accomplishment

She did it, Can I?

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I stumbled on this blog yesterday, and I can not stop thinking about it. Primarily I read about the woman herself. I wanted to know and learned what made her succeed at changing her life. More about me -How I got to paradise.

I believe that if we really stop.  Stop what we are doing at this moment, and ask ourselves, “Is this where I want to be?”  Many of us may answer, “not really.” Other will answer, “yes.”  They need not read any further.

I’m in the “not really” category.  I thought I was getting closer to figuring it all out and then poof, I determined I had to adjust my thinking.   Which has lead me nowhere, but back to limbo of not being able to formulate concrete goals.

I didn’t place my bid on the No.3 (small) house.  I woke in the middle of the night and I thought OMG what if I can’t sell it, I’ll be stuck there forever.  And that quite frankly scared the sh*t out of me.

All the cheer-leading I did yesterday didn’t even work for me. That’s another topic for a post, those who can tell others what to do, but can’t seem to do it themselves. I fell back to second guessing myself, and asking myself,” wow is this it?  Is this the final destination?”  I couldn’t make it be.  I couldn’t pull the trigger and commit to this area.  Even though we have other commitments here, my gut told me not to make that decision. At least not right now.

I listened to my intuition – I get credit for that , because in the past I have ignored my gut feelings thus leading to my own peril.

We [I] need to determine what it is that keeps us inside the boxes we have made for ourselves.  The boxes can be our location, our job, our eating habits, or exercise non-habits, it can be any box at all.  It’s what ever has you stuck.  I don’t like feeling stuck.  Feeling stuck is both terrifying and depressing.

So I am returning to square one.  Back to the basics. Time to reevaluate everything.  Again.  But know we have time, because it’s December.  And in December the world stops for awhile. There are holidays, and we even close the business for a week.  I am going to follow the 5 tips below:

1. Recognize that you are in a rut and have lost your ability to dream beyond your zip code.  First step always acknowledge the issue. (easy, check, done)

2. Determine that you are willing to make real changes in your life.  Start with small changes that you can turn into habits.  It takes 21 day for something to become a habit. (so I have read) Today is a good day to start.

3. Set goals, small and big, set at least 5 for starters.

4. Intention: concentrate on your attention on your goal with every choice you make.  Question everything, does this get me closer to my goal or not?  Only participate in those things that are in line with your goals.

5. Follow through.  No excuses.

At the end of December, review what you have accomplished and make 5 new goals for the next month.  This will at least get you[me] moving in a direction rather than,  floating aimlessly inside a box of limbo.

I recall hoping 2011 would be better than 2010, and I find I am wishing for the same thing this year.  Only this year it has to get better, or I may become a drug addict for real.  (and oddly enough that doesn’t scare me :)

I seriously can’t take much more.

Cheers!

Tip: Don’t beat yourself up, most people have no clue how to change their  lives.

Inspiration: ” Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are. “- Jose Ortega y Gasset

One-day one-thing: Clean your work area in you home, this will help you to gain focus.

Unpack the Rat’s costume: a novelist

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I have fallen behind in my de-cluttering of useless stuff, the junk in the garage, etc…. and now I am about to write a novel.  I still have no clue as to what I am going to write, but it starts November 1, 2011, which is tomorrow.

I will be busy with that, and won’t have much time for Unpack the Rat.   I’m going to  continue my journey to living better with less for sure.  Unpack the Rat has been the best thing that ‘s happened to me in a long time!  I’ve learned so much.

Happy Halloween-from my friend Unpack the Bat

Clearing out the emotional clutter was is so incredibly important to me.  Well come to think about it, all the cluttered areas are equally important to me.  They’re all connected and they influence each other.  I never, in a million years, imagined that clearing out boxes and shoes would lead to clearing out everything else and re-inventing my life.

I have a long road ahead, more work to be done, but it’s not as overwhelming as it was before.  I hope to have some great accomplishments, tips, and stories to write about when I return to Unpack the Rat.  I am excited.  Life is good, even when it’s not. :)

Thank you for reading.  I’ll be back.

