry Floro

Remember the awful feelings of grade school playground dramas?  Yep, suddenly I did too.  The thing is, I know better than that.  And I act better than that.What I said was true, it was not malicious, and it was honest.  The only thing is, if I had known the person could hear I would not have said it–because it was also painful.

Although the individual changed their behavior, I know better than to behave the way I did about it.  Names will not be mentioned, to protect the innocent–which is certainly not me.

My friend Wendy has a wonderful theory about when this happens.  Sometimes we need an angelic boot to the head (ok, I am paraphrasing) in order to grow to the next level.  Sometimes we give, sometimes we receive (in my most recent case I gave), but both parties facilitate this chance to learn and grow if we let it.  Those Oh-Crap moments are actually divine.

If I were to remain stuck in the past, in the I-can’t-believe-I-did-that portion, I don’t get to move forward and see the higher good.  By embracing the hugely uncomfortable part of where I screwed up, I can empty my ego and open to the growth lesson.  It also changes my attitude toward the other person from frustration to compassion.

Sometimes both parties work through this together, and sometimes it is two solo processes.  Currently I’m working on this one myself while I send prayers to the other party.  And then I have to let it go.

The thought that the angels give us these situations because we are each ready for a growth opportunity comforts me.  It makes me feel better than the idea of taking a bad situation and making something good out of it, which by the way is not a bad way to look at it either.  Seeing the Divine in the Oh-Crap elevates it to Holy.

Be What You Love to Do

Here’s a quote from Rumi that stopped me in my tracks:

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

We call what we love our passions, our hobbies–and we look to retirement when we can then devote singular time to them.  Because of course I can’t quit my job and pursue my (insert interest here)! I mean really, how would I put groceries on the table for my family?!?  Raise your hand if this is true for you.  (Hang on while I go buy a lottery ticket.)

Notwithstanding practical responsibilities like food, clothing, and shelter, I just realized we don’t have to choose between that and our hobbies.  If my passion and dream is to support myself and my family by raising bees and selling honey, I can do that now. Truly.  And it doesn’t mean I quit my accounting job at this point.  I do both!  I live my hobby at the same time that I live my paying job, and give both importance and value.

What happens is that I become so happy, fulfilled, and successful at my passion, that I consider that to be my job!  I might pull a paycheck from something else, but the beauty of what I love is what I “do”.  And who knows what it will lead to?  It opens the door for me to be able to downsize to one job, and look! The bees are now supporting myself and my family!  Who knows…?

Don’t wait.  But don’t force.  Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.  The rest will flow.