It’s a simple question I asked myself this past year that led me to some big and small life changes. One of the big changes was seeing my oldest graduate from college. Another was preparing for the loss of yet another sibling due to cancer. And, yet another was making a major lifestyle change in where I lived. As I ploughed through years of accumulated memories and stuff, I used joy as the filter for what stayed and what had to go. I am shocked at how much stuff I had hung on to, that had long ago stopped giving me joy.
I gifted and I donated my way to creating space for what I really wanted.
One of the many things I gifted was boxes of ornaments that I really didn’t like but had hung on my tree year after year.
I donated all of them.
I then went on a search to find what I wanted on my tree. I loved these little mercury indent ornaments as a child — they were my favorite. I also LOVED the bubble lights. (Remember those?) I would sit for hours dreaming of what I wanted looking at those lights.
I am looking at my tree this morning filled with ornaments that bring me joy and fond memories. I found something small and simple that makes me smile by just looking at them.
I like to think that somewhere the ornaments that I let go of are on someone’s else tree making them feel immense joy this holiday.
I then went on a spree of letting go what no longer served me. In creating space for people, I really cared about in my life, for my work choices I had come to be passionate about, the hobbies I wanted to pursue, I could see my dreams really come true.
If we don’t let go of what no longer gives us joy, we don’t have space for what we really want to show up. When we let go, we allow that ornament, that client, that project to find someone that will be overjoyed to have it. And, we invite in what we are looking for.
Noticing joy is the first step to creating what you want. It’s a powerful filter for how you make decisions.
If you’re planning for 2018 (and I hope you are), notice where joy is present in your life. I urge you to keep it simple, set yourself up for quick success and create the life you love. As hard as it is, letting go and making way for the new is the simplest yet an effective way to live.