Monday Notes: CLEARING

In every culture, people have a clearing process. Whether it’s spring cleaning, which according to handy-dandy Wikipedia began with Iranians, who call it khooneh tekouni, or sage cleansing, which is known as a Native American ritual, the human race seems to have recognized the importance of de-cluttering as a road toward clarity.

And I am no different. Over the past three years, I’ve consciously taken time to decide who I want to be and how I want to function in this world. Two days before my birthday, I’m sharing them with you.

The first thing I did was to pay more attention to where I put my energy as a way to create more pleasurable spaces in my life.

Energy Matters.

 We’re all energy. I don’t think that’s a new idea. However, I also believe that our thoughts and actions are comprised of energy. And for the last few years, I’ve become much more mindful about how and what I spend my energy on.

Sometimes I think of energy like money. You know how some people are frugal with their dollars? Well, that’s how I feel about my energy. Would you allow someone to take $1000 out of your bank account? Me neither. But I also don’t allow others to withdraw from my energy account.

There are a few ways I’ve learned to do this. I try not to expend too much energy on conversations I deem frivolous. A great example is when Hurricane Irma was headed towards Jacksonville. A day or so before, I was scheduled to teach in Gainesville.

“I thought you’d be home,” one of my co-workers said.

“Nope. The hurricane isn’t coming til…”

“Well, I hope you have gas. I hope you don’t run out of gas. I hope the gas stations still have gas on your way home. The gas station on 39th is already out …”

I briefly stared at her, and then gathered my personal belongings and inched towards the door. In my mind, I didn’t have the energy to expend on such a negative conversation about the state of gas. And I didn’t need to prove her wrong by saying, I have gas in my tank and I drive a Honda. It’ll be full for a while. It would be wasted energy.

energyLikewise, I try not to spend a lot of time in places I’d rather not be. A great example is work. I go to work and focus on teaching my students. When that’s done, sometimes I attend meetings and grade papers. I don’t stand around holding lengthy conversations about other people’s business because, in the long run, it doesn’t solve anything. And sometimes, in the end you feel just as crappy as the person you’re discussing.

This is not to say I’m perfect. Occasionally, I catch myself in a rant about some event that pissed me off. But once I realize I’m expending energy, then I make a mental note and change the subject to something that feels better, like my business. The results seem to prove the phrase that which you focus on grows. Writing Endeavors® is going well. This blog is going well. Books are selling. Much of this I attribute to clearing and re-focusing my energy.

Tomorrow, I’ll share the second aspect of my life I’ve cleared up. Until then, tell me…do you pay attention to how and where you spend your energy?



Releasing the Fear of Death

I used to fear death. But not anymore. Today, I fear nothing.

I used to fear death because there was an unknown. I’m a planner. And there’s nothing worse for an agenda carrying, iPhone calendar-syncing girl than the unknown.

Death is about as unknown as you can get. Think about it. Who can really tell us what will happen after death? Sure, if you’re religious, then you’ll re-tell stories based upon what’s written in holy books. But you cannot say, unequivocally what will happen when you die. And it was because of this lack of information that I was afraid.

I used to frequent mediums quite a bit. They claimed they could speak to my spirit mother. I believed them. Not just because I wanted to believe them, but rather, because they would often re-tell information one could only know if they lived with me or in my head. I trusted one in particular, so I decided to ask her opinion.

“So what happens when you die?”
“Well, you float around and visit your loved ones.”

That seemed a bit strange to me. If I were to die tomorrow, the last thing I would want to do is hang around my living family members all day. I think I’d rather go visit places that I didn’t get to when I was alive. Like the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal would be a nice place to visit in spirit form. My great aunt sitting on her couch watching The Price is Right? Not so much.

I feared death so much that I made my husband promise to come back and haunt me should he die first. To be fair, I told him I’d do the same (on my way to the Taj Mahal).

He was confused, yet willing. “What do you want me to do when I come back?”
“Just let me know what’s going on over there. You know…warn me. Do I need to go to church, or is what we did okay? It’s the least you can do, since I’ll be alive and all” I said.

He agreed.

One of my good friends is from South Carolina. When I told her that I was planning to be cremated, she shook her head violently.

“Girlll, that’s against our culture,” she warned.
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“We believe we might need our bodies later. So we have to bury them. We believe that when we’re raised from the dead, then we’ll need our bodies to travel.”
“Well, which body do you get?” I asked.
“Do you get the one you died in or do you get to choose? Cause I would want my 23 year-old body,” I joked.
She nodded in agreement and we shared a laugh.

I used to fear death. But not anymore.

I slowly began to release any fear after I heard an Einstein quote. He said that “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.” That’s true, right? Water can freeze, but it’s not destroyed. Even a caterpillar eats milkweed in order to be nourished and complete a metamorphosis; the milkweed isn’t destroyed though. It becomes a part of the caterpillar.

This is what comforts me. Believing that each of us are just energy completing our own life’s cycle. And if this is true, then there’s no need to fear completion because it’s just changing from one form to another.

And if by chance I get to see the Taj Mahal, then that’ll be cool too.