Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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Confessions of a non-list achiever.

I have a confession to make.

I know. I know. To have a confession to make means to believe I have committed a sin.

Okay, so it’s not so much a sin as a truth, a fact, a reality.

And, just to be clear, while not of the I stole a grape from the produce bin at the supermarket or I snuck a bun fresh from the oven when I knew there were only so many to go around variety of sin, this one tastes kind of sinful in my belly. Deep down in my roots. Simmering on the fires of indolence.

So what is this deliciously non-sinful yet sinfully delightful truth?

Get ready for it. You may be surprised. You may be shocked. Appalled. Aghast. Whatever you may be I know how I feel about what I am about to confess.

Not Guilty!

Yup. I do not feel even one iota of guilt for having had one whole week off work and not doing anything on my list of the many things I planned on getting done this week.

So there you have it.

I began my holiday last Friday. I figured I’d give myself Easter weekend to RnR it and then, come Monday begin to tackle the many things on my list.

I changed my mind.

Come Monday I looked at my list. I looked at the calendar days stretched out before me and decided to throw out my list.

To not be governed by a calendar schedule or a list’s demands to check things of as Done. Done and Done.

I let myself sink into the luscious pleasure of just being present to whatever life had to offer up, whatever unfolded with the rising sun without pushing myself into being governed by the demands of my conscience insisting I get busy, get doing, get going.

I spent time in my studio. I spent time reading. I spent time watching films on my iPad. I spent time with my beloved doing nothing other than chatting, holding hands and walking with Beaumont at the park, laughing, sharing a meal, doing what we felt like doing.

I decided on Monday that this was a ‘holiday’. It was not a working holiday (though I must confess. I did have 2 x 2 hr conference calls re a project at work and I did do some work for a couple of hours — but it was my choice so I really have nothing to confess! so there!)

It was a holiday and as such, like all the best holidays I can think of, deserved my full attention, and unstructured time.

My winter/spring wardrode did not get switched over. The den did not get cleared out of the boxes that still need to go into the cubby hole above the stairs. The linen closet did not get organized. I did not clear out the clutter. I did not organize the junk drawer (is that an oxymoron? Organize junk?)

I did savour each moment. I feel present.

I did read until late into the night. Sleep late into the morning. (7am wake-up is late for me) I feel so luxurious!

I did begin a 30 day Yoga challenge so that by the end of my 10 days off, it will be embedded it into my daily routine.  I feel good!

I did begin each morning with meditation. I feel centred.

I did end each day with kissing my beloved goodnight. I feel complete.

I did. I am savouring this moment to reflect, to share, to connect and honour the process of what arises without judging what arises by labelling it good, bad, happy, sad…

I am feeling….

Satisfied.

Content.

Serene.

Here.

And… while I know ‘the list’ still waits to be checked off, it is my choice when I get to it! Maybe, rather than organizing the junk drawer all I really have to do is get a garbage bin, pull the drawer out and tip all its contents into the bin. Fact is, if I haven’t missed or needed what’s in it, I don’t really need to know what I’m missing by sorting through its contents.

Maybe, like my list on Monday, all I need to do to feel free is spill all the junk out and let it all go!

 

 


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Rome wasn’t burned in a day…

In my Inbox this morning are a plethora of opportunities that promise to change my life. I can acquire a Hermes belt or Luis Vuitton handbag, real cheap. Learn the latest and greatest in SEO or two different ways to make money at home, online, real easy. Or, if I’m feeling adventurous, I can go gamble it all away at the online Casino, real fast. And just in case I’m looking to change my look completely… I could get a real cheap deal on ‘double-fold eyelids’ — that oh so popular cosmetic surgery trend taking over China. (Seriously? Who knew?) 

Instead, I decide to clear out the clothes closet in the guest room/den.

It’s all in my choices.

Spend or cleanse. What will it be?

Inspired by my daughter’s The Wunder Year Project, I am giving away/discarding one thing a day and posting the photos over on my KISS My Life page, every day.

In 4 short days of divesting myself of the extra flotsam of my life, here’s what I’ve learned.

  1. It is easier to acquire than to divest — unless, I change the story in my head. To change the story in my head I need to hear myself talking to myself with a loving heart.  It’s hard to beat myself up when my heart is soft.
  2. Once items have been relegated to the ‘give-away/discard’ piles — get them out of the house, quickly. Otherwise, that little voice that likes to creep in through the back door will whisper…. (I hate that sibilant hiss) … Do you really think you should give away that ski jacket? … you did pay a lot of money for it and even though you haven’t worn it for 15 years don’t you think you might… one day…
  3. It is daunting to have made this a public commitment — public or not, however, I need to stay the course in order to teach myself, “I am worth keeping my commitments to myself”.
  4. Sometimes, I’ve got to rebel against the voice of unreason in my head — “You don’t own me” seems to work quite well.
  5. When the voice of unreason is encroaching on my space, and even, “You don’t own me” doesn’t work, call a friend, go for a walk, do something different to throw the voice of unreason off your game.
  6. Don’t look at the ‘enormity’ of the issue. Take it one day at a time.

The commitment is to give away ONE (1) thing a day. This is something I need to remind myself of every day — and as you can tell by the photos, moderation has not yet kicked in. I have a tendency to feel like I’m not workin’ it, or doin’ it right, or doin’ it big enough if I don’t stack up the give-aways pile. I mean.. there is a perfect way to clean out closets, right?

And I breathe.

All or nothing thinking has never gotten me more of what I want in my life. Never. Because in my all or nothing thinking, I unconsciously give into the voice of unreason who likes to set me up for failure.

“Hey”, the voice of unreason (VOUR) says. “You lazy slug. Don’t do it small. Get your azz in gear and clean out the whole closet in one fell swoop. Easy does is for wuzzes.”

“But I only need to give away one thing a day,” my aware self replies, breathing deeply while chanting ‘OM I shall not listen to you… OM I shall not listen to you…’ in my best imitation of a Tibetan monk sitting beneath a Bodhi tree.

“Don’t be ridiculous” my VOUR  replies, jumping up and down in front of my mind, waving its arms and making a real nuisance of itself. “Go big or go home.”

Resisting the temptation to get up and pound the daylights out of the VOUR, (I am sitting in the lotus position and my legs have gone asleep), I breathe again (I’m getting good at it!), and reply. “But I am teaching myself moderation”.

“Moderation is for pansies!” screams the VOUR.

“OM…” I chant.  “I shall not listen to you.”

My chanting seems to irk him. He is getting a tad agitated and forgets he is delicately balanced on the edge of my consciousness. He leaps forward to strangle my mind into submission and gets caught in my breath flowing out. In one fell swoop he falls backwards into the darkness of his own machinations. The reins he held so tightly around my thoughts are set free and suddenly, I am thinking clearly.

I breathe. Again. I breathe in and out and get up and go to the closet and decide to take out only 4 items for giveaway.

Hey! Rome wasn’t burned in a day and I’m not quite ready to take it one item at a time. For today, 4s the limit and that’s good enough for me.

And while I’m at it, think I’ll clean out my SPAM box too! No sense fooling around with temptation.