change

Speak up, even if your voice shakes.

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ericG“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ~ Elie Wiesel

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

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Wow, patting self on back.

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So I have something to show you:

before
before

Ta da!

storage unit empty and gone on Halloween 2013
storage unit empty and gone on Halloween 2013

It was a long time coming but we finally got rid of this stuff and the monthly fee to save it.

We still have some items at my Mother’s house and in our garage and basement but we are getting so much closer.  During the course of this effort , many things have taken time away from our goal.  I say that not as an excuse but rather a reality check for myself.  You see I always think I can get everything down FAST!   Life doesn’t work that way.  More important situations come around that you have to tend to, or in many cases that you want to tend to.

It’s been a tough lesson, changing goals, deadlines, and lowering expectations….but I am better for it.  I’m still cluttered, but only half as crazy as I was before.

Cheers!

against the odds- 40 day attempt

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Have you ever felt like you were ready to change, to start something to better you life but you felt restricted by people around you?  It’s like trying to change life long patterns that no longer fit your dreams, and people around you take every chance to mock or dismiss your ideas.

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I have felt that way for several years now.  And I believe I allowed those outside influences to make my attempts at changing terribly difficult.

Face it, we all know there are productive methods for example, get yourself out of a rut. But when you talk about it, there seems someone is always more than ready to tell you how it won’t work, or you’ll never stick with it.  Then they might go as far to point out several of your past failed attempts to change.  That is the sort of thing that crushes me.

Even changing my eating habit is still to this day met with sideways glances and grimacing faces.   Usually from people who are closest to me.  “You eat that?! Gross.”   They may even mock where I read about it and challenge it’s validity.  In any case, the negative responses really effect me.  I wish they didn’t do this , but they do.

Some say you have to ignore them, easier said then done.   Others say you have to remove them from your life, and surround your self with more like-minded people.  Again easier said then done.

So today, I have to ignore them.  And tomorrow I have to ignore them, and for the rest of my life I have to ignore them.  I have to look past what they say, and stay on my path.  This is going to be hard, because my auto-pilot reactions is to self doubt.  My thoughts race to:  ” They are right, I do fail all the time. I will never be able to change.”  And the words I hear, plus the word I then tell myself  reinforce constant failures as my truth.

I am going to try.  Again.  I know that this will all be on me.  If I fail one day, I will have to get back up.  It all sounds so cliche, but I have no other options.  I have to gather every once of encouragement no matter if I find it.

Right now this is my guide:  A book:   May Cause Miracles  by Gabrielle Bernstein

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I’ll blog about  my 40 day journey.  Cheers.

“atta girl”

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Self-Sabotage-610x448

Self sabotage.   Ever hear of it?   It’s when we know better, and yet we continue to follow ideas, thoughts and actions that will not get us where we want to be.

Why do we do this? I have no clue, but I am willing to try to figure it out.  So here are my guesses:

1. We are comfortable in habit.

2. We are afraid of failure.

3. We are lazy

4. We have no will power.

5. We have low expectations.

6. We are afraid of change.

7. We doubt our abilities.

Those are the top seven reasons that just popped in my head.  You may have come up with different reasons.  (I would love to hear from you in the comments)

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Now, I want to take those same reasons and listen to them as if a child was telling me why they could never ride a two-wheeler.

My reaction to the child’s reasons was simple and automatic. I effortlessly and instantly offered encouragement.  I quickly reassured the child that there was no harm in trying.  I let him/her know the worst that could happen isn’t that bad, and that she could always try again.

So why is it as adults we (I) fail to encourage ourselves?  I don’t have the answers, nothing is popping into my head.

As a matter of fact, I must take this little post and apply it to myself.   It’s time to encourage myself.   Wish me well.  Cheers to all of you out there who are trying to break out of your existing patterns.

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Tip: Treat yourself like you care about yourself.

Inspiration: “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn

One-day one-thing: I am going to paint or draw  something today.

?Question? box your stuff.

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Once a pack-rat always a pack-rat?  Could this be my fate? I am disgusted with all the crap in my new fixer-upper.

Even after all this time of moaning and reasoning, learning, and purging, there is still too much crap!  I give advice like it’s nobody’s business, yet here I am facing a mess.  And when I see it I feel like, “Damn what happened?”

What’s my excuse?  Tell me because I would  like to know.

My guess is that I am fearful.  All the self help books out there claim fear is the strongest of emotions that guide our decisions….so I must be afraid.

Afraid of what?

I am afraid of being without, even though being without is my goal.  So I have a major problem here.

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I was raised in the material world, with the material girl.  I used to claim to my step sons that Madonna was my sister….they were kids (little kids), they didn’t now any better.  I also told them I was from outer-space  and that was even way cooler than being anyone’s sister.  Point being materialism runs deep in my veins.  I am ashamed to say, one of my nick names was “Shoppin’-Shirley.”

I held no limits and knew few worries.  Whatever, whenever as long as it was fun, and even better if I could buy something. My life was spinning without direction or boundaries.  Anything was possible.  Everything was an adventure.  Things were fun.  Buying was fun.  For me the late 80’s and all of the 90’s were out of control.  And I liked it!

Sorry if I am repeating myself

So fast forward to reality, ugh, do we have to?  Yes we do.  Now I am still on this quest. I call it my “journey to living better with less” but I am in a funk.  I have not reached my goals.  I am slowly pulling myself out of this funk, but that doesn’t make the extra stuff magically disappear.

