In the past, I found the beginning of a new year to be both exciting and sad. It was sad because the holiday season was ending and often with it the joyous attitude of many people. It was exciting because the year was new and full of opportunity.
Entering into 2008 I feel no sadness; only excitement and opportunity. I look forward to removing the holiday decorations because it feels like I’m clearing out the old to welcome the new. The weight of the holiday season is being lifted in anticipation of new ventures, new opportunities, new possibilities.
Throughout the year and especially during this past month, I’ve spent time cleaning out closets and drawers in our house. We have a standing rule: If you haven’t used it or worn it in two years, it gets donated. I love donating knowing that what I no longer need, use, or want, can find new life with someone else. I’ve been blessed with many “things” in my life and over time many of those “things” lose their luster for me. It is a sign of my changing as a person; a change in decorating taste, a change in color preference, a change in attitude that tells me I want to make life better for someone else and that I no longer need “stuff” to feel worthy. We have a great community organization nearby. WHEAT Community Services provides services to families in our area, runs a food pantry, a community cafe, and a thrift store and collaborates with other community agencies. What impressed me most about WHEAT was knowing that my donations support people in my surrounding area. It is not uncommon to drop off items for donation to WHEAT and have them set aside something specific for a certain family with an immediate need. They know their clients by name and what they need.
And it isn’t just material things that I’m clearing from my life. I’ve made new friends, re-established past friendships, grown stronger in current friendships and “released” other people and commitments from my life. I’m listening to that inner voice and learning to pay more attention to it. Organization is also rearing its head. Rolling carts in the studio to hold materials and tools previously stacked on tables and shelving to get stuff off the floor. Baskets and containers in the kitchen and bathroom to consolidate body condiments and display goodies.
I no longer make resolutions. I never kept them and always questioned why we made resolutions to do something that we should probably be doing all year round anyways. And if I decided I was going to do something, why should I wait until the beginning of a new year to do it? Christine Kane has a great approach to making resolutions on her blog. She refers to traditional resolutions as the DO-HAVE-BE model where we typically get stuck in the DO mode. Instead, Christine recommends a BE-DO-HAVE model where we begin changing our lives on the BE level which in turn makes the DO and HAVE levels easier to attain.
One thing I did decide to do this year was to participate in Christine’s Great Big Dreams e-Seminar. It started this week and I’m already contemplating future blog posts based on what I’m learning and experiencing. It is another way in which I’m clearing out and being clear for the new year.
How are you clearing out for the new year?