“Now all those simple things are simply too complicated for my life…” ~No Doubt
We are at an age where we’re more concerned with keeping up with people like the Kardashians, the royals and all those we consider stars to be celebrated with our constant love, hate and secret resentments of lives we think we aren’t entitled to.
These people we focus on have an exceptional gift in a limited area like music, sports, acting, being really stupid (perhaps exceptional at acting stupid?) or just plain simply looking good like mannequins on display, inspiring us to flawlessness in our outer appearance. Thankfully the cosmetics industry says it can deliver that in exchange for our money. Not just good looks, but influence, in the form of social media followers, can be bought these days. We can get a shot at competing with our idols, looking and acting like them and have others adore us for that.
So it’s refreshing when someone comes out and calls it like it is saying that it’s OK to be average. Mediocre is cool so says Krista O’Reilly Davi-Digui in her piece and then offers a course to teach you how to be just you. Wow! What a novel concept eh? Just being you? It’s good enough to be just you. Mind…Blown!
Before you run off and sign up to yet another one of the millions of courses out there on minimalism, please just stop and continue to read what I’m about to say. If you’re reading this, you are probably someone I already know (because I don’t advertise my blog), so I hope you can give me approximately four-five minutes of your time.
And what I’m about to say may be helpful to you. You may be like some people I know (and like me), drowning in clutter, unable to carve out time for yourself and to expressing your own truths, committing to a creative practice that may bring much stability, joy and comfort to your life.
This is all free advice and may free you from the garbage in your head, in your closet and in your to-do list so you can get back to the essential business of being you, the unique, wonderful, weird, creative, expressive, busting to self-actualise – YOU.
On the other hand, it may be self-righteous garbage that I’m pulling out of my butt, but either way, reading it will make you feel good that you made some time for someone in your life, whom you may or may not get to see on a regular basis, what with life, work and my two young kids getting in the way of going really deep in conversations. I mean, honestly, how much do we really say to each other besides a “how about that weather, eh?” without my little ones hijacking the conversation?
So this is our chance for me to get some thoughts out of my head and for you to perhaps tell me next time you see me that my perspective isn’t all that well-thought-out, and had I considered that we have so much to learn from celebrities and pop stars?
Heck, I started the article quoting No Doubt. And look down below, you’ll see Eminem’s lyrics. Obviously I do my fair share of mass media consumption. But let’s be fair. These songs were from many years ago. I’ve been (involuntarily but gladly) cut off from the mainstream for at least three years now, deepening my relationship with myself, family and community, and yes, reconsidering the wisdom of pop stars of bygone years.
Cleaning Out My Closet
Ha! I got some skeletons in my closet
And I don’t know if no one knows it
So before they thrown me inside my coffin and close it
I’mma expose it, I’ll take you back to ’73
Before I ever had a multi-platinum selling CD
I was a baby, maybe I was just a couple of months
My faggot father must have had his panties up in a bunch
‘Cause he split, I wonder if he even kissed me goodbye
No I don’t. On second thought I just fucking wished he would die
I look at Hailie, and I couldn’t picture leaving her side
Even if I hated Kim, I grit my teeth and I’d try
To make it work with her at least for Hailie’s sake
I maybe made some mistakes, but I’m only human
But I’m man enough to face them today
What I did was stupid, no doubt it was dumb
But the smartest shit I did was take the bullets outta that gun
‘Cause I’da killed him, shit I would’ve shot Kim and him both
It’s my life, I’d like to welcome y’all to “The Eminem Show”
I love how Eminem doesn’t back away or pull any punches here.
We are all a bunch of angry mofos. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have bought so many of his albums.
So start by admitting to yourself that you have resentments with your best friend, mum, dad, and it will be those closest to you, because no one else has the power to annoy you like those people. Once you admitted that yes, your brother never paid you back for that favour you did for him and you still resent him after twenty years, or whatever, write it all down. Do an inventory of everyone who has ever upset you that still comes up in your head every now and again.
PEASE NOTE: I’m not the inventor of this method of emotional purge. I got it from Recovery with Russell Brand course, which is a rehash of the 12 Step Programme. I’m trying to let go of my addiction to self-pity (and self-help and Russell Brand!) to recover my previously unaccepted writing gift.
What’s the point of writing out all your resentments in life?
Unless you get everything out in the open to see for yourself, you will never be able to throw it out. It’s like cleaning out any closet. First, you have to open it up and face the skeletons, or the horrible sequined dresses and the fluoro or those midriff-bearing tanktops you still have from the days of wanting to be Gwen Stefani circa 1995.
Give yourself an hour and go to your trusty journal and start with the most recent incident, who was involved, why did you get upset, what was your part in the incident, were you at fault too (yes, you were! Be honest), and what character defects does this reflect?
I’ll give you an example from my life. I was upset with mum because she doesn’t stick up for me whenever I feel other people, like my aunties or my partner, are disrespecting me by being truthful that I haven’t yet accomplished anything to show to the world that I’m a professional writer. My part in this is that I expect mum to be this super-protective, aware, supportive presence who realises the value of a daily creative practice. The truth is, like most people, mum doesn’t see creative work as actual work. Hey, it’s not like I’m earning any money from writing these lines. What it does help me with is that it keeps me out of therapy, which can cost up to $400 AUD per hour – from what I hear – so hey, maybe it does have value?
But don’t expect anyone who doesn’t reap the benefits of regular creative practice to support your creative practice! Not even your own mum. Also, I have to consider that my mum is a woman who gave up on her own artistry a long time ago. So now I feel compassion that other people can’t possibly understand the bliss that writing is for me. I should pray for their souls.
That would self-righteous behaviour. I’m only responsible for my own soul and I radically accept that until something comes of my writing, like getting a book published or getting published in a reputable place, it will be nothing to anyone but me and I should do it in a way that doesn’t disrupt my duties towards my family and household.
Clean Out Your Physical Closet
OK, now that you’ve come clean with all the dirt that was clouding your judgment and taking away from enjoyment of life and others’ company, look around.
What are the things around your house that you never use, which collect dust? Can other people use them? Then as the Red Hot Chili Peppers would say “Give it away, give it away, give it away now”.
If it’s pure junk, throw it away. It’s that simple. Clutter is a distraction and you don’t need excess thoughts or things draining your energy.
If you’re having a tough time letting go of sentimental junk, I’m happy to talk to you about it. By throwing away granny’s handkerchief you’re not throwing away the love you shared. Love, which is consciousness, is eternal. Granny’s snot, well unless you have the means to clone her in a lab, best gotten rid of.
Over to you…
What is harder to get rid of, emotional baggage or junk in your closet? Do you feel you’ll be able to carve out time to create something you enjoy if you let go of resentments, which busy your mind, or stuff that clutters up your house, collects dust, which you no longer need?