Friday, December 29, 2006

Clearing Out for the New Year

I still can't believe that 2006 is almost over. It seems like we were just welcoming the New Year in and now it's time to do it all again. Of course, the end of the year is always a good time to reflect on meaningful experiences and lessons learned during the year. But it's also a great opportunity to prepare for new beginnings. I am a firm believer that in order to make room for new blessings of any kind... things, ideas, relationships... we have to first take on the challenge of clearing our space, our hearts and our minds of those things that are no longer useful to us.

The spiritual implications of this concept are enormous, but the same theory applies to our personal space. In her wonderful book, Simple Abundance, Sara Ban Breathnach suggests that we "rid ourselves of anything we do not believe to be beautiful or useful - as we restore order to our homes and simplify our lives." Of course only the wealthiest among us can afford to get rid of everything that we don't absolutely love or need and replace it with something new. But we can beautify our surroundings and simplify our lives by getting rid of some of that "stuff" that just doesn't work for us anymore.

No matter how great that sale was, if you bought something you're never going to use, was it really a bargain? Are you compelled to fill your precious space with gifts you don't like and won't use, just because someone gave them to you? If you haven't worn it for 2 years, are you really planning to? Ask yourself the tough questions and listen to your honest answers.

Consider donating items you no longer use to a charitable organization. Not only will you free up precious space and reduce clutter, but you may even be able to get a tax write-off for your contribution. Consider re-gifting items as appropriate. Surely you know someone who will appreciate those unwanted gifts more than you would. And, finally, if you don't want it, and can't think of anyone else who would either, let it go! You'll be amazed at the difference you'll notice as you free up physical and emotional space for new blessings.

And... since this is primarily a knitting blog... I can't pass up this opportunity to make a shameless plug. If during your clearing out process you find yarn that you no longer want/need, please consider donating it to Soulful Knitting Ministries for use in our prayer shawls for women who have been victims of sexual violence. While full skeins of yarn are great, we are equally appreciative of leftover yarn of any length (at least 12" long).

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