Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Emotional Clutter

Yesterday I created a new blog because I wanted to try to write my personal journal online. I have been quite inconsistent in writing my paper journal lately and when I started questioning myself about it, 2 answers came up;

1. Because I write more on here
2. Because I still sometimes feel I am writing as if someone might read it one day and thus not always being totally honest with myself.

Emotional Clutter

So I figured if I write in this format and password protect the posts I can write away knowing that it stays with me.

I also figured it would be a good place to record the exercises I am doing on “You Can Heal Your Life” and “Emotional Clutter” as it would be easier to refer back to rather than having to flick through pages to find something.

I think I made the right choice as my writing seems to flow really well.

Today started with me feeling disconnected and alone, but having gone through the first few exercises of “Emotional Clutter” I am feeling much more positive and less alone!

I have not finished the book yet, and I don’t even know if I did the exercises right, but I gave it a go and my mood has shifted as a result.

Exercise 1.

Pick an area of your life that isn’t working as well as you would like. Sit down with a pad of paper and brainstorm about all the beliefs you grew up with, beliefs your family may have had about this particular topic.

Write them down as fast as you think of them. You are only recording them; not evaluating them.

Feeling I am not good enough.  In order for me to feel good enough I have to please everyone.

Feeling I should do better – In order for me to get approval I have to do better.

Feeling  that my parents love my brother more than me – Believing that I am not worthy of their love.

Feeling I should be more sensible with money. Believing that there is not enough money to go around

Feeling that I should make my parents proud of me. To feel loved I have to make them proud of me.

Feeling that I should do better at work. To gain approval from my boss I have to do better than the rest of my team.

Feeling that no one wants to be with me. Believing that I have to reach a certain financial status and personal stage before anyone would want to be in a relationship with me.

Exercise 2

In order to figure out what your identity is, do the following exercise:

1. Write down all the roles you play. For example, are you a mother or father, a sister or brother, a son or daughter, a niece or nephew, a grandparent, a grandson or grand-daughter? Are you an employee? Are you a business owner? What is your job title? What are all the roles you play at
work? Are you a taxpayer? A customer? A driver? A homeowner? A renter? A church-goer? Keep going, these are only a few of the possible roles you play. Just brainstorm and keep writing.

I am a son, a brother, a friend, an employee, a grandson, a mortgage adviser, a human being, a colleague, a blogger, a musician.

2. Write down all the characteristics you can think of about yourself. Are you shy? Outgoing? Organized? Disorganized? Sad? Depressed? Grieving? Happy? Joyful? Enthusiastic? Competent? Stressed? Intelligent? Stupid? Verbal? Have trouble expressing yourself? Healthy? Unhealthy? Capable? Incapable of doing X? Good speller? Bad speller?

Think of all the skills you have (or don’t have). Think about your talents. Think about your personality traits. Think also about your potentials. What could you do if you wanted to? Write it all down.

I am a good listener, I often feel sad, I am often anxious, I am intelligent, I find it difficult to open up to my friends and family, I am disorganised at work, I am healthy, I have bad habits, I am good at gaining people’s trust, I am loyal, I can keep secrets easily, I am loving, I am kind, I make people laugh easily, I am a learner, I am musically talented, I could write a book, I could write music, I could be better at my job.

3. Next write down all the things in which you are interested. What are your passions? What are some of your smaller interests? What do you like to do in your spare time? What do you never have enough time to pursue? What would you like to learn more about?

I am passionate about music, writing, blogging, reading, cooking, Formula 1, learning stuff like this, spending time with friends (which I have not done lately), walking in nature (haven’t done this for a while either)

4. Write down the ways that people categorize you. Are you married, single, divorced, widowed? How old are you? Are you male or female? Straight or gay? A senior citizen? A Gen X-er?
A Democrat? A Republican? Blue collar, white collar or pink collar? Are you employed or unemployed? Think of all the ways people (and you) attempt to capture the categories to which you might belong.

I am single, male, age 37, straight, employed, spiritual, friendly, understanding, funny, honest, easy to approach, non judgmental, positive (interesting!), compassionate, loving, sincere.

5. Next, write down a brief phrase that captures your stories. Are you a battered woman? An abuse survivor? A hurricane survivor? A person who worked 3 jobs to put himself through college?

I am trying find myself after feeling lost for far too long.

6. Finally, think about some of the ways in which you are different than others. Do you have certain eccentricities that make you unique? For example, are you double-jointed? Do you yodel for fun? Think of as many ways as possible to capture your differences.

I am left handed/footed when it comes to sports, but I write with my right hand, I live in a foreign country, Mountains and the sea makes me feel at ease with myself (As if I belong!). I don’t watch the news or much TV in general, I am not a football/soccer fan (In the UK that’s highly unusual – some would probably say it means I must be gay!!) or a sports fan in general, except Formula 1, which I do love watching.

That’s it for part 1

Best wishes


The book is available free at the link below.


7 responses to “Emotional Clutter

  1. shiona February 23, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Dear J,
    Thank you so much for providing the link to the book. I have already downloaded it.

    But more than that, thank you for letting me know some more details about you. The more I know you, the closer I feel to you.

    Take care.

  2. J February 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you,

    Today I have felt a little emotionally bruised and vulnerable from what I wrote yesterday.

  3. bojinx February 25, 2009 at 5:48 am

    Hi J, I was going to ask if you had a blog… seems you do… and it seems I found it! Yahay me! 😉

    It is great to “find out” more about you…

  4. J February 25, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Yahay you indeed -;) I am delighted you found me and you are always welcome.

  5. shiona February 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Hi J,

    To me emotional vulnerability is inevitably related to a highly sensitive, delicate and exquisite nature. Being emotionally vulnerable may not be the easiest way to survive in this world, but it means spiritual and mental wealth that most people do not seem to possess.
    However, look what I’ve come across:
    I thought you might find it interesting.
    My warmest thoughts and feelings are with you. 🙂

  6. J February 28, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Shiona,

    Thank you for the link.
    Reading the petition actually brought out some strange emotions in me. The first time I read it I was so drained that I would have understood it just as much had it been written in a language I couldn’t understand. Second time I read it a few times and the 2nd paragraph “ackowledging that the need for approval is so demanding” brought out a feeling of anger because I read it as if I should just accept the need for approval and not even try to change anything. Tonight I have read it again a few times and it makes much more sense to me and more importantly, it inspired me to start working on the 2nd part of “Emotional Clutter”

    As far as feeling emotionally bruised and vulnerable, I mostly feel like this when I have opened up to reveal more of me and I think it is because, once I have opened up, the fear of being judged sets in.

    Be good to yourself


  7. Catherine July 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    You have just made my day!

    I’m writing a post on emotional clutter and was moaning that I needed more reference material and I found you.

    As I’m on this journey myself, it was great to find you, and congratulations!

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