It really helps to clear out the old in order to bring in the new. That's why January's a great time for clearing. But notice how quickly you can lose that fresh thrill of all-things-new that comes in unbidden at the turn of the year, whether you bring much intentionality to it or not. I'd like to invite you here to a conscious intention of clearing--not only as a grand gesture at the onset of the year, but as something to carry on with all year long. Do this in the spirit of maintenance: the clarity and spaciousness that result are worth keeping up. Do it to live in alignment with the reality that life happens, things (thoughts, thorns) pile up, and it's actually possible and worthwhile to keep the excess and unwanted from accruing to unmanageable levels.
This writing contains numerous ways for you to engage in clearings of all kinds. Keep coming back to grab another idea as one clearing (plus the glorious lightness and opening it brings) naturally calls forth another. Before my New Year's visioning workshop earlier this month, I had participants prepare by engaging in clearing activities in order to help them connect to a greater sense of possibility that they could bring in what they want more of (having cleared out what they no longer need). Even a little bit of clearing activity carries symbolic value and actually does something. An open window symbolizes something, and it also brings in fresh air. Open your windows. Your active participation in and conscious vote toward creating openings matters toward allowing things (thoughts, perspectives, projects, people) to come into your life that feel new and fully relevant to the current moment.
So I invite you to start paying attention to what you might clear out of your house and mind. Open to your guidance system, and without being tyrannical to yourself or even requiring yourself to act, simply start noticing what clearing could look like. If you get the impulse to cull, even briefly, even in some small way … go! If you do that and gain momentum to go for some greater or more radical clearing, or even just one more small something to clear out, definitely go go go! What could it feel like to actually move along things (thoughts, perspectives, projects, people) you've held onto beyond their usefulness to your current evolution?
As I was in the midst of writing this, I talked to my friend and fellow coach Jude Spacks, who happened to tell me (and can here tell you) about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, in which the author advises, Keep in your space ONLY things that bring you joy. Joy! I love this. If some object is here because of what you'll need later, because you'll suffer or won't get your needs met if you get rid of it (all fear-based, a lack of trust that life takes care of you now); or if the object is in your space because someone gave it to you and expects you to have it (obligation! choosing for others at the expense of self); or it's with you because it ties you to a past that's over and needs to be released (shackles, truly) … let it go. Consider looking at the things in your space through that lens: when something comes into view, do you feel some tug inside, some sense of heaviness, obligation, sorrow, insurance against lack--anything but joy? Are you sure you want to keep it?
Here's an audio clip that describes a method from Abraham Hicks about clearing physical spaces quickly. There's much to be gleaned (or cleared!) from this talk even if you don't choose to follow the particular system offered here.
What seems to most keep people from clearing spaces is the sense there's too much to deal with, combined with the idea they need some great chunk of time to make the clearing happen. The fact is, you can clear things 5, 15, 30 minutes at a time. I like to use phone conversations (not phone sessions with clients!) for that purpose. As with anything else, as soon as you give it little spurts of energy, momentum builds, and a little stretches into a lot; or larger openings suddenly show themselves and you don't miss them because you're already engaged with and loving the feeling of clearing: in other words, you catch the wave when it comes.
I invite you to do the any or all of the following at any level. You might offer a token gesture that's largely symbolic, or a small version because that's all you have time for, or a detailed or longer or thorough version to create a sensational clearing and let in the equivalent sense of spaciousness and possibility:
MATTERS BETWEEN YOU AND ANOTHER
Do you have an open loop (anything unfinished) between you and another human being? Think of what you could do:
blessings for ongoing clearings,
p.s. I so value feedback. If you have anything to tell me about what you've gained from this, write to let me know! Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org (just hit reply if you're receiving this as a mailing).
Sign up for the free 30-minute exploration session
This is a program for all kinds of women over 40 (trans-women welcome) who find the whole dating thing to be daunting. It's happening in NYC on February 6, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We'd love your help spreading the word. Know a single woman over 40 in Brooklyn or NYC? Send her to the page on my site about this 6-hour coaching spree I'm doing in collaboration with Abbey LeVine of levineintervention.nyc.
It'll be 6 hours packed with good information, super-practical strategies, avenues to powerful mindset shifts, and a good dose of confidence to make your dating game way more you-friendly. Our aim is to get you out of outcomes and self-consciousness and into a sense of adventure and fun.
Learn more and register here. Early-bird fee goes through January.
Curious about coaching? I offer a free 30-minute exploration session by phone or Skype or in person (in Ithaca, NY). To get the free session, just fill out the contact form on my website.
For Facebook types, I post most days with an aim to support your growth and healing, inspire you, remind you of what you already know, keep you in touch with the magic, propose that you think big, and cast my vote for you to keep being ever kinder to yourself. Some popular posts from the past month:
Believe that you're guided, ask for guidance, and trust that guidance is always at play. This means that when you get NO answers and shut doors or the deal doesn't come through or the person walks away or the job goes to someone else, DON'T interpret this as things not working out or things going wrong. There's no such thing as a setback; there's only guidance. So come close to whatever's happening with nonresistance, and watch for the next place to head that best matches your intentions. Find the openings, the expansions, the places that spark joy inside you. Follow the hunches (DO NOT TALK BACK TO THEM), even if you have no idea where they will lead. Life is a glorious (guided!) adventure if you let it be that.
Things are always in flux, so if you're waiting for everything to settle down just so, for you to be at ease or to feel good about yourself & your life, quit it! Think in terms of priorities and what feels right for you to give your energies to now. Look away from the to-do list & chores altogether. Let things be undone for now, as always. Get rest, have a delicious sensual experience, throw yourself into an adventure. What would be balm for your soul right now?
People do what they do, so leave them to it. As quickly as you can, shift your focus away from what irks you in them and onto what they bring up for you. How can you meet this well? What's the gift for you in meeting this face of God? Notice your reaction to them & consider where your peace might be. Is it in drawing better boundaries? (Remember, NO is a boundary.) Is it in learning to choose where you put your focus mentally? Is it in letting go of what you can't control (like everything about them)? Is it in taking care of yourself when you're around bad energy or learning to leave when it's right for you, whether others like it or not? If someone troublesome is here, it's only to help you build some muscle where you're weak. Build it, and they'll either go away or become less troublesome.
When life feels hard, put it in perspective by imaging you've just spent time on a desert island or lived in the aftermath of some natural disaster. Move through your hard day marveling about what's so easy, all that shows up to support you. Running water! And it's hot! A pen that works. Contact with others at the touch of a button. Nourishing food just in reach. Breath that just goes in and out, unimpeded. A body that functions so gloriously well. Whatever you can't do or don't have, focus on all that comes in to assist you in your life, this day, this moment. It's astounding.
Visit me on Facebook anytime. I invite you to LIKE my page and respond to individual posts that speak to you. Facebook will serve you more posts if you like, comment on, or share them—plus it brings me joy to experience the page as dialogue, not monologue.