Day 34 - Stop dreaming and get back to basics

I’m feeling really out of control right now. I have no balance. The great schedule I developed back on Day 10 of this challenge is being ignored. Daily blog posts are late (according to the expectations I have set for myself!) and I’m getting bogged down with trying to discover what I’m going to do on the other side of this challenge.

I’m spending too much time working on formulating the future implementation of realising my dreams. This is definitely putting the cart before the horse. I have to get back to the basics and rediscover what the hell this is this all about...

It’s about taking 100 days to clear my space and mind.

Right now my mind is spinning with thoughts of website development, products and services to offer, writing my book, worry over readership, which income stream to put most energy into and how to structure my unique healing methods. I’m reading and researching til 1 or 2am each night. I have to stop, or at least amend the Clear the Crap parameters I have set myself.

This is absolutely in no way bad at all. It’s just part of the process and a clear example of the way I operate when I get passionate about a new project. I totally throw myself into it - often at the expense of other aspects of day-to-day living. I’m still extremely satisfied and excited by what is happening in my life, I just need to slow up a bit and find clarity.


After donning many layers of clothing/armour on Sunday
my son said, "I think this is the most fun that I will ever have, playing with my sister"
 
 
Crap Cleared: I think I just took a bit of pressure off myself.

Day 34 observations:
  • It’s OK to change the rules.
  • Balance, balance, balance! Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Day 33 - Overcoming perfectionism and procrastination - Doing it my way.

It is so easy to let yourself get overwhelmed by the multitude of tasks that lay before you. Sometimes you have so much that you need and want to do yet nothing gets done. Go figure? If you’re like me you can easily distract yourself and keep really busy with other things and don’t actually get to do anything on your to-do list! We call that procrastination, don’t we? Yep... I’m really good at that.

My identification with outcomes and fear of failure stops me from tackling many important jobs. The ability to break down a big job into small steps, disassociate from the end result and just focus on the event in the moment, is my way to break down this fear.

I had a terrific chat with Kristin Rohan the Sassy SEO this morning and we explored many issues relating to my future business direction. Kristin was easily able to see where I was coming from and shared her ideas on developing a long term vision, marketing strategies and products and services. She has a wonderful philosophy, is great to deal with and her websites are jam-packed with helpful information.

I sat for a while, thinking about the outcomes of our interaction
and what I have to do.
I have so much ahead of me....

...

...

... so then I went out and found more blooms in my garden!




Crap Cleared: Internal need to do things the right way... I can do them my way!

Day 33 observations:
  • Perfectionism is detrimental. Getting it 100% right is not as important as getting it done.
  • Just take one step after the next and know that you’re on the right path.

Day 32 - My love-hate relationship with the lawnmower

Well it would be nice if I was going to describe the guy who mows my grass... but this is simply a rant about the blue, 4-stroke, 158cc Victa!

When I go out and get dirty and ride the Victa I’m truly satisfied!!
...about a job well done in the yard, of course... what were you thinking??

For me, mowing the lawn is symbolic for all of the indoor and outdoor chores that I do, which would "normally" be done by the man about the house. I love that I am a strong, independent, single woman and attribute it to my treasured childhood growing up on the farm. I value my practicality and resourcefulness. When the grass has been neatly trimmed, and other yard duties completed, (eg. pruning trees, cleaning gutters, creating an ag-pipe drainage system!) I enjoy standing back and admiring the job well done and the look of my property.

It's probably not good to feel proud of oneself,
but I do value the sense of achievement I feel
when I do a "man’s job" such as mowing the lawn.
Even if we engage less frequently than we should,
I love my lawnmower.

That said, I still have moments, usually when something goes wrong and the damn thing (or other equipment) is not working, or if something else has effected me, when I can feel sorry for myself and wish I had someone else to do the lawn for me. I had an episode like that today when pushing through the thick grass that should have been tended to weeks ago, and the tears were rolling down my face as I plodded back and forth. Self-defeating thoughts like: Why do I have to be alone all the time? Why don’t I have someone else to do this for me? Why am I not good enough for anyone? Why doesn’t any man like me?
I hate my lawnmower. 

The strange thing is that I don’t really long to have a man in my life. Sure it may be nice, but it would be an imposition and stressor more than anything else. (perhaps just initially and I’m just saying this to make myself feel better)

Episodes where I get all sad and cranky about my circumstance are much less frequent or long lasting now than what they have been in the past. So, I soon shook myself out of that mind-pattern and continued to enjoy being outside in the fresh (noisy) air.


See... it really needs mowing!

Today there were two instances to do with relationships that really got my goat.

I read a blog from an American woman who needed to move states for work. She was living in a new city with her child, while her husband remained in the old home until it sold. She said that she is now experiencing what it is like to be a single mother.

Pheewth!!

(I cant send a link because I can’t remember the name of the blog. I was offended and chose not to bookmark the page in any way)

I liken this with women whose husbands go away for work for periods of time. Yes, those women do need to look after the children all by themselves and make huge sacrefices and may need to make some decisions by themselves, and it is hard, but this is NOT the same as being a single mother.

They have not suffered the tragedy that is the loss of a marriage/partnership that resulted in the children, and they still have their partner available, even if it is just on the phone at times. They still have someone there who loves them, and cares for them and supports them. They are not alone.

Secondly, I came across a facebook page that was inviting people to have a whinge and get things off their chest. A woman was complaining about her husband. It really irks me when I hear people criticising their partner (and yes, I have been guilty of it also in the past). Why can't people just be thankful for the love that they have and if it is an unhealthy relationship, quit it! Complaining is all about making yourself out to be better than the other.
 
