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Clear Space for Your Greatness

| | Inspiration
Clear Space For Your Greatness

Every few years I go through a process of what I refer to as “shedding.” It’s about clearing the old to make space for the new. This year, however, I tried something new.

My end of year process worked in ways both expected and unexpected. In the first week of 2016 I have noticed that, instead of starting the year with a sense of gusto, I have begun the year with optimism and a deliberate focus on now. I wonder: is this the secret to building a remarkable year, rather than one where the peak excitement of the first day of a new year fades and becomes harder to maintain?

Of one thing I am certain: the practices of creating space in your mind, body, and spirit for your greatness to emerge is enormously valuable. So why not apply them every day instead of once a year?

Here are the practices I have come up with for clearing space for your greatness throughout the year. I hope you will join me and share your strategies here so we can learn together.

1.  Choose to do LESS

While December is typically a frenzied month with preparations and celebrations galore, for the first time ever I chose to do much less rather than much more. I turned inward. I enjoyed my family time immensely. Instead of running around “out there” I got busy “in here.” A few times I found myself feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing more. People around me talked about how busy and exhausted they were. In our culture, busyness and exhaustion has unfortunately become a bit of a badge of honor. On occasion I found myself feeling compelled to agree — yes I was very busy, too. I resisted the urge to explain myself.

You really do get to choose how busy you will be. This applies to every day and every month of the year, not just the holiday season. In 2016, I am officially trading in my “busy and exhausted” badge of honor on a quest to earn my “present and peaceful” badge.

2.  Clear Your Clutter

My “shedding” process originally started with a commitment to get rid of stuff. This time around I have been particularly ruthless in letting go of things. Funny enough, in the first box I opened there was a book called Clearing Your Clutter with Feng Shui. I finally read it! It added much fuel to my efforts as it clearly articulated the energetic cost of clutter. Even if you don’t buy into Feng Shui, it offers offers some excellent simple and practical advice on how to clear your clutter.

If you have trouble getting rid of things you could try a staged approach. Read Casting Off the Good Junk to learn about that (this was one of my most popular posts my first year of this blog). The bottom line is this:

Clearing your physical space creates both mental and emotional space that is energizing.

Here are the principles I am adopting from my year-end process for 2016:

– If I don’t love it or it doesn’t have a current purpose, it goes!

– If it doesn’t have a place and I don’t have time to deal with it in the moment, it goes in a transition box. That box will be empty on the last day of every month (and I have asked my family to hold me accountable for that!).

– I will handle paper (or e-mails) once. This one is going to take me a while to master, but I am very present to the value of this highly recommended practice by the organizing experts,, after hours and hours of dealing with the stuff that I let pile up.

Now that I have cleared so much clutter, I am finding great joy in reclaiming and reinventing some of the spaces in my home. That “junk room” is now well on the way to becoming one of my favorite spaces in our home.

3.  Transform Your Expectations

Expectations are, more often than not, the source of upset and disappointment. There are two fundamental ways to transform your expectations into something useful — because every expectation is a commitment to something. So start by getting clear about what commitment an expectation serves, and then choose one of two approaches.

One is to transform your expectation into a request. This year my request was that my husband and I do not exchange gifts, in service of my commitment to running around less and focus more on being grateful for what we have, especially each other. Instead we exchanged cards, not from Hallmark, but ones written from our hearts. Best gift ever!

The alternative is to notice your expectation and let go of it. Begin by asking yourself: is the expectation of someone or something outside of you an attempt to bend the world to your will — or is it a hope that, if fulfilled, means you matter or something else? Expectations are about you. That’s why letting go requires you to look inside rather than outside for whatever it is you want or need. It can be hard, but taking this first step points you in the only direction that will empower you, rather than set you up for potential disappointment.

What practices are you putting in place to support you in having a magnificent year?

 

Image credit: Bessi

 

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Cindy Rose   |   12 January 2016   |   Reply

This is a very positive advice. And good words to live by!

Susan Mazza   |   15 February 2016   |   Reply

Thank you Cindy!