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Are you memorable?
I’ve had a few experiences lately where people I remember well, don’t remember me.
And, I’ve learned that it is ok.
But, I’ve also learned that there is much to be learned if you take a trip down memory lane. It’s not an easy journey, though the outcomes of the pursuit may be worth your while.
Tune into this episode to hear a little about mental and physical de-junking, Swedish death cleaning, writing your life story, and working through the pain that springs up in this process.
Remembering the influence and experiences can be valuable. How you choose to use those memories can also springboard you into offering up your full capabilities in your work.
#moveyourdesk #personaldevelopment #startwithachart #frameworks #emotions #pain
Episode 120 Show Notes
Episode 120 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark Episode 120 remembering this podcast is for anyone that knows, they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Mhm I turn on my side and study the beam close to my head next to the entrance. There are names scratched in the wood, some deep and some barely visible Davis. I read Rodriguez aims one that could be hicks or maybe ricks. Why do they carve their names when only strangers will read them? A name is only a meaningless word with nothing to attach it to. Maybe it is enough just to be remembered if only for your name here is proof of life. Faceless and voiceless but unmistakable immortality of a strange sort a eulogy in wood. This was a quote from a book called Devil’s Unto Dust by Emma Burnquist and I really liked the quote when I came across it because I was thinking about who we remember and who remembers us and who does not remember us in our lives. And it’s very interesting for some of us who are record keepers to look back on what we’ve written in the past and recognize that we have very strong memories about people that we had certain experiences with and people that influenced us and there are other things we’ve written down that we don’t even remember, we experienced and it triggers us to remember. But there’s still other things that we write down that we don’t even recall experiencing this has been very fascinating to me because in the last few weeks I have had some personal experiences where I’ve realized that people I have many memories about in the past have no recollection of me now. That’s really tough. Right? In the in initial moments sometimes you’re like, oh good. They don’t remember me. So they don’t remember the good, the bad or the ugly. But at the same time, like, wait a second, didn’t I have some powerful experiences with this person. Didn’t I have powerful interactions and they don’t remember it. What does that say about me? Am I not memorable? At the same time I experienced, I was going through old documents and journals and realized that I wrote down things that I didn’t remember and I had paragraphs written about how someone would come up to me and tell me they remembered a story I shared from a speech I gave like four years before or five years before. And for them, it was a very powerful and memorable experience because they were either preparing for what I had done and they were especially attuned to be listening or it just resonated in some way or whatever the reason and to notice that we all have people that influence us in our lives and that we influence, we’re going to remember some, we’re not gonna remember. Others were going to be remembered by some we’re not going to be remembered by others. And there’s really no problem here. Even if we think that’s sad or that’s good or bad in some way. I have decided over the last few years that I want to continually d junk and really enjoy my belongings and the memories and the experiences that I have in my life and in the process of doing that I have taken on different approaches to going through this process. So when we moved from one house to another we got a storage unit and put a ton of stuff over into it so that we could stay to the house. And I think I’ve talked about this before but in the process of doing that got all this stuff out of the house and had to go revisited every week to put something else over there or to remove something and realized there was just some things that were not missed and thought this is great. We can donate things from the storage unit never have to bring it back to the house and never has to be moved again. And it was a wonderful process. And by the end of it I remember I decided to finally donate a very amazing beautiful expensive heavy duty treadmill that we had had that had served its purpose. But it was going to create more drama and time and money and physical energy to move about right. And we’re moving to a place that already had some really great treadmills. So I decided to donate it and the mental process I had to go through to go. It’s okay. You spent $2000 on this beautiful treadmill that had a T. V. In it that had a great slope that was like industrial quality. And you’re letting it go to someone who can use it now where you’re going, there’s no space and there’s already some available right that are for your use. And to kind of go through this painful emotion and letting go and then recognizing you know what, if I ever want one again, I can get one on amazon or walk down the street to wherever and purchase one or join a gym, right? This is not an irreplaceable item. So I went through that process and d junking over the years. I have also gone through a mental process of de junking and for me that’s constantly working on my mind but also going through old journals and Mementos and I’m so grateful I kept all of them because it’s allowed me to revisit memories I didn’t know I had and to see trends in personal growth and personal stagnation. But in the past few years as I’ve gone through these journals and recognize these trends and try to get lessons learned from them. I