Until then I wish you peace and love,

Shirley Trevor

PostScript: I really value Unpack the Rat as a place I can unload my feelings, so I may not be able to stay away. This whole “novel” writing adventure is getting a bit intimidating.

Tip: “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”~John Lennon

Inspiration:

Every-day one thing: “Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino

Tree at the end of my street -fall color- nature’s incredible design. click for hi-res

Back on the Mat

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Thanks to a dear friend, and a couple on-line friends, I am back on the mat. I started again last two nights ago and hopefully I will never stop my practice of yoga. I am a beginner for the 5th time. Five different attempts to make yoga part of my life. One time I even paid for an entire session, and never went because I thought I was too busy or it wasn’t convenient. So I guess that actually makes it six attempts.

However, this time I feel differently about it. This time it’s not just something I should do. It’s not something I want do only because it will get me in better shape. I have no expectation for my yoga experience, I am going with the flow. I want to do yoga for the rest of my life, as in life-long commitment. I believe that shift in my thinking will make all the difference.

Just eliminated your expectations all together.

This makes me happy. Granted I am little sore really sore, and I have only gone to one session, but I know it’s all possible. Being a beginner (I should be an expert at being a beginner)  is a bit awkward only because it’s new and your body isn’t accustom to being used. You are not unlike a baby learning to walk, unsure and wobbly. But that’s normal.

I’m okay not knowing all the details of this journey and I am okay with being wobbly. I know with practice I will improve. I’m not sure what all the yoga words mean or all the symbols, it doesn’t matter.

Everything will come in time.

So with much gratitude I thank Kat, Claudia and James. Namaste.

________

I want to share these awesome posts from two fantastic blogs.

James: I’m Completely Humiliated by Yoga

Claudia: 32 Suggestions: How to Start an Ashtanga Yoga Practice

Tip: What is the meaning of Namaste?

Aadil Palkhivala’s reply: “The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

Inspiration:

One-day one thing: Practice breathing.

Re-wire your brain – light up your life.

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It’s time.  This time, not next time, right now and right where ever you are.

(Please know I am addressing myself as well.)

No more excuses. Change your mind and change your life.  Decide today that you are worth taking care of.  Believe that there is nothing more important that taking care of yourself.   Other people do it.  We look at them in awe.  We question how do they do it? Sometimes we get jealous.  Maybe we claim they don’t have troubles, or they are younger, healthier, or they are rich, or they don’t have to work so they have the time. Over and over again we convince ourselves that they can have it all, because of something they have that we don’t.

Each time we make any excuse as to why we are not living our best life we are bullshitting ourselves – every single time.

I have no room to talk.  I am right there with everyone. I have attempted so many times to get my sh*t together that I have all the tips embossed into my gray matter.  Those tips, and they are good ones,  didn’t help me at all.  You know why?  Because I never followed through with what they said. I would read self help books up to about page 30.  You wouldn’t believe how many of these books I donated in my de-cluttering.  I had to remove all the pathetic book marks. I never stuck with anything long enough to get to the point where I knew I was living my best life.

More importantly MOST importantly, I never cleared out all the other toxic beliefs, grudges, and negatives in my heart and mind.  You have to have an open mind, that’s true.  I had an open mind.  What I didn’t have was any extra room in my mind.  You have to have a clean slate, or at least some free space in your head where new ideas can begin to live and grow.

It’s somewhat like a chalk board. Try this:

Fill a chalk board with every thing that you have issues with, and things that makes you angry, and people who have  hurt your feelings.  Write down the negative things you say to yourself.  Right down every regret you have.  Write down any and all shame you carry.  Write down the reasons you don’t exercise or eat right. Write down names of people who screwed you, or lied to you. I think you get the point.

Now step back.  Look at that mess. There’s no room for anything else.  Your board is full.  Full of sh*t.

It’s time to erase that nasty chalkboard.  Everything you wrote down doesn’t matter.  Erase it. It just doesn’t do you any good, in fact every day you keep it on your board (in your brain), you suffer.

This can be a long painful process, but at a certain point in time you will reach a tipping point where, letting go of the ugly past/present becomes easier.  You may even wonder why you didn’t do all this sooner, don’t worry that’s normal.  Here are four simple things you can do this weekend to start re-wiring your brain.

