Release Clutter And Nourish Your Soul. Part 2 Inner Clutter…

Clutter in our outer world is tangible things with visual color and texture you can touch. But the inside stuff rolls around in your head and heart, and you carry it with you every day. You wake in the morning, and it beckons your attention. And if you’re an inside clutterer, you answer its call.

“If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved worry is of no use.”  ~Dalai Lama

Like outer clutter, inner clutter occurs in different amounts and intensity. At best, you might experience occasional worry like rushing to catch a bus when you oversleep or forget to cancel an appointment, etc. For those, you might fret and say a few choice words, but then deal with it and not let it become an unnecessary burden. Then more intense is worry over one main issue you just can’t release a lost relationship or a mistake you can’t go back and correct. And your strong feelings hold it to you. You see no resolution, and you can’t stop obsessing over it every day.

The most troublesome situation is when multiple issues build up inside with focus on many painful feelings that won’t stop. And they become a source of daily rumination without resolution. Oryou retain feelings from the past like sorrow, regret, anger, etc. And a trigger like a song or a sudden memory can create an ongoing reaction. You can even get into, “What if this happens, or what if that happens,” before anything worrisome happens. Inner clutter fills your thoughts, and you feel there’s no way out.

Outer clutter in our surroundings influences the way we feel. But it doesn’t require constant attention, and daily activities furnish a respite. Inner clutter is a different phenomenon. Your thoughts are part of you. And for a person who’s caught up in a daily battle with obsessive thinking, the relentless invasion of worrisome thoughts can reach down to the soul and leave them anxious, depressed, and exhausted. Just living day to day becomes a challenge.

“Non-resistance is the greatest power in the Universe.”  ~Eckhart Tolle

When mental clutter piles up, you try to make it stop. But it won’t budge. You try pushing it out of your mind, but it gets stronger. And you push harder. So it goes, over and over. Well, there’s a saying, “Resistance breeds persistence.” And it does. So stop resisting. Once you let it be, you can get to ways that will release it and bring you peace. And there are ways to do that.

First, give yourself permission to release the clutter. Then voice your intention to stop obsessing, and verbalize a vow to break loose. Be firm.

Prepare with self-talk, and speak to your thoughts with love as often as needed. Repeat,“I’ve been approaching problems with worry, and that doesn’t work. I’m smart enough to handle whatever needs my attention and let the rest go. And thoughts, I don’t need you now. I’m taking charge, and we’re going to be happy.”

“If it doesn’t nourish your soul, get rid of it.”  ~Unknown

Consider the difference between worry and concern. Worry is clutter, it doesn’t solve problems. Concern implies relevance and importance and is a valid place to begin releasing the clutter. So list everything you’re worried about, and rate each item by how relevant and important it is and how much you ‘need’ to be concerned about it…0 being not at all, and 10 being a lot. Then choose items you can solve without worry.

“A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.”  ~Marianne Williamson

Imagine a large balloon, and drop items you’re releasing into the balloon. Seal the top, and wave goodbye with forgiveness and love as you watch it float upward and disappear into the sky. Feel your shoulders lighten and your mind clear. Now you have nourished your soul.

It may take additional efforts to finally stop cluttering your mind. But continue the clearing procedure as needed, and your mind will eventually develop a ‘stop button’. And you can truly be free. A long time ago, ongoing efforts worked for me, and I’m grateful.

I wish you a peaceful mind and heart.

Marilyn Fowler, Author of  

“Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country Available Amazon online…

 

 

An image posted by the author.



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Better Late Than Never…

Dear Readers,

Sorry, I haven’t been around for a while, but due to a bout with illness, I just couldn’t make it. And since our past Veteran’s Day, I especially wanted to remember our veterans with an article. Didn’t make that either. But I do want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the men and women who served our country with their love and dedication. And if you know a veteran, let him/her know you care. Thank you.

Now since I couldn’t get an article ready, I’m offering a little poem on a different subject that I wrote a long time ago. I hope you all enjoy it and I will be back next week with a wonderful series to get “Uncluttered” and ready for the Holidays… Marilyn

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Laugh A Little. It’s Good For You

Although I hurt a lot inside,
I sometimes joke and find a laugh.
It comes from yet another place
Along my weary path.

It usually comes up suddenly,
And takes its rightful place.
It stays around a little while
To fill the empty space.

Laughter drives away the tears,
And calms the hurt below.
It frees my soul to feel alive
Where I think angels go.

God knew I’d need this useful tool
To lift me high above the dark,
So I can see the truth of life,
And find that vital spark.

Thank you, Lord, for quips and giggles,
For making light of strife and pain,
For finding fun in spite of trial
To find my joyful way again.

I wish you a beautiful laugh whenever you need one.

