“Ugh, you just need to throw away ALL of it”.
This is what a woman, let’s call her Sally, recently told me happened when she hired a *very* expensive nutritionist to help her get healthy.
Sally had broken her leg months prior and put 60 extra pounds onto her body that was already about 50 pounds overweight.
She was ready to do something about it.
But this killed the momentum.
She felt shamed & hopeless.
And the nutritionist “fired” her as a client when she couldn’t follow through, and blamed her.
I am ashamed to say that 2 years ago, I probably would have done something similar. This was before I realized that I wasn’t some super special exception that SUCKED at follow through.
It was only more recently & by adopting another healer’s languaging that I realized:
anytime I had tried to take action from a place of fear, disgust, hate, or “should do”, I pretty much failed at any internal goals. Instead, I now work to put myself into the energy I desire – and make that choice over & over again. That energy is usually self-love, respect, and/or gratitude. When I stay in the energy of the problem, the problem just persists.
Once I noticed this pattern, a HUGE lightbulb went off. And while many things in my life shifted, it wasn’t this magical ‘ahhhhh everything is now going perfectly and I am doing exactly what I want to be doing’ moment. Ha, I wish.
Instead, it opened the doors for me to start taking action.
Had someone come in and thrown out everything that was “holding me back”, I woulda cussed them out behind their back & gone and dug things out of the trash after they left. But the people pleasing side of me would have probably just nodded & pretended to agree & be okay with it all.
Which is what Sally did. She agreed to everything the nutritionist was asking of her, and then, once alone, she went out, bought many of the same things, and binge ate.
Like I said, 2 years ago, I would have silently judged her behavior. But luckily, I didn’t meet her two years ago. I met her after I knew better, and instead, a huge flood of empathy & compassion flooded over me.
The nutritionist probably never knew she caused this to occur. She will probably continue to do similar pantry clean outs, and I can’t fault her for that. It is what we are taught to do by not only our schooling, but by society.
And hey, for some, it can work. If you feel compelled and excited to throw something out – go for it. But if you feel dread & anxiety, then something else needs to shift FIRST. You cannot just skip this step and expect long lasting, sustainable results. By the way, discomfort? That is okay. Change IS uncomfortable.
Rather than cleaning out your pantry – first clean out negative energy & emotions.
One of the FASTEST ways to do this is gratitude. Every time you wash your hands, just say 1 thing you are grateful for. It could be the very water you are using. Or for your hands that do so much. Or for your bed for being so comfy. It doesn’t matter – just pick something 🙂
Then, begin to notice repetitive habits/cycles and brainstorm where the root of them are, and start trying to shift them there….not the habit itself.
For example, if you are binging on wine & cookies after a stressful time putting your kids to bed that takes 3 hours every night, trying to avoid wine & cookies isn’t going to be too productive, because you are likely driven to this because of the bedtime routine stress. So, instead, look at why bedtime is taking 3 hours. What can you start shifting? Can you get it to 2.5? Then 2? Then 1.75? …and so on. Yes, this might mean more crying/tears from the kiddos at first while they are adjusting. It may mean having to go through the tough work of setting some clear boundaries (that doesn’t happen overnight!). But, chances are, the stressful bedtime is leading to the binging, so once that shifts, you aren’t having to fight with yourself.
All the while, being grateful – that you have beds for your kids to sleep in, that you have children, that you have food on the table…whatever it is.
I do want to add, you can be grateful AND frustrated. You’re allowed to have a tough time when you’re shifting things. You’re allowed to feel exhausted and beat by your toddler’s tantrums to these new boundaries (or whatever shift you’re making). Gratitude is NOT ignoring emotions and pretending everything is hunky-dory. It is being grateful for these tough moments because they provide resiliency, and because they mean you are a human and are alive.
Cleaning your pantry without being in an energy of renewal, gratitude & self love is unfortunately, destined to just re-attract the things that are no longer serving you.
This isn’t overnight work. This can take time & guidance. Often, we are so close to our own issues that we can’t quite see where to start.
Don’t ever feel like you need to go at this alone – there are so many supportive resources out there from trusted friends & family, books, group programs and 1:1 coaching support. If you don’t know where to start with all this, I am more than happy to help – just sign up for a free consultation here & I can help you figure out the next best step to take (hint: it won’t be a pantry clean out!).