Day 7 - I'm tired today

Crap cleared: Laundry cupboard crap
It has been one week since I started this challenge and I realise that it’s going to be a lot more taxing than initially imagined. Actually, I didn’t really imagine anything at the time - I just got an idea and went with it. I am so excited by this venture and keen to develop some quality material by documenting the issues faced when clearing my crap, but it does take time. And time got away from me today.

I received some great support and information from my second coaching session with Jacleen Allen today and I feel really good about a positive conversation I had with my sister. I planned to share some insights as a result of these interactions, but time and energy eludes me this evening.

I feel a little disappointed with myself as a result, but know that I shouldn’t be. 100 days is a long time and I’m bound to waver in my enthusiasm, but it’s surprising that my dedication slackened off today when it’s only Day 7. It’s not that I’m not up for the challenge, as I still made time to do some cleaning up and de-cluttering today.... I’m just tired and lack the energy required to examine and write about the issues and learnings identified from my clearing today.

Today I tidied up the chest of drawers in the laundry and threw out a pile of crap.

Day 7 observations:
  • This challenge is a journey and the structure and format of how I document progress may change.

Day 6 - Becoming less judgemental

Crap cleared: old magazines
I took the laptop with me to the hairdresser on Friday with the intention of writing while the colour was working its magic on my head, but found myself drawn to the celebrity gossip magazines instead. I never buy them, but do have fun flicking through the pages and reading the random article when I happen to be in the vicinity of a Woman’s Day, Who or New Idea, which is usually in waiting rooms or grocery store queues. Oh, the glam of the Grammys, the astounding celebrity post-baby bodies, the gorgeous fashion and perfect faces!!

I turned a page and stared straight at Fairlie Arrow’s adjusted face. I was struck by her manufactured look - the one people get when they’ve had just a little too much work done on their face. I was all ready to say to myself, and possibly the hair stylist, "Oh my God, look at her face! You can just tell that she’s had plastic surgery. Her face just looks so fake." What did I think having plastic surgery meant about a person? But in that instant, I caught myself being judgemental. Those words that were forming in my mind when I looked at her changed and I formed no direct opinion of this person. I simply observed the facts of the image before me.

Fairlie, an Australian, now living in the US, faked her own kidnapping 20 years ago, when she was working as a model on the Gold Coast. Media reports at the time said that she did it to draw attention to herself in order to further her career. In this article, Fairlie shared the real reason why she did it - an action in response to extreme emotional trauma from being stalked when the police could or would not do anything to help her.

While we can’t believe everything we read in magazines, for me this reinforced that we cannot ever truly know what is going on with another person. And I should know - I never truly knew what was going on with my ex-husband for the 14 years that we were together, until the day he told me his secret and that was when the Crap hit the fan.... but I’ll save that one for another day!

I looked at Fairlie’s face and realised that those external features do not define her. I have recently become aware that when we make a judgement about others, it is really a reflection of ourselves, and to catch myself evaluating her looks made me consider what I think about my own appearance. And you know what?.... I’m ok!!

 I   think   I’m   ok  !!

  (That’s definitely a move on from the time shortly after my marriage ended when I went and had a consultation for a boob job... ha ha!). And I think Fairlie’s. pretty ok too.

Today I found this quote by Carl Jung ~

"Everything that irritates us about others
Can lead us to an understanding of ourselves"

I returned from the hairdressers a tad blonder, a tad happier, and I threw out a pile of old magazines.

Day 6 observations:
  • When I feel good on the inside, I like the way I look on the outside

  • Day 5 - Wildlife!

    Crap cleared: 6 foot python

    So I was sitting here, half way through writing my daily blog, when I heard a kafuffle outside.
    Ha, what a funny word that is... kafuffle... KAFUFFLE - the perfect word to describe the carry-on I heard.

    It was after 8.30pm - gate closed, chooks looked up, cats fed and inside, kids in bed, time for me time - what could it be? Was it the chooks? They should be fine - locked in their house. Maybe cats fighting somewhere? I grabbed the torch and went to check that the chookies were ok.


    I stood outside the chookhouse shining the torch on their roost and there was a GIGANTIC snake with a feather in its mouth. A quick chook count....they're all there. Now, what to do...

    My Dad always used to say when I was growing up on the farm, "The only good snake's a dead snake."

    And now as I clear the crap I'm gonna find one of these in the garage, in a box in the spare room....aaaah, there's probably one in the my wardrobe....aaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!

    Day 5 observations
    • Snakes should not be protected!