Ok, rant over... Now I’ll go back to my pretence of being a humble identity - who lives in hope of ditching the Victa and finding a real life Victor, Vincent or maybe even a Victoria!


Crap cleared: Megga amounts of lawn clippings


Day 32 observations:
  • I am becoming conscious of my ego, which complains about single life and my internal voice that tells me negative things about myself. I know that awareness and ego can’t occur at the same time. My old mental patterns are being recognised and broken down as my awareness grows.

Day 31 - The cleaning bug got me!

 
The cleaning bug strikes me
 at the weirdest times.
Often it’s at 9pm,
rarely during the day
and sometimes in the middle of the night.


I can happily ignore the mess in my house on a day to day basis and wait until the bug strikes, then it’s surprising how much cleaning and tidying I can achieve in a small amount of time. And it's not unusual for me to do the laundry if I wake at 3am and can't sleep - which is very rare these days.

I honestly don’t know how I’m surviving on only about 5 hours sleep per night lately, but after hitting hay at 2am last night I can’t believe my high level of energy today.

I had the children running around the house with me putting things back into place to re-create order under this roof. "Work before play"... a great motto in our house and the kids were even folding sheets!

Along with all the general housework I took the opportunity, while the bite of the bug was with me, to work with my daughter to clear the crap from her bedroom.
 
 
 
OK... Now you can go and play Wii.
 
 
Crap cleared: Unwanted craft and toys from my daughter’s room.


Day 31 observations:
  • All in good time ~ Tomorrow is another day ~ Strike while the iron’s hot ~ Whatever ~ Just Do It!

Day 30 - Is there a monster under my bed?

Every day seems so hectic.

Rushing to get ready,
hurrying here and there,
too much on my plate,
not getting enough done,
too much time online,
activities after school,
got to do this,
haven’t done that,
quick eat your dinner,
no time for that today,
hurry to bed...

Crazy days!

When my head finally crashes onto the pillow the last thing that goes through my head is a calm, relaxed, "Goodnight my beautiful children". They are always my last thought before slumber.

Daily I question if I am doing the right thing; if I have spent enough quality time with them. I feel sorry for the time that I yelled and reconsider the latest behaviour reward strategy. And then I vow to do a better job the next day.

Today Mum and I discussed how we try to fit so much into our days - a disease of this culture we live in. We can get so caught up in activity, but then never really accomplish a lot. The wheels go round, we get stuck in a rut, we’re constantly busy and before we know it, years have passed in what seemed like the blink of an eye and the wheel is still churning. Why have we developed a mentality that thinks it’s not ok to have little to do, to rest, and to smell the flowers?

Mum said that at 71 years old, she is still running this same treadmill.

I don’t want to continue living like this for the next 30 years.

I would like to break down the internal construct that makes me think that I need to be busy all the time. I want to live and enjoy this life, not get to the end of it and wonder what happened to it.

I’m still stuck in a contradictory mind-set between seeking direction, setting goals & making plans, and then wanting to just be. Surely there’s a way that I can have both.
 
  
The monster that hides under my bed is my unknown future.

I remember time and time again asking my ex-husband what our future holds. I wanted to make plans for future holidays and what will happen when the kids reach a certain age, and what new activities we could do together. These questions were usually pondered when leisurely lying in bed, when the monster could reach his arms up to trigger my fear of what lies ahead.

More recently when I lie on my bed and the monster touches me, my thoughts were of how I would continue to cope as a single mother. How could I support us financially in the future? What would I do if I had an intruder in the house? What would happen to the kids if something happened to me?

But the beautiful thing is that I have been changing my outlook on life. I am developing a new perspective. It’s just a slight shift of consciousness. Not just repeating positive affirmations in my head and hoping they come true, but actually knowing that what ever will be, will be, and it will be the right thing for us.

Wow! Good-bye monster. Good-bye fear of the future.
 

Crap cleared: I tidied up all the crap that was hidden under my bed.

Day 30 observations:
  • I can make plans for the future and try different things in my life, while still relishing each and every moment.

Day 29 - Precious books and the need to write.

 
Crap cleared: children's books
I stood mesmerised before the gondola of books. I don’t know what had drawn me to this section of the department store because I was there to buy a gymnastics leotard and a couple of roll-under-the-bed plastic storage containers. The pictures on the covers, the titles, the authors, the words were all calling to me. I could feel their power and I wanted to become one with it.

And of course the title of this piece of fiction jumped up at me: "The pile of stuff at the bottom of the stairs". I’m sure Christina Hopkinson could just as easily have replaced stuff with CRAP in her title. I skimmed through and read a few random pages and found I could enjoy her content.


This pic is totally unrelated to the blog...
I just thought the browns and greens of my
courtyard looked especially pretty this morning!
(110cm outdoor clock by i believe in this) )

I cannot remember the last time I bought a work of fiction. Other than a couple of gardening, craft, finance, cookery and medical books and magazines, my bookshelf is 80% self-help. What I read is all about improving myself; trying to become a better person; trying to find happiness, direction and fulfilment and an understanding of life. Titles like: First things first, Don’t sweat the small stuff, Instant Calm, The art of happiness and Freedom Is; and books from authors such as Stephen Covey, Edward De Bono, Eckhart Tolle and Mike Robinson. In the past when I found time to read, it was not really an enjoyable, relaxing journey into a make-believe story, or even an adventure to captivate imagination with messages to learn and grow from. Science fiction!... why would I waste my time! My reading was always all about trying to figure out how I can fix what is wrong with me.

