I feel such relief when I clear my desk and discard or file stacks of paid bills. Some bills, such as my monthly NY Times subscription, require little attention because they remain constant month-to-month. They are immediately paid and shredded – joy! Other invoices, while recurring, can vary greatly and must be closely monitored. My routine is to categorize these invoices before filing them away for future reference. After several months, or even years, I may refer to these files to obtain a clear picture of my spending patterns. How much did I spend on electricity this year? How about groceries? Looks like I spent too much on coffee! By recognizing my spending patterns, I am able to evaluate and intentionally decide how I wish to spend my money. Once I am aware, I am free to empty the folders and shred these documents, as well! I LOVE the shredder!
Our thoughts work much as our expenses. Brain space and money are both finite commodities and must be monitored and used with discretion. Our benign thoughts, “It’s cold outside.” or “It will soon be Christmas.” arrive in a flash and are quickly dismissed; however more complex thoughts can accumulate into a heavy load if not appropriately recognized and addressed. Micki Fine, author of The Need to Please, suggests that by labeling our thoughts, we are able to identify and categorize destructive thought patterns. “I can’t believe I ate that!” or “I messed up again!” go into the “Self-Loathing” folder. “I hope he likes me!” or “I have to do what she wants!” goes into the “Approval-Seeking” thoughts folder. Labeling our thoughts allows us to identify, define, and ultimately create distance from them. These labels serve to identify habitual negative thought patterns, thus empowering us to change them. By noticing that our “Approval-Seeking” thoughts folder is overstuffed and taking up too much brain space, we are free to shred its contents!
Our brain space is limited, not unlike our financial resources – We can’t afford to waste either! Label, file, learn, and ultimately shred! It ‘s so freeing!
Live Well/Be Well.