Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday Challenge

Psychological Feng Shui for ya all!*

Today's challenge is simple and difficult. It is easy to do - really it is - as in not complicated - but it is one of those things we resist as being possibly too painful.
We are going to look under the bed to see what's there.  And in the closet.

And under the couch (or as we say in Canada - chesterfield) cushions.

And even, yes, don't shudder - in the cupboard under the sink.

Only not in our real houses or apartments but in our mental homes.

Here's how you do it:
Get several nice sheets of clean paper (good one side is great).
Get your favourite pens or pencils.
Write on the top of each paper these headings:

1. Family
2. Livelihood
3. Spiritual path
4. Health
5. Heart-work
6. Money Matters
7. Friends

Now take a few moments with each of these topics and ask yourself these questions:
What three actions could I take to improve on this area of my life?
What deadline can I give myself with each of these actions? (Be practical here not crazy hard on yourself)

That's it - 3 actions times 7 and deadlines for all.

Once you've made this sheet or sheets - put it somewhere you can see it or find it - put the deadline dates in your date book or tech reminder system and then look around your inner home. Yes, it is cleaned up. It is dealt with even though there are tasks to accomplish.

If we were really smart we'd do this once a week. Yes we would. Just like we'd dust under the bed once a week. (Perhaps you do. I have no idea and I certainly don't wish to know.) Because it isn't just the dust under the bed - it is the thought of the dust under the bed and the junk under the cushions etc...which wears away at out creative selves. The belief that we are bad people with dirty houses and maybe there might be worse than just the dust there - there might be bogeymen or pinkos or ??? Best not look we think. So this is the looking and the intentions set.

Purpose of this Challenge: this challenge will give you lots of energy if you really do it. You won't believe how much more time you have. Time to write for you writers, paint for you painters, love for you lovers etc...

Now get to work and let me know how it goes.  I will post the less personal parts of mine if you would like. Just let me know...I'm off to do it.

And a note on the deadlines: if you get to the deadline and you still haven't accomplished the action ask yourself if you really, really want to do this thing you've set or if you just think it is the 'right thing to do'.

*this challenge was definitely inspired by Chip Taylor's Church of The Train Wreck Motion Chart although there are obvious differences. If you don't know Chip Taylor's music - well you oughta! He and Carrie Rodriguez have some of the best Cd's out. Chips story about how got his life on track with some questions he heard on the radio is a wonderful one - check it out!


Cruella Collett said...

Oh, man, this one hits home. Not only have I not cleaned under my bed for as long as I can remember, I have not the guts to put up a list like that AT ALL.

I'll tell you what, though. I'm going to write the headlines, and save the list somewhere I will find it on November 19th (when my thesis is due). Once I have passed that deadline I might be able to actually get to do some of the things on the list.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Oops. This is too true. Not only do I need to dust my house, I know I have to dust a lot of other stuff. Maybe the best thing I can do right now is to take some time off and do it.

Liza said...

Hard, hard, hard.

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Thanks for laying out this challenge. It's a very straightforward way to tackle some major life issues one step at a time. Thanks : ).

Helen Ginger said...

I don't even want to look under the bed, let alone clean there. Sheesh. Does it work if you approach this project kicking and screaming?

Daisy Hickman said...

Good Advice: Now get to work and let me know how it goes. I will try to do just that! We need structure in our lives, right?

Great seeing you at SunnyRoomStudio re the chickens, etc. See you again, I hope ... Use a Zoom Lens now on blog!

Have a lovely weekend!

Clarissa Draper said...

What a great challenge. I hope it gives me more energy because I could use it.

Oh, and don't show my husband the "Clean house" pic at the bottom.


Hart Johnson said...

What does it say about me if this terrifies me? I suppose it isn't so different from knowing I have three pet years of hair under my bed and choosing to pretend I don't?

*wants to be enlightened like Jan*
*resists some more*
Poo! I guess I have to now!

Jan Morrison said...

Mari - oh, I think those things can wait til then but they might give you some energy should get them on a list and off your mind!
Natasha - take time off? You mean from your very good paying job...eeek, I don't endorse that!
Liza - oh yes, that is the nature of a challenge! Otherwise it'd be a gentle suggestion or a hint or something else.
Margot - thank you - I think it works - we'll see...
Helen - yes,indeed it does. In fact that is the point of it and you might be able to avoid it altogether since you've figured that out. Don't tell anyone...
Daisy - yep, I'll be back! And I'll give a report on how this challenge goes with me too.
Clarissa - why? will he want to get into an apron?
Tartlette - yes you do, or I'll hunt you down like a dog and ....scratch you behind the ears.

Niamh said...

"The belief that we are bad people with dirty houses"
You're right on target there!

I enjoyed doing this, kept it simple, feel very virtuous now despite having done nothing yet!

A certain someone will be getting a compliment, a grant application will be posted, an arts officer will be getting a call, a friend will get a letter...

my list also includes aqua-aerobics with my daughter, it all kicks off today with a bit of yoga.

The main thing for me is to put it somewhere I'll see it or else I'll forget!

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