 


Marilyn Fowler, Author of  “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country Available Amazon online…

 

 

An image posted by the author.

The Depression Pit: Part 1. “There Is Hope and Help From Depression.”

The Depression Pit: Part 1. “There Is Hope and Help From Depression.”

Ten years ago as I watched the miners in Chile being rescued from underground, I couldn’t help thinking about other kinds of dark pits that we humans experience–the kind we can’t see or touch, but just as frightening–a place called depression. It seems as I have read from others it is like being lost in a black abyss with no way out.

I am also sure there are times when everyone feels a degree of depression. It’s part of our human experience. But some feel it down to a desperate place of soul suffering. Just as no one can fully understand the pain those miners went through, no one can fully understand the pain of depression unless they’ve been there, ‘been through it’ so to speak. But the darkness, fear, and despair can be equally painful. And being in a dark pit seems like an appropriate analogy.

 “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~John Wooden

As long as we’re in the human condition, we’re exposed to painful experiences–some on the outside, some on the inside, and some in both. But with depression, no matter the source of the pain, it seems to hurt everywhere. It can actually immobilize us to a state of inertia where it feels like a permanent condition from which there is no escape.

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“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”  ~Helen Keller

But just as those brave miners escaped, there is hope for those who know the prison of depression. There is in each of us a will to live. It’s our greatest gift–the key to freedom. We can use it if we search and find it. One step is one step closer to abundant life, and the first step could be the intention.

“A good intention clothes itself in power.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

In part two, I’ll talk about some steps we can take to crawl out of the dark pit. There is a way out, even if we can’t see it when we’re at the bottom. The light is there.

Peace be with you ’til we meet again.

Marilyn Fowler, Writer/Author of   “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country Available Amazon online…

An image posted by the author.

Have You Discovered Your Life Purpose? And Are You Living It Now?

Have You Discovered Your Life Purpose? And Are You Living It Now?

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”  ~John F. Kennedy

Most of us get a job, work hard, pay bills, solve problems, have some fun with family and friends, participate in spiritual activities, and keep our lives moving. But if you’re one of those, do you ever get a feeling maybe there’s something more, something you’re missing in your life? That feeling is a part of you inside that reaches out to your conscious awareness with a message you might want or need to know. There’s more to you than what you’ve seen so far.

“Your life has purpose. Your story is important. Your dreams count. Your voice matters. You were born to make an impact.”  ~Unknown

Each of us is born with a special purpose for our life, and something inside longs to express who we are and our reason for being here. But we seldom think consciously about such things. We know that life is a mixture of positive and negative experiences, and we prefer the positive. But how often do we actually think about our own role in helping to create a happier world? In thousands of ways our world needs help, but do you ever contemplate ways in which you might express something beneficial to others in your own special way? Hmm… What would you express? Think about it.

“The things that excite you are not random. They are connected to your purpose in life. Follow them.”  ~Unknown

We’re all endowed with talents, or gifts, things we enjoy and do well that are connected to our life purpose. And we bring these talents with us into our life to fulfill our purpose. But we don’t always recognize them as blessings that give our life meaning. And sometimes we take our talents for granted and minimize their value with an attitude that says, “Oh, that’s nothing. Anybody can do that.” But no two people can do anything exactly alike because what each person does is very special and cannot be duplicated.

Some of us express our talents in seemingly small, insignificant ways…smiles and hugs help heal a broken heart, being a good listener validates others, repairing children’s bikes brings them pleasure, etc. With others, talents can be reflected in one’s type of work…teachers, physical therapists, nurses, etc. Millions of talents, all equal in importance, all blessing someone in some way. How vital each person is in our world. And most don’t realize that the good they do is an expression of their life purpose.

“The meaning of your life is to find your gift. The purpose of your life is to give it away.”   ~Pablo Picasso

We discover our talents in different ways at different times in our life. And sometimes they’re even discovered through a painful experience. I once had a patient who suffered a back injury and felt his life was useless. He knew nothing of talents and life purpose. But he loved nature, and one day he discovered he could lay on the ground propped up on one side and grow a garden with one hand. Then his mood changed to happiness as he fulfilled his life purpose making others happy supplying beautiful flowers to hospitals and anyone who wanted a bouquet…including me.

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”   ~Bishop T. D. Jakes

You may not know your purpose in life, and when you ask yourself why you’re here, you may have no answers. But if you know your talent and bring it to its rightful importance, you’ll see the connection. Then use it and claim your own happiness fulfilling your purpose.

If you don’t know your talent, start noticing something you really enjoy doing, and you do it well. It could be your work, a hobby, a pastime, etc. Listen to the voice inside that says, “There. That’s it. That’s why you’re here.” And move through your life fulfilling your purpose with a happy heart.