There are still bookmarks in most items on my bookshelves, identifying the spot, part way through where I stopped reading. I usually do not finish a book. For some reason I lose interest or don’t find the time. It has to be really engaging for me to read through to the last page.

What I have recently discovered is that you need to be ready to receive the information you’re reading. For example, I started reading Eckhart Tolle’s The power of now last year some time, and I don’t think I got passed the first few chapters. I was not open or ready to process and understand the messages. Last week I started reading his more recent book A new earth - create a better life and it is really resonating so true for me, I can hardly put it down. Likewise, with my other recent reading from James Redfield and Mike Robinson, I’ve sped through to the end, soaking up all the wisdom on offer.

I can relate this to the process of clearing the CRAP.

You need to be ready for it.


For how long has my mother been trying to get my father to clear all of his crap out of their garage? No matter how many times she asks him and punishes him for not doing so, he’s not going to clean up his crap until he is ready. And for how long have I had that mountain of financial paperwork building up and daring me to tackle it? Not ready yet... I'll save that one for another day!!

When the time is right on your journey of life, you will be able to face your crap, process the issues associated with it, and move forward. When the time is right, the information you need will present itself to you.

While staring at all the shiny new books, the title and content of my very own masterpiece came to me. I have been contemplating a literary work that will benefit my children, but this idea is now shaping into something that could reach a wider audience. I felt the force of those books today telling me that it’s time to start working on that project.

So today I decided to clear the crap from my bookcases, but I didn’t get very far. My books are way too precious to part with. I was easily able to cull the children’s shelves and now have this pile of kids books to donate.
 

 

Oh, and I bought the fiction book about a pile of stuff and look forward to a leisurely read.
 

Day 29 observations:
  • I must not let fear of the unknown prevent me from trying something new - just commence the writing and see where it takes me.
 
 
 
 

Day 22-28 - Take a break, plan the future & live in the moment


 

Crap cleared: Not much... I was taking a break!!

So I took a break for a couple of days... Did anyone miss me?
My intention was to clear my mind of clearing the crap and while I did not publish for 7 days, I did not get the issue of CRAP out of my head.

I was constantly thinking about the clear the crap process and where I’m going to take it. I really believe that this represents a complete turnaround in my future direction, but how is it going to happen?

I spent so much time on line researching blogging sites - how to blog,
how to monetise your blog, SEO, reading this, reading that.
So much information. So many wonderful opportunities.
Internet Marketing. Finding content. What to sell.
I have so many ideas on what I could do.
But where to start?
What to do
first?
 

It wasn’t much of a break really. I wish I could come back to blogging with a clear mind and a plan for the future. Alas. Again, my logical, egoic mind wants to take over and look for the outcome that I need to strive for. My standard modus operandi of having a defined target and then working towards it, is not going to work in this case. I have to let go of that notion. It is so hard for me to give myself permission to just go with the flow and see what happens.

My quest to investigate the potential of turning Clear the CRAP into a formalised process, so I can help others to achieve the amazing benefits that I am getting from it, led me to research the role of professional organisers. There are de-clutter experts out there who help people to clear the crap out of their homes, offices, garages etc. Maybe I could become one of them?


I reviewed a number of businesses that help people to get organised. There are great resources available to help you:
  • Create To-Do-Lists
  • Organise shelves, stationary and drawers
  • Cull filing systems and archive
  • Clean your laundry
  • Develop a routine
  • Set some goals
  • ...and the list goes on
In my study of professional organisers and trainers of professional organisers, (albeit a tad ad hoc and perhaps not so thorough) I could not see evidence that they explored the deeper emotional issues of their clients. I don’t believe that they look into the reasons why their clients have such clutter in the first place, and what personal issues are attached to the items that need to be organised or cleared out, and then address those issues.

I have seen some bold directions on what to do to part with sentimental items, but saw no evidence that they help the person to deal with their sentiment.

I could conclude that this is the point of difference of the Clear the CRAP process. It’s much more than simply getting rid of clutter and finding a system to organise your files and pack things away neatly.
  
I then considered attacking it from a counselling approach. I have a degree in psychology and I’m currently participating in the Golden Wings Advanced Healing  course of study. If I was to compliment this with an additional formal qualification in some kind of natural therapy, would that be the kudos I need to formally assist others to clear their crap and discover their truth?



So I’m now going to try to take a break from all of this future planning
and online researching and get back to the main objective here...

clearing my crap.


I still have a lot of crap to clear,
so I’ll try to just take it day by day,
and trust that I am on the right path and all will be well!

I arrived home after taking the children to school this morning to see that another of my bromeliads was flowering. I’m no professional photographer, but I felt compelled to capture all the beautiful blooms in the garden at the moment. My blog would have to wait and I embarked on a photographic escapade and it was so wonderful.



I found that I got lost in the beauty of nature. It’s Autumn here in Australia, but anyone would think it was spring with the multitude of flowers in my garden. I snapped at least 20 different flowers - so beautiful, and have shared the best ones here.


That time in the garden this morning was truly
living in the moment.
Nothing else mattered.
It was just me and my energy
connecting with the energy of the plants.

Truly magnificent.
 


