Robert Bly, talks about the long sack of things we drag behind us.
He talks about all the thoughts and ideas we consciously and unconsciously lug through our life. He says we fill our bag with parts of us that want to be expressed but that others at one time found off putting or inconvenient. Our parents, our peers, society as a whole forms and shapes up asking, even requiring us, to hide or sequester part of us into a bag—out of the site of others.
So, we’re lugging around a lot.
What’s left that we show the world is a mere fraction of who we really are. The person out delightful child-like self wanted to be when we were kids. As adults we walk around, a shell of who we really are.
In the sack with these hidden parts of ourselves are also the rules and burdens that society has given us as well. Those rules about being good, about money and sex and love and responsibility and aging and body image and such. We don’t know where they came from, but we live by these rules. To this day, I can’t wear white shoes until Easter. I might do it, but the rebel in me is on very shaky ground.
In this post, we're gonna take a look in our bags and figure out how to lighten our load a bit. This is essential if we want to design a beautiful life inside and out! This kind of psychic clutter has got to go.
Okay, can you feel or sense this bag I’m talking about. I trust you sense that you have things in your life that don’t serve you or frankly you would be clicking on my stuff.
So, this bag. This bag of ours holds a lot of things. Some things that need to come out into the light. Some part or parts of us that we need to embrace and love and lean in to. And other parts that are dragging us down, that don’t serve us, rather are holding us back.
If you can, grab a piece of paper and a pen. I’ve got three questions for you. Three important questions. Three questions, that if you answer them honestly and fully, the answers will shift your life immediately!
Are you ready? Ok, first question. Knowing there are things you’re dragging around in your life (in your mind, in your heart, in your home, in your world), how would it feel if you cleared these things out of our life? How do you think you will feel if you cleared all forms of clutter in your life?
Tip here: don’t get bogged down in the “HOW”. Just stay with how it would feel if the clutter were gone. Don’t focus on how it leaves, just imagine it’s been cleared. How do you imagine it will feel?
Stop this podcast if you need to really explore this question.
Once you’re done, read your answer. Put your hand on your heart and read it out loud. Really, do those two things. Hand on heart. Read it out loud.
Placing your hand on your chest over your heart allows you to make a circular circuit connection. Kind of like what electricity does. Your heart will literally be participating in this exercise.
By saying things out loud, part of your brain that sometimes coasts when we just live in our head, will stand up and pay attention. So, don’t skip this step.
Let me read you I wrote when I answered this question.
“When I have cleared away all of the things that don’t serve me, I will be free. I will be happy, joyous and free. I will be able to enjoy all of the good things that are right before me. I will live from a place of gratitude and not be weighed down by disappointment, scarcity and regret. I will be buoyant and inspired. Its gonna be frickin-frackin awesome.”
This statement you have just written is your “Why”. It’s the reason you’re even listening to this podcast (reading this blog post). It’s why you’re reaching for ways to clear the clutter. It’s the reason you’re taking new actions to design your ideal life. It’s your holy grail. Except in this case, it’s way easier to find.
Okay, second question. What do you want to let go of? Dig around in this bag that Robert Bly speaks of. What ideas, thought, beliefs, are you done with? Think about the spaces you inhabit, the people you hang with, the email in your in-box. What are you D.O.N.E done with? What needs to be purged. What are you ready to let go of?
Let’s talk about the words “let go”.
Releasing and letting go can be easy. Imagine you have a little bird in your hand. For that bird to leave all you’ve got to do is open your hand. It really wants to be flying, it really wants to be somewhere else, on its merry way. Parts of you and some of those old ideas are like this bird. They want to be released and all you must do is gently open you hand and release it. To release something really means to loosen your grip. Quit holding on to it so tightly. You’re using a lot of energy to hold on to things and ideas and people etc that really need or want to move on.
So, breath and loosen your grip. When you’re ready, open your hand (or mind and heart) and let that stuff go!
Third question: What do you want? What’s in your bag that you’re stuffing down in there that really wants to see the light? What do you want more of in your life? What do you want?!!!!
This is the hardest question for most of us. We all talk a good game but most of us really don’t believe on some level we deserve to have what we want. We place conditions and timeline. We tick off reasons by the dozens why we can’t or shouldn’t have what we want.
So, if your brain is doing that now, just observe it. Let that part of you who is berating you for even asking yourself the question, finish its tantrum. It’ll tire out in a few minutes. Then you can return to the question, what do you want?
Put your hand back over your heart and ask the question. Ask and listen. Ask and listen. Ask and listen. Don’t just go with the first thing that comes to your mine.
My husband and I talk about winning the lottery all the time. We joke that we can’t wait because he’s gonna get new tires and a hat and I’m gonna buy a new sofa for my office. We joke because thinking small is what we naturally do. But in truth, when we win the lottery, we have big plans. Plans that make life better for as many people as we can help. When we start to seriously talk about all the good we will do with the winnings is when our hearts become engaged and we get truly excited.
It is that excitement that brings the good stuff forward.
“But Cheri, you haven’t won the lottery.” No, not yet I haven’t. But Mark and I have started finding ways to live a lottery-like life in any way we can.
What do you want?
Go back to question one and really embrace how it is going to feel when you release the things you no longer need and bring forth the parts of you that want to be present. Do this as much as you can. Write a post-it note and stick it on your computer screen. Take an eyeliner pencil and write the question on your bathroom mirror. Do what you can to remind yourself to step into the feeling of WHY you want to clear up all this clutter.
May this lighten your load.