I wish you happiness as you discover your self.

Marilyn Fowler, Writer/Author of  “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country Available Amazon online…

 

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The Sea Of Life. Are You The Ocean?

Dear Readers, I live near the ocean, and sometimes when I look at that vast body of water, I think of the multitude of water droplets it takes to create the oceans, and I think of all the people it takes to create our world. We are the world. But it seems we’ve lost our sense of who we are in the great sea of humankind. I remember when we created our world together, each a part of that creation. But today we live with an ‘us and them’mentality, and we deny our belonging to each other. I feel sad. Today I want to share an article I posted a few years ago on this subject.

The Sea Of Life

Yesterday I spent the day at a hospital with a friend who had surgery. I’ve been in many hospitals in the past, but this experience made what I already knew more real to me. Each of us is unique, traveling our own individual journey through life, but at the same time part of the great whole that makes us the human race. It’s kind of like each unique drop of water being part of the whole body we call the ocean. And the ocean is not the ocean without each drop.

“Individually, we are one drop. But together we are an ocean.” ~Rhunosuke Satoro

While my friend was in surgery, I wandered up and down the halls. I’ve always been a people-watcher, but yesterday I was more keenly aware of everyone and everything I came across. I saw people in wheelchairs or walking with canes while others walked straight and tall. I saw a nurse consoling a woman who was crying, and I noticed a beautiful little boy grinning at me. I saw people in pain and heard their moans, while medical personnel saw to their needs. Contracts everywhere. Yet, in their humanness, they were all a part of each other.

Later I went outside of the building and found a concrete ledge where I sat down. I took off my shoes and rested my bare feet on mother earth, while little ants scampered around as if they knew where they were going. The sun was warm, but there was a cool breeze under the big oak tree where I sat watching a black crow scrounging for his lunch in the dirt nearby. Once in a while, someone sat next to me. Some were happy. Some were not. But each had a story to tell–a unique story, yet part of all the stories that portray who we are.

“Life is like the ocean. It can be calm or still, and rough and rigid, but in the end, it is always beautiful.”   ~Unknown

As the day moved on, the hospital became a microcosm of the bigger world, and I became more increasingly aware of life and our connection with each other. We each know sadness and joy, pain and bliss, feast and famine, love and hate, lack and plenty, illness and health–everything in the human experience. And we’re never alone in any of it. While we’re going through something, another person somewhere else is going through the same thing in their own unique way. How sad we don’t claim the ocean in which we swim. It’s really quite a beautiful ocean in spite of the differences we believe separate us.

I’m grateful for this hospital experience. It reminded me we’re much more than what we see in the mirror. In essence, Mother Teresa says, “We know that what we are doing is only a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” You serve an important part in the sea of life, and your unique presence helps maintain the sea in which you live. Love yourself, and pour your love out to others. And claim the beautiful ocean in which you swim. It is your home.

I wish you much happiness on your journey. 

Marilyn Fowler, Writer/Author of  “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country Available Amazon online…

An image posted by the author.

Are You Living Images And Roles You Were Given As A Child? Where Is Your True Self? Part 1

When children come into the world, they come in with unique characteristics and talents. And the fortunate ones have parents, teachers, caregivers, who nurture and encourage them to express these gifts in their life. As they mature, they experience many of the same rules and restrictions the world requires, but with direction and guidance, they retain much of their authentic self. As they grow up and develop their personality, these gifts become part of their identity, and they’re allowed to freely express them as part of who they are.

How wonderful if all children were so fortunate. But we live in a busy world and, to some degree, each child is given a role, or image, to identify as ‘self’. Children grow up in group settings and are tagged early-on within the group. They’re given a role, and this is who they must be. This is not generally a conscious or purposeful act, but it can be verbally assigned by others, assigned to the child, or sometimes just seem to happen. But as this image takes hold, it becomes the child’s perception of self. The role, or image, becomes the child’s ‘I am’.

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” William Shakespear

I was 6 years old when my father died, and my mother assigned roles to my 11-year-old brother and me. My older brother became the man of the family and worked to help support us, and I became my mother’s trash dump. My mother came home from her waitress job in the middle of the night having had too much to drink, and she woke me to listen to long, painful stories about years past and then losing my father.

I tried to help her, but my role was too much for a 6-year-old, especially dealing with my own painful loss. No one listened to my pain, and I felt forsaken, so I made a vow to take care of myself and never need anyone. I labeled myself, and my vow became who I was…independent, self-sufficient, and alone. This episode is described in my book, Silent Echoes.