    Day 4 - Lost memories

    Crap cleared: all the stuff on the fridge 
    I stood before the shiny, white appliance, rubbing the cleaning cloth over and over the smooth surface, for much longer than it needed. It was shiny and bright and beautiful. There were no traces of the past, no wishes for the future, no evidence of how busy our lives can get. It was clean and appeared to glow.

    It wasn’t hard to remove all the crap that was stuck to the fridge - something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. What was hard, was to look at the photo of my daughter that was on the fridge taken about 2 and a half years ago.

    I looked at her beautiful face and wondered what happened back then when the picture was taken. I marvelled at how gorgeous she was (and still is, of course) and I tried to remember what my daily routine was like when she was two years old. Absolutely nothing came to mind. I could not remember much at all.

    I really don’t think I have a good memory. Sure, I could cram information in to splurge it all out again in an exam, but I forgot it all shortly after. And I have of course used my memory well in order to develop in my career. But I have never been very good at recounting conversations to anyone. The ‘he said this’ and then ‘she said that,’ that I hear some people describe as they relive situations - I just can’t do that. I don’t really remember exactly what people say and sometimes I can forget what someone said all together!

    I think I have a way of filtering out what I believe to be important or not. Trivial Persuit!! - hate it! Why would I want to store trivia in my mind - there’s not enough capacity in there to remember the important facts!!

    When I look back on my past, I only remember the good times. In conversation a friend may raise as issue from the past that was really horrible at the time, and I would have forgotten all about it. I guess it’s just that I don’t dwell on the past.... until my marriage ended.

    My husband left me. He walked away from us when the kids were 2 and a half and 6 months old. In the days, months and years that followed, I struggled to just put one foot in front of the other to get by. I was in a dark place for a very long time and that is why the memory of my daughter at that early age and the things that we did is just a blur. I know that she is my angel, who was there to help me get through each day. Without my love and devotion to my children, who needed me so much, my feet would not have been able to keep making those steps.

    I feel like I have missed a part of their growing up because I had to put so much energy into myself to deal with the emotional trauma I was facing, but the beauty of it is, I can now look back and see it for what it is. I can examine the reality without any blame, hatred or anger toward my ex-husband. Wow, to recognise this (as I type) and to be OK with it, is a break-through for me. My memory of the last 4 years may be a little hazy, but as the cliche goes: "things happen for a reason". There are so many reasons this happened, I have so many lessons to learn from it.

    I just went and checked the dictionary... "forgive" - to give up resentment against or the desire to punish.

    Taking the time to clear the crap and examine my thoughts and emotions is teaching me to forgive.


    I’m still getting used to the clean, white facade of the fridge. It gives me a jolt every time I walk past it or open it. And how many times a day do we do that? The clean slate that is the front of my fridge shines like a beacon, emanating white light, to remind me of the clarity I am finding within.

    Day 4 observations:

  • I can look back on a situation that happened in my past and observe it for what it is. It’s a fact. It happened. I can eliminate judgement and forgive.

  • If I really do want to remember, all I would have to do is take time out to reflect on the past. if I do the work, the memories will come back.

  • Day 3 - Exploring inner motivations and healing

    Crap cleared: box of craft material

    The wardrobe in the spare room is piled high with large plastic tubs of CRAP - namely clothes I no longer wear, children’s paintings, awards and memorabilia, photos, Christmas decorations and craft material (fabric, wool, cross-stitch stuff, cardboard and utensils for card-making, beads etc). My aim was to reduce two tubs of craft material down to one.

    It was interesting sorting through the tubs as I found so many lovely things that I forgot that I had. Beautiful and useful things that I was keeping for... "one day" when I wanted to fix or make something. It’s been ages since I worked on any crafty projects.

    Strangely, at one stage when I was sorting what to keep and what to throw away, I really became overwhelmed. It’s hard to describe. I felt slightly panicked and anxious over the requirement I had placed on myself. Wow... where was this coming from? I was teary - it was bizarre. My close friend, the attitude of lack, had come to visit again and was asking me what would happen if one day I needed those items and didn’t have them any more.

    Both of my parents lost absolutely every thing in Germany in WWII. They were strong and resourceful and built a secure and comfortable life for themselves here in Australia, where I was born. They were thrifty and frugal and I believe I have adopted their need to hold on to things... because you just might need them one day!
    When dining, it was and continues to be annoying and often embarrassing when with company, to have my father insist that I eat more. He will say "have some more", "eat this", "finish this off", "come on, eat up - you don’t know when your gonna get your next meal." He suffered great loss and starvation in his childhood, and of course it shaped his adult behaviours and attitudes. I have always felt that I had a different attitude to war than my friends. My views were influenced by the shocking stories my parents shared and I now realise that I have internalised their sorrow and fear of losing everything all over again. Perhaps this is why I feel so very deeply for the flood and earthquake victims who have lost everything, because, through my parents’ experience, it’s like I know what it’s like.

