Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What's Inside? The Big Green Garbage Dumpster

Some days when I sit down with my journal in front of me, I haven't a clue as to what to write. My life seems to be going on an even keel, and part of me prefers not to shake the boat. Obviously there are always going to be things that I'd like to change, but isn't this the way life unfolds? Won't there always be dust in the corners and dirt under the carpet?'

My pen hits the journal "running."

"Is this what you think this journaling project is about? Do you really believe it's about surface dirt??"

Whoops...I guess not.

Getting past the surface crud has always been an issue for me. Yes, it's true. I tend to accept it because sometimes "life just sucks." So, the issue isn't the crud, but what is waiting for me underneath....the gifts of creativity. I know I want them, but getting to them takes a special type of cleaning and clearing.

Long ago, I learned that there is value in garbage. I actually took a course in garbage collecting on the streets of New York. It was given by a "professional" garbage expert who showed us how to shop for garbage and best of all, how to evaluate and then climb into those great big green dumpsters. My heart still beats fast when I pass one of them...wondering what sort of treasures are hidden there. Yes, I want to climb up and in even though it isn't politically correct. I remember my husband telling me NEVER to tell anyone about my "hobby". One evening I found myself at a dinner party sitting next to a professor of pediatrics. When he asked me what I did for fun, I did bite my tongue and gave some easy answer like get the idea. Then, I asked him about his hobbies. "Oh...I collect garbage at the local dump." My childSelf sat up straight..."how do you manage that?" He proudly took out his "dump pass." That part of me was mesmerized and so yes, I shared some of my green dumpster experiences with him. It was a great evening.

I like remembering that story, but for different reasons. Garbage has great metaphorical meaning and there is value in all of it, but it does take courage to climb into the dumpster of the mind, because that's where the garbage is located.

Here are some good ground rules...

Handle garbage with care. While it may be dirty and have nails or other things that can cut you, it also has great value. Sometimes the dirtiest garbage harbors the biggest secrets.

If you respect the garbage, it will respect you. The garbage is not out to get you. As you examine it, feel free to ask "opening questions." A couple of examples, "What can you tell me about yourself?" or... "What lessons can you teach me?" If you are working hypnotically or in automatic journaling, those answers will come quickly into your mind as thoughts or will flow off the end of your pen.

Work with imaginology. Ask the garbage image to open and ask to see the creative insides. You may be surprised at what comes forth for you. You might ask permission to "gift" it with a positive affirmation or a respectful visit, perhaps a healing of forgiveness, compassion or deep understanding for any part you played.

All experiences, garbage included, have a variety of suggestions or plans for making your life better than before. If they are not forthcoming, ask for them. Remember, the mind works backwards and all plans flow from the end to the beginning.

Always remember to show gratitude and never trash will always be rewarded!