Creating a clearing

As I mentioned last week, I'm currently taking the Mondo Beyondo e-course, and I wanted to share with you a lesson from the class that is really resonating with me: Creating a Clearing.

Jen Lemen (who facilitates the class along with Andrea Scher) writes:

A clearing is a wide open empty space in your life that is ready for something new or amazing to emerge. A clearing can be a cleaned-out closet or a regularly unscheduled Saturday. A clearing can be dissolving an unproductive business partnership or going to bed early two days in a row. A clearing can be saying no to a pesky friend or saying yes to a forbidden treat. A clearing can be as simple as taking out the trash or as serious as leaving a job or ending a not-so healthy relationship. A clearing can be recycling that piece of furniture you never really liked, not for one second.

This lesson could not have been more timely for me. In recent weeks, I have been feeling a strong urge to create space in my life and let go of clutter, both literally and mentally. Part of this urge is a desire to make room for the adventures, experiences, and dreams of a New Year and part of it, I believe, is simply that I am growing out of some patterns and behaviors that no longer serve me and developing new ones that do.

Some of the ways I've been creating a clearing are:
  • Eliminating the junk and impurities out of my diet and embracing wholesome and healthy foods that nourish me and leave me feeling light, energized, and clean. (Added bonus: I've lost almost 10 pounds.)
  • Sorting through old clothing, shoes, etc. and donating four bags of things to charity.
  • Switching up my exercise routine (trying new yoga podcasts, adding weight-lifting to my rotation, pushing myself slightly outside of my comfort zone, etc.)
  • Saying no to social functions and other activities that I don't truly desire to attend and instead treating myself to an artist's date or just a relaxing night at home.
  • De-cluttering my cubicle and using the freed up space for a stash of pretty office supplies.
  • Avoiding the kind of conversation that saps my energy (gossip, complaining, mindless small-talk) and instead seeking out opportunities for genuine connection.
  • Trading in chemical laden cosmetics and cleaning supplies for organic/eco-friendly alternatives.
  • Researching volunteer opportunities. (I've found that one of the most effective ways to create space in your own heart is by sharing your time and energy with others. I really miss doing volunteer work, and have been wanting to get back into it.)
  • Clearing my blog reader and twitter feed of stuff I no longer find interesting/relevant and replacing them with stuff that more closely aligns with my current interests.
I have to say - it feels wonderful. I feel relaxed, expansive, and open to whatever wonderful things are headed my way in the coming months. There's something really empowering about saying goodbye to the things we no longer want/need in our lives and welcoming in the things we do.

How do you create a clearing?

Image via Girl Meets NYC.


stephanie alaine said...

wow, your clearing are concise and legible...mine were:imaginary! i love your ideas, how you have seen your day and your space from start to finish, and found tiny ways to clear out from different places. i know this will bring about a lightness that will lift you. xo

Lauren said...

What a great post! I, too, have been trying to find clearings in my life. It feels GREAT!

If you find any great volunteer opportunities, please let me know! I've been wanting to find a way to give of my time and myself.

Rachel said...

I love this and I've been trying to do something very similar recently. Pushing out the toxic of my life, is what I've been calling it.

alisha said...

what a timely post. i've been feeling the urge to do the same thing lately, but now i have a name for it: clearing. yes, i need to clear a lot from my life.

Rochelle said...

Yes, I feel the need for an early Spring "clearing" myself! I hadn't really thought about clearing out unhealthy foods though too ...sigh...good idea though! ;->

kateigh said...

i love this. there is just no time for things you don't want or need in your life. this is such a big step to happiness and i envy you for doing it so well. i must confess i will be going through this post a hundred times and stealing some idea.

a clearing is exactly what i need.

DescribeHappy said...

I've just found you today and already I'd head over heels!! You've given words to something I have been wanting in my life and described how to attain it. I need to think about how this would look in my life and give it a try!
Oh, and you mentioned yoga podcasts.. do you mind sharing which ones you use?

green ink said...

Fabulous post! I've definitely been doing a lot of clearing out in the literal and metaphorical sense. A big part of it for me was letting it sink in that I can choose what/who I have in my life. I can let go of things that don't work for me anymore. It's nice to give yourself permission to be selective, instead of settling :D

Love your work as always! Very inspiring words today. xx

chelsea rebecca said...

found your blog through kateigh's.
WONDERFUL POST!! so true and so inspiring!

Meg said...

this is just what i needed to hear right now! i wish i could attend this class :) i am definitely working on clearing my life right now, to make it more what i want it to be. it's hard to know where to start, and your list is very inspiring!

Kimbirdy said...

This is exactly what I crave every January. And this month I've created a clearing by making filling my well a priority. Instead of doing fun things in my spare time, I make doing fun, rejuvenating things a required part of every day. I can't tell you how much energy I have now {physical, mental, emotional} to face the stresses of life!

And I've been doing so much better about creating boundaries right up front. I say no to people now without a second thought. Better for me and for them!

Thanks for this post - it's so important!

kaileenelise said...

this is such a lovely post. it sounds like you are creating space for some really wonderful things. i cannot wait to hear about what grows in the clearing you've created! ♥kaileenelise

Sallie Ann said...

what a great and important journey you're taking. I am really excited about your style experience. Because I consider part of my job to be helping people discover their style, I have to say, it's a lovely and really honorable aspect of what I do. Also, with "clearing space," I just think it's so important. It's funny; when I started writing the Bunny-bites blog, and discovered all the great chefs and options that were new to me, I was motivated to clean and clear so many other aspects of my life. It's changed everything in a much less stressful, and joyfel way. Bravo to you!

Analiese Marie said...

Thank you for your supportive words everyone. It is so wonderful to hear from others who are on this journey of clearing the clutter and making room for great things.

Carolyn said...

Love this. I always talk about how I want to simplify and declutter and lately, I feel like my life has become uber cluttered in more ways than one. This post is inspiring - thank you!

Kiki said...

I absolutely relate to this 100%, especially the things you are clearing out of your life to make room for the real, authentic Annaliese Marie. The phrase is beautiful, too - "creating a clearing" is incredibly evocative.

For what it's worth, I think this is definitely one of your top five posts ever!

The Robertsons of Mumbai said...

Love this! I am pretty much on the same track for this year, albeit a slow track! :)


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