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10 Things to Purge From Your Life (Part 2)

First, I want to thank you for all your amazing response to last week’s Monday Mind Shift.   My reaction to the outpouring of encouragement went something like this:

Sally Field’s 1985 Oscar Acceptance Speech
Get More: Sally Field’s 1985 Oscar Acceptance Speech


Saturday, in anticipation of the move, I waved goodbye to my beautiful 5-piece sleigh-bed bedroom set – leaving behind a bedroom furnished only by a mattress/box-spring.  I woke up the following morning feeling a little pang (did I do the right thing?), followed by a flood of  “This is okay, Joëlle. Remember, the set would not fit in your new home,”  finished by an acknowledgement that attachment was still running amuck.

When you decide to start over it’s always from a new “X Marks the Spot”.  Not all of the things you have hung on to will fit the new life you are choosing to carve out for yourself.  And, if you are hang-on-to-it-you-never-know-when-it-will-come-in-handy kind of gal (like yours truly) letting go is not going to a picnic.  So, here is part two of the things you may wish to dump.  #1 on this week’s top ten purging list:

1. Taking Back Your Time.– If you are in business for yourself, you most likely have the kind of hard-core work ethic that just keeps you in overdrive.  If you are in a job, you may find yourself working your ass off at the expense of your self-care, family and friends.  The majority of us are deluded by thinking that we can get farther in life if we work harder.  Look to nature for guidance.  Fallow time is what depleted soil needs in order to yield a bumper crop.  To keep our lives flowing, we need to intersperse fun, laughter, and creativity. We need to be able to take time to enjoy and re-energize ourselves without feeling guilty or irresponsible. It is during these times of rest and fun that our minds are free to dream and imagine. This is when we very often come up with solutions to our problems, new ways to ride the waves, and new strategies to enliven and enrich ourselves.

2. Put Your itunes/cd Library on a Diet.  You may already suspect that the right kind of music (whether it be Ariane Lydon or Chumbawamba) keeps you more focused and relaxed.  There may be some music you’ve been hanging onto which you either don’t listen to any more, or is no longer a good fit – time to ditch it.  Commit to having only the kind of music that supports you.  Do this over the course of a few weeks.  If this is a sticky wicket for you, read Your Playlist Can Change Your Life.

3. Not Doing the Same Things Over and Over Again.  We can all get caught up in the proverbial “treadmill,” stuck in routines that have become so...well, routine that it becomes almost impossible to see the forest from the trees… I disagree with the worn out adage on “insanity.”  Sometimes doing the same thing a second time when it didn’t work the first time may seem foolish.  Sometimes not.  The key is in knowing the difference.  “Sometimes you have to keep doing the same thing over and over until the world catches up with you, notices what you’re doing, and is ready to make the most of it. On occasion, you just have to continue on until the right person with insight and resources crosses your path. If you changed too quickly, in the face of apparent defeat, you’d miss that meeting with destiny that could have been yours had you just been tough enough to keep doing your thing, over and over, expecting a different result.” Tom Morris

4. Putting Yourself Last. I learned this lesson the hard way: it took major depression and a trip to the psychiatric center to make me realize how far down the list I had put myself in my relationship and my life.  “If you always put someone else first, there’s a tendency for others to depreciate you, to lose respect, because respect comes from an understanding that that person has her own wishes, dreams, and desires,” Ethel S. Person, MD.  Becoming skilled at taking care of yourself improves your capacity to care for others; if you’re not fulfilled, you’re only able to see other people through the filter of your own needs.  I call it a “skill” for a reason.  You must practice it over and over again until it becomes a part of you and makes you complete.

5. Being a Money Ostrich. You may break out in hives at the thought of keeping tabs on your money.  In fact, it may engender the kind of dread you feel when needing to give the toilet a once over…  A lot of women fall into the habit of letting their partner handle the money, myself included. If that’s the case, stop playing victim – you need to take responsibility and ownership over your finances. Become transparent.  Check your on money every day.  Track your spending.  If you are in a partnership, you need to understand the finances and weigh in on all decisions. The fact that women tend to live longer than men means they may need to rely on the money longer and managing it at some point. The longer you wait to engage, the bigger the surprises you may find down the line.  Take a class to understand your beliefs around it. Take care of your money and it will take care of you.