1. Don’t gossip:  It can be a habit.  Just stop it.  It is negative energy that saps you of positive emotions. It’s not nice and it attracts people who are not nice.

2. Compliment yourself: Acknowledge something that you do or did well.  Be proud of it.  It can be anything, even something as simple as cleaning out a cat box.  Just say to yourself, “That was nasty but I did a good job of cleaning it and now it’s done, the cats will be happy.”

3. Be grateful: Every day express gratitude, and recall that gratitude throughout the day.  Key word “express.”  Let someone ( even yourself) know you are grateful.

4. Stop complaining: Cold turkey on this one.  If you can’t say something nice stay silent.

This is only a start. I don’t know if this will work for anyone else, but I have used these four things and they have helped me.

I am working on changing my mental wiring, my life.  I am starting to actually see a difference.  It feels good.  My old issues, they are still there, but they have no power less influence over my thoughts and my decisions.  Letting go doesn’t make things disappear, it just means  you are no longer holding on to them.

Be conscientious of these four simple things for the entire weekend, what do you have to lose?   Happy Friday. Cheers- I love Fridays!

And if you really want to enjoy your weekend try Sunday, simply.

Tip: Don’t be hard on yourself, stop talking yourself down.

Inspiration:

This is my goal in life.


One-day one-thing: Set one realistic goal to accomplish this weekend and do it.

I am the 99%

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Typical media and political spin - Ridicule and discount the message.

I am the 99%.

And I am proud of each and every person who has taken their time to express themselves.  A message such as this would have gone nowhere if it wasn’t true.  Keep on keeping on.  They may not  listen but we will.  There is power in numbers and it’s about time we took our power back.  Here are some things you can do to support the people: we are the 99%.

1.) Donate food items to your local food banks.

2.) Donate winter coats and blankets to shelters.

3.) Foster a pet, who may have lost it’s home.

4.) Support local small business whenever you can.

5.) Send a message to the bank behemoths, by moving your money to a smaller local bank.

6.) Stop investing in the stock market.

7.) Write your congressmen.

8.) Register to vote.

9.) Support local movements.

10.) Drive less, use less gasoline.

11.) Show your support, yard signs, sticker whatever.

12.) Stop using your debit card and credit card.  Pay with cash.

13.) Don’t let yourself become silent. Do not allow yourself to be belittled.

Remember it’s all about the mighty dollar and your vote.  Don’t give in.  This peaceful movement is going exactly as Gandhi quote says:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then

they fight you, then you win.”

Link: http://occupywallstreet.tumblr.com/

Link: http://occupywallst.org/

“Stop. Hey what’s that sound?”

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I walked in the park the other day, alone.  I wanted to take photos but my camera’s battery was dead.  The only camera I had was in my phone.  Usually I take my dogs with me as my protectors, but I didn’t have the right harnesses.  I felt a strong desire to walk in the woods.  It was a beautiful day and I was afraid to waste it.  So I went alone.

I walked up the stairs, all 100+ of them.  I was winded.  It was beautiful.  I was alone.  Sitting there catching my breath, taking in the fall colors of the tree tops below, and then all of a sudden I got scared.  Just me,  alone, at the brink of a huge cliff  next to the never ending woods.  Not a soul in sight.

What crossed my fearful mind, after all the horrific scenarios, was that I should think like an Indian Squaw.  Hold on….I have to look up “squaw” because I don’t really know what it means.  Well… that was more than I needed to know.  I guess I need to know, but I didn’t know the bad meaning until I looked for the regular meaning.

I recovered from the stairs and started my hike.  I began telling myself to “stop it, don’t let your fear win, just enjoy.”  So I walked for awhile up until the moment I noticed freshly pressed large foot prints in the mud.  I froze stiff in my steps and listened.  I listened hard.  I wanted to hear those footsteps if they were out there.   I tried to imagine that if I heard foot steps that I could locate the origin of them as quickly as a native Squaw.

Sigh….

I calmed myself down.  Which was no small task.  But still I wanted to locate something by sound alone.  I wanted to be keen, keenly aware.

