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Meditation for Emotional Health

Just as computer programmers have a saying: "Garbage in, garbage out," in yoga meditation, we release the garbage out of our minds and replace it with clean, refreshed energy. (I teach this in my class in Edgewater, Florida, but if you can't get to my class, here is a great way to unwind.)

If you program garbage into your subconscious, garbage is what you'll get out. By the same token, if you heard negative garbage as a child from people you loved, you are carrying around a very heavy garbage bag. If garbage gets programmed into your subconscious, garbage is what you get in your life.

Unfortunately, just as day to day living produces physical garbage - empty boxes, blackened banana peels, crumpled paper - it also produces mental and emotional garbage. Empty hopes, blackened attitudes, and crumpled feelings accumulate, no matter how tidy and healthy you are. This subsonscious garbage can stink up your life, and as it takes up more and more space it gets in the way of getting your goals. Either the garbage spills across the door preventing it from opening when opportunity knocks, or it becomes piled so high that you can't see your goal.

When was the last time you took out your emotional and mental garbage? Imagine that it's overflowing the cans and wastebasket in the various rooms of your home: kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, den, workshop. What does your garbage look like? Rotten eggs of plans never hatched? Bones from dreams that died? Tangled strings of frustration? Broken glass and rusty nails of anger? Sad wads of used Kleenex? Or maybe the garbage has been lying around for so long that it's no longer even recognizable. Collect the garbage from every room in your mental house. Whatever the symbolic images, let them rise up from your subconsious into your conscious mind. As the garbage surfaces, throw it into heavy-duty, three ply, industrial strength plastic garbage bags. Use as many bags as it takes to do the job-you might need only one bag; you might need twenty. As you fill the bags with your mental and emotional garbage, tie them shut with a knot or twist tie.

As soon as the last garbage can or wastebasket has been emptied, and all the bags are full and tied, you hear a garbage truck rumble to a stop outside. You call to the garbage collector to help you carry the garbage bags out to the truck. The garbage collector could be anyone: a garbage man, a woman, a cartoon hero, a famous historical person, an athlete, or even an animal.

The two of you lug the garbage bags out to the waiting truck. You can hear the truck's compactor grinding away. As you heave the bags into the truck,
each bag is sqeezed, chewed, and swallowed up. When the last bag of mental and emotional garbage has disappeared into the bowels of the truck, the garbage collector slaps the side of the truck to signal the driver to take off. You thank the garbage collector for his help and wave to him as the garbage truck lumbers away. Watch the truck until it rounds the corner and dissappears from sight.

Walking back into the house, you notice that there is more bounce in your step. Your mind feels light and free. Your heart breathes more easily. Entering your home, you walk through each room. Every garbage can and wastebasket is satisfyingly emptly, refreshingly clean. No more garbage to get in the way of what you want.

You decide that from now on, whenever mental and emotional garbage starts accumulating, you're going to throw it out before it causes clutter and starts stinking up your life. The garbage collection is flexible to suit your needs, and there'll always be someone in the truck to help you.

Rewritten with permission by the author, Valerie Wells of The Joy of Visualization. I highly recommend this book to help you recharge and destress.

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