    Now, as I examine my need to hold onto things, I feel like I’m contradicting myself, because those who have lost everything will tell you that they only lost material possessions, and that means absolutely nothing in comparison to human life.

    From the start of the day I could feel a knot in the top of my stomach. It was like a ball of churning anxiety, like pins and needles or butterflies, that would not go away. After my weekend healing course I identified that I would benefit from a daily meditation to "clear the internal crap" and bring back the clarity and love I found within. Finally at 2.30pm, after having this congestion (that I know was sitting in my solar plexus chakra) with me constantly, I made my way to my special spot.

    I tried to perform an emotional healing technique that I learnt on the weekend on myself. It didn’t work - there was nothing there.
    So I sat with my congestion. I drew my attention to my solar plexus to see what was there.
    I saw that I was imbalanced. I had been focusing and taking action on a new activity, at the expense of all the other things I need to do in my daily round. The energy was blocked and I was able to break it down and spread it to where it needed to go.

    And I also realised that I was holding imbalance in this area of my body that did not belong to me. The pain and sorrow of events in the world were sitting there. I saw that I had taken on others’ issues... and I let them go.

    By 3pm when I went to get the kids, that feeling in my stomach was gone!


    So here it is - two tubs of CRAP reduced to one tub of CRAP.
    (I’m looking forward to defining that term soon.)

    Today....was awesome!

    Day 3 observations:

  • I recognise the source of my attitude toward holding on to material possessions. I acknowledge it and let it go.

  • I am a healer. I am able to use the universal light to bring clarity to my being.


    Day 2 - We are all that we need

    Crap cleared: Some old letters

    There’s a section of the hall cupboard where I store old letters - there are many storage sections to that cupboard.... for old shoes, old 4 ring binders and conference satchels, stationary, wrapping paper and ribbon, the present box, broken toys waiting to be glued, decks of cards, handbags... Quite a treasure trove if you care to look at it that way. Right now, I look at it and just see a heap of CRAP! Stuff I don’t really need and it just creates clutter.

    Before going through the old letters received, I couldn’t actually remember the last time I put one in that hiding place, with the intention that one day, when I’m old, I’ll get them out again and reminisce on my life. I wonder how many people actually do this in their retiring years. Or are these shoeboxes full of old memories just going to lie untouched, taking up space, focus and energy, until descendants throw them out once we have passed!

    So I looked at the beautiful greeting cards from family and friends - a note from Yo thanking me for the handmade activity rug I created when Annika was born, a reindeer on shiny paper sending Xmas wishes from Monika and Lloyd, a gorgeous traditionally German card from Brigitte with stickers and pictures cut out and stuck on it, a happy 30th Birthday card signed by TTQ colleagues.
    I looked at some shakily written letters from Omi and in every letter she would write that she hoped that I could understand her German words and some hastily scribbled notes from Mum written as she raced to the post office to send me something. My intention in keeping them was only to marvel at the wonderful way she spelt Australian words exactly as she pronounced them. They will be hard to throw away.
    I looked at letters/photos from Kate that she would copy and send annually to update all on her life, a typed thank you from Domi and Zander, a 4 inch floppy that I no longer have a drive for, even tickets from shows I had attended, and other pieces of paper advising of what was going on at a particular time in the past.

    Is it really necessary that I keep all this? I pondered this overnight and even asked on facebook to get some feedback. This lead me to reconnect with an old friend and what she shared was absolutely perfect.

    Today I cried for New Zealand as I watch the tragedy of the Christchurch earthquake unfold, and reflected on the last two months here in Australia of flood, fire and cyclones. I have felt for those directly effected so very deeply. The devastation caused by mother nature has struck a cord deep within me and contributed to my recent depressive state. I can feel my new-found bliss wavering and will make time to remove this heaviness I feel sitting in manipura.
    If the whole contents of the hall cupboard was to be destroyed by some force of nature, would I be seriously effected? Hardly. It can all be cleared.... but for today, we begin with the letters.

    Day 2 observations:
    • I must count my blessings every day. I have so much more than I realise and I should never want for more. I often lose sight of this and have to find a way to remind myself of it - daily. I will use this clearing exercise as a wonderful example that I have all that I need and will draw upon it when I need that reminder.

    Day 1 - Talking to Mum

    Crap cleared: 5 tops

    It was clean. I had tried it on a couple of days ago when getting dressed in the morning and it didn't feel right, so I threw it onto the bed and returned my attention to the wardrobe to search for something else to wear. The white top then, over the course of the next few days of an unmade bed and busy times, slid it's way to the floor where it waited, lost in a growing pile of clothes, which I stepped over many times, each time thinking, 'I must sort that CRAP on the floor' and each time I managed to ignore the mess and carry on with my day.