 

 Day 22-28 observations:
  • I just need to take a little more time to work on myself and clear my crap. There’s more external and internal work that needs to be done before I am ready to move on to the next phase. When I am ready, the correct path will present itself before me

_______________________________________________________________________

Day 21 - Blood, Lies, Shame & Messages of Truth

Crap cleared: Medical Boxes

My daughter hurt herself at school two days ago and needed three stitches in her thumb. We followed doctor’s orders and kept it dry for 48 hours with the bandage on. Tonight it was time to change the dressing and inspect the damage.

I had prepared the children for the potential shock of what it would look like, by demonstrating with a tomato! I sliced into it, until a piece was hanging on my just a thread, to emulate her thumb, and had three needles with thread at the ready to quickly put in the stitches. I also showed how the doctor was going to remove them in an attempt to ease any anxiety over the procedure.

I thought a picture of a tomato would be much nicer
than a picture of a bloody stitched thumb!

The cotton pad over the wound was stuck to the cut with dried blood. The best way to remove it and the two butterfly adhesive strips underneath would be to soak it. I prepared a dish of water with a little antiseptic and do you think I could get my daughter to stick her thumb in it? She screamed and cried for a VERY long time before I could convince her that it wasn’t going to hurt. I finally found a strategy to get her to wet her thumb and soak the dressing.

It was past bedtime and she was tired and we were both getting frustrated. I just could not get her to trust me when I said that it wasn’t going to hurt her; that I loved her more than anything and was doing the best thing for her; that I would never do anything to hurt her; that I do not lie. I DO NOT LIE.

 
I told her that someone had lied to me
and it hurt me very, very much,
for a very long time;
and I reiterated;
I do not lie.


In that very moment I was jolted by the profound realisation of how deeply the lies of my ex-husband effected my attitude toward always telling the truth, never hiding anything, and my reaction if someone does not believe what I am saying.

My husband lied to me for the 14 years that we were together. He had a secret and the night he told me what it was marked the beginning of the end of my marriage.

He lied directly, by saying he went some place or did some thing, when really he went or did some thing else. He lied indirectly, by only giving out certain information and not disclosing the full truth. I put my ultimate trust in this man and found out that the whole time we were together, I was being deceived. My life, as I knew it, was based on falsehood. What I thought was real, was make believe.

How do you learn to trust people again, when the person you trusted most in the world was living a lie? I became afraid to let down my guard. I believe that you never, ever truly know someone. Everyone has a secret part of themselves that they do not show to anyone. I wondered if I could ever trust again, as that could again expose me to the hell of betrayal.


Mmmmm.... Tomatos!!
 
Today, on Dare to be Remarkable, I read:
 
"What once shamed you
now graces you and others"
 
How timely and absolutely perfect.


The shame I felt from having chosen someone who was so sly, that he was able to make me believe that he was someone he was not, was soul-destroying.

I was so shut down by what had occurred in my life that I hid the truth from my family and friends for years. With time (and a whole heap of treatments) comes healing, and I was slowly able to give out more details.

Now that I am completing the Clear the CRAP process, I am being totally open and honest for the first time in my life. I am willing to expose myself (warts and all). I am no longer hiding anything about my marriage or myself, and it is the best thing that I could ever do.

As I share myself with others, I aim to help bring about their healing.
 
 
"Your greatest life messages
and your most effective ministry
 will come out of your deepest hurts"
~ Rick Warren


While dressing my daughters thumb
I took the opportunity to Clear the Crap
out of my First Aid boxes.

Day 21 observations:
  • Tell the truth! When you reveal the truth about yourself, you discover your true self. (Ohhh, I like that one... you can quote me!!)

Day 20 - Do I want what she’s having? ... NO!


 
Crap cleared: Kitchen drawer crap
 
As I was working in the kitchen this evening, I went to put a rusty pastry brush back into the drawer. I had a good look at it and decided to throw it out and clear any other crap from the kitchen drawers.

While doing so I thought about the kitchen, the need to renovate, how I always over cater when I have dinner guests and always buy way too much food - a consequence of the attitude of lack discussed previously in  Day 3 - Exploring inner motivations and healing.

Sorting through ladles, tongs, plastic wrap...
forks, gadgets and birthday candles...
serving spoons...
my mind started to wander. I found myself thinking about the illusion of ownership, identification with things and the need for more in our consumer society. Not just the fact that many of us end up with two or three nut crackers in our kitchen drawers, and how often do we ever buy nuts in the shell! But more along the lines of how people use goods as a means of identity. The type of car they own, or house they live in, or school the kids attend, becomes their measure of a person’s worth.

An old flatmate from Uni posted a great photo yesterday of her family having a day out on the river. In the thread that followed she asked one of her friends what was the length of a yacht they were purchasing.

I observed her interest in the size of the boat and wondered about her ego. We havn't been close for a long time so I am not making comment on her motivations in asking the question, as I don't really know her any more. This was just a prompt for me to think about how many people believe that "things" define a person.

I could have easily found myself jealous of her family and the money they have. In recent times past it would have made me wish that I was not alone and I had a great husband who would take our family on wonderful water-skiing adventures. The "old me" would have surrendered to a downward spiralling, mind-based fury of self-pity and "why me", that could have lasted for days.

But I didn’t go there!

I didn’t get jealous and I found myself simply observing without judgement. It was a beautiful revelation for me to observe her interest in the size and value of "things" and for me to be happy with my own little family and the lifestyle that we have.
 

Day 20 observations:
  • I am happy with my own little family and the lifestyle we have... and I want to shout it from the rooftops...

