Simplify your life, Strengthen your spirit


November 2015

Clear the clutter.  Keep the memories.

I have long wanted to clear out my garage. I can’t be alone in this, right? The garage becomes a desolate wasteland of things that you don’t have time to deal with, yet things with which you aren’t ready to part. Amongst the holiday decorations there are boxes upon boxes of things I have collected over my lifetime. Always something I would do “someday”, I finally decided on Veteran’s Day to spend a few hours going through those boxes. Why I chose that day to finally get out there and clear out the clutter, I can’t say. But I had finally had enough.

I couldn’t believe how much STUFF I had been holding onto!! The initial intention was to clear out some baby items to drop off at a donation center, but it soon became evident that I was holding onto more than just strollers and bibs. Turns out, I only had two bags of Madison’s baby clothes, and they were clothes that I simply did not want to get rid of. They were outfits I loved seeing her in and outfits that bring a smile to my face; maybe someday I’ll pass them on to her for her daughter. Knowing some things are worth keeping, I quickly decided that those two small bags could stay put, and my attention then turned to boxes of dusty old tapes from my television reporter days. Yes, I said tapes. As in VHS tapes. And there were many. I was astounded that they survived several years in my garage with the extreme Arizona heat, but I was able to watch a few t-a-p-e-s and stroll down memory lane.

From there, I opened boxes filled with newspapers from the year the Diamondbacks won the World Series and the year our world changed…2001. Those newspaper headlines and images from the day after 9/11 reminded me of what is important in life: the people I love and the moment I’m in right now. Maybe Veteran’s Day was the perfect day to go through these things….a day to remember sacrifices people made so that we can live freely, and to remember what is truly important in life.

I went through a few more boxes of things I kept from high school, and while it was fun to read old notes passed back and forth between myself and my friends, it mostly made me realize that those little details from my life don’t need to sit in my garage collecting dust. The primary memories of those years are intact and in my heart.

I don’t need to keep boxes of little things that make me smile for a moment, only to be forgotten later. If they’re easily forgotten, then they aren’t important enough to sit in a dusty box in a garage. I need to hold on to the things that make me smile longer. The things that matter. The simple things, like love, family and friends. If you want to simplify your life, think about what things you are holding onto and why. Chances are, there are a lot of things among the clutter that you can clear out. Just make sure to hold on to the memories that matter.

Through disappointment and confusion came clarity and strength

One of the most difficult moments of my life came on a Wednesday afternoon. Hump day, dump day; that was me. For well over eight months, I was lining myself up for a huge promotion that I convinced myself I wanted. I thought it would bring me more income, more influence and more happiness. Little did I know, I was about to discover the path to all those things….and it didn’t involve that promotion. When I learned someone else was selected, I was completely devastated. I felt cast aside. Useless. I couldn’t understand it. Everyone who knew me couldn’t understand it. I was searching for answers; they were answers I desperately wanted, but I would not receive. My thoughts were consumed by this failure and my heart was broken. I managed to get to sleep early that night but awoke in the middle of the night wanting to know: Why?? As my mind wandered, I slowly began to feel a sense that everything was going to be ok. I didn’t need to know the reason why. I just needed to move on. Time would show me why.

At that time, what I NEEDED was to find my inner strength and to learn that I had the power to bring my dreams to me. That job was not what my spirit needed. What my spirit needed was peace and satisfaction within. At that moment, the memory of a gift given to me 20 years before popped into my mind. 20 years ago, my mother had given me a gift: A one-year Bible that she had read the entire previous year, thinking of and praying for me as she read it. She wrote messages to the future Sarah that were inspired by her reading. I crawled out of bed and went to get that Bible. I found the page for that exact day of the year and the words hit me straight in the heart. The message I received couldn’t have been clearer. I needed to hold my head high and have faith that this was the best thing for me.

A wave of peace washed over me and I felt sunlight beginning to break through the clouds in my mind. Things will happen in the way, and time, they are supposed to. Inside that precious gift was also a piece of paper that I had put there at some unknown time. It was an insert from a sermon that was all about waiting…

I got the answer; I needed to wait, but new questions started forming…what are you waiting for? I asked myself, “Sarah, what do you want? What do you truly want, from the bottom of your heart?” I have always been confused and conflicted by that question because I don’t know what I want, specifically. I feel like I need to create a path, follow it and it will lead me to where I’m supposed to be. I feel like I need to control everything in my life, otherwise I will end up nowhere. But sometimes, we need to hand over the controls. In the words of a dear friend, I need to “get out of your own way.”

During this journey, I have been supported by some amazing people who are helping me to make myself better, personally, not professionally, and I know there is a major shift in my spirit. I was also introduced to a life-changing philosophy from the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The Secret has shown me that I need to think, feel and say what I want. I need to visualize it until I feel that I already have those things. The universe will bring them to me in the best way possible. I need to act when opportunities are presented to me, and I need to be open to following those opportunities. And I am ready for that. So here is what I want:

More time: with Jeff and Madison, creating a peaceful, harmonious home for my family.
Make a difference: Help people. Inspire people. Make a positive impact.
Live life: Explore the world. Enjoy time relaxing with family.

So here it is. In print. What I want. I am on a new journey with the end goal in mind. And I can’t wait to find out how I get there! In the words of Bob Proctor, “Go for it. Be radical.” You got it, Bob. I’m going for it.

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