I typically do laundry every week, on Friday. As the week goes by I remove my clothes each day and drop them in a specific spot. I do this all week until there's a neat little pile of dirty clothes, socks, towels, and other stuff that earned its place in the heap until wash day.
My dirty laundry pile gets no bigger than I allow because I'm able to see the pile right there on the floor, not stuffed in a laundry basket where things are out of sight and can get out of control!
Quite often, if things get out of control, I grab the pile and head straight for the wash, no matter what day it is.
What does dirty clothes have to do with negative thinking?
Seems odd, I know.
Let me explain...
I enjoy mentoring ambitious women on how to shift from stuckcess to success. If you read my book Totally Unstoppable, you're familiar with the term. Stuckcess is when you can check all the boxes of what success means (job, pay, house, relationship, etc.), but for some reason you're not moving in the direction you want to go in life.
The ladies and I talk about the things that hold them back from doing something that their heart is longing for. Most times its related to starting a heart-based business, creating a passion-project, or relocating.
I noticed most of these women had something in common. They had a significant lack of awareness that their perspective about life, themselves, other people, and the world was hindering their success.
This lack of awareness that I observed had nothing to do with age. It seemed that in our society a whole generation of people are being negatively impacted and they just don't know how to shift their perspective to serve them better.
So, I'm thrilled to help you here at Boss Free Media with my new blog series Girl, Do Your Dirty Laundry! It's a fun twist on shifting to a positive
In Part-1 of the series: Girl, Do Your Dirty Laundry, you'll find simple step-by-step help on cleaning up your negativity so that you can remove your stumbling blocks and clear your path.
Much like that pile of dirty clothes, there are dirty little thoughts that pile up in your head. Get your head out of the gutter! I'm talking about those negative thoughts that have your mind all twisted up in a bunch. You think about what happened, why it happened, what could possibly happen. Those negative thoughts are full of worry, and you've developed a habit of finding the worst in everything. You rehash those negative thoughts over and over again, letting them pile up and pile up. Instead of dealing with them, you stuff them away in your mind; your internal laundry basket. Each day you stuff more negative thoughts in there and before you know it a small problem overflows into a BIG problem. And you know what it's like when laundry gets out of control! It's chaos!!
We're constantly feeding ourselves information. Everything we see, hear, or read makes an imprint in our minds. Negative thoughts impact everything in our lives. They determine how we feel about ourselves, other people, and the world we live in.
Cleaning up your negative thoughts is the first step in creating a kick-ass Shitastic life.
IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO DO YOUR DIRTY LAUNDRY!
No matter what you call the negative emotions you're feeling, they are not allowing you to keep up to speed. You're stuck. If you don't clear your negative thoughts, there's going to be another and another and another until one day you have so much negative build up that it will be immense. The thought of doing loads and loads of laundry would probably cause you to put it off even longer. That build up brings even more negative feelings of being overwhelmed, overworked, and so over it!!
Lucky for you, there are a few things you can do to keep up so that you can be the joyful person you're meant to be. Here's what I do when I'm focusing on the wrong things:
I sort and check. You can't begin a cycle of laundry without first sorting it by color and fabric type, as well as, checking each piece for odors or stains. Your thoughts need the same attention.
Before you can put a load of laundry in the wash you have to make sure you're selecting the right cycle and water temperature, and pretreating the pieces that have deep odors or stains. Whites with whites, lights with lights, darks with darks, denim with denim and so on. Even then, there are special situations where you must separate delicates and turn garments inside out. It's a learned skill to keep your clothes clean, fresh, and intact. Raise your hand if you've ever turned a white shirt pink or had a nice shirt shrink... raising my hand, Hahaha.
In order to stop focusing on the wrong things you must first identify the negative thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that are standing in the way of your happiness. If you have your blinders on, one rule of thumb is to check your feelings. How does the thought make you feel? If the answer is anything other than wonderful, it passes the test for pretreatment.
I pretreat. You can't get rid of a negative thought without challenging it. A stain will remain unless you do something to treat it. Negative thoughts, just like stains, are common annoyances; especially if you can't get them out.
