October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under General, Practical Spirituality

“Dump the junk! Whether it’s physical junk or emotional junk . . . it’s time to let it go! Create the space for the magnificent!”

When I posted that status update recently on FACEBOOK it got quite a few comments and “likes” which indicates to me that we all have quite a bit of junk to dump eh?

As I mentioned in the quote – we tend to hold on to both physical junk and emotional junk but the root cause of both is frequently overwhelm, at least for me.  It takes some time and attention to keep things “tidy” so that the junk doesn’t accumulate and I, for one, sometimes am just too “busy” to give the time and attention to that task.

(Which brings up another interesting point – but perhaps for another post – about how we can make ourselves busy and overwhelmed as a distraction to become our greater selves . . .  but I’ll just leave it there for the moment.)

One of the best techniques I ever learned for not accumulating emotional junk is a process they teach in 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.  It’s called “inventory” and the long version involves making a list of all the things you feel you’ve done “wrong”, including people you have hurt, etc.  It’s a bit more complicated than that and you are welcome to email me or Google for further information, but for the purpose of THIS post, I want to share with you the abbreviated, daily version of this process.

This is a perfect process to do before going to sleep because it really clears your head!  You can do it written or unwritten, but frankly, there is ALWAYS power when you put a pen to paper – it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes or so.

So start by dividing the paper in half lengthwise.  You can just fold it in half.  On the left side make a list of all the things that you feel you did “wrong” for the day.  It could include stuff like “didn’t make my bed”, “yelled at my kid”, “forgot to send a birthday card to Auntie X” . . .  What you write doesn’t matter – and if it is floating around your head in a negative way – better to write it down than leave it to swirl around and collect “negative” dust bunnies around it!

When you have the list done go back to Item 1 and on the right hand side of the page . . . make amends.  Most often that is going to mean a statement like . . . “I forgive myself for not making my bed.”  Or “I’ll apologize to my kid tomorrow or give him/her an xtra treat tomorrow.”  Again, it doesn’t really matter what you write, or HOW you decide to make amends . . . what matters is that you recognize you are HUMAN, that you recognize that everyone else is ALSO human, and that you don’t carry today’s concerns into tomorrow.

If you come across an item that you really don’t know how to rectify  — that’s the perfect time to turn it over to your Higher Power.  Just put “God you take this one!” next to it!  And actually, that’s how I end my list always.  I write “Thank you God for taking care of everything and everyone on this list for the Highest Good of All Concerned.”  Amen.

Now if you REALLY want to feel good when you wake up in the morning . . . take an extra 3 minutes and on the back of the piece of paper, make a list numbered 1 to 10.

On each line list something you are GRATEFUL for today.  Like how much you LOVE that kid, and how grateful you are to HAVE a bed to sleep in.  I encourage you to add to the list – the longer the better . . . but do at least do 10 things.

Then lay your head on your pillow, put a smile on your face, feel the love in your heart and go nighty-night.  The angels are watching over you and your loved ones and all is well . . .


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