Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Letting go of fear

Well, the job hunt continues. There is a position that sounds really cool, I think would be exciting, challenging, etc, but I've been dragging my feet on applying to it. So I spent a few minutes journaling about it to see why I might be afraid to apply. While journaling I remembered a great post by the Evil HR Lady http://evilhrlady.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-is-worst-that-can-happen.html
It's quite a fascinating read. To abbreviate a long story (it really is worth the long read though!) a woman said she was scared to apply for jobs because she now has a 'criminal background'. Evil's advice was to point out: what is the worst case scenario if she applies to the postion? She doesn't get hired. Well, what's the worst that can happen if she doesn't apply for the position? The exact same thing--she doesn't get hired. Good point!

I realized I was living out my worst case scenario and thus shooting myself in the foot. I also happened upon Christine Kane's post about "What's Easy, What's Not" (http://christinekane.com/blog/whats-easy-whats-not/) I loved it. I realized "It's easy to print off a job description. It's not easy to apply for that position" (at least for me it isn't always easy).

But I realized I'm still worrying about perfection (an ever Christian obsession, I believe). Perfecting a cover letter or resume before I can apply. That perfection is leading to my living out my worst case scenario. So, I'm opting for imperfection and submitting an application. What's the worst thing that can happen? What I'm living right now! I've got nothing to lose and lots to gain! I'm letting go of perfection and fear. If I'm going to be afraid, I'd rather it be fear based on me trying something new and risking success! So, I'm off to finish tweaking that cover letter, apply, and then go out and have some fun to celebrate overcoming that fear! yay!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A guilt-free Easter

A friend invited me to attend a worship session today. She knows I left my religion and has been supportive. But I haven't told her--I don't consider myself a Christian anymore. I read the book
Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes by John Shelby Spong and his arguement is that the Gospels are a Hermenutic writing taking bits and pieces from the Old Testament and wrapping those stories and 'prophecies' around Jesus 'Christ'. I was learning about qualitative research methods and hermenutics in Graduate School shortly before I read this book. I found Spong's arguments very compelling, and it lifted a great burden from my mind too.

Jesus did NOT die and atone for my sins. Whew! What a relief. I don't have to feel guilty because I exist. It's pretty sick when your mere existence is the cause of another person's death/murder. You can never clear your conscious of that kind of guilt. I found Spong's book to be helpful in my process of letting go. I realized that everything else built on the gospels (i.e. churches, the Book of Mormon, etc) was basically bogus because the gospels AREN'T literal history. Understanding that, I was able to let go of a lot of things. There is still work to be done, but that dismantled layers of dogmatic beliefs. Happy letting go!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mirror, mirror on the wall

My goal for the next (at least) week is to actually look at myself (in the eyes) while brushing my teeth. Sound silly? Let me explain.

While a missionary overseas I remember a particular missionary companion who either helped me to realize what I'm about to share, or she shared some comment that drove this point home to me.

If I don't feel very good about myself, for whatever reason, I don't like to look at myself in the mirror. Sure, I can fix my hair, make up, etc, but I don't look at me. I avoid looking myself in the eyes. Any mirror anywhere, I don't make eye contact with myself. It's as if I can't stand the person I am, so I avoid having to look at or confront the reality of being unhappy with myself.

But there are moments in my life history where I have felt the complete opposite. I remember times where I sat on the sink ledge and brushed my teeth looking myself in the eyes and being completely happy with myself. The more I looked at me, the more I accepted myself as is.

So, I've noticed that I've been grabbing my toothbrush and started running to another room to try to take care of "one more thing". I've been stopping myself to take the time to confront myself and find the part of me that I have been disconnecting from and look myself in the eyes. I am starting to feel better about myself.

Don't believe me? Take the challenge: Give yourself one to two weeks of uninterrupted "me time" in front of the mirror as you brush your teeth. Look yourself in the eyes. Notice the natural beauty in you. It doesn't matter if you are old, young, wrinkley, etc. There is beauty in you. Take the time to look for it. Then accept it. Then feel it from the inside. YOU are awesome! Love yourself!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My purpose for this blog

You'd think it would be about time I stated my purpose for this blog. It entails a little about me and my life experiences up to this point.

I was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, aka LDS, aka Mormon, aka (probably a lot of other things). I believed in it. I lived the best I could according to what I believed to be 'true'. I even served as a full time missionary over seas for the church. Was married in the temple, and then resigned my membership with said church about 9 months ago.

Church teachings (of any church) and philosophy completely colors and covers the canvas of a person's life experience. It provides a lens of how to perceive everything. That can be a good and comforting thing. It can also cause claustrophobia, encourage you to stay small, play it safe, and not really live the life of your dreams. In other words, it can be pretty damaging as well.