I am happy with my own little family
and the lifestyle we have

Day 19 - Yeah, i believe in this - but it may be time to let it go.

Crap cleared: items from the warehouse
 
My frame of mind effected the number of sales that I had at the market today.

Once a month I attend a local village market to share my i believe in this home decor, wall art and giftware. There’s really not enough foot traffic to make it a financially worthwhile event, but it’s a safe environment to take the children with me and it provides a chance to ‘get rid of’ some stock. I say it like this because I have stock from a previous venture that I need to move and no real means of distribution at the moment, other than an online store that I don’t put a lot of energy into.

I was so happy to see this gorgeous time piece go to a woman who fell in love with it and said she had the perfect spot for it in her home.
 

Winston Clock  107cm x 98cm  $99.00
 
It was raining during market set up, so a negative cloud was already hovering overhead. It’s so horrible to get everything wet, and the freshly mown grass was sticking to the tent walls. I couldn’t put any cardboard boxes or cane baskets on the ground. Then after unloading the gear, as there were fewer stall-holders than normal, I decided to relocate my tent to a better position. Well, I found out later that the new spot where I planted the tent was right on top of a green ant nest!
 

People must have thought the ants were in my pants
with the way I was prancing around inside and around my stall -
but the movement was only to try to stop them
crawling up and biting my feet and ankles.
And they hurt so much!!
 

Well... then my daughter got bitten... She reacts badly to any insect bite, but the screaming and carry-on that followed a green ant bite was just awful. I had only had a few sales and was really starting to question why I put myself through the drama and hard physical work of setting up tent, tables and stock and packing it all up again. Not to mention the fiasco that comes with having to take the kids along with me. It really is an effort - particularly when there is only a small amount of sales.

I also started to face some kind of internal paradox due to my current crap-clearing process. These items, however beautiful to decorate a home, may one day be considered by the purchaser to be their crap!

Maybe it’s time I finally let go of this retail arm of my business?

And then my daughter started whingeing about her thumb. She was hurt yesterday and now has three stitches - her first big injury. Her constant whingeing was effecting my vibe and ability to interact with customers. So we had a chat about positivity and sending out good energy. Soon after she had settled and we found an activity to keep her happy, I became happier and I began making some good sales. Amazing how one persons frame of mind can effect the surrounding atmosphere.
 
Here’s a few more items that went off to lovely new homes today:
 
 
Falling Flowers  100cm x 47cm  $75

Bodice  67 x 30 x 9cm  $55

 
Fern in Pot  100cm x 82cm  $55

 
   Day 19 observations:
  • I need to continually work on not letting other people’s issues effect my internal being. I must incorporate a protection process into my daily morning routine.

Day 18 - Thank you for leaving me, it led me to discover who I really am.

 
Crap cleared: An identification with labels
 
My mind had created an image of myself as I thought I wanted to be, based on my upbringing and social conditioning. I imagined that when I was to marry, it would be forever. The title of a divorcee was never one that I expected to have... ever. My life would not go that way.

Well, it did!

So when it happened, devastation and a state of utter despair overcame me. When my husband walked away from me, and our two children, it was like I had my whole world, as I knew it to be and wanted it to be, ripped out from underneath me. For the last four years I have been trying to rebuild that world.

It pained me to come to terms with the fact that I was now labelled a 'Single Mother'. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that I would need to perform that role. I didn't know how to do it, so I conformed to what I believed was societies stereotype of this label and acted out the part. It was only when I began to listen to my heart, that my healing process began.

Many times I have wondered what lesson the end of my marriage was supposed to teach me. As I progressed through my many stages of healing I struggled to find the good that was to come out of it.

Well, today I found it!

As I read from Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth this morning, I realised that I have finally accepted the loss of my marriage.

He wrote:
"Whenever you completely accept a loss,
you go beyond ego, and who you are,
the I Am which is consciousness itself, emerges."

And

"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful
for the evolution of your consciousness."


I realised that I could disassociate myself from the concept of "my marriage" as a thing that I identified my self-worth with. Until recently, I could not say, "I am divorced". I would tick the 'single' box on forms instead of the 'divorced' box and I got angry because I didn't think that the status I held in reference to marriage really mattered. I have now shed my ego-attachment to labels such as married, single, or divorced.

The road to recovery from that devastation and despair was long and hard,
but I travelled it and I’m at the end of the line.
 

 


 
Day 18 observations:
  • Peace love joy freedom.
  • Oh world, if only you didn’t work in such mysterious ways. The fog of mystery is clearing.
  • ♥♥♥
 

Thank you for leaving me,
 it led me to discover who I really am.

Day 17 - I have no words today

Crap cleared: A pile of crap from the garage

After a couple of attempts to sit and write today, it just didn't feel right for me. I had a fantastic day, and even wrote a page of text about my interaction with others, but I'm just lacking a bit of the.... zing that I've had these last couple of weeks that enabled me to share the details.

I really don't think that my enthusiasm for this challenge is waning - I'm still loving it. I'm just going to be honest and say that it is difficult to try and write every day. I'm only writing for myself... but I still want it to be an interesting read. I seriously thought about just skipping a day - I never said that the 100 days had to be consecutive! But I did clear some crap, so at least I can post a picture of it.

Ok?


Crap removed when I tidied up part of the garage.

I've really got to get my mojo back..... more sleep will definitely help.


Day 16 - On the road to developing a formal process to Clear the CRAP

 
Crap cleared: Crap that’s now inside my vacuum cleaner!

