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Saturday, December 24, 2005

dispossessing the old, unimportant, reinventing the new, the NOW

The sky is an incandescent glow of luminous grey of the clouds, mixed with the blue of today's Australian beauty of a day. The wind is up. Which is a good thing, because it would have been over 40 degrees Celsius (110 F) today. It's cooling down.

It's so green here. Bright green in fact. We've had rain. Abnormal for summer. Might even rain tonight, like a hot balmy summer's tropical rain storm. Usually, it comes quickly. We see the bolt of lightening, and then, a minute later, hear the thunder.. deep and guttural. It tells us that mother nature is indeed in control. As it approaches, the lightening crack and thunder are closer together. Sometimes we get a crack of light in the house and a huge thunder, the sky goes green, as we are in awe of the magnificence of nature. Sometimes we lose a computer or television. These are the things we put up with living in paradise... the occasional loss of a possession. It reminds us of what is truly important in life, and what isn't.

I've spent the last year or so learning the art of dis-possession. It's an interesting concept... to simplify the clutter in our lives. Gaylah Balter, the author of "Clean Your Clutter, Clear Your Life", says that "Getting rid of clutter is not about letting go of things that are meaningful to you, it's about letting go of the things that no longer contribute to your life so that you have the time and the energy and the space for the things that do."

So I've spent a lot of time, in the two places I call "home" (Los Angeles and Australia), going through my stuff. From old diaries, paperwork, clothes, collectibles and, yes, even music CDs, I have put aside what I felt are no longer part of my current life. I've either sold the good stuff at yard sales, or on Amazon marketplace, or given the treasures away to people in need, thrift stores and even friends.

I have realized, through this cathartic effort, which takes time and is ongoing, that I have been a collecta-holic. I've clung on to things for that "just in case" time. Maybe one day I'll need this? Maybe it will be useful. How can I let this go when it provided so much sentimentality. Well, the truth is, so much of my possessions are a blueprint of my past, of what I was and not who I am now. Sometimes I feel I cannot progress, become anew, if I continue to be attached to the very possessions that way me down. I am not saying I am getting rid of everything. No. But I certainly feel it is a huge weight off my shoulders and my mind if I SIMPLIFY my life, and dis-possessing is by far the best first step.

Dis-possessing works with any attachment we have to anything, and it's not only with objects. I started cleaning out old letter and diaries which harboured negative energy on past issues, past relationships and experiences that hurt. So then, by removing those pieces, I felt so much better. But then I also have used this methodology with people, with tasks, with food, with thoughts.

I've written in my book "I AM A Professional Artist", how people in our lives can be energy zappers, and create negative impact on our lives and our evolution. Dis-possessing any friend that no longer provides a positive impact, or gives back, is an amazing feeling. Why continue to allow someone to pull you down? Friends are not always lifelong. I know it's hard to believe that sometimes, but just because we label them a "friend" doesn't mean you need to take on all their crap. If you feel that the balance of give and take is not there, or you feel a heaviness in your dealings with this person, over and over again, you know it's time to dispossess. I don't mean to say you must cut off that person from your life, but certainly you can set parameters to only allow a certain relationship and certain communication in your life that empowers you, nurtures you as much as you've nurtured them. It's really hard for artists to acknowledge this, as we are usually very giving, and gullible (we are the innocent creatives on this planet... wanting to give so much.) Finding that barometer in reading people will be a first step in avoiding and dispossessing energy zappers.

I had a to-do list a mile long. I have gone from my Outlook Tasks list to huge scrapbooks of lists, to now a tiny notebook that fits in my purse. I have reduced my list. I have started to cross off what is no longer important to me. Being busy is not the goal. Achieving the task should be the goal. But if we have so many tasks, how on earth can we achieve them all? We are not super human. (Some of us think we can be though?!) So i've started to eliminate tasks that are superfluous, that just spin the wheels and don't accomplish anything of substance. I've learned that I can't do everything in life, in this month, this week, this day. I just have to do what I can and do it in the best way. So my task list is now in a tiny notebook, and even that has become too big. I want to bring it right down. Maybe, if I can't remember what to do, I shouldn't do it. The old timer down in the valley, who takes care of his farm, with his cattle and horses, doesn't have a task list. It's all about his memory.

I've been taking a strong look at food. My diet is usually good, but I know I slip now and then. I believe in "everything in moderation", but I also believe our world eats way too much. We consume so much food. Our society is filled with disease, overweight problems and lethargy. I go out to an American restaurant and my plate is so full that I could eat the same dish for the whole week and be satisfied. Most people discard so much food and it all gets thrown away. Do you know we could cure the entire world's hunger problem by feeding the hungry with what we leave over on our plates? It's totally messed up. So I am a vegetarian, with an enormous respect for animals and our plant life. I don't want to begin a discussion on that right now but pick up a copy of Vegan News in your local community and you'll get it reading one article. I am also learning, within my diet, to eat only what I need. When I'm full I think to myself - don't be gluttonous just because it tastes nice. Eat for need, and yes surely for taste. God I love food. I love the smells and taste sensations of cooking a beautiful pasta sauce or delicious guacamole. But Stop when you are full. Dis-possess the mind-set of needing to eat for survival, and needing to eat because your parents told you you had to finish everything on your plate. Cook less. Prepare less. Understand ecology and the lack of resources in the world. Enjoy eating with another. That's where it's truly at. Sharing a meal. A meal is all about sharing your life, in that little moment. Really appreciate that moment of eating, like it's the only meal you'll eat for the rest of your life. Don't rush it. Enjoy it. Savour it.

Moments are meant to be savoured. Each and everyone of them. Living in the moment is the largest lesson I've learned in these recent years. I used to look so far beyond into the future I didn't even know the present existed.

What a powerful thought - enjoying the current moment. It has a lot to do with our thoughts, how we perceive things. Being a born-again moment lover, I am really inspired by the idea of living in the NOW. Another wonderful author, Eckhard Tolle, lives by this motto. He has written a book called "The Power of Now" where he expounds on a simple notion. "Much of the fear, anxiety and guilt that all humans experience can be traced to our inability to live in the present." Really, the NOW is the only thing that is important. For me, time has stood still. I feel time is irrelevant in my journey. The past, present and future have become all one. I am who I am, ongoing, living my destiny, in a creative and communicative world. I work hard to keep my thoughts positive. When I have a negative thought, I meditate on it and work on - dispossessing - that thought, that reasoning, that logic, that reality. Any thoughts I think are real. Thoughts are creative, as Edward de Bono says. If you think something, it becomes reality. Therefore, any thoughts we have that are negative or take us away from who we really are, and who we want to become, we need to dispossess. Let go. Don't harbour them, or they will become us.

Remember that movie, "American Beauty"? The boy next door's favorite home video he made was about a plastic bag, blowing in the wind. "Be the Bag" was the voice over. I invite you to be the bag, go with the wind, enjoy the moment, however that flows, ... and keep life simple. Simplicity is the spice of life.

Chat later.... from down-under
gilli moon

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