We are deep into Autumn, the season of letting go. Trees are losing their last leaves, the fruits have fallen from the branches and we can see through the bareness of the limbs.
We can mirror this season in our own lives by clearing the clutter – letting go of old, dead, useless things and thoughts, to make room for new growth and blooming.
Clutter isn’t just piles of papers and stacks of unsorted bills. Clutter can be anything you no longer use: trinkets you used to collect, clothes you no longer wear, wedding gifts from a previous marriage.
Not only do these things take up space in our homes, they keep us attached to a version of ourselves that we no longer are.
And until we let them go, we cannot move into the authentic person we truly are.
For several years I created artworks from found and recycled materials. I had full drawers and boxes, neatly organized and arranged with all kinds of objects and doodads for my creations.
Sometimes a friend would call, asking for some odd item and, sure enough, I had it.
But after two years of not making art, it occurred to me that, not only were all of these things taking up precious space, but they were making me feel bad that I wasn’t creating anything.
I kept the things for “just in case” I needed something, but realized that, I can always find them again if I do. (And finding them was part of the fun of it, after all.) The bottom line was, I was no longer that kind of artist and so I didn’t need to hold on to all of those things.
There was such freedom in the revelation.
I spent an entire weekend sorting through all of my stuff. I filled 4 boxes for Goodwill, 2 bags for trash and even made a pile of some real treasures to give to an artist friend. And yes, I kept a few special items that were just too wonderful to part with.
It was a great feeling to open up empty drawers, to feel the space I had created. Not just the physical space in the drawers, but that new space in my identity. I loved being able to stretch into the new questions: Who did I want to be now? How did I want to express myself creatively now?
It’s impossible to move into this place of transformation if we are living in a space filled with old things, old beliefs, old habits.
The first step toward any change is really examining what no longer serves us. From there we can find the courage and the desire to let those things go, to make space for new growth, new questions, new possibilities.
So what things, beliefs, habits are cluttering your life and keeping you from being able to ask new questions?
As we move into this season of letting go, what are you ready to let go of that is no longer serving who you want to be in your life?
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