What’s The Fastest Way To Get To Know Yourself?You want to know one of the SPEEDIEST ways to get to know yourself? The good, the bad, and the not so lovely? Decide to move across the country and go lightly. Sell most of your things. To accomplish this, have weekly garage sales for a month and make at least one weekend a double-doozey (two days straight)!! This will “get er done” for sure — you’ll automatically create your own “personal awareness” marathon. Moving is life changing. Having garage sales is a bonus wild card if you’re paying attention — if you’re awake and listening and watching. Pure gold! It’s like this. You work all week to collect the stuff you’re going to sell. Your entire home begins to look like a garage sale. Cupboards are open, boxes are everywhere, collection piles begin. Along the way, you get a little mad at yourself for not getting rid of all this crapola sooner, so there’s the first gold nugget. A self-forgiveness mantra becomes the order of the day. You have conversations with yourself about how none of this would be so much work NOW, if you had done a little bit all along the way instead of this big hurrah at the end. And the mind goes on and on! I’m beginning to see that garage sale prep is clearly an emotional workout. In addition to an emotional workout, you’re working hard physically. You’re tired. You’re pulling stuff out of cupboards, out of dusty nooks and crannies where you live and work and play and eat. Washing the clay pots that have collected in the corner by the shed so they can be sold. Dusting off the bikes that will be sold “as is.” Going through your kitchen cupboards, kneeling, lifting, reaching. Pulling the extra set of dishes out of the outside laundry room, and deciding to let go of them. Emptying and cleaning out the second frig that will be sold. Going through your clothes, letting go of whatever isn’t your favorite and hasn’t been for a long time. Tired yet? Ahhh, but there’s much more to do. Have a cup of coffee. You’ll need it. Now to the mental workout. There’s the deciding thing — what to keep and what to let go of. Mental sorting seems to go on all day and all night — what else to sell at the sale tomorrow, how to lighten the load, start over fresh, turn over a new, clean shiny leaf. Garage sales offer a built in, 100% guaranteed emotional, physical, mental workout!!! But wait, there’s more! And then there are the people who come to buy your things, god bless every one of them. There are the folks who point to the lamp (with no price tag) WAY OVER there past the sign that says “SALE ENDS HERE” to ask “how much for the lamp?” And those who catapault right over the barrier of over stuffed chairs, the couch AND the sign saying “SALE ENDS HERE” to dig in a box of personal items that is clearly off limits in every way. I breathe deeply (yet again) and call them back to the fold. And there is the woman who dives with great gusto into the box of lingerie for sale contributed by a girlfriend of mine. The shopper picks out a big ol bra. Right there in front of God and everybody, she starts to try it on. I thought I was gonna die. She starts to fasten the big ol bra around her waist. I can’t look. I turn to another customer. Oh, Lord. Help me now. My next customer begins to ask me about the big rolls of fabric. She has quite a rough way about her and speaks harshly. The words don’t come easy out of her mouth in a friendly way, they explode. She spits every word. On top of that, because she doesn’t understand English and I don’t understand Spanish, we start using sign language and out of total frustration, we pause to ask anyone near if they can translate. A beautiful Mexican woman who looks like the queen of a small country offers to help us out. We are grateful. We practically bow. But the Queen leaves and we are left to our sign language again. Oh, dear. I take a deep breath. I can do this, I say to myself. This rough-around-the-edges woman wants to see every inch of the 22 yards of fabric I have folded up in 3 neat bundles, so she unties them and throws the beautiful fabric all over the floor, exclaiming loudly. This process takes a while and I’m less than thrilled. It’s a dollar a yard for this fabric and she wants it all. Price $22, and it would be a total bargain at $50. She wants it for $20. For anyone else in the world I would have smiled and gladly accepted the offer. But my inner crazy woman stepped right up to the plate and said “no, $22.” She bought the darn fabric. Whew, at least that’s over with. Next, a woman wants to buy my $10 table for five. I’m in such a cranky mood from the fabric ordeal I tell her no, it’s ten dollars. I feel like saying to her, “special for you, $25, and by the way, go shop somewhere else.” A deeply kind man is watching all of this from afar. He walks into our conversation, and starts talking to the woman who wants my table. I am quietly amazed, and instantly grateful that he has taken on this strong-armed woman. He explains to her the value of the table. He turns it upside down, shows her that it’s solid wood, and a great table to refinish. He tells her $10 is more than a great value and she should buy it. I feel like kissing his feet. He smiles at me and buys something, and insists on paying me more than the sticker price. He hands me the money, with the warmest smile since the sun was born, and he says, “it’s the least I can do, and I hope she buys your table.” I melted. I relaxed. I transformed right then and there. I had forgotten to be kind, and a perfect stranger reminded me. I was better all day after that. And ever since. The little acts of kindness that we do for each other — well, we probably have no idea of the impact of that kindness. The generosity of that kind man went to me and it has rippled on out into the world a hundred ways since then. The person who receives your kindness will probably bow silently from far away, long after the beautiful moment you gave them. Quietly, alone, in an “in between” moment, they will thank you again. I know I did. WOW. And all of this emotional, physical, mental AND spiritual transformation because of a garage sale! Upward and Onward!
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