June 25, 2012
Passion. It’s right up there with food, water and oxygen on the long list of must-haves in life.
If you’re passion has lost its sheen or you‘ve never quite been able to identify it, I suggest the following:
- Go back in your history to a simpler time when you were a child. What got you excited?
- Answer the question: What hobbies have I dropped that I used to like?
- Clean out a closet. You know I swear by it. When you clear your space of the old, the new is bound to come in. Nature hates a vacuum.
- Answer the question: If money were no object, how would I live? Start from there.
- Create a vision board from magazine pictures and words.
You won’t be able to form the future you want to see if you don’t have a vision. And a vision is fueled by your passion. So if you’ve lost yours, it’s time to consider what will make you fly.
And I’ll be right there, cheering you on when you do.
June 11, 2012
It all started with the blue dress. My daughter and her best friend begged me to take them shopping so, never being one to say no to some leisure, I carted them to the mall in Ingolstadt. Pressing some cash into her palm, I told Daughter to use it wisely. She winked. I wasn’t sure whether to be worried or laugh. I chose the latter.
As with many things in my life, the blue dress called out to me.
“You must take me home with you.” I drew nearer. Was it really talking to me? Now I know textiles don’t talk, but this one was definitely saying something. I found it hard not to listen.
“But I don’t need you,” I whispered into the clothing rack. A few eyes around the store fell upon me. I tried to ignore them.
“Trust me,” the dress whispered back. “Yes, you do.”
I tried it on to be sure I wasn’t losing my mind. It gave me a hug. I could feel it. So I pulled out the cash and bought it. Full retail price.
When I got home, I took one look at my closet and realized I couldn’t possibly hang this beautiful thing next to so many drabby clothes that smacked of compromise, reason and bargain-hunting.
I started pulling out all kinds of clothing that I really couldn’t stand. Dresses my dear, fashionable sister handed down to me that never really quite fit, clothing I bought on an impulse because I thought it made sense at the time, handbags with stained interiors, and one thigh-high stocking whose pair must have gotten lost in the shuffle at some point. A question formulated in my mind.
“Do I love it?” If the answer wasn’t yes, I dumped it.
Not everything I tossed was old or thread-bare: a sweater I only wore once, a scarf someone well-meaning had given me, an old jacket I donned a dozen times. Other items I kept: a cocktail dress I wore to George H. W. Bush’s Inaugral ball (which, by some miracle, still fits), the dress I wore to the theater the night Princess Diana died, a twenty-four year old Victoria’s secret night gown that has seen more tears than I can tell you.
If clothing makes the woman, then I have set myself free.
The message was obvious. We all need to engage in space clearing in our lives. Whether they are physical things, bad relationships or harmful habits, each of us can start anew by making room for new possibilities. Sometimes all it takes is a moment to listen.
Thank you, blue dress. You were right. I needed you more than I realized.
**Editor’s Note: Not sure how to space clear? This post will tell you.
January 6, 2011
What is it about a new year that brings our desire for sweeping change? Afriend of mine showed me her list of intentions this year. When she asked me what mine were, I gave her a single answer. “It is the Year of the Narrative.” She asked what it meant, and I attempted to explain. In truth, I am not certain what it looks like specifically. And I don’t have the desire to define it further than that. I am relying on my intuition to guide me to that which is true.
It may seem like a cop out. After all, so much of our world is about control. Controlling our weight; controlling our fate. But oddly I don’t have the need to control what happens, but rather a sincere desire to bask in the unfolding.
Something about the new year drives me to clear away the old (Christmas decorations included!). Books that once claimed an inalienable right on my shelves have withered into unimportance. Clothes that I once treasured have found their way into the recycling bin.
Transience. Everything shifts back to the source at one time or another. Even as I write these lines, the snow my son is vigorously shoving off the porch in veils of white will soon return to the heavens.
So while many have written resolutions to abide by, I make the single claim that time is my friend for as long as I have it.
Everything else shall pass.
September 8, 2009
You may have ignored its calling, but its crisp edges slice your skin as you enter it. The cool of fall may have only peeked once or twice through the late-summer haze. But its undertones can be heard, if ever vaguely, beneath the sound of the cicadas.
Oddly, I have welcomed its siren-like beckoning this year. Perhaps it has to do with the heat wave that swaddled us interminably during our vacation in Virginia. I am ready to release the heat to far-away plains that have waited patiently for its return in the Southern Hemisphere.
Just as the seasons teach us the ebb and flow of life, so does the space awakening process I developed while living in impossibly small places during my entire married life. We enter; we depart. We carry in; we carry out. While I never reach the perfect balance, I have learned how much negative energy clutter holds for me. As a result, the space awakening process liberates the energy tangible items hold.
If you feel ready to engage in this de-cluttering process, here are a few guidelines to help you on your way.
Three-step Space Awakening Process:
For Beginners: Toss out three things you no longer need. They can be as simple as three old pens that no longer work or three items of clothing that no longer fit. Silently thank the pens for their service, then say good-bye.
For the Intermediate: Go to one drawer and empty it. Evaluate what you’ve been keeping and why. Then, if you really don’t need it, give it away or a give it a toss.
For Advanced Declutterers: Identify every item in a room you no longer need. Hold a yard sale, sell it on eBay or give it to your local charity.
Liberate your space from the things that do not serve you. Help other family members to do the same. As you consciously lighten your load, you will invite new things to enter your life. Just as surely winter follows fall, your life’s rhythm will be in more harmony with your surroundings than ever before.