Life is hard enough without adding more weight than I need to carry – literally. Why do I pack my purse and my tote with so much just-in-case-I-need-it stuff? Some of those necessities never see daylight, so why do I insist on carrying it around?
I look at my husband. When we head out on errands, he has car keys and a wallet. I have my purse loaded with a year’s worth of survival gear. Why?
A week ago I woke with a horrific stiff neck. The pain moved down from the base of my skull and into my left shoulder. This is where I carry all of my tension and the arm I use to carry my work tote. Yes, the one loaded with more survival gear than the purse.
Spurred on by the discomfort of my knotted muscles, I cleaned house. I simplified everything down to what I actually used on a daily basis and pulled out everything else. I think I removed ten about pounds of stuff from the purse and the tote. At least it feels like it.
From that point, I thought about all the other baggage I carry around and decided an emotional and spiritual house cleaning was in order as well. Oh, I have done sporadic spring cleaning before, but I had not delved quite this deep. It was time. I needed to learn better ways of handling stress, or at least consistently practice the ones I knew.
Then came the medical wake up call. The results from my recent blood tests revealed I was borderline for a whole host of unpleasant diseases – all of which could be avoided by changing my diet. And yeah, the very diet my doctor had been harping at me about for several years now. Well, I did a spring cleaning of the pantry and my eating habits at the same time. That’s a lot of change at once.
Well, I don’t plan to do it all alone. I am enlisting the help from my doctor, support from my husband and behavioral help from an expert, Dr. Emmett Miller. I dug out his meditation CD, Writing Your Own Script. (See Dr.Emmett Miller).
With these exercises I intend to do a clean sweep of physical baggage and emotional rocks, and get rid of all unnecessary weight (including my own in the literal sense). This will give me more strength and energy to deal with those hard things that can’t be avoided. Imagine that.
After the first week, I noticed my neck and shoulder stopped hurting and I felt happier. Work stress, commuting stress, and other stressors didn't weigh me down as much. I was better able to keep the emotions in check, I slept better, had more energy, and found problem solving to be a bit easier. Wow, who would have thought…
Life really doesn't have to be as hard as we make it by lugging around a ton of extra weight that God didn't intend that we carry. He will give us strength and courage for those we are supposed to support, not self inflicted burdens. He will, however, help remove all the excess if we ask - with a little help from our earthly support group.
How about you? Does your life need some spring cleaning?