Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday: Taking out the Trash

In our house sometimes the garbage will sit for just a bit too long before making its way to the trash chute in our building. Lately though, I have been taking things on the quick. This is interesting to me because I really do not like the trash room or the garbage chute - maybe because I get a little germaphobic and wash my hands obsessively following each little trip.

See generally, I just hope and pray and silently wait for Matt to take care of the garbage and recycling, like maybe if I do the dishes enough he will want to take out the trash. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. I have decided that I do not enjoy having the garbage in the apartment and it is really not worth the wait. Though, it has taken me awhile to get here.

I spent a bit of time thinking about why now I am suddenly more willing to visit the trash chute. And I am thinking it has something to do with the autumn. Because, in the autumn, just like the leaves outside falling from the trees, we can let go of what no longer serves. And garbage is no longer serving.

Clearly garbage can be used in this context for any waste products in our lives that might be hanging around unnecessarily like grudges, or memories that are not nourishing us, feedback that we have chewed on - learned from - and are now done with, or even the shoes that no longer fit and we are just too attached to let them go.

It's funny how in our culture we mostly talk about Spring cleaning; since learning about Chinese medicine its mostly Fall cleaning for me. It's not just the closets in my apartment; its the closets in my mind that are storing habits, thoughts and patterns that do not add, yet takeaway from my ability to be present with life as it is today.

Just like my filled up kitchen garbage pail, it is really time to let these things go.

Helpful ideas for how to let go:
  • Get together with a group of trusted loved ones and make a "letting go circle", light a candle - set the mood, and say out loud to these friends what you are declaring to let go of. No worries if the item comes back up again - they will help you remember that you have let it go.
  • Write your let-go down onto a piece of paper. Thank the let-go for teaching you something about yourself - your life. Then, throw it into your lit fireplace, or tear it up and let it go into the wind (not to liter, you get the idea though!)
  • If it (habit, thought, grudge etc.) is still quite alive, journal about it. Write and write until it is out of your system. It may even include shedding some tears or yelling into a pillow. No worries though - that is part of the gig! When you are complete, seal it up into an envelope and add it to your compost or fireplace. No need to read it over, or edit as you go. It's about letting it all out of your system - unedited.
  • Maybe your let-go's are physical items? Gather these items into a special place in your home. Spend a moment with each one. Hold it, take a deep breath and cherish whatever memory may be associated with it. Thank the item if that is appropriate. Place it lovingly into a donation bin or garbage/recycle bag knowing it will nurture someone else's life moving forward, or will go back into the earth as part of the cycle.
When I clear up this space in myself- my life, I am creating room for healing and growing where there was not necessarily this space before.

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely (still) needing this let-go you write of. Thanks for the reminder!