“And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” ~ Meister Eckhart
My daughter and I were watching one of those hoarding shows. You’re probably at least aware of them. They find somebody who hasn’t thrown anything away in like ten years and then they bring in their family and everybody is grossed out. Then they bring in a therapist to get at the root of the problem, and a professional organizer gives them a few tips. Then at the end they fast forward a few weeks and show how everything is better.
I normally zip past those shows. They’re kind of gross but it’s more than that. Something about it hits really close to home. No, I don’t have a compulsive shopping problem and I don’t have piles and piles of junk at my house. But I can totally relate to the idea of not being able to let go of things.
Stephanie and I were talking in the car the other day, and I think I kind of blew her mind. I have this thing, and I always assumed everyone had it. You see, I still hold onto conversations that happened decades ago. Multiple times a day, I hit on these little emotional land mines. Something happens, and it triggers a memory from a long time ago. And they’re usually not pleasant. Apparently it’s an introvert thing. So, if you’re an introvert, you probably relate. If you, like Stephanie, are an extravert, I might have just blown your mind as well.
So even though I’m not a hoarder in the look-at-that-freak-on-tv kind of way, I am an emotional hoarder in a major way. At any time, I am carrying around a bunch of memories, good and bad, along with a big old pile of unmet goals and unrealized dreams. Just like the folks on that show can’t live in their house, sometimes it’s kind of hard to live inside my head. It’s hard to think about anything new with all that mental clutter.
Building on that thought, I have three things I want to share with you:
1) Earlier this week I started rereading G. Lynn Nelson’s excellent Writing and Being. I don’t agree with everything in the book, but he hits on the emotional and spiritual benefits of keeping a journal perhaps better than anyone. Great book. So I’ve started that one (and am actually doing the exercises this time!).
2) I was listening to James Altucher’s excellent interview with Seth Godin this evening (Episode 206 on this page). Godin said something that hit me like a bolt of lightning*. Actually, I’ve heard him say it before, but something about the context really hit home with me this time.
“Everyone should have a blog. And everyone should blog every day.” ~ Seth Godin
His idea goes way past blogging and gets to the heart of why so many people (like myself) have so many unfinished projects lying around. By writing every day, you will a) get better at writing and b) you will get past that inner fear we all have and get better at speaking up.
3) While I’m not saying I’m going to blog every day forever, I am going to post every day this month. And then we’ll kind of see how it goes from there.
While it’s daunting to think that I am going to have to come up with thirty one things to write about, I am confident that I can get through it once, and then do that again thirty more times. Like the quote at the beginning of this post says, there’s something magical about beginning. And I feel like every day can be a new beginning. And besides – it’s been quite awhile since I posted anything here – I’m pretty sure I’ve got a few things to say.
Maybe by getting some ideas out there I can clear room for new ones. Maybe I can even stop the hoarding – I’m not sure how it works. But I’m pretty sure that I’ll be in a better place for having done it. We’ll see…
*1.21 gigawatts, you know.