I had the pleasure of clearing my junk tray, today! 😁 I’m not even being sarcastic. I love organizing, and taking time to relocate random items from the tiny tray to their own junk drawer was actually my idea of fun. 😆🤓
As I sorted the items, I remembered where they came from and why I had them in the first place. It began to feel more like a “found objects” tray, a memories tray, or better yet, an “I’m sure I’ll find a use for this one day” tray.
Honestly, there were so many needless, useless things, that I maintained some odd attachment to…. an ink-stained push pin, an old rechargeable battery, a scented oil roller with one last drop of Egyptian Musk. 😍
I attempted to clear things out, and at first I actually threw a few things away. I could have made it easy on myself. I could have simply dumped the whole tray into the much larger drawer, with one quick flip. Instead, one-by-one, I inspected each piece. I tried (in vain) to release each one to the trash, while simultaneously arguing for its potential use. So one by one, I moved items I no longer need, or have a current use for, from the tray to the…. drawer. 😆
Very few made it to trash. I couldn’t help negotiating for their release to the drawer. “I may need that for a craft one day.” “I may remember what that goes to.” “I’m gonna regret that I threw that out.”
After 10 minutes of making little progress, I thought, “I could just end this, and move on to doing something else, with one quick flip of my wrist.” But I just couldn’t do it. I knew some of that stuff was actually trash, and I didn’t want it in the new clean drawer, so I sat for a minute, frustrated.
That’s when an idea came to me. I wondered if there was possibly a deeper meaning—a lesson—that I could gain from that moment. That’s when the words of my mentor came back to me. She says this phrase that I totally hate (hopefully she’s still taking her social media hiatus and doesn’t read this, lol). “How you do anything, is how you do everything.” 🙄 As much as I despise this phrase—and don’t believe it applies to all things—it know it applies here.
Whenever I do inner work, to clear out old beliefs that no longer serve me, I usually start out motivated. I’m seeing that one no longer applies, recognizing another came from someone else, and tossing this one in my mental trash. But as I continue to work, some beliefs bypass the trash and remain, because they still feel valid.
A belief like, “I’m not doing enough,” gets to remain because I when I look at where I am versus where I want to be, I deduce that if I was doing more, I’d be there. A belief like, “I’m in it by myself,” still feels valid, because as a single mom, solopreneur, I am more often than not performing most scenes of my life as a “one-woman band.” A belief like, “It’s probably not gonna sell,” sticks around because of the many times I was certain a product was going to be my cash cow and it barely sold at all. Within me, I know that these beliefs don’t serve me in any positive way, but I’ve held on to them because…. honestly there’s a comfort there in not being so disappointed when things don’t go my way because I already expected it. I brace myself for the disappointment in advance….
I didn’t like the way that felt. I know better. I know that we get what we expect. And if I want to change what I’m getting, I’ve gotta toss expectations that don’t line up with what I want.
I looked over again at my junk drawer, and the full tray that now sat in it and for a second I thought about the work of clearing it, and nearly decided to put it off and try again another day.
Then, I thought about my mentor’s phrase. I realized that I was doing the same thing with the junk that I did with my beliefs. I was holding onto things that I don’t need, just because it felt easier than doing the work….
So you know what I did? I went right back to that junk drawer and removed the tray. I went one-by-one and decided that anything that had no value to me currently was going in the trash. I resolved that if down the road I needed something I tossed, I would just buy another one.
With each item I picked up, I said out loud “I don’t keep things I don’t need.” Repeating that mantra helped me really look at each item and decide in the moment if it was needed—and honestly, most of them were not. I tossed so many things in the trash…. bottle caps, pen tops, and old rusted paperclips, fake nails, q-tips… Why was I keeping those?
As I tossed item after item, I repeated my new mantra. “I don’t keep things I don’t need.” I thought about the beliefs that I’m ready to toss… beliefs that no longer have purpose…. beliefs that don’t align with my current truths…. beliefs that hold me back from having the mental space to create the life I truly desire. I realized that it’s time to let those go….
It’s amazing how the most simple activity can have a deeper meaning. I am so grateful that I sat with the clutter and decided to do the uncomfortable thing and clear what no longer serves me. Now, I have a drawer of random found objects, that I can actually use, AND there’s room for more equally usable found objects. 😁
And, I now have a new mantra that I get to use in every aspect of my life. “I don’t keep things I don’t need.”
Maybe there’s an area in your life where you are holding on to things, thoughts, people, or even places that are no longer serving you. It’s not that you’re supposed to gain from everyone around you, but there should be some benefit, some sense of fulfillment even if you are the giver in a situation. Suze Orman taught that true benevolence is a gift to the giver as well as the recipient. If it just feels like a drain, and you’re the faucet, maybe something needs to change (even if only in perception).
Periodically, it’s healthy to evaluate where we stand and take the time to clear the clutter. Feel free to use my new mantra, it really worked for me. “I don’t keep things I don’t need.”