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I’m just returned from my vacation at Gay Spirit Camp at Easton Mountain, and am in that phase of trying to reintegrate myself back into my life here, but also integrate the special things I got from my experiences. I took some great workshops, met some great new friends, reacquainted myself with established friends, and really just tried to be in the moment and not have an agenda (granted my playful self had an agenda which was to not have an agenda.)
Here are some random thoughts about what I got out of the week-long retreat:
I, and about everyone in our society, is touch-starved. For a whole week, I would get a hug just about every 10 feet I would walk. The culture there is one of not denying the body as part of your spiritual self and safe, respectful touch is encouraged. I had some lovely hour long talks in the main hammock while cuddling with some new friends (thanks each to Scott and Jim) and also took a workshop on Hugging as a Spiritual Practice.
When we deny part of who we are, we are so much smaller for it. I took a great workshop on Respectful Confrontation with Joe Weston, and my major learning for myself is that I need to be on environments that let me be all there. That includes work, relationships, friendships, housing, activities, etc. I might not be big physically (only 5’7″) but I’m big energetically. I need to be in spaces where I don’t deny myself that.
One of my main goals of the week was not to rush. I normally am very goal oriented and find myself in these weeks thinking “By the end of the week I’ll be relaxed “. I decided this time to try being relaxed the entire time. I limited myself to one workshop a day, made sure I had time for lying in hammocks or having a leisurely conversation. I needed to practice this so that I can get better at it in the rest of my life. I’m finding that practice comes up in every facet of my life, whether it’s music, exercise, relationships, work, anything.
What have you learned from this summer that you can take into the Fall? What are you practicing?
Happy First Full Day of Spring! My body and spirit needed the 75 degree weather we had this weekend here in the Northeast. I can just feel like it’s the start of a whole bunch of new things, at least for me!
I’m on my way now on the Bolt Bus from New York City to Boston (As a side note, why do they bother going up I-95 instead of I-87 and then through Danbury to get to Boston? Every time we go I-95, we get caught in a traffic jam. Start thinking, Bolt!) I spent the weekend with a friend where I got to walk around the city, see new things, and also take in a great Broadway show (All About Me with Dame Edna Everage and Michael Feinstein.) I never would have thought of that combination, but it was quite fun. I had never really heard Michael sing before, and I was quite impressed. I’m going to have to get some of his music off of iTunes now.
Anyway, one thing that I noticed about Manhattan is that you are constantly being bombarded with input. On the street, hawkers for everything from tours, artwork, watches, and Broadway shows are constantly approaching you to sell you something. You can tell why New Yorkers have a reputation about being a little cold (which, by the way, I find completely untrue), because they need to shield themselves from all this input so that they can function. If you are constantly having to process input all the time, you can never actually accomplish anything. That’s also the reason that we all go on vacation so that we can get away from our inputs.
Whereas New Yorkers have been dealing with this for decades, I think that most people in the rest of the world that’s less populated are just now trying to figure out how to do this. We all have more inputs that we had before. We get phone calls, pop up windows, spam email, request to repost message, etc. All these things are of various levels of importance (to us individually or the world in general), yet they appear to have the same level of importance to our brains as they come in.
We’ve become a culture of short-attention span individuals because we’ve not been able to distinguish well between the important and the trivial. As I’ve said before here, one of my main goals (for myself personally as well as everyone else through my work) is to really embrace my own personal power and make decisions in my life that serve me instead of someone else. By deciding that I need to filter information to only what I need, I’ll be feeling better about myself and filtering out that which doesn’t serve me.
What spam is still coming at you, and how do you filter it?
As we come to the darkest days of the year, we also enter the time where most of us are running around to buy gifts for others. At this time, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best gift I can get for myself is to get rid of things.
As part of my professional and personal development, I’ve been looking to make myself more efficient, and a big part of that for me has been trying to incorporate the Getting Things Done (known as GTD) philosophy championed by David Allen. My take on the basic philosophy is that we are usually bogged down with so many possibilities in our lives, that we get paralyzed easily in that we just can’t deal with everything and don’t know where to start. GTD is all about getting things out of our heads, and just having in front of us clear action steps that we can do and not have to think about at the time. The thinking’s been done already and we can just (somewhat) mindlessly take action. (I’ve completely drunk the Kool-Aid on this, and will write about it more later.)
This has manifested itself in my life that I’ve got too much stuff around, and that I need to get rid of these things in order to not get so bogged down in things. Just knowing that that file drawer only has things that I need, or that that pile that’s been haunting me for months is now gone, has done tremendous things to free up energy in my life. I’m doing things now that I’ve been meaning to do for a while (like, starting this blog).
So, what’s hanging around and keeping you from taking action? What things/people/actions in your personal or professional lives are the road blocks that are in your way? Leave me your comments.