Feelin’ Groovy

"Slow down, you move too fast, got to make the mornin' last…"

Have to travel to a big conference for work? Don't fly back the day everything ends, take one more day and fly home the next afternoon or evening.

Be sure to ask the front desk at your hotel for late checkout so you can take your morning as slow as you want.

Then leave your bags at the desk and go putter around, have a nice lunch somewhere, see something you might have otherwise missed…

You'll come home much restored, even from a very intense and active conference.

Watch out for substitution tricks

I don't know if your brain does this, but mine does and it has really helped me to become concious of it.

Sometimes I'll go to the kitchen looking for a snack when I'm actually
not hungry. 9 times out of 10 what I need is a glass of water, but I
perceive the thirst as something more interesting for my tongue.

Sometimes at my lunch break or on the way home from work when I am stressed and mentally tired, I will want to go buy something. Not "I will want to get x", but just a vague shopping urge coming over me. I suspect that I'm remembering being pleased about getting something I desired and so I start to replicate that experience when what I really want is to have spent time doing whatever I damn well pleased instead of working. What I need is to relax and give myself a sense of accomplishment & completion; there are lots of better (and cost-free) ways to do that than shopping.

Be mindful of your actions and urges. Answer your real needs with the right solution, not a placeholder.

When it’s over, it’s over.

Take an hour or two for yourself today. Take a walk or close the door and relax in private at home. The important part is to create some solitude to think a bit.

What are you hanging onto that you should let go of?

What emotion do you keep stoking the coals of out of habit, but really are ready to move on from?

Is it time to stop grieving and resume living? Time to abandon chewing the bones of that old grudge? Time to move on from longing for someone who isn't the one for you? Time to quit swallowing your pain and cutting someone far too much slack for the hurt they cause you?

Meditate on where you spend your emotional energy and what kind of life that is giving you. If it's not the life you want, start changing it.

Right now. Today. Just change your direction and step towards where you want to be.

Cash that sanity check

We're one quarter of the way into the year now. I don't know about you, but some days I feel like I've been running non-stop since last Thanksgiving. Work is hectic, the social calendar fills up, and sometimes it seems like even my "to do for fun" list gets overwhelming.

Today (or a full day very, very soon) you need to recharge. If your family or social obligations are always too pressing on the weekends, take a vacation day. You deserve to feel well and happy.

Clear your day of all but those activities which will reduce your stress and energize you.

Things I recommend doing:
– Go outside and look for signs of  the changing seasons. What are the trees and flowers in your neighborhood doing? What kind of clouds are there today? (See any interesting shapes?) What animals are around and what are they up to?

– Listen to old, old favorite songs. Do you have fond memories of any of the music in your household growing up?

– Do something you really love doing without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Get off of their itinerary.

– Eat (or best of all, cook for yourself) something you really love to eat. This is especially good for those who avoid a certain food because a family member or significant other doesn't like it.

– Get enough sleep.

– Drink lots of water.

– Breathe.

– Drop the worries for today.

Back to Basics

Sometimes things just slip a bit out of control and it can feel like you've lost all the ground you'd gained, but don't panic!

As I write this, I'm at home and sick for the third workday in a row. The pessamist in me wants to moan about how I'm "wasting" my personal time off and the email is piling up at the office and I'll have to overdo it to get things under any kind of control again and this cold won't go away and blah blah blah.

To still that voice, I'm getting myself back to a baseline level of normality. When things get out of hand, try this:

– Breathe deeply. Take 10 long breaths and let them out slowly.
– Take a shower and shave or at least wash your face, hands and the back of your neck.
– Brush and floss your teeth and splash a little mouthwash around in there.
– Make sure you're up to date on your medicines (in my case, allergy meds).
– Put on some comfortable clothes.
– Collect the trash & recyclables and put them by the door.
– Make a cup of tea.
– Open the curtains and let some light in.

Decide on one – just one – thing that needs to be done and do that thing without getting pulled off into other distractions.

When that's done. Decide one thing you'd really like to do – read a book, watch a movie, play a game, call a friend, whatever – and do that.

Don't panic. It's all going to come out fine.

Empty Your Mind

If you have a mobile phone, turn it off.

Unplug the wall phone.

Turn off the computer and the television and the stereo.

Go in the back yard or to a window and stare at the sky for a while, say 10 minutes or more.

Don't plan anything.

Don't sort anything out.

Look at clouds or birds or stars or the shapes of the tops of distant buildings.

Don't think about anything you'll necessarily remember 10 seconds from now.


What about your junk makes you crazy?

Another good one from the 43 Folders Google group, stevecooper on you & your junk:

Why is the clutter driving you crazy? The answer will probably influence how you decide to go.

For me, when I've done really serious decluttering, it's been a liberating process. It's been liberating because I believe that that too much stuff in my life dilutes everything, stagnates things. Decluttering is like travelling light, without the travelling.

From that, my own principles of decluttering arise; I can make judgements by asking 'does this keep me from making advances in my life? Does it tie me to old ideas of myself I don't want to keep? If I wanted to make a change in my life, would this make it harder to change?' But those are my questions, and they derive from my reason for decluttering.

For you, it may be very different; you may have run out of house space and need somewhere to add -new- clutter. If that's the case, you only need to throw out a box or two to give you more cramming space. Or maybe you're looking to move to a smaller house and need to have simply less stuff. Or maybe you're just tired of dusting all those nick-nacks. Maybe you're a buddhist and believe that attachment to things is suffering. Whatever it is, your reason for dejunking with influence how you make the decisions.

So, tell us more. Tell us what about the junk makes you crazy.

Whatcha doin? Nuthin.

Discardia isn't just about things. You can build up too much of
intangible stuff you don't need as well. Personally I've found that
it's harder to get my head clear when my house is a chaotic mess, but
if you need to tackle the head first, just go for a walk and get
yourself somewhere you can sit and think for a bit.

I recommend the beach, but a hillside, park or quiet corner at the
museum can do the job as well. Go where you won't hear other people's
conversations or see any advertisments.

Sit and be still.

Do nothing.

[Read more in Internal Clutter]