Deep stains don't just come out with the typical method of spraying them with a stain remover and immediately throwing them in the washer. The stain needs an effective pretreatment solution that will work to loosen up the stain before putting it in the washer, making it easier to come clean. Another key thing to do to get rid of a stain is to treat it from both sides. Turn the garment inside out and apply the solution to the opposite side of the stain to ensure the fibers are saturated through and through.
Negative thoughts don't just come out with the typical method of "thinking positive". Saying positive things when you don't believe them does no good. Don't waste your time. It doesn't work! All you're doing is pushing them down into your subconscious until one day something triggers you and they come popping back up. It's a vicious cycle - no pun. Negative thoughts need an effective solution.
Here's what I do instead: I take my negative thought or belief, which is obviously what I don't want, and I treat it with what I do want. I look at it from all sides. I think about how it will feel to have what I want, what my life will be like to have it, and I visualize how that will look. Getting what I want becomes my new focus.
I presoak. You don't throw away your dirty clothes, just as you can't throw away your negative thoughts. Once you have pretreated a stain, it's time to soak it.
The principal behind soaking stains is that the detergent, bleach, or other stain remover needs sufficient and substantial time in contact with the stain to break it down and wash it away. This technique enables that.
Every time a negative thought creeps in, I treat it with what I want instead. I write down what my heart wants and reflect on it. Not just one time. I do it over and over and over again. Not to mask the negative thought, but to understand that there is an opportunity for expansion here. The best way to figure out what you do want is to know what you don't want. Once we know what you want; how you want to feel and live, you're in a better position to nurture it so that it can become part of your reality.
I realize it's not easy. At first, making that switch will be a challenge, but eventually you'll create a whole new habit. A habit of thinking about what you want in life and doing what it takes to create those things. It's time to start getting what you want! You deserve it.
I fluff, fold, and hang. If you don't care for your clothes properly after you've laundered them, you create unnecessary work later.
Have you ever noticed what happens if you pull your clothes out of the dryer and put them in a pile without immediately folding and hanging them while they're still warm? You end up with a bunch of wrinkled clothes! You'll be stuck with ironing your clothes each day, a tedious task. I don't know about you, but I don't have time for tedious tasks, especially when they can be prevented. As soon as the buzzer sounds I head to the dryer and immediately fluff, fold and hang. I have no need for an iron, other than special pieces that need extra attention. What a time saver!
Just like your clothes, your thoughts and behaviors need proper time and attention to create more ease in your life. It has become easy for me over time to stop focusing on the wrong things because I've learned to identify troubling thoughts and behaviors, sort them, treat them with a new focus on what I want, and create a habit of getting what I want. To maintain that ease, I deal with every negative thought I have as soon as I catch it.
What I mean by that is, I deal with negative thoughts, issues, and experiences before they even become a problem.
I look at the experience, as crappy as it may be, and I think about what I can get out of it. Call me an opportunist! I've made it a habit to say a quiet thank you for every experience I have and wait for my opportunity for expansion to be revealed. I'm often relieved because although it seems on the surface that things didn't work out, I discover that I dodged a bullet!
A simple example is getting off on the wrong freeway exit - frustrated that I might be late for my appointment - spewing out a curse word or two, or three, only to realize an accident happened on the freeway right after and I could have been stuck on the freeway with no way to exit, or even worse in that accident. So instead of letting the fact that I was late nag me all day; adding it to my list of things to complain about, I feel fortunate, protected, and thankful.
There are more serious things of course, but you get the point. There are no quick fixes or sugar-coated pills to cure your habit of negative thinking, but with awareness you can start to redirect yourself.
Now that you're armed with the first step in creating a kick-ass Shitastic life, how will you think and behave differently than you did yesterday?
Until the next episode,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wanauma Graham is the founder of BossFreeMedia.com, a hub for self-development content for women entrepreneurs. Wanauma’s books include Totally Unstoppable, Her Mark and a collection of journals and planners.
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