Step 1: Determine your Purpose.
If you’re anything like me, you receive an email and, unless it’s from your significant other, a family member, or Modcloth, you skip it and move onto the next one. Totally normal, totally true to your low-maintenance, shrug-your-shoulders-and-let-the-gluten-free-chips-fall-where-they-may stance on life. One day, you decide to open up your Google Drive only to find you have about 15% of space remaining to save all your PSD files, music, professional photos, etc. And that’s when you panic.
Step 2: Find a Safe Space
Deep breath. Okay. Is this your primary email account? The email you give to the lady at Bath & Body Works who insists that “each time you enter your email, you get more deals” (I call bullshit) ? Depending on what type of account it is and how long you’ve let it collect all the useless crap now floating among 15,035 other emails, you may be running into some dangerous emotional territory. Email, after all, is the new time capsule. Think about it: your interests, ideas, projects, friends, flirty messages, everything is funneled through your email these days. Even social media notifications. Set up your safe space… a space where you can scream, cry, flex your wrists, stress eat, whatever. Cheez-Its, some Yellow Tail wine and your favorite comfy socks with cats on them are a great starting point. Or your normal dinner setup, if you’re me.
But first, goddess pose.
Step 3: Start with the Worst Ones
Your list of items to blindly and immediately delete (do not look at them. Don’t even read the subject lines) should include but are certainly not limited to: Exes, dating site notifications, billing statements, those asshole student loan messages, emails from gossipy friends/frenemies, rejected job applications, and threads from school group projects that are (thank GOD) long gone. These messages may be hanging out in your archive, main inbox, or even that cute little “Personal” folder you set up. Check ’em all. Even the Finances folder.
You do not need to read these. Delete, delete, delete. You can’t nama-slay at life if you bring up the negative past. These people, and the feelings they bring with them, do not belong in your present life.
With your eyes closed and a deep inhale, move into plow pose, because you’re totes plowing away all that negative shit.
Step 4: Remember the Good
If you’re anything like me, you probably participate in some negative self-talk (“self-talk”? More like “self-monologue”. Mine goes on 24/7). Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably are using a Gmail account, which has 15 GB of space. Dedicate some of that space in a helpful way by creating a folder where you keep positive thoughts. This can include emails of praise from your manager or co-workers, exciting news that has been shared with you, images close to your heart, or even screenshots from social media that remind you of the positive things in your life.
How often do we take time to go back to positive events that happen in our lives? Many of us choose to relive negative events before we ever relive the good ones. As you sit there and clean out your inbox, take time to read those positive emails and remember the positive memories.
Close your eyes and imagine that your positive emails are forming a ball of neon green light. Take that ball and place it into an infinity pool located at the beach resort of your choosing. Swim with the ball, touch the ball, play with the ball, and, finally, consume the ball.
Step 5: Perform a Final Cleansing Ceremony
You are finally free: you have purged your inbox of negative memories. Now, it is time to create a new, positive space in your inbox that will invite serenity and happiness.
Find the settings in your Gmail account, and go to your theme options. Change your inbox background to your spirit animal: a dove, a cheetah, a lion, a polar bear, Leslie Knope, or Michelle Obama. Take a moment to peer into your spirit animal’s soul and thank them for their guidance.
Take a deep breath in, and exhale out. Take your computer mouse into your heads, and lift it above your head, with your ring and little fingers folded down, creating a modified mudra. Stay in this position for the duration of Enya’s “Who Can Say”.
Spend a few final moments in a restorative pose that calls to you. Exit out of your email, turn off your computer, and do a celebratory shot of vodka.
Repeat this inbox cleansing at 3:00am during every full moon.