On Being a Negativity Magnet and the Wardobe Capsule

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am surrounded by a lot of negativity. At work, at home, in the outside world…it seems like everyone around me has something to complain about. Which I completely can’t blame them for, because I’m probably the biggest complainer of all. Yesterday I kind of stopped and thought that maybe it’s not everyone else who is being negative. Maybe it really is just me, and I’m just drawing all that negative emotion towards me. People might feel the need to complain when they are around me. Ew.
So many wonderful things have been happening to me lately, yet I seem to be moving too quickly or focusing on the wrong stuff—to the point where I look back at a great weekend with family and friends, or a huge milestone and spiritually freeing event, and can’t really remember actually feeling joy. I know I wasn’t mad or upset, but I definitely don’t remember feeling happy either.
How terrible is that? I’m so blocked up by stress, junk food, and negative thoughts that I can’t truly find joy in the things that I am blessed to have or experience. At least I can say that it’s not for lack of trying though. I go on walks, do yoga, try to slow down and enjoy things…the one thing I haven’t focused on is my health, which is why I’m very eager and excited to get deep into this Whole30 experience.
So I did not get to do my yoga last night like I intended (Mad Men was on the DVR), but I did create my summer wardrobe capsule! I’ll have to put some before and after shots in another post, because I can’t even believe how much happier I feel looking in my closet now! I can’t believe I used to feel like I needed more clothes (constantly), when, in reality I have SO MUCH to wear. I think this whole practice will help me find things that fit my comfort and style a little better too—maybe think a little more about the quality of my clothes.

Now, if only I could pare down that massive collection of yoga pants…
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Body Reset with Whole30

Today is my first day of trying the Whole30 challenge. It’s 30 days of entirely unprocessed, whole foods and no dairy, grains or legumes, or generally anything else that might be inflammatory or irritating for some people. I like the idea of doing a reset on my digestive system and eating habits. I have been eating a whole lot of bad stuff pretty much since I got married, and it’s gotten to the point where my body is beginning to show physical signs of distress from these months of mistreatment. Besides, my fat jeans are slowly becoming skinny jeans on me and I feel like I could sleep for 15 hours and still be tired. Definitely time for a change.
I think the biggest issue I’ll have with this challenge is NOT putting almond milk in my coffee and NOT going into the fridge for binge-y cheesy or sweet snacks after 7 pm… My addiction to sugar is no joke.
It was a lovely weekend with friends, a sicky husband, sushi and Moscow mules, and I feel very refreshed going back to work. I’m ready to take on a new week, and gearing up for some more minimal-ising around the house. We got all the real necessities from our apartment that we’re moving out of, and into our new home. Things felt so nice and uncluttered, and then we had to go get the rest! I’m slowly unpacking the rest of the stuff and sneakily thanking the items that no longer serve us, and getting them into a “to donate” box without letting my husband see. Don’t worry, I don’t get rid of any of his stuff—I hide that for six months and then donate it if he never asks for it in that time J Tonight I’m going to try going through my closet again and working on a Summer wardrobe capsule.
One more intention for the week that I wanted to get into writing: I want to practice my yoga every day this week. At first, I told myself I would do 30 days, but I think I need a baby goal first. If it happens for seven days and continues beyond that, awesome.

What are your goals for the week?

Yoga and Minimalism

Today marks my first day of corporate yoga. I have a really wonderful co-worker who is also our instructor, and I am totally kicking myself now for not going to class sooner. On my first day at this company when I was told that yoga was offered twice a week, I said “that’s amazing! I’ll sign up right away”!
Here I am nearly two years later, taking my first class.
Really, I am not upset with myself because I’m fully aware that nobody, including me, can make me do anything before I am ready. I was born several weeks late, was told to watch Star Wars at least a hundred times before I watched it and it became my most favorite thing in the world, and I can’t tell you how many times people asked me what in the heck I was thinking declaring Religious Studies as my major. Shlee does what Shlee wants, apparently, and no amount of reason or logic can change that.
So now apparently I am ready, and I finally made it to my matt. It was wonderful and just perfectly fell into place at the right time. Since deciding on practicing minimalism, I feel like a lot of pieces are beginning to fall into place again. I feel cleaner. I am starting to feel happier. I feel like the kind of life I always picture myself living is here. It was here the whole time, but the fog has cleared and I can see where I am at.
I have to say though, that minimalism is bringing up some challenging issues. Firstly, I haven’t been able to STOP getting rid of things. When I am not going through my stuff, asking myself if it makes me happy, I am THINKING about going through my stuff and practicing the catharsis of putting it in a bag for Goodwill donation. I asked my husband just last night why we need so many bowls. We have six, we only need two.
This brings me to my next challenge: getting the husband on board. He, like the old Shlee, likes to hang onto certain things for sentimental reasons. I don’t blame him one bit, because I one hundred percent understand his hesitation in getting rid of all the random odds and ends. We have three junk drawers and three junk boxes in our home. We have designated six places for things that generally won’t be touched or thought about within the next year. I have decided that, like my yoga practice, I have to take the purging one day at a time, and practice patience with myself and especially with my Beeb.
Which leads into my last point: I am impatient. I want to have a LOT less stuff, right now. If it were just me, I could definitely just pick out a hundred items to keep and give the rest away, but seeing as I am dealing with another person’s emotions here, I need to take it slow. Also, like I mentioned before, I am in the process of losing weight so giving away everything that doesn’t fit would just be dumb.

What do you have the hardest time letting go of?

On Minimalism and Fat Pants

Photo By Mathieu Nicolet

 
 
I have long wanted to be a minimalist. When I see pictures of other peoples’ zen-like homes, free from clutter and unnecessary possessions, it makes me weak in the knees. Sometimes I think, “Well, yeah, if a professional photographer was coming to my house to take pictures for a magazine, I might somehow make all my clutter disappear too”. While I’m sure those homes in magazines hardly ever actually look totally clean like that, I think reaching that level of minimalism is totally doable.

 

If we had less things, there would be less mess to be made, and I could spend more mornings sitting on the couch and watching DIY Network. I mean, I do this in the morning anyway, but if we had less stuff and less mess, I wouldn’t feel so guilty about it. That’s the problem with stuff and messes—they create this background noise in ones’ mind: knowing you need to organize and clean, knowing you should probably get rid of the rust old mason jar lids, thinking about how you should clean up now before the day gets going and you’re too busy and hot to care… all of this mind clutter could go away if only I could let go of more stuff.

 

In light of this goal and since we are moving in the next few weeks, I have started going through drawers, cupboards and boxes, and practicing letting go of unnecessary things. I still hold on to some things that I know will likely never be touched again, but practice makes perfect right? It’s silly that I have to convince myself that we don’t need to keep all eight of the toothbrushes we’ve accumulated from dentist visits. What if someone stays at our house and forgets their toothbrush? What if I am doing some type of delicate cleaning that requires a baby-soft toothbrush bristle? For stuff like this, I have been saving one (maybe two) extra, and putting the rest in the Goodwill box.

 

My biggest challenge will be clothes, since I tend to fluctuate so much in size throughout the year. I would love to never own fat pants again, but I’ve gotten rid of bigger stuff before and gotten super mad at myself when I have to trudge to the store to buy more pants. And the whole “well getting too big for your clothes is motivation to keep in shape” argument doesn’t work on me, so let’s just let it go.

 

What do you have the hardest time letting go of?