This blog is an opportunity for me to process my life journey and this transition that has taken place. I'd like to share how a person can go from being a TBM (true believing mormon) to someone who doesn't believe in a theistic god-being. It really is quite the transformation. I know that there are several people out there choosing to leave their religion. It is scary. It is frightening. You truly are stepping out into the unknown--this takes REAL faith! I invite you to join with me on my journey. As you may have noticed from other posts, de-cluttering is my thing. I will blog about decluttering physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual baggage. There truly is FAR too much mental, emotional, and especially spiritual baggage in this world. Join with me as I strive to continually--let it go!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My beginings of letting go--physical clutter

I may have bad/sad news for you: Letting go of clutter is not something that is ever completed, done, checked off, in a never-have-to-worry-about-this-again state. It is a process, possibly a practice or a habit one can develop.

When I got "Clear your clutter with Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston, I devoured it. But I had time to do that (or rather, I made the time to do it. Yes, it was more compelling than homework. C'mon! This applied to real-life!) I have tossed/gotten rid of/donated probably over 1000 lbs of stuff by now. (I haven't kept track of all the weight) but I do know that I dumped between 500-600 pounds of stuff within the first 3-4 months of having that book. Please note that I didn't toss everything out all at once. It really is an unfolding process. Here's a few examples of how it happened for me.
Let me set the stage first. I had moved into my own apartment (hallelujah!) more than a year prior. Most of my stuff was still in boxes lining the walls of my rooms in the same exact place they were set down when I moved in.

One night I was kneeling in my bedroom, about to say a prayer before hopping into bed. I looked at all the papers and junk lined up against the wall, and my eyes settled on a piece of paper--it was an old 'love note' from a former/ex-boyfriend. (One who had married by this point in time!) I picked it up and thought "Why am I holding on to this? Am I scared that no one else will love me ever again?" And I realized that that was exactly why I was holding on to it--to remind myself that someone loved me once, and to validate that I was loveable. After realizing this, I TOSSED IT! I knew (deep down) that I was loveable, and that somewhere out there I would find someone to love and who loved me. It was a relief to toss that paper and the emotional baggage associated with it.
The next day I read something in "Clear your clutter with Feng Shui" that basically confirmed my actions. We hold onto things out of fear, needing validation, reminding ourselves of something. It was nice to have that confirmation after I had already come to the conclusion myself.

I can recall moments when it dawned on me that certain large items (furniture pieces) in my apartment needed to go. But it was a slow unfolding process. Kingston mentioned that if you can't get rid of something right away, to at least try to move it to a higher place (to increase it's energy level). I started by placing all the papers and boxes in my bedroom into one pile (on top of a box). Then I eventually moved it out to the living room. I wanted my bedroom to be my Sanctuary. It became that. I noticed it when I started doing my homework in my bedroom on the floor--just because it felt so good in there.

That realization motivated me to begin to work on the boxes and piles in the living room. It took a while. But I will always love that apartment because I turned it into a Sanctuary and a haven. It was such a peaceful comforting place for me. Now I need to work on that process for this new apartment.

My beginings of letting go--forgiveness

Slightly before entering graduate school I heard my mom talk about Flylady. (check out her website at www.flylady.net/ ) I heard a lot about it. The zones, babysteps, the shiny sink, and more. It was interesting. I think I checked it out online. But when I went home to visit--as I hugged my mom I saw over her shoulder --WOW! an empty kitchen counter! (I had never seen that before.) When I spotted that, "Flylady!" popped into my mind. Then I had to run around the house checking out the 'transformation'. It was truly astounding. And mom felt so good about it.
Maybe that is when I checked it out online. I debated about waiting to start decluttering until I started school, but I began doing a few things. I did note however a book that just called to me on her book favorite's page. "Clear your clutter with Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston. I finally ordered it about a month or so into the semester. I knew I wanted it, needed it. I felt confident it was not an impulse buy because I kept thinking about it for weeks.

I dumped a boyfriend right before starting school. He was engaged to someone else within a month. As I struggled to adjust to grad school, feel like I was enough, tried to complete assignments that felt overwhelming, etc., hearing that he was engaged was just too much! I dumped him, and had zero interest in him, but it still hurt. One day I woke up and remembered a lesson from a human relationships/communications class I had taken previously. The main jist--forgiveness releases me from negative energy. I realized I needed to forgive this guy, and ask forgiveness for my bad feelings towards him. (In hindsight this seems like a very Mormon take on "forgiveness," more later). I actually saw him that day, and had the guts to do this. Of course he said he forgave me too. As I walked away the world was brighter and my shoulders were lighter. I went home happy, and what had arrived in the mail that very day? My copy of "Clear your clutter with Feng Shui". It felt like a confirmation from the universe that letting go of him, and any feelings/strings/attachments etc was the right thing to do, it was safe, and I was on my way forward. (upward and onward!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

learning something new

I just figured out how to add a list of my favorite blogs on here. I saw that my friend Molly over at Green Hope Farm has a new post. I'll have to go check it out. Let me put in a free plug for her and her workers--I have used Green Hope Farm flower essences and I LOVE them! I love how she makes them, in harmony with the angels and the elementals. I even love that she doesn't use alcohol as the base for her tincture's and the story behind it. I am so on her side and am trying to do some gardening on my patio hand in hand with the angels too. Not that I have any experience with this, but I'm spreading my wings and learning LOTs of new things!