realized that I still wanted to go through them a final time and kind of at some point discard these journals in order to make like one book, write one book that represented my life or maybe it’ll be two or three, right. One for one period of life, one for the next one for the next. And that is a very different process than just going and reviewing journals. All right, and going, oh, I figured out some lessons learned or learn some stuff about myself. No, this time it’s going through and going, do I ever want to see this page again? Do I ever want to see this rehashing again? Or have I already learned that lesson? I’ve moved on or do I want these people’s names that I’ve recorded to be out there in the world in some way or not. And to go through a very thoughtful process. That is also very painful and very insightful and quite the personal development journey along the way. And that is something that I’m going through right now. I have chosen to go through Mementos and journals towards learning about myself toward discarding some of them toward typing some of them up and moving forward. It’s a fascinating journey and I was surprised to be listening to a book called effortless by George McEwen McCowen, sorry, but I even looked it up right on how to pronounce it and I still, I’m getting it wrong. But he had written Essential is um and he now has written effortless and if you haven’t read these, go do it right. These are great books. He’s very resourceful, very interesting and I’ve talked to a few of you about Essential is um and I think you’ll like effortless and I’m not even all the way through it, but he brings up the idea that’s very popular in Sweden and it’s Swedish, death cleaning and it sounds very morbid. But essentially it’s the idea that I’m kind of working on, right? It’s something that like midlife or toward the end of life. You start going through your stuff and you do it because you want to not because you have to write, you choose to go through your life stuff, the physical stuff. And of course it brings up a lot of mental and emotional stuff as you go through this process. And they purposely do this toward giving things to friends, towards honoring something and then letting it go and just kind of sorting through all of the things so that this is being done by the person who created the accumulation of the stuff and not by family having to come in later and go through it after you’ve died. And I loved hearing about this because like, yes, this is exactly what I’m doing. And I’m doing it purposely because I don’t want other people to go through my stuff later in life and I want to be the one that decides what it all meant, right, what it all amounted to Now. Of course, I can’t control that everybody is going to decide what they want it to mean. But I would love to be able to offer this through my own photos and my own personal history or personal story that people can decide what that means versus them having to go into my house and go through boxes and figure out what was important what to discard and take up someone else’s time in a way that they may or may not be interested in doing now. Of course this is all my effort to control the world, right? But I also do this because as a person that is compelled to offer up my best work, I want to make sure that I can let go of some things or learn from some things from the past towards opening myself up to different possibilities for the future or embracing my full capacity and potential. And so I willingly go through this. And what’s very interesting to me is how my things and my records change in importance as I go through this process of working on myself. There were a few journals that I went through, there were through a period of time, were no kidding. Every entry for like two or 3 years was essentially the same entry reincarnate. And it was very evident that I felt like I was not enough as a person I was trying to achieve and improve daily and surely if I do more of these daily habits, I will be better, I will get the miracles I want. I will have the changes in my life I want. And of course all those things didn’t happen because I was stuck in a mind churn I could just take four pages of any part of these books, ripped the mountain go, this is what these three or four years looked like me over and over thinking I could do more of the same thing and get a different result. Well, of course there’s quotes about this, right? You know that tell you that’s insane. Mhm. Right. And so this process, you get mad at yourself, You get sad, you judge yourself and then wrap around and go, okay, let me have compassion because I did the best I could, knowing what I knew at that time and in those situations. I also treated people the best I could in that moment. And I can look back and notice that that’s not my best. But that’s the best I could do in that moment and that I can learn how to show up differently going forward. It’s a very fascinating process. It’s a heart wrenching process. It’s an exhilarating process. And what I find interesting that I wanted to share is a few things I’ve noticed along the way. And a few little methods I’ve used along the way to work through some of the things that have come up in my heart in the process. So one of the things that comes up is a lot of pain pain and how I treated different men and women in my life, family members and embarrassment and so many feelings of pain about not stepping into my true potential and not living up to my own and other’s expectations. So it brings up a lot of pain along the way. And what’s interesting to me is as I read through certain things and look at certain Mementos. I don’t have pain associated with some, But others I recognize pain cropping up and some of this is like for 40 years ago, right? And to realize how long I have carried certain expectations or certain pain, certain emotions. And one day I decided to make a list of a few of the people and I’ve since done this like