Spring clean your life and head

Joey Garcia

I lost my job two years ago, but used the opportunity to start my own business. It started off well, then everything dried up. I have tried applying for work but haven’t had any calls for interviews. I am really worried about taking care of my family. I am struggling with depression that just seems to get darker each day. I lost my health insurance when I lost my job, and I can’t afford counseling, so don’t suggest it.

OK, I’ll be your anti-counselor. Here’s my advice: Ride this horse in the direction it’s headed. Depression often arises when we are faced with loss and refuse to let go. So stop clinging to the way things were. Don’t pursue old dreams. Accept your life as is. Shifting out of resistance aligns you with a larger movement of energy in your life: the void.

In the darkness, in the emptiness, there is chaos. Join forces with the void and empower yourself to bring order into your life. Begin externally. Sort through closets, drawers and garage. Toss anything that is broken or stained. (Yes, even the stuff you imagined you would repair someday.) Box up items in good condition that you have not worn, used or even thought about in the last two years. Tote those cartons to a Goodwill Donation Xpress location and gratefully accept the tax write-off. A thorough spring cleaning helps us realize that much of our working hours are spent making money that we waste on things we don’t use, don’t need or that fail to last.

Now, repeat the procedure in your head. (Yes, you read that correctly: your head.) Rummage through resentments, incomplete conversations, unfulfilled desires and unrequited expectations. Humble yourself with family and friends to resolve what can be mended. Toss the remainder in the brain’s dustbin and turn away without looking back.

You have now created order out of chaos and are rich with freedom. Can you see yourself and your life as a new creation? When you do, anything is possible, especially truth.

Why do people get so sucked into relationships that are bad for them? I am happily married, but I watch my younger (divorced) sister date one loser guy after another. It always starts out great—she likes his energy and feels good when she is with him—then the connection disintegrates. He is never who she thought he was. These relationships end badly or awkwardly, and she takes it really hard. How can I help her?

You can’t force your sister to evolve beyond her capacity for awareness. She has not enlisted you as her relationship mentor and (by your account) lacks the necessary passion for evolution. What I can do is offer you a framework for understanding her dilemma.

Your sister has pledged allegiance to her feelings. She uses feelings to determine what is good and true. In this spiritual age of energy, her choice is a popular one. But feelings are transient and frequently dishonest. After all, feelings are just energy that we label to signify our approval or disapproval of others, a situation or ourselves.

Energy is also easily manipulated—all great actors know this. And, yes, that includes ordinary people who have learned to act their way through life rather than be genuine (no mask, the vulnerable true self always available, even when that is messy and unattractive).

People who rely on energy as the primary reason to connect with someone are really seeking power. A book that might help inspire a climb out of energy addiction and into consciousness is my old favorite: How to Be an Adult in Relationships by David Richo. A fair warning, though, it’s deep. You should read it with your sister.

Meditation of the week
Has everything in your life devolved into a competition? Consider rolling out of the regimen of “never good enough” and into real freedom. Shed the silly social requirements and see who you might have been if you had allowed fun to be your prevailing life value.

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