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Get Past Your Past and Your Clutter

Posted Sep 26 2012 2:00am

“History is history and no one can change the past.”
~ His Holiness The Dahlai Lama 

Most people live in the past. They still talk about regrets and events from years ago that can’t be changed. Most people also live in the future in “what ifs”, worry and fear. All a great waste of time — precious, fleeting time.
 
The truth is, no matter what your life issues — past, present, or future (problems, hassles, frustrations or stress) — three things are at the middle of each: 1) you, 2) your decision, and 3) your action to change your present reality.
 
LET GO OF YOUR PAST: THOUGHTS & THINGS
Mental and emotional (Inner) clutter create outer clutter and visa versa. When we don’t let go of the past, no matter what the valid or irrational reason, we get stuck. When we get stuck long enough we create more problems for ourselves which can include more fear, confusion, anxiety, depression, grief and illness. When we get fixed looking in the rear view mirror, we can’t drive safely to a new destination.
 
“Remember when…?” I’ve met many people who are still living in decades past. Some for good memories and experiences, some holding onto pain, resentments and anger. No matter, both keep us from our present, from joy, real emotions, healthy relationships, life and our dreams.
 
STORY
A man goes to Tibet, climbs to the top of the mountain, asks the Dahlia Lama the secret to the universe, the Dahlia Lama whispers to the man the universal wisdom, the secret of the universe, the man heads to the door, the Deli Lama calls out across the great hall “just don’t forget to make the car payment, and don’t be late for work again.”

 
“I can’t find the check book. Where did the credit card go? I can’t find the address book again. The bill’s getting paid late again this month because I couldn’t find it and forgot,” etc., etc. No matter what our life story and experiences that have brought us to today, when they keep us from attending to our everyday needs, responsibilities, desires and dreams, we have a problem. There is a solution!
 
BRING YOUR PAST TO THE PRESENT… AND OUT THE DOOR!
Do you have piles, boxes, stacks, stashes and more in your basement, attic, closets, storage unit or garage taking up room not only in your home but living rent free in your mind and cells? What will it take to move it out? What are you willing to lose in order to finally “have” to do it?
 
In ancient times temples in Tibet was built with two dragons standing at the front door, one represents “confusion” the other “paradox,” two states of consciousness that you have to pass through to get to the truth. What’s the truth? Your truth is in you and it can only be found by going past the dragons and into clarity, into the now, today, your present. The truth is that you have to go through your stuff, not around it.

 
DECLUTTER, INSIDE AND OUT — OR — BUY A SHOVEL
What do you need to let go of your past piles and stacks? Hint: There is no “someday when.”
 
I am often asked, “Do you use Feng Shui in your organizing work?” I say, “No. I’m from a Midwest farming community. I use Func(tional) Way! Sometimes you just need to start shoveling out the piles and don’t look back, then the flow can take care of itself. Memories are attached to the past, to things and pictures, to clothing, books and toys. Memorabilia can be fun and enjoyable, but when it holds pain, it must go. When “it” holds pain, so do you, and it will trigger your pain over and over — until “you” go. Make a choice!
 
Do I sound a bit direct? Adamant? Let me finish my story about the phone call I received today. The man who called me asking about my services to help his elderly parents “dig out their years of hoarded stashes” also said this, “Dad spent the first part of his retirement trying to clean out the basement from their years of saving stuff. He now has Parkinson’s Disease and isn’t able to do much. He’s now going to miss out on the most fun part of retirement. wasting all those years trying to clean out nothing!”
 
BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN
I often ask my audiences to list what they would rescue and save (anything alive is not in the
equation) if they had only 60 precious seconds to go into their burning home. Do you know? Are you prepared for a crisis? The more past we have in the way of our present, keeping us from our  future, the harder it is to really know what we want and harder to get to — the harder it is to make clear decisions and take appropriate actions for our best options.
 
Even if there is a tiny little pile of the past lurking and jerking your memory and rattling chains that keep you off center, it’s okay to let go. You deserve better!

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