    As I stood, arms outstretched, I wondered if I would ever really feel like wearing that old white top again. It was too short. It would make a good rag! "Oh, just get rid of it", I thought and I probably said it out aloud as well - to... noone. So I crumpled it up again and threw it through the open door into the hallway.

    This happened shortly after I hung up from speaking with my Mum on the phone. She lives interstate and we chat a couple of times a week on the phone. We both find that this is a marvelous time to get the housework done. We can chat for hours non-stop while we each work around the house doing chores. Today when talking to Mum, I fed the chooks, swept the back verandah, cleaned bins and put the rubbish out, changed the sheets on my bed, put them in the machine to wash, cleaned the kitchen bench, and ironed about 12 tops, two pants and a skirt. I have to say it was the most domestically productive I've been all week.

    Mum was busy cleaning out her study which was full of paper. Everywhere! I know the room and I know how it can get. No space... crap on the floor, crap all over the desk, crap all over the couch such that you can't sit on it, crap all over the chair, piles and piles of CRAP. She's expecting visitors on the weekend and needs to clean up. She had heaps of recipies that she was sorting through and I was trying to get her to just throw it all out. She has so many recipies and piles of magazines with recipies and things she wants to read "one day", and pages ripped out of magazines with recipies and when ever she looks to make something, she always just goes back to the same two old, tattered, tried and tested, german recipe books that she has referred to for the last 40 years! And today she said to me that she doesn't even like cooking that much any more. It's so easy to tell someone else what they should be doing to clear out their crap, but to apply it to my self....

    I had commented to Mum that I need to clean out my linen closet, because it's choc-a-bloc full and I just can't fit anything in there any more. When remaking my bed and looking for a new pillow case, I counted 42 pillowcases!! There are only 3 beds in this house. How many pillowcases does one need? Now, that's not to mention the two pillowcases that I'd just put in the wash, the two that were on the childrens beds, the other 4 clean ones that were on my bed and the couple that are in the clean washing basket waiting to be folded and put away. "I'll have to sort out those pillow cases and get rid of some one day", I thought to myself, as I struggled to fit them all back in the closet after counting.

    How could I ever bring myself to cull my pillowcases? They're all so good. They're useful. I might need them one day! If I was to clean out the cupboard, I'd have to just retire them to a plastic container, which would then clutter up the garage, just in case I ever needed some fabric for... something.

    So, I picked up the white singlet-top for the second time and folded it up. It's still too good to be used as a rag, maybe I could sell it at the market, I thought. What an attitude of lack - I have got to change this. So I set myself the task of finding four more tops that I no longer wear to get rid of as well.

    And from that came the idea and the desire to set myself a challenge to find something, even if it's just a small thing, to get rid of every day. Something that I no longer use -  no longer need. Something that's just creating clutter and sucking up my current energy. That's emittting old energies that I don't need around any more.

    The desire to "clear the CRAP' also came about as a result of my participation in a healing course over the weekend. We cleared and energised our chakras, and performed emotional healing techniques and I had some profound experiences. I was feeling really cleansed on the inside. I felt my chakras and aura were clear, my energy centers revitalised, my emotional issues dealt with. I got home to a dirty, cluttered, tired looking home. I need to clear and cleanse it.... so, let the challenge begin.

    I plan to blog daily to describe the CRAP that I am clearing, but also provide some background as I go along, which will make this a healing process, as I remember, feel and let go of the items and any emotions or beliefs associated with them or what they represent.

    And to share my life, my background, issues and CRAP, is to expose myself and show my vulnerability. This will be very new for me. I had a breakthrough on the weekend when I saw unconditional love and finally know that I can love myself. I no longer need to satisfy anyone's expectations. I don't have to try to please anyone, or try to make myself look good in their eyes. I can be detached from outcomes.

    I am what I am.
    I am me.
    I am light.
    I am love.
    I know that now.

    Day 1 observations:
    • When designing the image for this blog a scribbled out ladybug came about. The ladybug represents my Mum and the scribble signifies a breaking away. A breakage from the expectations that I developed for myself throughout my life to date and a breakage from the attitude of lack, both of which stem from childhood conditioning.
    • I understand that I work best when I have a deadline to meet and I am accountable to others. I recognise and accept that my motivation to take action is low when there’s just me. Public notification of my challenge makes me accountable to any readers.
    • The header and background for this blog is a busy mess. This is representative of the current state of clutter in my surrounds. This site will evolve and become clearer as I clear the CRAP.
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