At the end of the year there are lots of posts making the rounds about how to close out 2013 and start your 2014 off right. What I’m particularly interested in at this time of year, in addition to my three regular reflection questions (what am I proudest of from 2013, what do I want to leave behind in 2013, and what do I want to invite in for 2014), is the notion of making space.
Over and over in the last few years I have seen the necessity of making space in order for the things I want to show up.
Just as we clean out our closets in the spring to make room for new clothes or we give away old furniture when we buy a new sofa, we have to get rid of the things that are taking up our emotional and energetic space in order to allow the things we want to arrive. If there’s no space, there’s nowhere for them to go so they don’t show up. And we sit there amidst the tattered threads of our feelings wondering why we can’t get what we want.
There was no way for me to be in a great relationship as long as I kept my life filled with one that broke my heart repeatedly and left me feeling worthless and sad, so I had to clear that out and get ok with being on my own for the first time in my life. There was no way for my work to become aligned with my passion as long as I stayed in a job that made my soul ache and my teeth clench, so I jumped off the cliff with no safety net and landed on my feet.
Now I’m not saying you need to quit your job with no plan lined up, but too often we think we have to have the thing we want before we let go of what we don’t. But life often doesn’t work that way.
We have to be certain, be committed to the idea of what we want enough that we’re willing to make space for it, we’re willing to take action to invite it into our lives rather than just sitting around visualizing it or wishing it were so.
You may not be able to make your dream job show up, but what are you doing to make space for it so when it does, you’re ready?
Some questions to ask yourself about where you can make space for the things you want in your life:
What am I holding on to that makes me feel crappy?
Maybe it’s a relationship, or an element of your work, or a personal commitment that you just don’t enjoy, that doesn’t bring you more energy. When you become aware of the areas that aren’t serving you, you can begin to loosen them. Spend less time with that person, or better yet, end the relationship. Create boundaries around what you will and will not do, allowing for more of what you want inside your boundaries. It’s ok to leave empty space inside your boundaries. That’s where the good stuff shows up.
Are there things in my life that I associate with something unpleasant?
For me, it was things that reminded me of my ex-boyfriend – gifts from him, things he’d bought for my house, etc. I was ruthless and threw or gave every single item away, including something I’d bought myself that I loved but that reminded me of our relationship every time I looked at it. It was hard but it had to go. Get rid of the physical reminders of things that make you feel small. They take up more than just physical space, they eat away at your energy and your happiness. You’ll feel a ton lighter when they’re gone.
Am I freaked out by the idea of more space?
How does it feel when you consider getting rid of something but not replacing it right away? Exhilarating? Terrifying? Icky? We live in such a consumerist world and are bombarded by the notion that MORE makes us happy, so it can be scary to let go of something and just let there be empty space in our lives. Whether it’s physical or emotional, the idea of emptiness can be intimidating. But it’s when we allow ourselves a little more breathing room that we discover what we want, how we feel, what we need. The empty space won’t hurt you. Make friends with it. Let there be a spot in your living room that you haven’t filled yet, or a day on your calendar that you don’t fill up with social activities. You never know what might show up when you create the space.
May your 2014 be filled with love and light, and all the space you need.