It’s 11pm and I’ve only just seriously started my daily scribble on the 100 day challenge.

I’m tired, it’s late, and I’ve had a couple of drinks with friends who came over for dinner.

I have had a fantastic day. I’ve been really busy and productive. The only physical crap that I cleared would have been the vacuuming job that I did today.

There is a lot of emotional clearing that goes on when you are on a mission to Clear the CRAP, and now, after more than two weeks of this, I’m wondering whether a daily Clearing of Crap is too much. Perhaps, when the process is formalised and promoted to others as a self healing tool, I'll ease up on the duration!

As a way to engage with fans and encourage participation I asked a simple question. When replies came in, I devised an exercise to try to get respondants to clear one item of their crap. I really hope it works and they complete the exercise. I consider it a testing ground for solidifying the Clear the CRAP process.

Here’s a pic of my lovely clean, crap-cleared carpet.



Hey, do you like my leaves with birds wall art? It’s from i believe in this, my home decor, wall art and gifts store.


All I can conclude with today is: 

Eckhart Tolle!! I get it!
To attempt to use words to describe how you sing to my heart would be the a sin.


Can hardly keep my eyes open.....
Good night
 ❤

Day 15 - Do more of what you love.

 
Crap cleared: weeds, backyard junk & plants to share

Aaaaahh - now THIS is what I love -
sitting in my favourite spot in the backyard,
enjoying a cold refreshing beer
after some hard work in the garden,
listening to the birds and
looking up at the still gums,
as the sun goes down.
This is bliss.
 
I was reminded today that gardening is one of my favourite things, so I felt compelled to go outside and work in the yard.

I marvel at the wonder of nature and love nurturing plants in my vegetable garden. I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction that comes after some hard yard work, when I look back on my achievement and how beautiful it looks.

Today I gathered up some bits and pieces that were lying around the yard in various places that did not need to be there. Here’s the pile of garden crap I threw away:
 
 

I also cleared away a heap of crappy weeds from the front and garden beds, which were thoroughly enjoyed by my chookies:
 
 

I cleared some good garden crap as well. These plants will be going to my friend Amanda on Friday. The January 2011 Brisbane flood waters inundated her home to a level just below the ceiling and she lost a lot. Now that the interior of her home has been fixed and her family has moved back in, she has asked for some greenery to restore her destroyed garden. I’m looking forward to delivering this lot of green and catching up with her.
 

 
I feel so at peace right now.
My special spot in the garden
is where I feel truly connected.
Peace and love to all.
♥♥♥
 
 
Day 15 observations:
  • Do more of what you love.
 

Day 14 - Don’t tease me - I don’t handle it well.


 
Crap cleared: rubbish from the car

 

I am sorting through so much at the moment that I can’t believe it was only two days ago that I suggested general housework and tidying up does not constitute "crap-clearing". Today, I had a "clearing-the-crap" moment when I was just doing an ordinary every-day cleaning job around the house.

I am still working on the criteria for this 100 day challenge and it may evolve as time moves along and I evolve with this process. Even once identified and documented, any procedure or "crap-clearing" strategy would be subject to change and needs to be flexible in order to meet individual needs.

As I progress with this challenge
I see a great opportunity to assist others,
but it will take time
to effectively describe
and document the process.

To Clear the CRAP means to do so much more than simply de-cluttering your space. All of the de-cluttering websites I’ve visited so far just provide simple tips on how to get more organised and tidy up. They do not get to the source of the emotional issues, beliefs and behaviours that lead a person to become unorganised and messy in the first place. Clearing the Crap is a methodology to bring about life altering transformation within a person.

So stay tuned.
As this challenge unfolds
And the parameters are defined
BIG things are gonna happen.

So, as I was clearing the crap out of my car this afternoon, I kept thinking about a comment a friend made on Facebook earlier in the day.

I can’t handle being teased. Why, because I was teased a lot as a child. It was not right. It was not fair. There was nothing wrong with me back then, so why did they tease me. Why were they mean to me? Why didn’t every body like me? Don’t they know or care how much they hurt me. I just wanted to be accepted for the way that I was.

I had a mini melt down as I thought about this and my memory of school-yard bullying. Then I remembered the Sedona Method that Jacleen Allen used in our first life coaching session two weeks ago. I hadn’t heard of it prior, so I investigated it and wrote down the four questions that are posed when using this method. It was pretty powerful. I was able to allow and welcome the emotions I feel when thinking about being teased, bullied or made fun of. Then I was able to let it go. Following the steps to the Sedona Method quickly dealt with the painful emotion and make it disappear.

Ha ha... not my car! But it could have
got to this if I didn't clear some crap out of it today!
Maybe it was a jeering comment. Maybe it was written as a joke. It was not fun for me. People who have fun mocking others will say that I am too serious and that I need to lighten up. I don’t understand this. Do they want me to be happy when being made fun of? I don’t make fun of others, and I don’t accept others making fun of me. Particularly now as and adult. It hurts me when people tease. Why would someone want to deliberately hurt someone?

I will no longer react like this when someone says or does something nasty to me. I am able to see that when a person expresses unfavourable words or actions towards another, they are really exposing their own insecurities. The trait they are criticising in another, is a trait that they struggle with themselves.
 
Day 14 observations:
  • Regardless of your intention when writing, some people will always interpret things in their own way.

Day 13 - Listen to your body - Are aches and pains telling us more than, ‘hey, you’ve pulled a muscle’?


