February 09, 2011

Erasing a Web Site From Your Personal History

Erasing your personal history is a well-known shamanic technique that can help you change your habits and get a new perspective on life. Erasing a web site from your browsing history is a simple exercise you can do that will show you how this works.

But first, what is your browsing history? Popular web browsers remember the pages you’ve visited in case you want to go back. If you start to type a web address, the browser will suggest web sites you might be thinking of, based on the web sites you have visited in the past. This is meant as a shortcut. By selecting a web site from the list that pops up, you can save some typing.

This shortcut, though, has its dark side. The browser often suggests the site you want, but it also lists sites that you don’t want to visit, that you don’t even want to think about. It will suggest sites you used to visit regularly, but that aren’t what they used to be, or that no longer interest you because you’ve changed. It will suggest sites that you know would be a big waste of time. It may even suggest sites that you have visited only by mistake.

You see what a problem this can be as soon as you try to change your browsing habits. It can seem as if the browser is resisting the change, trying to get you to stay in the same old pattern, suggesting that you go back to your old ways. If you ignore the browser’s suggestion of a web site for long enough, it will no longer come up so often — but there is a faster way to change the web site suggestions your browser makes.

You can tell the browser to stop suggesting specific web sites — to forget that you ever visited that site. You can literally erase the web site from your browsing history.

In Firefox, you can delete an entire web site from your history in about 20 seconds. Find a page from the site in your browsing history. Then right-click or control-click it, and select “Forget About This Site” from the popup menu. The browser erases the site from its records. Mozilla provides a help page with more complete instructions.

After you erase a web site from your history, you can type new web addresses without fear that the browser will distract you with that old site that you no longer visit. This might seem like too small a detail to matter, but if you try it once, with the site that bothers you the most, you’ll find that it does matter. It will seem as if the world just got a little bit simpler. You’ll breathe a little bit easier.

That, in general, is what erasing personal history is about. You make the past stop intruding on what you’re trying to do now. Then you can be more conscious in your actions, make better decisions, and get results faster, with less resistance.

If you wish, take five minutes and go through your browsing history, erasing sites you wouldn’t want to go back to. While you’re at it, also delete sites or pages that might reflect poorly on you, or that you wouldn’t want the people around you to be thinking about. But don’t take too much time on the details of this — if your browsing history contains a lot of bad news, you can erase whole time periods at once.

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