Last week I dragged a couple of bin bags full of unwanted clothes to the Salvos. The bags were those purple scented ones that smell like lavender. I held one overloaded bag in each hand, willing them not to break in my weak arms as I crossed the highway before the lights changed. I think I prefer the yellow, citrus scented bags but the lavender ones were the only ones on special last supermarket shop. Some guy yelled out at me from his car as I trundled along, I think it was something to do with my breasts, not his choice of citrus versus lavender.
That same day I also crammed a heap of rubbish and recycling into the wheelie bins in the garage. As I sat rifling through boxes in our storage cage downstairs for items to chuck, I laughed as I rediscovered stuff including a folder full of Wikipedia printouts on random subjects, boxes from items I don’t own anymore and two broken unfashionable handbags. Why do I keep this shit? Was I going to mend these handbags? No chance.
My apartment was not spared from the big clean out. The oldest socks and underwear in the world were extricated during an archaeological dig of the back of the top drawer. Items that may have been classified as “plants” when I bought them from Bunnings but now more like “desert in a pot” were soon laid to rest in the museum of the rubbish pile I had created on the balcony for visitors to buy tickets to and marvel in. I rounded up takeaway flyers from local restaurants that no longer existed from my fridge door, destined for the recycling bin where they now had the chance to one day be recycled into a takeaway flyer for a new restaurant.
The big clean hasn’t all been about the physical junk. It’s a bit harder clearing out the mental mess, but I’m committed to this next level of clean. As I was sitting amongst the unfashionable handbags and Wikipedia articles I came across a little list of positive mantras. I had inherited this list from a departing work colleague a few years ago who gave it to me as they cleared other items of their desk into an archive box. I used to have it stuck to my computer monitor and it was always there to keep my thoughts and actions on track.
Creating a positive mindset is common, I know. I love discovering how others live their lives to their full potential with positivity. I secretly spy and marvel at a certain friend's ability to smile and lift the mood of any dull social gathering. Another mate sends me links to awesome articles and books on how to acknowledge negative things happen, but it’s how we deal with these moments that is more important. I had a chat over sushi with a lovely work mate about positivity and gratitude the other day; she has started a daily gratitude journal. I nodded vigorously in agreement in its benefits as the sushi fell apart onto the plate and my clean shirt. Being thankful encourages the positive thinking. Before we drift off to the land of nod, I try to think of at least one good thing from the day. Ok, so whilst the first response to this question I could muster was, “I had lunch”, it’s nice drifting off to sleep with a smile rather than a furrowed brow.
Since rediscovering my little gem of a list amongst the Wikipedia pile, I have been refocusing and taking especial attention to those items on the list of a mental nature. These are helping to massage the negative useless thoughts away in the day spa in my brain, and calling up my inner garbage man to discard of the unnecessary worries I have about inconsequential things before they build upon my mental nature strip.
Before I get too into the year, I reckon this is an ideal time to begin as I mean to go on. In consequence, I’ve been working on my regular mental cleaning system the past few weeks, focusing on keeping my brain free from clutter. Despite generally being a sunshiny, look-on-the-bright-side type person, there are definitely certain situations and times the negativity can creep in. When irrational gloomy thoughts and actions try to muddy my clear and happy brain, I am consciously not allowing them to affect me or accumulate and take up unnecessary space in my mental storage cage.
The little gem of a list is now once again in sight, stuck on the fridge where an old takeaway menu used to be.
Here are some common mantras that help me stay on the positive track. They’re still pretty good even if they’re just listed on a blog post rather than as part of some Instagram tile with a sunset/creative font/blessed hashtag, don’t you think? What are some of your favourite mantras? I’d love to hear them and add them to my list on the fridge!