July 12, 2008

How One Of The Best Things That Ever Happened To Me Was A Flood

Approximately two years ago we had a flood in our basement and storage room that was caused by a backed up sewer line. We didn't have an attic so this was where we kept all our "stuff".

When it first happened I was naturally very upset the first few hours. So much destroyed and gone, and because it was sewer water, pretty much nothing was salvageable unless it had been on a shelf.

After awhile however I started to see it as the blessing it really was.

As I have been becoming more open to the spiritual laws that govern our universe I have found myself trying much more often to look for the positive behind every negative. Sometime it is hard to find, it might even take a few weeks or months for the answer to become clear to me, but in this case it didn't take more than about 2 hours.

The truth was my basement and storage room was filled with "crap." Stuff I should have gotten rid of years ago. Now if you had asked me to empty those rooms the day before the flood I probably would have come up with a million reasons why I couldn't get rid of most of it. "That ugly turkey platter? Of coarse I need to keep that - who's knows when we might have a lot of people over and I will need to cook more than one bird?" (Really now! How often does anyone actually need to cook 2 turkeys at one time? Even if I did - I still wouldn't think of pulling out the ugly Turkey platter to serve it on!)

As we went through more and more stuff with our gloves and black garbage bags I realized how many ridiculous things I had kept for ridiculous reasons. The winter clothes that I put away five years ago that are completely out of style? My son's old skates that don't fit him anymore? The lamp from his nursery? So much of it I had kept for what I had labeled "sentimental reasons" but the truth was I could get just as sentimental over a picture of it! I didn't have to actually "hold" the item that was taking up so much space to remember it. I mean really what was I going to do? One moment of "Awwhh! Remember this?" and two seconds later put it back up on the shelf to take up more space again? I could just as soon look at a photograph of his nursery to get the same "Awwhh!" moment and it would take up less than a hundreth of the space!

As time went on I found myself actually feeling good about getting rid of everything. I found myself saying "Out with the old - and in with the new!" every half hour or so. I thought about all the extra space I would have for new fun things we could actually use. The extra storage I could have upstairs if I put my comforters, blow up mattresses, etc. downstairs, nice and neatly.

An unexpected benefit however, was that I also started to feel a lot freer emotionally! At the time I had already been working towards simplifying my life a little. I believe the flood was Universe's sign to me that I was heading in the right direction. It was Universe's (or my higher self's) way of telling me to get rid of all my old "crap" in more ways than one.

So if you too are starting to feel overwhelmed by "all your stuff" physically and mentally - it may be time to start getting rid of some of your "crap".

Mentally… slow it down a little bit. Don't accept invitations that you do not really need to attend. Volunteer at the kids school only once or twice a month instead of 4 or 5. Take a ½ hour walk sometime during your day just to have some quiet time and peace to appreciate life a little. Read a book for half an hour. Meditate for 20 minutes.

As for your physical stuff, start today by picking a small drawer or closet you can start to clean out. Make three piles. In the first pile put the stuff you definitely need to keep, in the second pile put the stuff you are definitely throwing out (or better yet throw it directly in a garbage bag) and in the third pile put the stuff you are unsure of.

Now when you have all three piles done, put the stuff you "definitely need" back in the drawer. Look at it and admire it. How clean and organized it is. How accomplished do you feel?

Now…look at the pile of things you were unsure of. Do you really want to mess up that nice clean drawer with that stuff you will never really use? Watch how quickly you will then toss that pile into the garbage bag as well.

I don’t believe life has to be nearly as hectic as we have all made it.

We are so busy trying to get around all of our "stuff" we sometimes forget we have the option to just "get rid of it" and that means mentally as well as physically.

So get started today! Start getting rid of the "crap" you no longer need to make more room for the fun stuff coming your way!

Happy Creating!