It’s the last day of October, which means many things to many people. For most people in this country, it’s Halloween; a day to dress up in a costume and either eat a lot of candy or drink a lot of alcohol. Whichever it is, it’s usually something that people do to excess, and it’s loud. For many people, it’s the end of the gardening season. The farmers’ markets end, gardens are turned over and patio furniture is cleaned off and put in storage. For many pagans, it’s Samhain (pronounced Sow-an) which is the start of the new year. Like the Day of the Dead in Mexico, this is the time when supposedly the veil between the spirit and physical worlds becomes very thin and communication between the two is more likely. Of course, this is the reason why Halloween came to have all its trappings. Whatever it is, just like the falling leaves, it signals the end of something, and the start of something else.
With the lengthening of the nights and the shortening of the amount of light (and heat!) each day, I’ve been feeling much more introspective lately. I’ve got what I call “a big round number birthday” coming up in a few months, and I’ve just been in the spirit of purging. I’m trying to clean out my apartment, but also my emotions, mind, relationships, and anything else that doesn’t serve me anymore. I’m been doing a lot of personal development and I’m really ready to try some new things, and I’ve come to the realization that I really have to unload myself of a lot of baggage (whether that’s the junk in my storage unit or thoughts that keep me from trying new things) and are hanging onto me and not letting me really get off the ground. There’s also the concept that I can’t welcome anything new into my life if I have my hands full. Whatever the metaphor, I need to get rid of stuff.
The revelation has brought of the question of how do I decide what to chuck and what to keep. I’ve managed to come up with (for me) is a very simple question: Is it sacred? To me, that means “Does it add energy and joy to my life?” We all know of the times when we look at a pile of papers of something and it just sucks the life out of us. This can happen with people as well as things, and I’m really trying to listen to myself and what my insides are telling me. This is forcing me to do the processing function of Getting Things Done philosophy which is basically to look at something and decide what to do with it, instead of just wanted to ignore it and hope it goes away. That only makes it so your at the same place when you have to face it again, and you waste time trying to figure out what to do next.
Whether it’s scraping off the metaphorical barnacles that have attached themselves to me, or the dumping of baskets of paper into recycling bins, it’s about freeing myself up for new things. This raging extrovert has been really getting in touch with his introverted side and is really taking the time to consider what is really all around me and whether I need it or not. I’ve got a new decade to look forward to, and I want to pack lightly and just carry what I need. There should be plenty of new adventures for me and I want to be able to reach out and grab it.
So, what do you need to give up that keeping you from adventure?
Note: If you want to do some work with me and consider your own needs, join me on the day after Thanksgiving for my 4th Annual Alternative Black Friday Retreat. It’s only $20 and a great way to stay away from the crowds and think about what’s really important. It could be a great gift to you.