Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Clear the clutter ...

If you could peek inside my mind, it would probably look like one of those houses on the TV show Hoarders.

Clutter.jpg

Well, it's probably not THAT cluttered, but there are days it feels like this.  LOL!

Can you relate? 

For many of us, there's at least some level of brain clutter.

Stuff just sitting around, creating a mental fire hazard and hiding a family of squirrels.

Today, let's take one piece of mental junk out of our hoarder house.

I'll go first. But before that ...

Shut your eyes and visualize your mental hoarder attic.

Oy, the cobwebs! The ancient yearbooks! The stacks of moldy board games and creepy one-eyed dolls!

Start by creating a vivid, rich picture of your mental attic.

What's in there? What does it smell like? Can you feel the gritty dust under your feet?

Spend a bit of time building this image until you can experience it clearly.

Now, look around.

You're looking for something. It's a box labeled Things That Might Be Holding Me Back.

Maybe there are several boxes. (Luckily you labeled them when you stored them up here.)

These boxes are full of things that could be preventing you from moving forward on your health & fitness journey.

  • Perhaps in that box is a memory — an old photo — of someone in fifth grade calling you "fat".  For me it was a girl that I had a crush on in 5th grade, standing in line behind me saying that I had a "big butt" … that stayed with me for decades. 
  • Perhaps there is a memory of falling down in gym class, or being picked last for a game.
  • Perhaps there's a photo of you in great shape, something you never thought you could achieve again.
  • Perhaps that box holds one of your negative "inner team" members you thought you cut from the roster.
  • Perhaps it's an outfit you wore when you were younger, and you're convinced you'll never fit into it again.
  • Perhaps it's an old diary or notebook in which you wrote all your excuses for not doing things.

Whatever it is, dig in the box.

Now, pull out one thing that you know is holding you back.
Grab that thing and take it downstairs, out into the bright sunlight. Look at it as you stand outside in the sun.

Notice how the sunlight robs this thing of its power.

This thing seemed so powerful in the attic, but so trivial now.

Walk to a trash can, shed it into a dozen pieces, and throw that thing out.
It's gone. You don't need to save or hold on to it any more. Sayonara!

Pause to enjoy the relief and freedom.
Open your eyes. Now you're free of one little piece of mental junk that held you back.

Feels good, doesn't it?

If you want to make darn sure that piece of garbage is gone, write down what it is on a piece of paper. Then, either throw away the paper or — if you want to get really symbolic — burn it!

(By the way, some people tell me they're afraid of writing things down in case someone finds their journal. If that's you, go to a library or coffee shop, write down whatever you want to write down, then toss it away before you go home. You're like a secret agent!)

What's up next

With one piece of mental clutter gone, later this week I'll invite you to write a breakup letter.  :)

Don't worry, it has nothing to do with dumping your significant other! Stay tuned.

What to do today

  1. Create a vivid image of your "mental clutter".
    Imagine your mental attic. What's in there? Use all your senses and spend time visualizing this image until you can experience it clearly.
  2. Dig through your box.
    Imagine looking for something that you think is holding you back, and throw it away.
  3. What ONE piece of mental clutter did you throw out today?

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins
NSCA-CPT, ACE

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