I continued on, hearing only my own footsteps.   I stopped again.  It was really quiet.  Finally I  heard a bird, a large bird, an owl or something up in the trees.  I tried to locate it, but as I walked on the sound bounced, appearing to move.  Being keen is not that easy.

The voice I heard had a soft mellow earthy tone, relaxed.  I have no idea what kind of creature it was, I never saw it.   It sounded blissfully content, high above me in the seemingly empty quiet woods and that was enough for me.

All this on an indiscernible Thursday from a simple walk in the park, alone.

Tip: Keep your batteries charged.

Inspiration: I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.”  ~Rosa Parks

One-day one-thing: Wake-up your senses; step outside and do something alone.

Photo Mountain

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I have to admit, I have been avoiding this area of sorting like the plague.   As a matter of fact, as I write my stomach is getting tense.  You see I don’t want to sort all my old photographs.  I can’t bare to spend the emotional energy needed to get through all these photos.  It’s not inside me yet.  I am not that strong.

before- photos chaos

It makes me sad to see how much time has past.  It makes me sad to see those I’ve lost, and what will never be again.  Even when I look at the most precious pictures, I love seeing them, but it’s a very bitter sweet experience.

Thousands, and thousands of photos and many were “bogo” – buy one set get the second set free.  Add in all the school photos, and the sports photos, it’s a mountain of memories

storage- photos only

My answer here is not the best.  I am not going to sort them.  That’s right.  I bought three large blue bins and today my big contribution to de-cluttering is moving these bins to the storage unit.  These bins are heavy and it is quite a task  moving them.  So it is a start, and it will be an accomplishment.

My rationalization here is that when I finish sorting all the other areas of my life, then I will be free to leisurely look through a few photos at a time.

Will I?… I don’t know.  But I know I won’t let this become a roadblock to my journey to living better with less.

in storage unit - tempory fix

Tip: When visiting your storage space never look in any of the boxes.

Inspiration: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~Buddha

One-day one-thing: Store your photos safely, or sort some of them.

Nanowrimo

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I have sign up for Nanowrimo.   National Novel Writing Month.

Why did I do this?  Well, I thought, why not?  I mean in all reality, TV is really crappy and it’s a waste of my time.  And what else do I have to do, besides get rid of all my stuff, work, and take care of our family and our dogs and cats, paint and exercise?

Why not write a novel?  I have never really ever even considered writing a book.  Why not try?  What else is there to do in November other than write about 1667 words per day?  In the end,  I will have something I didn’t have before.  I’ll meet some “writer” people and learn something along the way.  Plus it doesn’t cost a penny.  Sounds like a good thing to me.

I’m kind of excited.  I bought a WordPress theme called “Chapters” and I am almost ready to go.  Oh wait, I need a plot and a story to tell.  Hopefully within the next 22 days I can think of something.

Peace.

It’s Sunday, I shouldn’t even be writing this.

Tip: Write even if you only have 15 minutes.

Inspiration:  “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”  ~Sylvia Plath

One-thing one-thing: Un-clutter your day: Make a schedule for tomorrow and see if you can stick to it.

One day – one thing

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The minute you realize that you have too much stuff, a sudden feeling of dread and hopelessness is sure to follow.  It can break you and make you cry.  The work appears endless, and overwhelming.  I have cried, and drowned myself in music and random car rides. I have fabricated needless errands as a method of avoidance.  Many days I can be found  aimlessly wandering in stores.  I like TJ Maxx to mindlessly wander in because they have music and all different departments all in one place.   Sometimes when I return to the house I like to buddy up with my friend Chardonnay.

Eventually, avoidance will become boring and you will want to move on, you will want to be free of the clutter.  But you still will not know how to even start.

Here’s my rule.  One Day – One Thing.  In the most difficult areas, that’s is all you have to do, and more realistically it’s all you can do.  The goal is to do one thing that will move into the direction of having less and being more.  Do this every single day.

Dress I never wore - now it's on eBay

Today- I am taking photos for some items for eBay.  That’s it. That’s all I am doing on this.  I worked a full day at the office, and I am burned out.

(Side note: I definitely like to write my task down, just so I can cross it off.  )

Find one action item for your tomorrow, put it on your list and do it.