In the past six weeks, I've let go of a lot.
A lot of material items, and a lot of inner releases as well.
It has been the most relaxed and joyful holiday season I've experienced for a very long time.
I've done major decluttering so many times that the process is familiar and even easy. I don't follow anyone's 'rules' for doing so. For example, some people try and get their wardrobe down to a set number of pieces. I don't see the point in that. I have a small area for my clothes. I just want them to fit in there neatly. I also want all of the clothes in there to be clothes that I feel happy wearing. Every so often, I go through them all when I realise that there are clothes in there that I just haven't been wearing. I try them on and ask myself two questions: "Is this comfortable?" (I only like clothes that I can't feel when they are on. No scratchy areas, or seams, or tightness.) And, "Do I feel good in this?". The feeling is not just the physical comfort, but the sub-conscious effect of the colour and style. With these two questions, it's very easy to decide on whether or not to keep something, or to let it go so that someone else might use it.
I have been through every cupboard of our little townhouse. It's amazing how many bits and pieces were hiding in the shadows! Again, two questions: "Do we actually use this?", and "Does this delight me?". Only one question needs a "yes" for an item to stay.
If we have been somewhere special, I often pick up a stone or a shell or an unusual stick or something. I keep these things around the place. When I can no longer remember where I picked that piece up, and the memory associated with it, I return it to the earth.
I got rid of several pieces of furniture that were just storage places for 'stuff'. In getting rid of a place to hold it, I then was able to be more ruthless in what stayed and what went as I moved things around.
I let go of the idea of being a great gardener. At least while we are living here. I have tried container gardening, but not very successfully. If I read more about it, and tested the soil, and moved the plants in and out of the sun or fertilised more or less frequently, I'd probably do better. I had been trying to grow different foods. The thing is, we can easily go through one lettuce in a day or two. The amount of space that I'd need to maintain our demand was crowding us, and the amount of time that it would take to care for that, can be better spent elsewhere. I got rid of a lot of extra garden pots and garden paraphernalia that was cluttering up our patio. It felt really good.
I let go of a lot of other projects that no longer felt important. These were things that had held a little piece / peace of me as I'd thought that I should finish them someday. Gone. Not necessary. I did all that I needed to do.
I let go of books that were no longer relevant. Now all of my books fit neatly on one shelf. I am going to take more time to read in the coming months. I rarely read fiction, it's usually books on health and spirituality that inspire me.
With Thanksgiving, two family birthdays, Christmas, and a road trip to visit extended family, the holiday season can feel overwhelming to me. I try to make each event and every person feel celebrated. A huge thing for me, is that I let go of that being my job, my responsibility. Instead,
I stayed authentically in my own Joy, and I let that ripple out.
Another huge thing for me, was that I let go of the grief that I still had about my Dad no longer being earthside. So many of my Christmas memories featured him so strongly, especially from my childhood. Christmas carols always reminded me of him as he loved to sing, and I loved his voice. I let go of the attachment to those early memories, I let go of the sadness that I wouldn't hear his voice again. Instead, I just remembered the Joy of those times. I felt a deep Peace, and a lot of gratitude for those memories.
I let go of having to do certain things. I wrote fewer Christmas cards. I baked fewer cookies. We did not put up all of the Christmas decorations. I spent more time doing things for myself, like going for a paddle out on the lake that we live on. Without guilt! With Joy!
I rarely went onto any social media. Before I cut back, I had tried to keep up with news and events from family and friends on a regular basis. But I just stopped. I stopped having to 'like' my friends posts. I also stopped the subtle comparison I was subjecting myself to when I thought I should be more like some of my friends who were fitter than me, or more creative than me, or more fun than me. I 'unliked' and unfollowed a whole bunch of pages and people. Maybe twice a week, I might have a quick scroll through Instagram and Facebook, and that's enough. I've got board games to play, books to read, new recipes to try, and fun to be had with the people that are here in my life right now.
I don't know what the new year has in store for us. I feel so good to be starting the year feeling so light. Feeling so Joy-Full. Feeling more space within me, and around me. Feeling calm and, with fewer distractions, more focused on goals.
I hope that you all are in a place of Peace, and that the year ahead brings you good health and great happiness.