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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reverb10, Day 11: Lightening my load for 2011

Today's Prompt: 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? 

The author of this prompt is Sam Davidson
50 Things Your Life Doesn't Need

I am investing in a classy new suitcase for myself for the new year. One that will be light enough that it will practically float by my side as I blaze new trails across the world to countries yet to be explored! Embracing the kind of lightness that I am talking about will require gracefully shedding a few unnecessary items that would only weigh me down, so I sat down with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper and made a list of the items that are NOT going to be joining me in the new year, how I will get rid of them, and how getting rid of them will positively change me life in 2011:

Eleven things that are not going in my classy suitcase:

1. Friends who radiate negative energy, and drain me of my positive life energy. I will explain to the people in my life who have been doing this that I am making changes, and that while I love them, I do not want any more of their negative vibes, so if they want to come along with me, they are going to have to make some adjustments. Instead of spending my time with people who give off negative energy, I will fill my time with friends who share positive energy. Result: Surrounding myself with the kind of energy I want to be giving off will help me to be more positive and happy also.

2. My own negative energy. Whenever I notice myself seeing the cup as half empty instead of half full I am going to consciously make myself come up with a positive alternative perspective. When I notice myself being critical of someone else, I am going to reflect on myself, and focus on improving my own imperfections rather than focusing on other people's imperfections. I am going to pray more, and surround myself with positive affirmations that are uplifting and help me to refocus my energy. The result will be that I am lighter inside, and I have more light to share with others.

3. Men who are unavailable, unfaithful, disrespectful, dismissive, unsupportive, dishonest, untrustworthy and critical. I will eliminate such individuals by knowing who I am, believing in myself, knowing what I want in a friendship or relationship, and expecting the man I share my life and heart with to treat me with respect, presence, fidelity, attentiveness, support, honesty, and love. I will pray for guidance, strength, clarity, and detachment. Not having such individuals in my life will make me available to a man who is also available, faithful, respectful, attentive, supportive, honest, trustworthy, and sees the best in me.

4. Unnecessary distractions. I believe that cars, computers, cell phones, televisions, etc. are tools to help me connect with the rest of the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. If they are not enriching my relationships with those I love and the world around me; if they are not educating me; if they are taking up time that I would otherwise be spending with friends and family, out enjoying the natural world or serving my community, then they are simply distracting me from living life authentically, and as such have no purpose in my life. I have not owned a television for years, and this has only been a positive thing. I will make sure that I do not allow my computer and cell phone to become distractions by only using them when I have a reason to do so, and not because I am being lazy, procrastinating, or feeling bored. I will turn my phone off when I am enjoying the company of friends, enjoying a devotional gathering, doing yoga, taking a walk, or whatever other activity I am engaged in, and will only turn it on as is necessary: when I need to contact someone, or am expecting a call or message. Not being distracted by these things will mean I am more present and fully engaged with whatever I am doing.

5. Lack of gratitude. I have already started trying to be more conscious about noticing and expressing my gratitude for the many blessings I experience every day. I want to continue improving on my ability to do this. I want to be full of thanks for the small and large blessings that I experience every day. Living like this, I notice that when I end my day and look back at how I filled my hours, I am blown away by how much I experience every day that I am grateful for. Gratitude is not just for special occasions.

6. Inflexibility. I will try to notice when I am responding to a situation with rigidity, and how I can move towards flexibility instead. Being more flexible will help me to see situations from new perspectives, and will challenge me to grow in new ways.

7. Lack of trust. This one is big, and I do not expect to succeed completely in 2011, but I want to work on trusting more fully in God. I think the only way to accomplish this is through prayer and not allowing myself to doubt and undermine choices I have made after considerable prayer and reflection. By having faith in the choices I have made, and putting all of my energy into accomplishing whatever goals I have set out to achieve, my actions will better reflect my faith, and I will become better at trusting myself. Trusting myself more fully will mean that I am more detached; that I worry less, and that the changes of life are not so much of a painful struggle, and are less disruptive. It will mean that I will acquire greater grace, and will become stronger, and more peaceful.

8. Lack of belief in myself. Again, this one is a life-long challenge, but I know that I am a beautiful, competent woman with many skills that I can utilize to serve the world around me. By consciously reminding myself of all of the amazing things that I have done and continue to do on a daily basis that contribute to the betterment of the society around me, I believe that my strengths will grow, and my weaknesses will appear less overwhelming. Believing in myself will mean I will accomplish more, and am more successful at whatever I devote my energies to.

9. Work that is not joyful. I will put my energy and commitment into pursuing work that is fulfilling and life-giving to me. I will give myself permission to pursue work that makes me truly happy, and not just work that pays the monthly bills. The more positive energy I pour into work that I am passionate and excited about, the more energy I will draw to me, and the more successful I will be at whatever I choose to do with my life. The result will be that I am more fulfilled professionally, that I am committed to excellence at whatever I am doing, and that I am able to contribute in a more meaningful and valuable way to my community and to the larger society.

10. Expectations. I have always had very high expectations of myself and of those around me, which does not always serve me well. By simply focusing on what I do have, and what those around me are naturally inclined to share with me, I think I will find that I am much happier, and that my friends and family enjoy my company more. Not having expectations will mean that I will be surprised on a regular basis, and I love surprises!

11. Pride. I value humility tremendously in myself and in other people. By reminding myself that I am a servant of humanity, and that every molecule of my being should be focused on loving my fellow human beings, the world around me, and God, I will be reminded that there is no space for pride in loving relationships. Pride means separation and distinction, and in reality I am just like everyone else. Approaching everyone and everything around me with humility makes the experience of life more honest and authentic. It makes me feel richer, and more connected. Ultimately, the more humble I feel, the more I feel an integral part of the beautifully diverse universe the surrounds me.

What are you not going to carry with you into 2011? How will leaving these things out change your experience?

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