Lighten The Load
Yippee, skippee…I get so excited when I know it is time to sit down and start typing my weekly blog with a warm cup of my favorite hot tea, this week it is Tazo Cucumber White…mmmm delish! I love to share with you some of those deep seeded passions, desires, possibilities, dreams and changes I am working on in this next halftime of life. I decided it was time to share something I started working on about a year and half ago and it is an ongoing process. Just about the same time I started working with my Life Coach, Michele, she has been so instrumental in helping me assess and review all this stuff bottled up inside of me. She has helped in discovering buried gifts, talents, strengths and teaching me to not focus so much on the weakness and to lighten my load. It is all about progress and not perfection.
Have you ever woke up in the morning and you felt the weight of the world was all on your shoulders? I mean really you felt heavy all over not just emotionally, physically, mentally but you looked around your home or environment and thought where did all this stuff come from? Things you have collected through almost 30 years of marriage, three children who are now grown and you have memorabilia from infant, grade school, middle school, high school, and college. In fact you had not only your children’s stuff from school but you realized you had your own stuff your Mom so graciously passed onto you. Perhaps you inherited things from loved ones who had passed away and at one point it was very sentimental but now you look at it and wonder why? Oh and what about art or craft projects you might have had a phase in doing and haven’t touched in ten years or more? Come on please admit I am not the only one guilty of that. I loved scrapbooking, stamping, painting sweatshirts, floral design, sewing, needle point to quilting. I also walked into my closet and thought I really didn’t like too much of what was in there. Now granted I couldn’t give it all away and start over but some of the stuff was really dated and I had business suits I used to wear but haven’t in so many years. Yes I have a section in my closet of smaller sizes thinking someday I will be able to wear those again. Really who am I kidding I looked at one outfit and it was before babies. There is no way my happy little junk in the trunk will ever fit into those pants again. My body has changed, my style has changed and you know what it is ok! Now I am not saying you need to get rid of it all but I am saying to really come to a valid reason as to why you want to hang on to so much stuff. Oh I know you are saying because you might need it someday. Really…when is the last time you used or wore it? Is it something of value emotionally or financially then maybe ok I will agree with you. But maybe just maybe someone else could benefit more by having it. Wouldn’t it feel good to bring a smile to someone else’s face or warmth on a cold winter’s night to someone needing a coat or blanket? What about extra furniture collecting dust in the attic, garage or storage unit?
Well let me encourage you during your “takin time out”, to watch one or two episodes of the TV show “Hoarders” and see what you think. I watched a half of an episode before getting up and shutting the TV off. I went and found three big bins and started Lightening my Load. I had umption in my gumption to make some changes. I set a game plan and a date of completion. I litterly went through every closet, draw and cabinet in our home and purged. One bin for give away, one bin of throw away and one bin of stuff I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do with but needed further organizing or asking my children if they wanted it. Let me tell you it was very therapeutic and it made me HAPPY! I was lightening my load from the burden of stuff. My kids and huband were a bit worried I was getting ready to leave the country but I reassured them I wasn’t. I just had to start my new halftime in life with a few less stuff.
Another area I am most proud of was the sorting and organizing of my emails, I have three separate accounts: one for work, one for home and one for my blog. I was most excited about the cleaning up of my work emails. I can average 250 or more a day easily. I had a really bad habit of keeping them all in the initial email feed, glancing through them and taking appropriate action when I could. One day the light bulb went off and I realized those emails made me heavy…I felt a bit trapped and suffocating …I worried I might forget to do something if I didn’t keep them all right there in front of me. I recreated folders based on clients or subjects, I also created an Action folder and I initially glance at the email if I can’t act upon it at that moment I quickly put it into my action folder to work on the minute I can, if I have read it and it needs no action I file it or trash it. I try to keep this cleaned up daily and unsubscribe to those vendors I really don’t need or read especially the solicitation ones. It is working awesome and I feel lighter now.
During that same time I made a huge decision with relationships and organizations I was associated with. There were a few that I would consider to be toxic, they were negative unhappy group of people not just part of the time but almost all the time when we were together. I would come home from having dinner and I was exhausted, I felt sad and partially responsible when I truly had nothing to do with their problems or decisions they had made. They were always whining or complaining when they had so much to be thankful for. Now granted I tried different approaches and tried putting myself in their shoes but looking back over time these people had really been that way for most of their life. They are still my friends but I do not have to take my precious time to hang out and feed my soul of those toxic negative attitudes. Whew that felt good!
I reviewed my mental state. I had past circumstances haunting me, plagued with guilt, worry, anxiety and shame from bad decisions I had made. I realized fear truly was paralyzing me of what the future was to hold. I was allowing negativity and small narrow minded thinking to control me…I quickly realized that wasn’t really me…that wasn’t my nature…that wasn’t who I wanted to be or who God had designed me to be. Yes I was far from perfect and I knew immediately Satan was controlling those feelings, thought patterns and I told him to pack his bag and move on I was lightening my load and he wasn’t welcome any longer. I started back with my Gratitude Journal and writing 5 things daily I was grateful for. I read uplifting positive affirmations daily, it truly helps. I encourage you to try it too.
Then it was time for Spiritual, I have been very faithful through the years to have my quiet time usually first thing in the morning where I read scripture, devotionals, have my prayer time and writing in my journal. I also realized though I was very guilty of not really meditating fully and breathing deeply. This is so important not only to your physical body but your mental state. Did you know meditation promotes relaxation, it builds internal energy, it develops compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. Why hadn’t I figured that out sooner? The bible is so clear with regards to meditation, Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Or Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.” Or Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise think or meditate about these things.” Scripture is so clear and the Lord truly speaks to each one of us through his word if we would only make it a priority in “takin time out” to read and meditate on it! How about you…where are you on this journey? Take some time to try it your life truly will never be the same. Start out with 15 minutes everyone can spare at least that amount of time and it will grow from there. I promise try it for 21 days that is the proven amount of time to make a permanent change.
The final topic of lightening my load is physical. It is truly an ongoing process. As I have advanced in my age weight has never really been an issue until the last couple of years. I have put on some extra unwanted pounds and am continually working to lighten the load there but I also realize I am not 20 or 30 something anymore. My metabolism is slowing down and I have to find a balance. Most of all I want to be healthy, happy and feel good in the clothes I wear even if they are one size larger but just one size not two or three you hear me? I swear the washing machine had something to do with some of those jeans I tried to put on, they fit last year just fine. Oh, and heaven forbid I try to wear my daughter’s jeans…those low riders aren’t quite like they used to be, it looks like and I have an inner tube around my middle when I really don’t . Personally that’s why I prefer and love my yoga pants for weekend errands and leisurely ‘takin time outs!” I have been very faithful to get my annual physical, bloodwork, to drink plenty of water, eat a healthy well balanced diet and exercise regularly I love yoga as it keeps me flexible and something I can do the rest of my life . Yes there is always room for improvement but remember I said progress not perfection.
Speaking of physical it is also important to get a good night sleep and it is a bit past my bedtime so I am going end this for now! Until next time, I am hoping you will consider to lighten your load of unnecessary burdens whether it is emotional, spiritual, mental, physical or just stuff in general…Life is way too short to let those burdens weigh you down any longer…Get Up, Get Goin and Lighten your Load! YOU will be glad you did.
“My mind is constantly going. For me to completely relax, I gotta get rid of my cell phone.” Kenny Chesney