Now for the: What am I going to do about it question?

I am going to start over.  I am going to the Start Here section of my blog and follow my own advice.  I may skip around the numbers some, depending what I feel like doing.  I am adding a new twist, I am going to hold myself accountable.  Astonishing right?  Accountability. Wow.

I have been lax in taking photos.  So regarding photos, I am going to try something new. I am going to take Reward photos, pictures of stuff packed-up and ready to go.  No matter where it is going.  The rule is there are only four places anything can go:

1. Donation

2. Sale

3.Trash/Recycling

4. ?Question? box. 

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The ?Question? box is new to me.  It’s my last thin thread of my holding-on tendencies   Items placed in the ?Question? pile can live there a week, and only a week.  Seven days.  After that week is up their fate is sealed.

This is my plan. If you are in the same boat maybe you too can kick-start your journey to living better with less. Wish me luck.  Cheers.

Helpful link: The January Cure.  This is a day by day plan for improvement in one month. Plus Apartment Therapy is an awesome site.

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Tip: The more you put in the ?Question? box the better.

Inspiration: “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby

One-day one-thing: Make a ?Question box? or area.

I held hands with Stevie Wonder just when I needed to.

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The other day, early while I was still in bed.   I got a text.  Yes, I am one of those idiots that sleeps with her iPhone.   A bad habit I will attempt to break at a later date.  Anyway the text said come see Stevie Wonder at 9:30 am today then vote early.

This was only an hours notice,  and well I had already voted early, but I convinced my Husband to get up on this cold Saturday and at least vote.  We figured if the Stevie Wonder crowd wasn’t too big and if we could get parking we’d check it out.

Here’s the thing – we finally found a parking garage and the attendant basically told us “You can turn around here and go in the lot cross the street for half price.”  Okay cool, we thought.  I turned around and at that very moment a street spot opened up….free parking.  ( I do have a parking angel – another post)  I got out of the car, and glanced at the sidewalk and found a penny shining back at me.  I pick it up.  (I always pick up money I see on the ground)

The scene was eerie, it was empty.  Long story short, we grabbed a couple coffees from a guy who just moved here from Bosnia.  He kept saying “I have no power at home, I am from Bosnia, this has never happened to me”…” never in Bosnia.”

Then two perfectly detailed Black Escalades drove pass….we run across the street and are in the first row of the small crowd.  Stevie Wonder!

He played for about 50 minutes, and opened with this song:  Please follow the words in the video….and enjoy.

After he finished his set, he walk the rails, talking to people,  shaking hands, and giving hugs…..He got to me and I asked him to warm my hand.  He held it for awhile and gave me two love squeezes.  WOW.

All I can think of is the power of his message, the power of his soul and the beauty that he creates.  I am in awe.  And I feel extremely privileged to have spent my freezing Saturday morning with him. And I thank him for being who he is.

The time to love is now.  Right now.  Stevie, you helped me when I needed it.

Cheers!

To Do, Doing, Done

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What a difference a year can make.  Last year at this time I was highly stressed over everything.  I was dreading the holidays, and looking for answers to my dysfunctional family of origin.  I was burdened without knowing where my next home might be and uncertain as to our future regarding EVERYTHING.

I carried my disappointments front and center all the while trying to make sense out of things that had no answers.  This practice lead me to intense sadness, and counter-productive thoughts. Even though I logically was writing about solutions which contained numerous rationalizations, I wasn’t really seeing positive results.

I used to describe my living condition as a sort of limbo hell both physically and emotionally.  In essence that was what it was; limbo hell.

I wrote.  I read.  I planned. I learned. I tried everything, nothing worked.

You know why nothing worked?

Nothing worked because I thought writing the ideas, reading them, and believing  I knew something would be enough to make things better.  I am going to tell you right here and now….”knowing” anything  is worthless without “doing.”

And that is where I am now.   I am in the “doing phase.”  I am, once and for all, dropping all the slights and the hurts that I perceived over the past several years of my life.  Seriously, in order to get anywhere you have to stop “feeling” the past.  I use the word ” feeling”  the past instead of living, or thinking about the past because it’s how you feel that squashes out your light.

Very soon after I started this “journey to living better with less” I broke down and cried when told I had too many framed photos.  That scene made me well aware that my journey was about much more than just “stuff.”  I know why I cried.  Inside all those frames I saw photos of better times.  I cried because I was forced to acknowledge time had vanished into thin air faster than a blink.  It all hit me at once like a ton of bricks.  I was without.  I was in limbo.

Fast forward to now:

This year I am hosting Thanksgiving  for my entire family, including my family of origin and I am doing it with an open heart.   That’s right, for those people who I have said terrible things about and who I saw as a problem.   Those who I shut out and avoided.   I am kind of shocked about this myself, but I have thought about this for a awhile and it feels right.

They say time heals, but I don’t think it is time.  I think we heal by our own choice.  I am not saying it’s easy, but at some point in time you have to move on and you have to let go.  You need to live in the present, and see the here and now and you have to eliminate feeling the past.  The past is gone.

So now, maybe now, I can say I have grown.  Maybe I am capable of putting everything I have learned to work.  I’ll tell you this much, it feels like a huge heavy boulder has been remove from my soul, and that is a good thing.  I don’t plan on ever holding on to emotional garbage again.  From my experience emotional clutter is far more destructive than any of the items collecting dust in my storage unit.

Time to carry on. Cheers!