From our roles or images, we develop our personality. According to the World Book Encyclopedia, personality is the personal or individual quality that makes one person be different and act differently from another. In psychology, personality is the total physical, intellectual, and emotional structure of an individual, including abilities, interests, and attitudes. According to Maxwell Maltz, the self-image is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self-image and you change the personality and the behavior. We are truly complex beings with no two alike.

Whatever people think of you is really about the image they have of you, and that image isn’t you.”   ~Don Miguel Ruiz

Our role or image is what we portray to others, and we’re seen by others as this role, image, personality. We may be known as weak, strong, needy, resourceful, capable, smart, ornery, kind, selfish, etc. So we live according to this label while our true self-lives deep inside with only brief moments of expression. In many cases, without a caregiver’s encouragement to express our true self, talents were born with can get lost and die somewhere inside…like a beautiful voice that never gets to sing.

No matter what role we’re given or what personality we develop, the spark of true self will always cry out to be seen, heard, and validated authentically as you…as you were created. Although at times, we do express our true self, we’re so caught up in being who we’re not, we don’t always notice.

Would you like to discover more of you and express more of your true self in your life? Tune in next week for Part 2, and we’ll talk about some ways to change our ‘I am’.

~I wish you a happy journey to self.~

 

 

An image posted by the author.

Marilyn Fowler, Author of  “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country Available Amazon online…

 

How To Use Difficult Situations To Enrich Your Life Journey.

Dear Readers, Friends, and New Visitors,

First I want to apologize for being gone for several weeks. Since I live in Florida, I spent time before, during, and after hurricane Irma. Trees, limbs, wires, and debris were everywhere, but I rode out the storm and survived without damage to my house or car.

I’m grateful but so sad for others less fortunate. And I ask you to pray for all those who suffered and are still suffering. I appreciate all the well wishes and prayers from you all and was touched.   God bless all.

Now For This Week’s Post!

Imagine that when you wake up each morning a familiar feeling of dread reaches your mind, and your stomach immediately tightens with stress.You fold your hands over your chest and calm yourself enough to get up and go to a job where you have to face the monster who supervises you with criticism, insults, and anything his sick mind conjures up. You would have left long ago, but you love your work, and you keep thinking things will change. But they don’t. What would you do in such a situation?

On our journey through life, we each experience painful situations that hold us hostage with no visible way out. These situations can involve health, work, financial issues, damaging relationships, losses, various addictions, whatever causes us pain. We bring some on ourselves, and others invade our orderly world without explanation. And we usually view each one as our all-powerful enemy. We may fight back, or leave the situation. Then another one is sure to come. And we move through life never really free to be who we are. Maybe we need to take a closer look and see what’s really happening.

“We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”   ~Lee Iacocca

Obstacles in your life are not enemies. They’re opportunities to learn, overcome, and grow into more of the person you’re meant to be. Without these opportnities, you may never realize the depth of how wonderful you are. At times, the road is painful, but if you meet each encounter with faith and determination, life can be rewarding and meaningful.

Years ago I worked as a Mental Health Therapist in a Psychiatrist’s office, and I suffered the same experience as in my opening example. I awoke each morning with dread about going to work. I went to my Minister for help, and she carefully listened, then said, “This man is probably one of the most important teachers you will ever have. Pay attention, learn and grow, and you will be guided to the next plateau in your life.” She was right. I saw myself and my situation with new vision, and I finally left for a new rewarding position, as a wiser and happier me.

“If you can learn from the worst times of your life, you’ll be ready to go into the best times of your life.”  ~Author Unknown

Methods For Change:

Meet each difficult situation as an opportunity with a willingness to learn and grow from it.

Analyze the situation and your response to it. You can learn a lot about yourself in the way you respond to a negative, even hurtful, situation in your life. The more you learn, the more powerful you become. And your situation’s power over you weakens.

“Keep asking yourself: What am I supposed to learn from this?” ~ Unknown

Go within and examine your attitude and feelings, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Do you feel stressed with worry, fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, forsaken, etc? How immersed are you in your feelings? How clear is your mind? Where is your focus…on the situation, your inner response, or both? Do you view the situation as more than you can handle? Can you call on your Higher Power for help? Question and learn.
You’re stronger than you think. Uncover your strengths, and let them shine. Use denials and affirmations ie; “I deny that this situation has any power over me. I am strong and unbeatable.” This process will reinforce your power.

Create a plan to deal with your situation. Then choose techniques that would work best for you…confronting, accepting, or getting away from it. As you go along, monitor your situation and your response, and know you have a right to the life you want. And make it so. Each time you pass a hurdle, you can look back with a grateful heart to where you were, compared to where you are now. And what you learn now will lift you to a higher place for future encounters.

I wish you happy discoveries on your journey.

Marilyn Fowler, Author, and Writer of   “Silent Echoes” and Me and Granmama in the Hill Country Available Amazon online…