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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:27 pm
by cc
Would it be helpful to think of more loving replacements for the clutter, overweight, debt, negativity, etc. in our lives? For example: As I pick up the 1 lb. bag of candy, maybe it would help to ask, "Is this the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?" As I consider yet another stack of paper that has grown on the table, "Which is nicer for me, having to navigate around stacks of paper or freeing myself from them?" I find myself most vulnerable when I'm on automatic pilot and not really thinking about my actions -- sitting in front of the TV with a bag of snacks and "suddenly" finding the bag empty, -- reading through the mail and "suddenly" finding myself surrounded by paper. I know part of the "mindlessness" is a buffer to keep out pain, but "mindful" living could do the same, because facing the fear and pain often reduces it.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:53 pm
by Going for It
Great thread and so many thoughtful ideas emerging! To add my two cents, I too see the core issues for clutter, debt, overweight and job you hate as: low self-esteem and lack of self-love. They are also a way of not having to take full responsibility for our lives (it's not my fault, I can't find anything in this mess! or I can't possibly take that course, my credit card is maxed out, or there's no chance for a relationship with all this weight! or I'd look for something better if all my energy wasn't zapped by my awful job.) For many people, it's easier to blame circumstances than to face the fact that they may be more empowered than they think. And as soni pointed out, fear runs beneath it all. A fundamental fear that if you had everything in balance and nothing stood in your way, you'd fail. Also, there's an element of repeating a vicious cycle - you're overweight, feel bad about yourself, maybe spend too much to compensate. Or you hate your job and when you come home, you overeat to get some comfort. The worse you feel about yourself and your circumstances, the harder it becomes to get out of these self-defeating behaviors. I have never been in these situations myself, except maybe the clutter at one time! But I see it around me. What I see, too, is often people remain mired in their problems because they are not ready to make a change. Sometimes these problems become so familiar they choose to stay "stuck" in spite of their unhappiness. Even misery becomes a habit. Although the situation can be complex and need more than one solution, a basic ingredient is to get support (a friend, like-minded others, a group) and deliberately do things to treat yourself better. Look at your life values, what's really important to you, and take steps to achieve some of them. You will immediately start to feel better about yourself. Thelma

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:17 pm
by Tituba
Everyone is giving such great advice! I hope it helps others as I'm sure it will help me!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:50 am
by cc
Consider how often fear is used to sell things to us and how many times those messages are sent to us every day through the media. Even news reports are slanted to play upon our fears. Here in FL the news people love it when a hurricane is approaching. They were ecstatic a few years ago when we had fires during hurricane season! I think it's best to consider the things that are truly important to us and ignore what "they" say. (I know, easier said than done.) Simply being aware that others are trying to manipulate you can give you more power.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 2:40 pm
by Starfish
Hmm... Reading all this has made me think differently about some things in my life. The fear part of clutter in my's partly that so much of what I have is second-hand or gifts from others and I feel like I'll disrespect them to get rid of things. But underneath that is the fear that it's not okay to define myself and my values and get rid of what's not useful to me...especially in visible ways. I am afraid of declaring myself, of being seen. I'd rather the world looked so muddy that no one can tell what I really want or who I am. Eek. Good to know, 'though...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 4:32 pm
by soni
BANG! CRASH!!!! Anyone else hear some walls come tumbling down? (Cool, Starfish!) "Finding yourself", especially the shadowy bits, can be ugly sometimes, but always worth it! Image

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 3:08 am
by GiniDee
I hear them too, soni! Problem is, you need to learn to trust before you can define yourself that strongly - and trust is not always easy to build or maintain. Especially for those who grew up in an unsafe or chaotic universe. Image Like Chrisgo, earlier, I was taught by actions that if I loved something it would be killed or taken away, so I learned how to hide what I loved for a LONG time. Clutter, overweight and debt can all perform that function of hiding out (or hiding in). Other people use money as the fortress with which they protect themselves. It's tough to get out from under training like that - but it can be done, and is worth doing. ( At least I hope it is - still haven't resolved all the safety and trust issues yet) All the best - GiniDee Image

