It was on a beautiful spring day, and I was visiting a mentor of mine who was based in a suburb of Chicago at the time. Before getting ready to join him and his team at his offices, I left my hotel room around 6:30 AM for my morning brisk walk. I grabbed a Running Map from the hotel concierge, and started out on my hour-long routine. I followed the path that crossed a large field, which led beside a peaceful lake and merged into a nice Midwestern subdivision.
As I exited the field and started down the sidewalk, there was a Waste Management truck puttering down the street. It buzzed ahead to the house in front of me, and the men proceeded to get off the truck, empty the cans, and then rumble on down the street. As they would stop to collect several cans, my quick pace would put me ahead of them. After collecting their garbage and getting back on the truck, they would rumble past me again until reaching their destination at the next set of cans. As many trash collectors do, they didn’t place the cans back in their place, but rather tossed them back on the driveway, sidewalk, or grass.
This routine continued for a good 10-12 blocks. They would rumble by… I would briskly pass them. They would collect the trash, and continue to race past me again. My morning walk had become rather tedious, and I became slightly irritated as these gentlemen were drastically ruining my peaceful morning walk.
As I neared the end of the street, I noticed it was a T-section, and I was ecstatic at the thought that I could finally have some peace on my walk. As I neared the end of the street, the truck had fallen several houses behind my pace. I quickly reviewed the landscape, and based on the amount of cans on the street and their positioning, I anticipated they would make a left-hand turn at the sign; therefore, I made the wise decision to turn right on the street. As I picked up my pace and started enjoying the peacefulness, I heard the squealing of the brakes behind me as the truck stopped at the stop sign. I heard the engine rev as they proceeded to turn onto the current street, and I was glad to hear the rumbling was moving away. But wait, it wasn’t. I turned in disbelief as the truck came zooming past me to stop three houses in front of my current location.
The men jumped off the truck, hurriedly dumped the contents of two cans into the truck, threw them back on the drive, and sped off in a drastic hurry. As they sped off, the rumbling of the truck made a vibration in its wake, and the two cans rolled out into the street.
I quickly jogged to the cans before they could roll further into the street, potentially causing a traffic accident. As I was placing the cans back on the driveway, I noticed a symbol I had seen so many times in the past:
I realized at that moment that these men were not collecting trash, but rather they were collecting recycled products from the neighborhood.
After placing the cans carefully back in the driveway, I stood looking at that symbol, and my deep inner voice said, “Recycle Your Soul.” It blew me away!
As I continued on my morning walk, I kept thinking about my adventure with the recycling truck. When I was a child, society never recycled. Why do we now? Instead of throwing everything in a large garbage can as we did growing up, we carefully place items in recycle bins, even though it is easier to open the lid of the trashcan and just “throw ‘er in”.
We don’t recycle for convenience, but rather for preservation. Most of us take the extra effort in our day to put items in their correct recycle bins. We do it to protect and preserve our world for our generation and generations to come.
We recycle anything: cans, paper, plastic, metal, batteries, bottles, tires, ink cartridges, and on and on. However, why don’t we spend time recycling our souls?
Do you know the dictionary definition of the word recycle? The primary definition is: To treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse. Wow… “suitable for reuse.”
Is your soul suitable for use? Is it ready to be involved in healthy relationships, whether personal or professional? Do you have peace with where you are and where you are going?
One thing I have learned in my life is that it is okay to get off the treadmill of life. When things are going a little crazy, relationships are strained, work is chaotic, or the pace is just too fast, learn to take a break and RECYCLE YOUR SOUL. That is what I have been doing the past year… Recycling my own soul. I read up on how to Feng Shui your life, and I started my process last summer. It has been EXHILERATING. Last summer, I ended a toxic relationship that was stealing all my happiness. I moved my home. I gave away anything that reminded me of someone or something that was not a positive thought, no matter what the cost. I distanced myself from negative people, and I stopped working for some people that were stealing my energy. Most importantly, I increased my yoga and meditation practice. Every day, I wake up energetic, fulfilled, and full of life.
EXERCISE FOR RECYCLING YOUR SOUL
I encourage all of us to Recycle Our Souls when needed. Find refuge somewhere, whether it is at home, relaxing at a spa, camping in the woods, sitting on a beach, skiing on a mountain, walking in a park, or perhaps just sitting in a quiet corner of your bedroom. Sit quietly and mediate. Really examine how you feel. Start a journal to record these feelings. Take a page per day. Draw a line down the middle, and on the left, put all the Positive ways you feel- physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. It can be full sentences or single words such as energized, happy, peaceful, healthy, etc. Then in the second column, put the negative ways you feel, such as lonely, overweight, sad, stressed, hungry, etc. Now, with a different color ink and next to each negative, write down one way to reverse the negative item. For example, if you put overweight, then you might put… “walk 2 miles at lunch tomorrow”.
As your journal grows and grows, you should be shifting your energy pattern. I call these daily exercises my “Temperature Checks”! By doing them daily, you find how you are feeling on an ongoing basis, and you are conditioning yourself to avoid bad influences in your life. Daily practice helps you to work toward a goal that, instead of taking it as a “whole piece”, you are taking it step by step.
In order to preserve and protect the future of you, your loved ones, your business associates, and others surrounding you, make sure your soul is usable. Make sure it is free from garbage, dents, dirt, or unwanted material.
Make sure that your soul is “suitable for reuse!”
-Author, Speaker and Life Coach-