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Waste Not, Want Not

As pet owners, we know all too well about cleaning up waste. We empty litter boxes, clean fish tanks and pick up after our dogs on walks through the neighborhood. We perform these less-than-pleasant tasks to be conscientious neighbors, to be responsible citizens, to keep our homes clean and to keep our surroundings looking and feeling fresh.
But how often do we pay attention to the energetic waste that we carry around with us and allow to spill out into our energetic neighborhood? Do we regularly tend to the thoughts and emotions we keep bottled up, the worries and anxieties that are always ready to play on a repeated loop like our favorite mental playlist?
By definition, waste is any substance which is worthless, defective or of no use (source: Wikipedia). We all have thoughts and emotions that no longer serve us. It's the rare human mind that doesn't occasionally latch onto an argument from last week, a poor performance review at work or to what we feel might have been a mistake in judgment in some aspect of our lives. Unresolved feelings about yesterday's argument can easily shapeshift and turn into anxiety over an upcoming deadline. Regret, fear, hopelessness, worry and stress create a cloud of exhaust within our minds and auras and if we're not careful to tend to our side of the street, those negative emotions can radiate out into our families, our circle of friends, coworkers and neighborhoods.
Try this simple but effective trick for the next week:
The next time you pick up the kitty litter scoop or unfurl the plastic doggy poop bag, use that task as a reminder to perform your own internal clean-up.  What thoughts are churning in your mind?  Are those thoughts serving the highest good for you and those around you?
If you observe anxiety, tension, worry, doubt, sadness, loneliness, sorrow or anger, acknowledge them but remind yourself that these are by-products of your mind trying to solve problems and keep you safe. That's your mind's job, so don't place any judgment on it, but thank your mind for its assistance and just tell it you'll let your heart take over for awhile. Turn off the mental playlist, scoop up the thoughts and feelings that aren't serving you and toss them out with the pet waste that you scooped up. This quick and easy check-in will help clean up negative thoughts before they fester and start to stink up the place!