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Hidden Weakness and Undiscovered Strength

December 22, 2014 1 Comment

Our new bed

Our new bed, Truth

Testing boundaries and applying discipline will lead to mastery of any skill we choose to practice.  We generally rely on what we consider to be our strengths to solve most of our problems in life.  Most of us hide our weaknesses, primarily from ourselves, since others can clearly see them. While I am on a big push to clean and clear out my home I notice similarities between my mental state and the state of all my various projects.  While digging out all the clothing that is heading for new closets in other people’s houses I discover very cool things I had forgotten in the back of the closet. I have both stupid stuff I have barely worn and the most brilliant, well crafted wardrobe imaginable.  The problem has been mixing them all together and overstuffing the space.  Nothing is appealing when it is disheveled and jumbled.  The same thing applies to my sewing supplies, my office desk, my kitchen cabinets, and, (dare I say it?), my mind.  In each one of these cases I go looking for one thing and find 100s of useless items just hanging around for no reason, and a few real treasures I never see or use because they are in a sorry state of order.  This clearing must continue until everything I own gives me joy. This must apply to all things, mental as well as physical, digital as well as analog.  At the end of the month, which is the end of the year, our brand new bed will arrive.  The mattress is named Truth.  The truth is that I have a lot of cleaning to do before it arrives:

What needs to go?

  • duplicate photos, bad photos, meaningless photos
  • paper files of all kinds
  • clothing and accessories
  • bed and bedding
  • decorative items not in use
  • dust and dust bunnies
  • books not in use

What are the mental steps to take to assure I maintain my unobstructed new life?

  • open and deal with paper mail daily
  • immediately discard paper when it becomes useless
  • set goals for maintaining all spaces clutter free
  • deep clean my office and bedroom monthly on new moon
  • create special (clean) area for my dream diary next to my bed
  • menu planning and good freezer management
  • eliminate all junk drawers, closets, boxes, and cubbies
  • find a place to put everything away without cramming

I am looking forward to exposing this entire phenomena.  Often it is said that our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness.  I think we all keep a lot of junk out of sight.  I maintain a clean and orderly home (to the naked eye), but stuffed into all available nooks and crannies are things I do not need or want.  I believe my talents and spiritual life are similar to those overstuffed cabinets.  Not only do I have way more than I can use, but I have some trouble distinguishing one thing from another because the agony is all wrapped around the ecstasy at this point.  I don’t embrace resolutions.  I do want to find myself at the end of 2015 owning fewer things and liking them more.  How do you fight the clutter bug, Gentle Reader?  Who will win in 2015?  I am planning a victory!


Defining Waste

December 8, 2013

During this December of deletion it has become abundantly clear to me that waste of all kinds can be nipped in the bud by simply defining it.  I, for instance, have not been willing to admit that owning 5 times more clothing than can be worn in a year is wasteful. Hoarding and waste are the exactly same thing, but hoarding is waste without boundaries . This shocking realization has deep meaning in my closet, in my office, in my kitchen, my garden, my barn, and even in my social life.  The most notable waste that can be eliminated is time spent seeking more acquisitions.  If you don’t need anything, is it not a waste of your time to go around trying to mindlessly acquire something, just to be consuming?  Even more devastating to my health and happiness is allotting my space to extra junk. I pay taxes, insurance, and utility bills to basically own the space in which I keep all my gear.  Although I am not approaching the level of the hoarding crazy people on reality television, I see no reason to continue owning extra stuff I never use. I now define that as a waste of my time, energy, and space.  As the hoarder in the video explains, the junk is like a barrier or a wall created to hide himself from the world.  All possessions can be treated as self-limiting boundaries, from your Mercedes to your expensive signature haircut.  Marketing is the process of changing the desires of the people to match what is available in the marketplace.  In itself, it is not evil.  Something has changed our attitudes about consuming to the detriment of our society and economy.  We are building a landfill to heaven.

When I was a child we never thought of wasting energy, or carbon footprints, or even about world peace.  I grew up in an industrial era during which producing goods and shipping them around the world was exciting and considered to be the highest and best use of time and resources.  Owning things was very important to my parents.  Pride of ownership was a distinct value they impressed upon me.  They were both very seriously into wardrobe, theirs and mine.  They had super high standards for tidiness and order that would not allow them to acquire more stuff than they could store.  The material world was in balance because they did not mistake quantity for quality.  I rejected their materialistic version of reality, but ended up with plenty of material goods anyhow.   It is time to examine, eliminate, and most importantly be vigilant about portions.  Time, interest, talent, and resources need to be spent in the right proportion.  As we head into the darkest time of the year it is my goal to emerge with a highly organized and clear space.  There is much to do.

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