Like most people, I spent this past weekend reflecting on the last ten years since 9/11/01.
The memorials certainly were top of mind, but the biggest reflection trigger was having what I hope to be the last garage sale of my life (although I’m not overly optimistic considering that was the exact same sentiment I expressed after the last three).
This time, I do believe it is true. I’ve changed.
Clearing the Clutter
No longer interested in acquisitions, I have officially entered the “less-is-more” phase of life. Many — like my old self — claim this phrase as a badge of honor before purchasing more, but without a doubt I’ve had a shift.
These days, I much prefer life experiences over Gucci purses.
I found myself more excited about letting go of things that have been weighing me down and keeping me stuck. So much so, that if someone really wanted something and started to haggle, I’d not only cave but give it to them outright with a “Merry Christmas” attached.
The most surprising lesson was uncovered in my clutter. After hunting through closets and drawers for long lost possessions that have lost their appeal, I realized how much not only my tastes have changed, but so have my needs.
Reflection Confirms You’re On Track
When my friend and mentor stopped by with her lovely spirit to offer much needed support during what I hoped would be a Saturday morning shopping stampede, I smiled.
My junk had reminded me of a decade old promise I’d made to myself, and I was excited to share it with her:
“Regardless of where I was or what I was doing, I promised myself I would take the time (ie. one entire year out of corporate America) for reflection to ensure I was staying true to my life’s purpose.”
Sounds deep, I know.
But I do feel it is extremely important to check in with yourself and ask those hard life questions about which areas of your life are working and which areas of your life aren’t…and then make the necessary changes.
Ten years ago when I made that promise, I had taken time off from my sales career to randomly attend NYU’s School of Continuuing and Professional Studies for Fine and Decorative Arts Appraisals.
I did so for no other reason than I had just gotten separated from my husband and was searching for my long lost joie de vivre.
So why not try something different and immerse myself in art, music and saying yes to whims galore?
It was time well spent.
That year of immersion led to new intentions (including keeping my 10-year-old promise today) which, upon reflection, became my reality over this past decade.
I lived in Manhattan, lived in Aspen, traveled extensively, learned a new career (or two), worked with smart people, won awards, loved hard, followed the Tour de France, took up painting, joined a ski team, competed in tennis, taught myself how to build websites, completed a basement remodel, rekindled my love for the Rocky Mountains, became an entrepreneur, met hundreds of new (real and virtual) friends and most importantly laughed a lot.
“You’ve certainly done a lot of livin’ these past ten years,” she said.
Yes I have.
Slowing Down To Create My Future
So in March of this year, I kicked off another year of reflection and planning for my future.
I slowed down. I consciously exchanged the “must do’s” for “or nots” and began the process of recentering to help intend what I experience in this upcoming decade.
I can’t wait to see how my future reality will unfold.
I’m actually surprising myself at some of the intentions I’ve been creating. Heck, why not shoot for the moon?
So I’ve been mentally, physically and emotionally preparing for the next ten. Like most bootlegging entrepreneurs who choose to follow their dreams over corporate America, I’ve happily started the process of downsizing my life even further so I can live even bigger.
Interestingly enough, one word keeps popping up during this planning stage: freedom.
I noticed that with each truckload of garage sale leftovers donated to the salvation army, I exhaled deeply and felt more alive. I also felt more on-purpose.
It was freeing.
And that’s what I want more than anything going forward: freedom to live my life on my own terms.
Live and Learn.
We’d love to hear your perspective!
Have you been taking the time to set clear intentions about your future? Do you need to de-clutter? Are you happy with your last ten?
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It only takes a second, but it makes a huge difference to me!
~ by Connie Hammond ~