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Making Room for Something New

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Over ten years ago I read about “making room for something new” in a book – for the life of me I can’t remember which one. Perhaps one of you may know and will share so I can give credit where credit is due.

The idea is that is our lives and physical spaces are crammed to the gills with too much, there is no room for anything new to come along. New ideas, opportunities (and even cool stuff) will bypass us because we have no place to put it. We must be willing to create – and tolerate – empty spaces.

Sounds easy enough, I know, but in our hyper-minded western culture where more stuff is a badge of honor and “crazy busy” is a source of pride, tolerating empty spaces in our homes, our lives and in our businesses can be a tough row to hoe. And I oughta know. I’m the child of a child of The Depression. I have a terrible time getting rid of anything or anyone because “I might need it or them someday”.

BUT, I am going through some kind of crazy metamorphosis these days. (As an aside, did you know that when a catepillar crawls up into its cocoon, it doesn’t just sprout wings and antenna. Oh no, it completely breaks down into goo and totally rearranges it’s DNA into that of a butterfly. Pretty amazing visual, I’d say.)

At any rate, I am literally felling sismic shifts happening from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Change is coming – BIG change. Some of that change I invited to the party, I know what it is (and it is huge for me and my family). But there is other, more fundamental change. I can feel my DNA rearranging – into what I do not know yet.

Like a caterpillar following it’s instincts, I spent the entire weekend making room for this new thing, whatever it is. I’ll share my to do list for creating empty space.

1. Cleaned and redecorated my home office. Found bright red burlap and cotton curtain panels on sale. Moved a piece of furniture and cleaned out two file drawers. They now sit empty, waiting for this “new thing” to fill them.

2. Same for desktop surfaces. With the exception of things I need like paper, pens, my phone and my computer – everything else is put away. Empty surfaces are more inviting to new, great stuff I think.

3. Piled up all my clothes that I don’t just love. Clothes I don’t wear; clothes that aren’t just right; clothes I tolerate. Closet is pretty empty. wonder what kind of wardrobe I’ll need for this new thing that’s coming?

4.  Same for shoes. I’ve made many a bad shoe purchase and then felt guilty and kept shoes that I didn’t like or that hurt my feet. They are gone now. I have no idea what kind of shoes I’m going to need. In the meantime, I’ll live with the few pairs I have.

5. Took broken stuff and stuff I just don’t like to the Habitat for Humanity Store, the Men’s Mission and Salvation Army. I would rather give to someone else who wants it and needs it than feel icky every time I look at it.

6. Choose the three criteria an an opportunity must meet if it is to get my attention. These criteria apply to social, family and business opportunities. Keeping my criteria simple helps me make good, solid decisions – and make them quickly. Beats the heck out of agonizing for days and days.

So, that’s what I did this weekend. The trick will be tolerating these new empty spaces and resisting the temptation to fill them with whatever happens along.

I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

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