continually, right. This is just like a month ago I made this list and these were people that there’s pain in my heart associated with them and I don’t want to have this pain associated with them because they’re not part of my life, they’re never going to be part of my life again. But I made my interactions or relationships with these people means something about me. And what I mean by that is that I did something wrong in some way, right? Like I didn’t show enough love and affection or I was too judgmental to them or I never said I was sorry about something or never respected them for whatever reason. So, I made this list and then I decided for each person on the list I would go through and write a letter or go on a walk and talk to them mentally. Right? So none of these letters go to the people and none of these conversations go to the people, right? It’s a conversation with myself with them in my mind’s eye. And I kind of talked through like from the place I am today as the more mature Rebecca perhaps and saying listen, you know, I felt this way about you and I acted in this way. But what I wish I had done is this or I wish I had shown up differently or I wanted you to know that I had these feelings that I didn’t actually share and just kind of go through this very honest and open conversation by myself with them virtually. And I don’t know how that sounds to you. Maybe it sounds hokey or weird, but I can tell you it’s extremely therapeutic because there’s some of the people on the list. I could actually cross off and go, you know what I have a positive emotion about them right now right? Like if I were to see them in the store, I could honestly interact with them, like so excited to see you, how are you doing, what are you doing with your life? It’s just incredible. And if I wanted to, I could say, hey, I didn’t have a chance to tell you this or I wish I could have expressed this at that time, whatever. But I’d be coming from the place that you would come with any good friend that you ran into in an unexpected place. There are a couple of people that remain on the list because I’m like, I think there’s more emotional and mental work in this area, but I don’t need to deal with that now. Right. I kind of went through a few people. They’re off the list. It’s going to be fine if I ever see them again. I’m so grateful. I knew them at one point and it’s no problem If I see them again and I can openly talk about whatever and hopefully have a good experience or at least discover if there’s more layers of emotions to work through. Right? I’ve experienced the same thing as I methodically go through papers, journals, books, certificates, pictures like things like this. Methodically going through it and going, okay, I don’t need this one anymore at all. Right. I don’t want to take a picture of it because I just don’t know record that this existed in life. This is not worth it. Other things I take the pictures of. Right? And most things I take the pictures of, I just have that camera right out there. No need for a scanner. Just take a picture and in that moment I decide is the picture enough. And if the picture is enough, I have a plastic bin next to me and I just throw it in there and if the picture is still not enough, I put it in a different pile and go, I’m still going to keep that. I’m not ready to part with it. I don’t know why, but I want to keep it now. Some things I decide I want to keep it and I know why like, oh there’s a person, I’d love to give this original too. Or I would like to keep this original perhaps for a scrapbook or something, which most of my scrapbooks are digital now. So that’s a whole different thing. But what I do is when that bin is full, I immediately go shred it or I’m staying at my grandparents briefly and I have a burn barrel so I go and burn it that day. And this was my way of telling myself, listen, you made a decision, stick with it, you’ve taken a picture already, let it go. And of course have another pile of things in this process that I can donate things that I had decided, we’re super personal, but really we’re replaceable and I wasn’t using right? Like I have this anticipation of using for 10 years and I still haven’t used, I’m like, but I could replace this, why am I carrying this around right now? I’ll just buy it when I need it now. Some people think this is too minimalist. But some of these decisions are also based upon what space you have available in your life. Now, I don’t have a big home, but I hope to have a larger home. And even when I have a larger home, I’m probably still going to be minimalists, right? Because I like the experience of having space around me. I don’t need to fill it. I think I’ve mentioned before, I’d be fine having a big lawn with one tree. I don’t need to have all the trees. I can have just a couple representing the trees of the world. Uh huh. And so and I don’t have to own the tree either. Right? So some of these things like I’m like, I don’t need to own that. This is a big one for me with books we’ve been going to the library every other day and I’m like, oh my word, this is really cool. We watched the videos, read the books, we return them, we go get some more. I’m glad I didn’t buy that book. We only wanted to read it once. There’s others that you want to read multiple times. And of course my favorite service right now is audible dot com where I get these credits and they build up if I forget about them. Like I have these books I can buy. And most of the books I buy our books that I think I’d want to listen again. Writer, I’ve already physically read, but I want to revisit because they have such powerful ideas on each page or each virtual minute. I guess I could say this process of physically d junking things. Not only frees up space for you, but it also creates pain in some ways, right? It brings up some emotions and pain and some things that’s very difficult to make a decision on. One thing I have allowed myself to do is if