Since I last posted here, in a somewhat panicked head-swirl of project mania, I have begun the process of simplifying. I must say, I do feel the swelling has ceased and I am experiencing a slight sense of deflation, like a slow leak in a balloon. This process unfolded in phases.
Phase 1: My first move was to take a step back, or down, or whatever distancing direction you want to use. I first distanced myself from the entire process of thought and just watched the ocean for a while. I allowed the cluttered thoughts to pass here and there through my mind without stopping to dwell on any of them. I suppose it was a sort of meditation. The longer I rested this way the slower the cluttered thoughts came and soon there was no clutter. I got to the point that I could just think of nothing. And I don’t mean don’t think about anything, I mean actually think of nothing, there is a big difference. When your thoughts are focused on nothing, there is nothing bad, sad or happy; there is nothing. Your mind is at rest. That is where I tried to stay for a while, and I have actually been repeating this process daily. That first step was essential.
Phase 2: In phase 2, well it should have been simple, I shut down all but absolutely necessary technology. I mean, a quick email and calendar browse to make sure I didn’t miss anything that might cost me my job. This, like I said, should have been simple. Yeah right, I had no idea how much time I spend tinkering around on the internet, picking at this account, adding to that, focusing on nothing in a substantial way. That is, of course, the point of this whole process; it is this tinkering that is clouding my mind with a million ideas bouncing around inside my head with an outlet for none of them. So yes, phase 2 was to shut down for a few days. In reality, it was about 3 or 4 days. I did spend time each day reading and practising the process I discovered for myself in Phase 1. I can’t say enough about how life changing that meditation type thing I am doing has been.
Phase 3: Here is where I started to do some hands-on work. I started with all my emails. I wrote down all of the email addresses I could think of, this may not apply to many of you, but I used to make an address for many different types of accounts, a work version, personal, etc. In all I had about 9 emails. I had actually had them all forwarded to one account in an earlier attempt to get organized, but I actually found it more difficult. It was more difficult to tell which address the mail was directed to, then I would forget to make sure to send or reply from a particular address and often ended up sending something from a personal address, that was set as default, to a colleague.
At first I first decided which email addresses were obsolete, then deleted them. It felt good. I could feel space opening up in my head, for real. Then I separated them all. There are now no forwarded emails, no feeling out of control of my inbox and worrying about sending from the wrong address. A little more space up there! Finally, on my computer I went with Thunderbird email client to add each email account individually. Now all in one place, but I can access them separately. It is a relief I must say. For my phone, the new version of Gmail is wonderful. I am able to do the same thing. I have every email account lined up vertically on a slide out sidebar and can switch back and forth between them individually. Here is how to add multiple accounts to the new Gmail for Android. All the email addresses do not have to be Gmail either. I added accounts from yahoo.ca and Outlook.com as well. Honestly, this might seem like a minor life change but it has made me feel much more organized. In my next phase, I am going to do the same type of purge, but for all of the different platforms I am registered with. For example, I have two Pinterest accounts, 4 Tumblr blogs, I’ve dabbled in Notelr, there is wordpress floating around, I’ve been trying to find my “thing” and in the process have played around with a lot of different apps, platforms and software. It is now time to tackle, purge and tighten up the loose ends. I literally need to clean up my virtual space. Yikes!