These flower essences have also helped a lot in letting go of emotional clutter and so much clutter on a very subtle and different level. I support her in her mission of healing and sharing a very non-invasive, and NON-TOXIC way to help so many others heal. Blessings to you Molly!

two things

Ok I admit it. I am basically addicted to Christine Kane's blog. I've begun reading her archived material from her earliest work forward in order. (of course I follow other leads and jump around, too.) One of her posts mentioned that you should never have more than 2 items on your "to do" list.
I remembered that today. I got my taxes done (finally!) and did the laundry. Count them, one, two. Done! yay! I've also done a bunch of other things, but I tried to stay focused on the big "one-two" and made sure they were done. Simple, not necessarily easy (I have been getting side-tracked a lot lately!), but definitely accomplishable. And it's a great feeling!
One of these days I'll have to write the purpose of this blog. Some day that will be one item of the new one-two punch!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Just say No

Well, I turned down another job (it would have been an actual offer). But I rate my experience, education and time at more than $13/hour. I also know that a call center environment would not be good for me. So, by saying no, I said YES to myself again. No, I will not work for less than I think I am worth, and I will not subject myself to insanity. I will say yes to career satisfaction, sanity, and the ability to repay my student loans. In the meantime, I was able to learn more about myself, behavioral interviews, and a great company .

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Letting go of career options clears clutter, and causes anxiety

Well, I am job hunting right now. I have just said no to two different positions. It has been a little scary, and for one position I feel a few pangs of regret. But I know that I don't want to work the hours needed for success in that field. So while it's scary to say "no" to a position, I am being honest with myself and trying to open myself up to what I do want to do. Unfortunately, I still feel a little bit stuck in the phase of being able to only define what I don't want to do rather than be able to state clearly what I do want to do.

I realized that some of the anxiety from saying to no what I don't want to do is still tied into past ways of thinking--that every decision has life-and-death consequences. It doesn't.

I have discovered Christine Kane's website and I absolutely love it! Once I know how to link to it I will. I recently read one of her posts http://christinekane.com/blog/theres-no-wrong-wall/
It was so helpful and expertly articulated what I am learning--choices and decisions aren't life and death and full of immediate results. We learn and grow and keep moving and learning and growing. I just need to remind myself--as I let go of what I don't want, I make more room for the beautiful wonderful things I do want. Even the beautiful and wonderful things that I don't even know that I want right now. It is okay and safe for me to say no and not accept a position that I wouldn't be happy in. I am learning to be true to myself, and that is the greatest gift I can offer the world.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I let go of 5 to 10 pounds more!

Ok, so I recently moved. I went through a lot of mission, church, etc stuff and tried to toss it before I had to move it as well. WELL, I am still sorting through and trying to put things away and I came across another 5-10 lbs of Mormon memorabilia that I easily tossed. A small stack of old Ensign's--mostly the conference edititons. Also a few posters of the Relief Society motto, a picture of Jesus, one of Joseph Smith's first vision, and one of the San Diego temple. That gave me slight pause, but I ultimately tossed it. (If I'm not going to hang it anywhere, why keep it?)

I left the church at least six months ago. I spent 30+ years growing up in it. It will take time to let go of all of it, or as much of it as I want to. Some things I am not yet ready to let go of, some things I may never let go of (I'm talking physical objects/possesions here). When I am ready, I will let them go.

I have let go a LOT of mental and emotional clutter associated with being a member of that church. There is still a lot (LOT) more to let go of. But now I truly do believe in mercy, kindness, and forgiveness. And I mean forgiveness that doesn't involve all the "steps" and shame and humilitation and self-degradation that I felt I had to go through to make up for some cosmic blunder/sin/mess.

That has been one of the most liberating things--not beliving in "sin" anymore. I can make a mistake and it isn't called sin. Crimeny, I don't even really have to call it a mistake. It's just an experience I learn from. That's all. My mind is much more at peace and I feel much more accepting of what is rather than base my life on expectations and what ought to be. Expectations just lead to dissapointment and bad feelings. I let it go.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Happy March Day!

Happy March Day to you! For those of you who don't know of this historic holiday, I created it one year in high school after forgetting to use my Valentine's day cards. Ever resourceful, I came up with a way to still use the cards, with out all the romantic emphasis. I took my Valentine's Day cards and penned out any time the word "Valentine" appeared. The cards morphed from saying: Will you be my Valentine? into Will you be my (written above the scratched out "valentine") Happy March Day pal? And instead of Happy Valentine's Day, it became Happy Happy March Day (yes, two happys).

Well, my friends and family were amused and it caught on, for a few years at least. The following years my friends returned the favor and we had a blast exchanging these warped Valentines-now-turned-Happy March Day cards with one another!
Ahh, memories. I think I'll call up some of those friends and family to wish them a Happy March Day!

and welcome to my blog.