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:27 pm
by Starfish
Clutter..hiding...self-definition...and trust. Hmm. Life's complicated, isn't it? I just realized a strange thing. When I was younger, I didn't "have" to hide the way I do today, because back then I was in my "rolling stone" mode, bouncing along in broad daylight, gathering no moss and all that. Being rootless was sooo much easier! Then I fell in love. Adopted animals. Got married. Found a community I actually wanted to belong to. Even bought a house!! Ack! Staying disconnected and remaining in motion was how I stayed feeling safe, so it seemed okay to declare who I was and what I wanted then. Not now. Now I have to go to great lengths to disguise myself from others, from myself, and from those Scary Forces that keep turning my life upside down. Boy, clutter's such an easy one. But I bet my list is much longer! I'm going to sit down and write out all the other ways I hide. Just for a little twisted fun? ...

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:20 pm
by Serial Diver
For me, it's been amazingly helpful to follow Barbara's excellent suggestion in Chapter 1 of LTLYL, and look for the patterns around my successes, rather than my failures. I try to pay very careful attention to what I like & don't like, and use that information to make success easier and more attractive. I know, for example, that: - I hate to write/track/count/weigh what I eat. - I hate to feel deprived. - I like to feel nurtured. - I am bored by cardio machines. - I like aerobics classes, especially step, but only with certain instructors. - I prefer workouts that feel intense. I actually feel better if I sweat. (I think this makes me feel like it was worth the time.) - And so on... I use my self-knowledge to create the fitness habits that work while feeling the best to me. To me, this feels better than saying "What's wrong with me?" It's kinder and for me, it actually works. SD

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:20 pm
by NT
Hi Tituba, I have experienced all those symtoms to varying degrees but the worst are currently when I seem to have hit many challenges all at once and just couldn't cope, such as: - loss of work (not just a job for me) when my work is all I had, I enjoyed it despite the challenges (it may be difficult to understand why would someone keep at a toxic situation when it's the best they know of and it definitely fills a void in their lives) - overweight may be a consequence of loss of work but also age factors ( I used to be very skinny for my whole life and whenever I had a problem I used to become anorexic . but for the first time in my life, now that I am over 40, when I lost my job, or jobs, over-eating became a habit whithout my knowing until I couldn't fit in any of my clothe!!! my doctor's diagnosis was the loss of job first but also my normal metabolic factors...) what has finally worked for me, is finding a life coach who was so patient(I mean really patient) and understanding who stuck out with me until I started making progress and we are still working together (I have tried several counselors before and they didn't do it for me...). I have to say that she is a Sher Boarder and a certified Sher Success Team Leader, that's how I got to know her (She is KiminCA) I don't know a simple and straight forward answer to this dilema other than trying alternative until you find what works for you and stick to it. Best of luck to everyone

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 2:51 am
by GiniDee
You're right, Tituba! Such thoughtful musings do help us all. I am finding that when I feel overwhelmed in one particular area, stuff (weight, things, debt, and clutter) tend to pile up all around me. Image It's the 'out-of-control' syndrome - at least for me. Overwhelm in one area tends to spread like the plague to all the other areas of my life. Image The good news is that when the overwhelm gets cleared up, the other areas tend to clear up as if by magic too! Image So back to the root cause! All the best - GiniDee Image

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:51 am
by GiniDee
So Tituba - Has anyone discovered that root cause yet? And how are you coming in your valiant battles against all of the above? Enquiring minds need to know - Gini Image

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:47 am
by Tituba
I'm working on it.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 3:49 am
by GiniDee
Me too - all of the above Image

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 3:30 pm
by das813
I think it's a protection from something we went through in childhood. Almost everyone has something in their childhood which they carry around with them like the weight of the world, the clutter they can't get rid of, the weight around their body and their heart.i think the answer is learning to just let go. I have been trying very hard to let things go and i'm thinner, less cluttered and best of all happier. Also, i found that dealing with something negative immediately and on my own(with no interference from loving family and friends) makes it easier to deal with the outcome. Painful but releasing.