I do this with my cupboards too. I have one (it's all I will admit to at the moment), I throw the plastics into with the cookies sheets and such. When it "blows" I look like the lady on the commercial that needs the special stacking plastic tops. My husband even brought me a box of Chex cereal from one today; he's purging too, that was outdated. They make that stuff to last longer than most vehicles. We don't eat cereal so I'm thinking it was left from some long ago Christmas party mix. Good Grief!
Nothing brings this to the light of day for me like being on the verge of the holidays. Don't you just feel like you ought to have things all neat and tidy this time of year? It's like the closure of the year brings about the need to purge. Closets, kitchen, brain....it's overwhelming. While in the middle of this panic zone of figuring out where to begin I remembered an article I had set aside for just this moment. I think I'll share it in installments over the next couple of days because it's fairly long - but worth it!
It also made some sense for me because for nearly twenty-two years I have been immersed in a twelve-step program for youthful offenders. I can not profess to be particularly religious but it could be said that I am spiritual. The introduction and first four steps follow....
Inspiration Sweep It Clean, Inside & Out 12 ways to simplify your life and set your spirit free!
Published: April 28, 2009 By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Clean out the clutter; in your mind, your appointment book, your garage... and let your true spirit come out and play!
FOR A MOMENT, let’s imagine what it would be like to be fully alive without a physical shell or any of the stuff we need and desire for maintaining life on Earth. We’d have a mental energy that allowed us to move forward or backward, up or down, instantly creating whatever we desired. We’d be free to wallow in an exquisite existence without time or space as we know it. We’d be in a state of pure bliss, in love with everything and everyone. We’d have no duties or bills to tend to, no fear of losing anything, no one judging us, no possessions to insure, no demands on our time, and no goals to achieve.
What we’re envisioning is actually the world of Spirit, which we experienced before we came here and will return to when we shed our body (or as William Butler Yeats poetically called it, our “tattered coat upon a stick”).
Inspiration is a state of being here now in this material world, while at the same time reconnecting to our spiritual origins. In order to be receptive to inspiration, we need to eliminate the ego clutter that accumulates all too easily for most of us—after all, if we’re preoccupied with events and activities that have nothing to do with inspiration, we’re unlikely to notice its summons. So in order to achieve a reunion with our ultimate calling, we need to emulate the clear, uncomplicated world of Spirit.
This doesn’t mean that we should sit around doing nothing, awaiting Spirit’s arrival; instead, it means having faith that our spiritual connection flourishes in a life dedicated to joy, love, and peace. If our daily activities are so overwhelming that we don’t make these things our priority, then we’re disregarding the value of living a simple life.
MY 12-STEP PROGRAM TO SIMPLICITY
Here are 12 very specific tools for simplifying your life. Begin using them today if you’re serious about hearing that ultimate call to inspiration.
1. Unclutter your life. You’ll feel a real rush of inspiration when you clear out stuff that’s no longer useful in your life: If you haven’t worn it in the past year or two, recycle it for others to use. Get rid of old files that take up space and are seldom, if ever, needed. Donate unused toys, tools, books, bicycles, and dishes to a charitable organization. Get rid of anything that keeps you mired in acquisitions that contribute to a cluttered life. In the words of Socrates, “He is nearest to God who needs the fewest things.” So the less you need to insure, protect, dust, reorganize, and move, the closer you’ll be to hearing inspiration’s call.
2. Clear your calendar of unwanted and unnecessary activities and obligations. If you’re unavailable for Spirit, you’re unlikely to know the glow of inspiration. God will indeed work with you and send you the guidance—and the people—you need, but if you’re grossly overscheduled, you’re going to miss these life-altering gifts. So practice saying no to excessive demands and don’t feel guilty about injecting a dose of leisure time into your daily routine.
3. Be sure to keep your free time free. Be on the lookout for invitations to functions that may keep you on top of society’s pyramid, but which inhibit your access to joyful inspiration. If cocktail parties, social get-togethers, fund-raising events, or even drinking-and-gossiping gatherings with friends aren’t really how you want to spend your free time, then don’t. Begin declining invitations that don’t activate feelings of inspiration. I find that an evening spent reading or writing letters, watching a movie with a loved one, having dinner with my children, or even exercising alone is far more inspiring than getting dressed to attend a function often filled with small talk. I’ve learned to be unavailable for such events without apologizing, and consequently have more inspired moments freed up.
4. Take time for meditation and yoga. Give yourself at least 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and make conscious contact with God. I’ve written an entire book on this subject called Getting in the Gap, so I won’t belabor it here. I will say that I’ve received thousands of messages from people all over the world, who have expressed their appreciation for learning how to simplify their life by taking the time to meditate. I also encourage you to find a yoga center near you and begin a regular practice. The rewards are so powerful: You’ll feel healthier, less stressed, and inspired by what you’ll be able to do with and for your body in a very short time.