 
Crap cleared: general household goods to be sold at market
 
As I packed all of my CRAP into the van I wondered if I could really be bothered taking it to the market. Surely it didn’t have such a great monetary value to warrant the huge effort of packing, setting up tent and tables, subjecting the kids to a 5am start and 7 hours of boredom, packing it up again. And the weather forecast was for rain... If only I had the strength to just take it all to the tip and dump it! But I did go to the market and was glad I did - it was fun.



Crap from my garage - ready to go to the market.


I’ve done some marketeer work before so the process is not new to me and I really enjoyed setting up because of the happy banter I had going on with the surrounding stall-holders. Many found my frivolity contagious. I think that having someone new join the regulars at the market can be like a breath of fresh air for them (or a pain in the neck) - like when a new employee joins your team at work. Those that didn’t like my crazy carry-on - which focused on using the word "CRAP" to describe the goods I was selling - well, I guess they’re the ones that just kept to themselves!

I honestly cannot believe the amount of crap I keep. I had a clear-out and held a garage sale six months ago, way before the Clear the CRAP Challenge began. This picture shows the extent of my crap that covered the entire driveway. The garage sale was not very successful, but instead of taking all the unsold goods to a charity drop-off centre or the tip, I promptly packed it all up into boxes. Now is the time to finally rid my space of those boxes of Crap.


My garage sale - August 2010

I have always had the tendency to see the good in people and wondered at times if I was actually a very good judge of character. I had a close friend and work colleague once who was very good at reading people’s features and traits. We worked together on recruitment projects, a perfect role for someone with her skill. On occasions she would mention that she had a bad feeling about someone that we both knew in some capacity. I would not have noticed this underlying negative aspect about the person, and see them only in a positive light. Given time, these people often began to show their true colours. My friend was right about them.

Maybe, knowing what I do now during my current awakening, the "good" that I have always seen in people, is their truth. I have always been able to see the internal light that connects us all, but just did not recognise what it was at the time. I’m confused now as to whether I should become guarded when meeting new people, to protect myself from potential danger, or to remain open and honest in the belief that we all have the capacity for such freedom and peace.

My neighbour at the market seemed to be a very nice man. He was a regular there and we made polite conversation. Throughout the day we chatted briefly between customers, about the market, the weather, the child car seat he was trying to manipulate to see if he wanted to buy it, among other things.

The wind was gusty and toward the end of the market we were all holding onto and tying down our tents to ensure they didn’t blow over. When my neighbour started packing up his tent, I went to lend a helping hand. I held onto the tent pole and grabbed a rope. I don’t know how, but I suddenly got a stabbing pain in my neck. Perhaps I pulled a muscle reaching for the rope or moved in a strange way. Oh, it was awful. I kept moving my head and shoulder this way and that, to try and shake the pain away. Something had cramped up in my neck.

Did I simply pull a muscle, or was there more to this?

At practically the same time as I went to assist with the tent, another man did the same, so I left it to the two men to do, while I continued stretching my neck muscle.

The thought that came to me at that very moment was that my neighbour marketeer was not to be trusted. He seemed nice, but beneath the surface there was something not right. I sat with this notion for a moment and considered my increasing awareness of the energy centres of the body. Did my throat chakra identify that I could not trust what this man was saying? Did I pick up on a negative vibration by touching the tent?

I have magnified a small moment in a big day, but it obviously resonated as something other than small with me. It enabled me to reassess the perceptions I have of people and the need to listen to my body, which has a way, via energy sources and physicality, of communicating important messages to me.

Upon concluding that I need to be wary of this man, that appearances are not always what they seem to be, the pain in my neck left me.
 
By the end of the market I had turned a pile of CRAP into $170.00! All reports were that it was a very slow day with not the usual number of stall-holders and market goers there. I probably sold a third of my crap, if that. I’m very pleased to report that I travelled home via the tip and threw away a couple of large items. (But yes, I did bring a few boxed back home again!! I figure, I have the space, I enjoy going to the market, and if I can earn a little extra lunch money... why not!)


Here's me at the market selling my Crap

After a shower and tidy up, I took the children out to lunch to their favourite child friendly restaurant. We had a fantastic meal, they played on the equipment, I had opportunity to read quietly and while my son played computer games my daughter and I coloured in with felt tip pens. A fun, relaxing afternoon.

 
Day 13 observations:
  • Take care of your physical form. It is the vessel that holds our truth. Listen to your body and trust the messages you receive.
 

Day 12 - Catching up and having a rest


Crap cleared: An attitude that one has to be productive 100% of the time
 
 
Yesterday’s Day 11 blog took me a while to complete and it did not get published until the following day. So, today I’m going to be brief and allow myself to catch up!
 

"Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest" ~ Ashleigh Brilliant
 

Today I give myself permission to have a break from the sometimes emotionally draining task of crap-clearing.
"Crap-clearing"!... I just invented a new word - the process of Clearing the CRAP!




Day 12 observations:
  • It’s ok to take the pressure off yourself sometimes.
  • General housework and tidying up does not constitute "crap-clearing".
 
 
 

Day 11 - "Bigger, better and bawdy as always"


Crap cleared: Make up and other old toiletry items
 
Inside the bathroom cupboard I found my dad, a theatre director, an old admirer and a little bit of fear. When you take your time to clear the clutter and clean your space without hurrying, your mind starts to wander, and if you allow it, you’ll be surprised where you end up.

