This morning I woke up earlier than usual. My kids were still asleep and because my day really stops being MY day when the kids wake up, I kept it as quiet as possible to allow them to sleep as long as possible. First I just sat on the sofa in the living room and enjoyed the sounds of the morning (my dogs barking in the backyard, my bird screeching, the coffee pot spitting out my morning crack...), then I got bored, so I picked up my iPad and checked email.
I was overwhelmed with the number of unread emails in my inbox - 563! Because I didn't want to do anything physical (like empty the dishwasher because that would take hours of painful labor - see future post about my issues with the dishwasher) that early in the morning, I decided to clear out my inbox and remove myself from all of the mailing lists that somehow and somewhere found my name and email address.
Let the unsubscribing frenzy begin! An hour and a half later I had removed myself from approximately 32 email lists. How did this happen? Some of them I recognized as blogs or companies I was interested in several years ago, but failed to update them (and myself) with the truth that their emails were no longer serving me or useful to me.
Instead, what did I do? I continued to receive their emails day after day after day. And every day I would patiently hit DELETE and send the emails to the trash bin. I was able to get myself off of mailing lists from eBook vendors to Kraft Mac&Cheese. The one mailing list I still cannot figure out how to remove myself from is Depends. How in the world I ended up on that list I will never know. My suspicion is that I did indeed sign up for it at one time in order to request a free sample be sent by mail to my mom as a joke.
So, okay... fair enough, I can't remove myself from the mailing list. What goes around comes around.
During my unsubscribing frenzy, which is quite the mindless activity, I started to realize that my inbox isn't the only place in my life that hold subscriptions which no longer serve me or are useful to me. I also subscribe to some beliefs and have relationships that really do not serve me at all nor are they useful. In fact, upon inspection, there are many that actively work against me.
We all have our own belief systems, which can be handled just like our inboxes. Periodically it needs a good overhaul and spring cleaning just like a house or an inbox. Among one of my own beliefs that works against me at the moment is that when I create or do something it must be perfect and if the planets aren't aligned just right, I don't have every possible tool or piece of research available at my fingertips and my mindset is not in a perfect place to begin whatever perfect project I want to complete, then I procrastinate until a time when the set up is indeed perfect. And when does THAT ever happen?! I end up losing momentum from all of my brilliant (and some hairbrained) ideas due to this stupid, lameass belief. Rarely is there EVER a perfect set up to accomplish something and even more rare is perfection particularly in this household.
There are also people in everyone's life that need some unsubscribing from time-to-time. How many times have you found yourself in a friendship or relationship with someone over a period of time that no longer fits? Yet you suck your stomach in, lay on your back on the bed and make that zipper go up and force the button through that buttonhole anyway? Then the entire day while wearing that relationship your breathing is constricted, you are under constant stress, you cannot move or be the way you need to be, and the whole time all you can think about is getting away so you can slip those roomy sweatpants on where all of you is received and accepted and allowed to just be.
Yes, even My Girl, Madonna needs the comfort and ease of sweatpants every once in a while.
What beliefs do you politely or mindlessly allow in your life that just take up space, constrict you, no longer serve you or might actually be working against you? And which relationships do you just allow to survive only to quietly slide the parts of it that don't fit any longer into the trash bin day-after-day?
The beauty of some unsubscribe systems is that you don't have to unsubscribe from everything completely if you don't want to. There are options. You can opt for one weekly email rather than a daily email and you can even sometimes choose exactly what type of emails you are sent based on your needs and desires. The same principle applies with beliefs and relationships. Just be prepared for the "Goodbye. We are going to miss you" guilt trips that will follow any attempt to change things up. The benefits are worth it though.
Take a moment and share in the comments what beliefs or relationship dynamics (please no name dropping) you carry around with you even though they no longer serve you in good ways. Stay tuned for future posts on how to take on those beliefs like a Belief Ninja and put them in their rightful place.