Meditation is a peculiar thing; it takes us deep into our unconscious and reveals things that we didn’t realize were there.
After a recent weekend-long meditation clinic I found that clutter was blocking a lot of the energy in my life. I was in a mad dash to rid myself of all the uncomfortable—but gorgeous—pairs of high heels that sat on a shelf in my closet. I found myself in the middle of a pile of clothes that my child had outgrown. Boxes of books were hauled off to the resale shop.
I think I worried my family by zooming through our home with great piles of junk to haul off to the recycle bin or the donation center.
Just yesterday my declutter focus fell on my email accounts. I cleared each of email clutter and I’ve been on an unsubscribe rampage ever since. Each time I’ve clicked unsubscribe I’ve felt the weight of this virtual junk lift off my shoulders.
Naturally this made me think about the benefits of clicking the unsubscribe button in all parts of my life.
5 Reasons to unsubscribe.
1. Sometimes it’s simply not our problem.
That sounds harsh. I advocate compassionate living in everyday life but sometimes we have to unsubscribe from that toxic friend or family member. This is the person who makes everything all about them, the person who only calls when they need something or the person who is pessimistic to a fault. Unsubscribing from this person may be difficult, but trust me, we’re be better off without their negative influence.
2. We deserve our time too.
When we’re subscribed to too many things—be it Netflix, the kids’ activities, a book club—we feel pressed for time and sometimes, slightly out of control. I’m all about giving of myself and my time on a regular basis but we deserve our time too. Do something that’s just for you, whether it’s a weekly yoga class, daily meditation or reading a book that wasn’t written by Dr. Seuss. When we give ourselves some of our own time we’ll be rejuvenated and ready to help others later.
3. Only homes on Pinterest are that perfect.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a minor addiction to Pinterest. As much as I love kicking back on the couch with a good cup of tea scrolling through those beautiful pictures, they can also elicit negative thoughts of inadequacy or envy.
Our house will never look like something out of Southern Living magazine unless we’re willing to spend loads of money hiring an interior designer. Our closet will never look like Carrie Bradshaw’s unless we can spend thousands of dollars on our wardrobe and our crafts will probably come out a little imperfect because we’re not Martha Stewart-like DIY blogger.
Know what? It’s okay! If Pinterest causes us an amount of suffering that would make the Buddha question our decisions, unsubscribe! Don’t beat yourself up when a friend successfully pulls together a centerpiece from something she saw on an interiors blog when the last craft project you attempted left you with third degree glue gun burns.
4. There is no one size fits all.
Unless we’re shopping for a cheap Halloween costume there’s no such thing as one size fits all. This is true of diets, school programs, parenting choices and modifications on the yoga mat. Yet we beat ourselves up over the idea that we need to fit in, that what works for Jenny will work for June.
This starts at a very early age. In fact, my nine-year-old recently rejoiced that now with her ears pierced, she fits in better with the girls at her school. At nine she’s worried about fitting in.
It’s a basic human need to find acceptance among our fellow men and women, boys and girls but sacrificing ourselves just to fit in is never worth it. Unsubscribe from the thoughts that tell us that we need to be skinny instead of healthy or we need to hold our tongue among friends (although in certain situations using tact is always recommended; don’t get yourself fired).
Hit the mental unsubscribe button attached to the messages that we’re not good enough.
5. We’ll be happier.
Maybe this one’s a no-brainer but when we unsubscribe to spammy emails, junk friends and questionable advice we’ll feel happier and more satisfied with life. There’s more to life that busyness (which is different than business) and time is precious. Be sure that we’re spending it reading things that are uplifting, challenging or entertaining. Gather supportive friends and family members around us. Unsubscribe to the idea that we have to be perfect.
And for goodness’ sake unsubscribe from those email lists that clutter up your inbox and keep your phone chiming throughout the day. Take it from me, even that small step will make a huge difference in your life.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock