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By Shawn McAndrew

memoryI recently had a conversation with a friend about some memories I had of being at my grandparents’ farm when I was a child. To this day, I can remember the smell of the cabinet in the dining room that held the cereal we had each morning. There were also the orange marshmallow peanuts for snacks when we came back from exploring the acres of farmland. I remember what it felt like to sit on the scratchy sofa my grandmother had in the parlor, and to sit on the stairs reading all the books that were stuffed away in boxes.

Memory Is Powerful

Memory is a powerful thing. It holds our secrets, our pains, joys, and experiences. It is also where we hold on to patterns that no longer serve us in our adult life. Memory keeps us aware of and anchored in the past. Sometimes that awareness holds us back from being present, or envisioning our future. Over the years, I’ve come to understand how memory can persuade or inform my decisions, my actions or reactions. That’s why recycling is so incredibly important in making peace with the past.

During the Process, we all learned how to recycle. As a tool, recycling is one of the most powerful ways that we can move past these memories, the patterns that keep us from choosing right actions and understanding how to be in our adult lives. We can recycle patterns every time they arise in order to keep us in the present, disconnected from the past.


Recently I’ve been looking at patterns that I hold in my intellect, body, and emotional self. I’ve created a little visualization wherein I ask my intellect what patterns are getting in the way of it being the best intellect it can be. I then group together the patterns, and recycle all of them. I do this for each aspect of myself. What I’m finding is that I feel clearer, like there’s more space in my intellect, body, and emotional self.

Though memories can be tied to patterns, not all memories need to be managed. I have many memories that give me comfort, happiness, and warmth. Those are the memories that provide positive guidance, and can actually be related to the positive alternatives I get when I recycle. The memory of reading books at my grandparents’ farmhouse is precious to me. Running through the fields and discovering secret hideaways in the hay barn are cherished memories. They inform me of happy, adventurous times – ones that helped shape my love of reading and being outdoors.

More Recycling

We always have choices in life, and we always have tools and our Spiritual Self available to help us work through the tough times. I invite you to do some recycling when you’re stuck or in a place that you don’t want to be, whether it’s intellectually, physically, or emotionally. What good memories can you rediscover that will help you stay present in your life today?

  • Wrye Sententia


    01/27/20 at 12:39 PM

    Great context on memories as they serve: both to uplift and yet, some, to tear us down. Research in *writing to heal* (and from The Process) show that writing your memories down can be an effective way to help gain clarity on clearing out the cobwebs of the mind for a joyful life. Thanks Shawn!

  • Maggie Parr


    01/27/20 at 11:44 AM

    Thanks Shawn! xo

  • Win Michaelsen


    01/27/20 at 7:45 AM

    Thank you, Shawn. Beautiful and wise.

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