Friday, March 25, 2011

Day #12 of 30 Days to a Simpler Life --- Simplify Your Mind

Woo hoo --- Day #12 is here!

Several years ago, we realized that the most cluttered area of our lives was our mind.  We saw a direct link between a calm mind and a simple life.  Today, you will do a task that teaches you how to clear your mind.  First, you'll need a pen and a piece of paper.  Second, think of someone whose behavior makes you grumpy or angry.  Anyone.  It can be your spouse,child, parent, a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, a company, or the government.  Third, fill in the blank in this sentence,
"___________(name of person) should/shouldn't _________(write down the offensive behavior)."  Be petty.  The pettier you are, the better this task works.  The task continues later. 

Day #12 is going to be hard one to explain because I would pretty much have to write down the whole chapter to tell you what you're supposed to do next.  There are seven whole pages of techniques on how to let go of the expectations you have of others.  I will illustrate what you're supposed to do using my own personal example.  I'll do the best I can.

I made the mistake of joining a fundraising committee for an organization that I belong to.  Yes, I said it, MISTAKE.  Not everyone is bad, but there are an entire contingent of cliquey women who apparently know everything about everything.  There is one in particular who has stepped on my toes (figuratively, not literally...geez that would be awkward if she had) several times.  I'm chairing a fundraiser that launches today.  She's chairing a fundraiser that launches mid-May.  Despite me asking for information about her fundraiser for a newsletter that that will be attached to my fundraiser information that goes out today, she announced her fundraiser last week; thus, blunting the impact of mine.  I'm angry.  It's petty----extremely petty of me.  I know.  So my fill in the blank sentence is:

"D should be more considerate and not trump my fundraising efforts with her own."

Now what you're supposed to do is write down your belief.  In my case, it's "D shouldn't reduce the impact of my fundraising efforts to enhance her own."

Then you're supposed to reverse it and put the responsibility on yourself.  In my case, the money is all going to the same place.  I should be happy to support any fundraising efforts.  I should work on both mine and hers. 

Then, figure out what's the reality.  In my case, both fundraisers are going to happen.  Both will raise money for the organization.

Then, what is the payoff?  The organization will get money.  I can have clarity about this and let go of being angry with a person who has the same goal as me, even if I don't agree with her methods.

I don't know if this technique would work for me every time (it's more fun to be angry, right? :-), but I am definitely more relaxed about the fundraiser now.  It is what it is.  It's just a fundraiser, not a tsunami or a war.  I've felt pretty ridiculous about what's been upsetting me lately considering all the pain and conflict going on the world right now.  Way too much drama in my life is personally inflicted.

So--- who has got your panties in a bunch today?

Here are my results from the Day #11 minimalist environment challenge.  
I had to clean up the family room anyway for the company that arrived yesterday.  I think I did all right.  I wanted to keep the photos, but I finally got all the toys hidden away except for the dollhouse.  I was going to put it in the basement, but the Cobbler said, "Leave it in here.  They were just using that the other day." So I did.
See you back on Monday for Day #13!

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