Sometimes it feels like the world is so full of clutter. There is noise in the streets, social media, and a house full of stuff. It can be overwhelming. I have found some simple ways to declutter my life that hopefully will help you as well. There is nothing like a clean house and a clean “world” to give you peace, allow you view your life with hope and be ready to face whatever struggle comes your way.
It is the holiday season! Ideally, we are connecting with family and friends and acknowledging all for which we are grateful.
I was listening to a Christmas song –“This Christmas Moment” - my old high school BFF created and performed with the group Digital Soldiers. (Don’t anyone say I won’t splurge and spend .99 cents on an old friend!)
It is a great song but it also prompted me to think about how many times I hear people say they hate the holiday season and they just can’t wait till it is over. It is almost as if it is not connected to a real feeling but an ingrained habit on how tiring the season may be.
This holiday season – Don’t wish time away. (Actually, try to never wish time away.) This is what life is. Enjoying people in our lives. Connecting with the world around us. Even if you are away from family or friends or feel alone – there are moments you can connect with the now. Take a moment of quiet and look at that neighbor’s house with the beautiful Christmas Lights. Recognize when someone goes out of their way to help someone else. Honor the commonalities you see with others – especially those we call family and friends - rather than all that divides us. Take action to fight the injustices that are keeping you up at night and engage with all your being. If you are making or buying gifts, try to stop and enjoy it rather than just checking off one more task on your to-do list. Share the stories of your history and your personal holidays with those around you. Even if you don’t celebrate any of the holidays from around this time of year – focus on what you do celebrate and make an effort to fully engage in each moment – don’t just wait for it to be over. If you want to take your kids on the Polar Express – do it. If you want to look at the lights at an arboretum. Do it! If you want to find a beach to rest on - do it. If you want to play nonstop holiday music – do it. Just don’t hibernate counting the days to January.
Embrace the secret Santa exchanges (or as my work team is doing this year, a secret menorah exchange) at work and the holiday parties and the bustle of the seasons. Write out Christmas cards to connect with those who come in and out of our lives. Go to the holiday concerts and school activities. Create your own ritual for those with whom you can no longer share your holidays. Embrace the quiet moments you do find - relish them more because they may be far between. If you feel lonely or sad – feel those feelings – it is all part of the gloriousness of life!
There is never enough time. There are no guarantees that all the people you love – or even yourself – will be here next year. Stop yourself when you start to complain about the busyness. When you hear yourself say that you just want the season to be over – recognize and remind yourself that you really want to enjoy this time of year and remember you have the power to enjoy it.
Live your life. Actively live your life. There is never enough time – Don’t wish any of it away.