6. Pretty White Lies.  On occasion, when I’m having a particularly shitty day, I’ll catch a few minutes of the Jerry Springer show – which undoubtedly leaves me feeling infinitely better about my life.  I am always amazed by the amount of deception.  And then I think of the lies I have lived.  Women, in particular have a proclivity for it, I think, in part due to the pressure to be “good.”  We have different kinds of lies: the compassionate lie – the kind you tell your girlfriend when the outfit she’s sporting looks like a mu’umu’u; the survival lie – the ones you tell to protect yourself from, say, getting fired; and the betterment lie – the bread and butter of female lies,” the kind told to paint a rosier picture of your sense of satisfaction with life.  All of this takes amazing amount of energy – how about telling the truth? Living a life of honesty takes courage – immense courage – as you are going against the grain of everything ever taught to you.  The peace of mind is priceless and there is only one story to remember: the Truth.

7. Your Best Miss Havisham Impression. If you have read Great Expectations or seen the latest version on PBS, you know who I am talking about: a woman who, jilted and betrayed on the day of her wedding, spends the rest of her days in her wedding dress training her adopted daughter to seek revenge on men to justify her own pain.  The clocks are stopped at the exact time of the betrayal, and her mansion decays around her.   At certain points, we’ve all experienced the kind of pain Miss Havisham lives out.  We have choice:  make a commitment to your joy. The reason we obsess about people who hurt us is because its comfortable. Heck, sometimes its even fun. But to move on to the love you deserve, you have to make a commitment to stop obsessing. So make it. Remember, the opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference. When you’re indifferent to the person who hurt you, you will truly be free and on your way to genuine happiness.

8. There’s No Place Like Home.Close you eyes and tap your heels together three times.  And think to yourself, there’s no place like home.” Glinda the Good Witch.  If you are not comfortable where you life, it’s time to make change.  This could be as simple as moving your furniture around, a new coat of paint, some fresh flowers, hiring a feng shui consultant…  If you are beyond that, it’s time to find a new space.  Your home needs to be your sanctuary.  It’s where you feel safe.  It’s where you grow.  It’s where you create community.  It’s an outward reflection of your inner landscape.  And that looks beautiful and warm from where I sit.

9. Going it Alone. I have been the poster child for this one until recently.  Growing up to believe that one wasn’t to burden others with one’s problems and that one was to sort things out quietly, without complaint made for a life of isolation.  In this arena, I am putting in my 10,000 hours now.  Life is unpredictable.  And, going it alone is no longer an option.  Reach out to others when you feel most vulnerable.  It is amazing how many say “yes.”  It is in the loving arms of our created “families” that we can grow most.  Give them the honor of helping you, just as you would feel blessed to do the same.

10. Paralysis.  Whether you want to start a business, write a book or are looking for a new job or new clients, you must act when your emotions are still high and the idea you have is sizzling hot! This is the best time to get results because the idea is powerful and clear in your mind. It is also the time when you feel confident that “anything is possible.” Here’s where your peeps also come in handy.  Call upon them to inspire, encourage, motivate and love you just where you are.   The worst thing for your desires is inactivity.  Ignite your courage.  Fan it’s flames.  Build a bonfire people can see from miles around!

I wish to share with you this mantra,  posted all over my apartment in preparation for the move to a new home, to inspire your journey:  “My entire life is in Divine Order, outside of all perceived limitation. Only the Divine Will is my guide. Let whatever dormant talents I have emerge for the good of all. Give me the courage to let whatever is within me flow…Make me ready. Remove any fear or resistance. Open the way.” Tosha Silver

4 Responses to “10 Things to Purge From Your Life (Part 2)”

  1. Cindy Blass says:

    I have REALLY enjoyed your writings! I am a huge advocate of getting back to the basics. “Keep it simple, stupid” I heard years ago and try and live by that! And, Walt Disney’s saying “Keep moving forward has meant alot to me. I am divorced (2 1/2 yrs now) He had the makings of a TLC, hoarding burried alive, for sure. Hence the BIG push to get back to the basics. I asked for the divorce. Your 1st posts of cutting loose added bagage/negativity (that’s how I took it) was awesome. Easter this past weekend was with a VERY critical and negative family. MINE! You helped me have the courage to unload them! They hated that I asked for the divorce and thought my Ex should have my 2 boys…yes MY family! I figured out, when you have family like mine, you don’t need enemies! VERY sad, but true. My friends have been saying that for years! I have come to realize, at times…you have to let family go, especially if they say things like, “you are so mean to your eldest and a bad mom. Glad the boys (14 and 17yrs) are living with their dad (whom I wish would die!). Them (the boys) leaving, almost killed me, but, it had to be done. I still struggle with it. Been a month now. But it had to be done.
    I do love your messages! Keep it up!

  2. Katie says:

    These are great points, Joelle. I know that for me, the accounting ostrich item is an important one. I have a great accounting program, but overcomplicate it because I don’t want to deal. I want to move it to the top of my list….!

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