there’s something I’m on the fence about, I kind of put it in this separate pile, whether it’s the things I’ve taken a picture of and put aside or whether it’s like some of these books that I know I want to read someday again, but I know that someday is not going to be this year. Mm And I put it in a separate pile to go, okay, you don’t need to choose today. But sometime in the next week you’re going to be choosing whether to donate that or keep it or read it and then donate it or sell it whatever you want to do or save it to give to a friend. And I’m surprised that as I continually go through this process and I’m spending an hour or two a day on this right now because I’ve had such great momentum. I want to keep it up. I am surprised at how much easier it is to start letting go of some of the things in that undecided pile right after a couple of days and like you know what I’m going to take a picture of that book cover. I will get it again when I have time to read it already. Have a pile of 10 books I want to get through. And then I just checked out five more. Like what the heck. Uh huh. So I’m going to donate it now and then there’s other piles where I’m like, you know what I did take pictures. Why am I holding on to that? I’m gonna go burn it right now. And it’s interesting because I’m going to make a guess that I probably had 15 bins of journals and Mementos and books and I’ve gotten It down to like five bins. Right, okay. I might have a few more bins of books but personal Mementos and stuff. I actually have down to two or three and it feels awesome. And I typed up some journals and those journals are burned. I still have I got through that entire project this last week. Isn’t that crazy Now there’s going to be an effort to put it all together or extrapolate further in the future. But this is the first phase and it’s taking longer and shorter at the same time, if that makes sense. I’ve been retyping things over the years and compiling them and it’s taken many years. But I decided a lot a month ago that I wanted to get it done by the end of July beginning of August of 2021 and here I am not yet to the middle of August And I am way further than I ever thought I’d be. And all those journals are typed up and gone. I only have one journal to my name and I used to have almost 20 physical journals and that one journal is my first journal because it’s super cool. And I’ll show it to you sometime. It’s like a bullet journal mixed with art and travel logs and different things that are misspelled and just fun. So what’s the point of all this I am going to be offering in the future a product to show you how to organize your life experience toward making your personal story in a written format. Of course, I’m gonna use a chart because that’s what I do. I start with a chart and provide frameworks for people and it’s a very quick way to get started. Especially if you’re someone who has too much information to pull from right? It gets you out of the information gets you into a document starting to write that will be supported by a larger program to help some of us who want to take this journey a personal development as we go through and do our version of the Swedish death cleaning. And I won’t call it that I’ll have a name for it. But all of this to remind you that none of your past experience is wasted. I’ve said that many times. None of your past experience is wasted unless of course you choose to waste it. But you also can revisit your past in a way that helps you honor it, work through the pain of it and discover things about yourself that will help inform your future and help you offer up your best work. Something amazing. I found in multiple journals were stray little sentences that I had written that. Specifically said, I feel like one of the things I’m supposed to do in my life is help people enjoy their work and help them find the best work for them. Isn’t that crazy? I didn’t know I wrote that. I did not remember writing that. And here I am caring about that now after having gone through a lifetime full of work. Now, I hope that I have a whole another lifetime ahead of me, right? But none of us knows how long or short our life will be. And that’s why I am enjoying the process of going through my junk, my physical junk, my mental junk, my emotional junk and treating it in a way that kind of honors it. Like, hey, this junk played a part in my life and now I’m d junking it and it’s freeing up space to think new thoughts, to build relationships, to repair relationships and to continue offering up my best work. My hope is that you can look to everything in your life and look at it with new eyes in a way that serves you, That you can change stories about yourself from the past in a way that serve you now and moving forward to remember those who influenced you and express gratitude if you can in your heart at least. And if you want in a note or in a communication to remember that you will not always be memorable and that’s okay. We all play different roles in each other’s lives. Going to close with a quote that I got when I was a very young teenager from lap real Watson, one of my youth mentors and the quote said you are the piece to the puzzle of someone else’s life. You may never know where you fit but others will fill the holes in their lives with pieces of you and the same goes for you. I will full holes in my life with pieces of you. You will fill holes in your life with pieces of me and we don’t get to judge who gets to be remembered and who doesn’t. But we can choose to offer up our best self in every situation. We’re in the best we can with compassion for self and others and with an exhilaration, excitement to contribute and we will be memorable but we can’t control it. Okay, lots of thoughts today. I’m going to sign off and I hope you have a wonderful week and spend some time reflecting and remembering. Talk to you soon. That’s mm Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com. Mhm. Mhm.