Gold In The Junk Pile

Have you ever seen that movie Spirited Away?

If you haven’t, please do yourself a favour before the world fully opens up again and watch it. It’s so good.

I was thinking about it during a journalling session yesterday, which involved a particularly fruitful disgorging of rubbish that had been accumulating somewhere deep in my brain folds (this scene kept playing in my mind as I wrote).

I had this big epiphany on the page… and then realised it was the same epiphany I’ve been having every year or so for about eight years.

(I like to consider myself a bright kid, but honestly…)

Flipping back through entries from the past few months, all the classic signs were there: all the same patterns, all the same stories I was telling myself, all the same avoidant reasons I couldn’t make a change.

Years ago, working on this book, an entrepreneur I interviewed told me that when there’s something you have to learn, the Universe will keep hitting you with harder and harder lessons until you listen or you die.

The particular lesson I keep learning is about carrying only what belongs to me. I’m not close to dying just yet, but wowser have my shoulders been killing me lately. I’ve been carrying too much, and in the process of writing it all out yesterday, it suddenly became very clear how I could lighten the load.

I know I’ve said it many times, but this is the gift of a writing practice. To have a space where you can get curious about your life without having to commit to change, or a particular point of view, or to worry about being judged — it’s invaluable.

It allows you to figure something out (maybe for the hundredth time), and to decide on your own schedule what you’re going to do about it. It gives you the luxury of hearing your own voice, without interference from anyone else. It’s the mirror that shows you learning the lessons life has laid out for you.

So don’t worry if you feel like you’re writing about the same thing all the time. Keep writing off the muck, pulling on the bits that seem out of place, and eventually something bright and clean will appear in its place.