Mum and I speak on the phone a couple of times a week and we can easily natter for hours every time. Dad, on the other hand, is always short, sharp and to the point: "How ya going? Good? Everything all right? Good. How’s the kids? So, you’re ok then? Alright, I’ll pass you over to Mum!" It’s funny though, when Mum goes away for whatever reason and he’s home alone, the first thing he does is phone me for a great big chat. I love it when I have a technical issue and need to speak with Dad. Like when the toilet didn’t stop running and he talked me through how to fix the cistern. Or when I was digging a diversion trench in the back yard due to the recent floodwaters and my pick hit and cracked an underground pipe, and he talked me through how to fix it. Or when my chook stopped laying and seemed sick and he was able to diagnose her problem and describe the course of action. If Mum would let him he’d be on a plane and heading this way tomorrow, to come and mow my lawn for me, but she says he has to Clear the CRAP out of his garage first!

My parents live over 2000km away and we usually see each other face-to-face once or twice a year. My Dad has left a suitcase of clothes and toiletries here, so that he can travel without luggage when he comes to visit. When Clearing the CRAP from my bathroom this evening, Dad’s toilet bag was definitely one item that had to stay.

I didn’t know why Paul Bennet ("Soapy") suddenly popped into my mind this morning as I was driving to school. He was also over 2000km away and was the director of a couple of Revues that I performed in back in my university days in Hobart. I hadn’t seen him since those days, many years ago. Today I saw an image that reminded me of one of these shows and so I googled it to remember what year it was. On the Old Nick Theatre Company website I found out that Soapy passed away last Saturday. We were not close and had no contact since those uni days, but we bonded well back then and I was sad to hear the news.

I reflected on how Soapy’s memory came to me this morning, and wondered why. I thought of the coincidences of the day and got a feeling that perhaps he came to say farewell this morning. I am touched to know that he came to check in with those who touched his life on this planet, before he went off to join the universal light.


Moisture from the seemingly perpetual rain
preceding the Jan 2011 Brisbane flood
caused mould problems in my house,
so as I scrubbed the mould
 from the inside of the bathroom cupboard,
I continued reminiscing...


There was a guy in that 1991 Uni Revue that I sorta liked - he was a fellow performer, but more experienced and quite talented - I’m a sucker for people in positions of authority or power. I think he kinda liked me back, but nothing ever happened between us. He was so confident on stage and could play his roles with such ease, but socially was very shy and insecure. (Interesting how these characteristics also describe my ex-husband - confident when on the sports stage, yet socially he was totally inept). I too was shy, in that I was never able to talk comfortably with and openly express my feelings to a guy. (It was great to see that he had developed a career in the entertainment industry and was still on the stage)

Growing up, I faced rejection from boys. Any guy who I really liked, never liked me back. The first time it happened, (my first point of pain) it hurt and confused me and, although I did not consciously recognise it at the time. I developed a defence mechanism to protect myself, a wall to protect my heart. I would (usually) only attract those who I was not attracted to. Operating out of fear, I developed a self-concept of unworthiness and so I tried to portray an image of a person that I thought people would like. I did not know my true self. People have told me that many men find tall, attractive, confident & out-going women intimidating and, when confronted with their own fears of rejection, become scared to approach them - the story of my life!

Now that I am on an inner journey and recognise the belief behind my experiences in relationships with men, I am able to understand and let go of the attached emotions. I now understand how fear can effect me and I am learning to deal with it. I do not have to worry about what people think of me - a trait that has governed my life. I am free to be open and honest; tell it like it is, and be ok with that.


I wrote the following reply on The Mad Men Guide to Changing the World with Words the other day:
 

 By acting within the realms of our fears,
we build an image of ourselves that we show to the world.
We use this facade to protect ourselves from being hurt or rejected
and we don’t acknowledge our true thoughts and feelings.
By facing fear head on – really looking at what it is, where it came from
and the beliefs that sit behind it – we discover who we really are...
I’m finally looking within and sharing my real self with the world.

Facing your fears is scary…. and so liberating.

So go forth and be creative,
with no attachment to the outcome.
You will truly discover yourself and be free.


Things that had to be cleared from the bathroom were the items I have not used in a very long time, particularly the gigantic pump-action 750ml tub of Vaseline Intensive Care hand cream that I know I’ve had for over 3 years. I used to keep it on the kitchen bench and moisturise my hands many times in the day, until I discovered Nana May’s Magic Hands. This salt and oil scrub requires only a single application daily, and your hands remain moisturised, soft and smooth, no matter how many times you wash your hands in the day. It’s all natural, hand made and fabulous for any dry, itchy skin and particularly effective to get rid of cracked heals and skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. Yes, I do sell the stuff, so follow the links to my Facebook shop to get your hands on some and then get it on your hands!! The Vaseline hand cream was retired to under the kitchen sink along with all the other chemicals where it belonged.

Some old make up had to be thrown away as well. I remember a recent post by my friend and founder of Oradess make-up innovations that mentioned the shelf life of make up.

Did you know that sorbolene, petroleum jelly and fluoride mouth rinse don’t have used by dates? Some of those items that I had to clear were years old and definitely not good any more.


Here’s the crap I cleared from the bathroom today:
 
 
 
Day 11 observations:
  • I love my Dad and my old friends; my family and my new friends and feel comforted knowing that we are united forever in light. (Think I’ll make that my new final salutation in correspondence)
  • I can identify the fear that sits behind my beliefs and behaviours, understand it, let it go, lose attachment to outcomes, be comfortable with me and be free.

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