Jane/Susannah/Sadie here, having watched her baby graduate high school last week and wondering where the time went…
Kim’s post last week about her photo organizing, Liz’s post about her vision boards, and the fact that my son started a new job before he heads off to Boston for college in the fall, have all got me thinking. Now, I’m the kind of person who always has projects in various states of completion: knitting projects, sewing projects, painting, redecorating (although, I’m not sure you can call it “redecorating” if you never really decorated in the first place), genealogy (which never ends, but generates a lot of paperwork and electronic files), recipes, old tax returns, and of course, photographs.
Sending my son off into the world is coinciding with my finishing the last book in my contract. And it’s all got me thinking that it’s time to do some serious preparation if I want new things to enter this new era of my life. The same way uncontained water will enter any space it has access to, or cold air rushes in to displace warm air if given the chance, new things enter your space when you make space for them.
I have had this principle work many times, sometimes with conscious effort and sometimes with no thought at all. It’s so simple, and it works for everyone, but you need to keep an open mind because the outcome may not be exactly what you envisioned. All you have to do is start clearing physical and mental space.
Clean your closet and take a load of seldom-used clothes to the Goodwill. Take an honest look at your pantry, and donate any unexpired food you know you will never use to the food bank. If you know you’ll never reread a book, donate it (and its sisters and brothers) to the library book sale. Evaluate your tchotchkes and throw or give some away. Reorganize your junk drawer. The key is, you must actually get the stuff out of your house. If your intent is to donate it somewhere, you must actually complete the task and deliver the donation to its intended recipient. The larger the volume of stuff you take out, the more important or impressive the new thing that will come in becomes.
Just as good as clearing physical space is clearing mental space. Everyone has things they procrastinate on–I probably have more things than most of you, as I am the queen of avoidance, LOL! Perhaps you dread going to the dentist–make an appointment and show up for it. Do you have an old project that makes you feel guilty every time you look at it because you never finished it? Do it, or officially abandon it and get it out of your house if you can. Is there an old friend you’ve been meaning to call, but just keep putting it off until you have more time? Make the call now. Is there something you’re afraid of, like public speaking? Take some action and try out a Toastmasters meeting. Been meaning to renew your passport, but just haven’t bothered because you don’t have international travel planned? Do it now anyway.
If you can combine both–clearing physical and mental space–the effects will be magnified. I did this a few years ago, and I got an agent and a book contract within the space of a week and a half. I’ve advised other friends to try it, and they’ve had book deals come through as well. Sometimes you’ll get an unexpected check in the mail. Sometimes an old friend you’ve been missing will call you to go to lunch. Sometimes the exact expensive handbag you’ve been Jonesing for will go on clearance and be eligible for free shipping.
Just this week, I scheduled a very long overdue hair appointment (do NOT look at my roots right now) and dealt with some paperwork I’d been avoiding, and bam! A new opportunity presented itself, one that I’d forgotten I’d put myself in the running for (if it pans out, I’ll tell you the details, I promise). Two phone calls that totalled about five minutes was all it took to shake that opportunity loose.
I have a feeling that when Kim finally completes her photo project, something fresh will enter her life. And you vision board kids? Look at your vision boards every day, but get rid of some life clutter and see how much faster the stuff you want–or something even better–appears.
If you try this, let me know what happens. Do you have any woo-woo in your life?