In life, there will always be a force to oppose your force. There will always be resistance, and people who thrive on that resistance become innovators. It’s Yin & Yang. Its the tension between dark and light, yes and no, stretch and sit still that is engaging. Its really funny when you are so psyched up and excited for change and at the same time you cling to the present, no matter how crappy it is. That’s the dichotomy of many of our lives- we crave evolution and yet we struggle to hold on to things the way they are- even the way we look- with equal fervor. Its not a disorder or a human failure- its the natural laws of physics, of nature, at play in life. What do you do, though, when you are so at odds with yourself that you can’t quite take a solid step forward?
Clear some space. Then, take a big risk that you can manage. And another, and another.
My favorite quote from Albert Einstein: ” “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I’ve done it so many times that it makes me crazy. I should know better. We should all kn0w better, right?
I talk a lot about creating space and decluttering life on many levels. Its a basic principle of feng shui that chi- or life force- needs to flow well for optimal experience of life. Some people hoard things to excess (which indeed is a disorder) because they can’t quite handle the idea of change. Other people don’t hoard objects, they hoard trauma or upset or failures and magnify them in both their mind and their spaces. When you get rid of stuff, you are now exposed to air where you were blocked. You are now attractive where you were once hidden. This is all very emotionally startling for someone who has lived in clutter for a long time. Its also tremendously exciting to have empty space and infinite ways to design that space.
Declutter. Then take some risks.
Lots of times I see my clients struggle because they are trying to hold on to things the way they are even though they want change. I have done that as well, in certain ways, and it required lots of different experts to lead me back to the same conclusion: letting things go creates space to experience more of life. But.. if you don’t dare to fill that space with fresh things (or allow it to be filled), we have a funny way of reverting right back to the safe feeling of a cluttered mess and start the cycle all over again.
Declutter. Then take some risks.
Risks don’t have to be outrageous for the sake of themselves. Something as simple as enrolling in a class or writing a letter- if it makes you insanely uncomfortable and yet extremely excited- that is a risk. A personal risk can be telling someone how you feel about them, taking on a physical challenge, travelling somewhere you have never been. These things don’t have to be “Eat, Pray, Love-sized” risks, they can be more personally scaled…but they don’t count if you don’t feel excited to the point of sitting on the edge of your seat for at least a second in the process! To make things new, you have to feel that rush of the new and learn to embrace it!
There is a great article in Forbes about taking risks without drowning in them. You may not be prepared, say, to quit your job and travel the world without drowning a bit… but you may be prepared to take a month-long sabbatical to take a significant trip. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll ever be “ready” to take bigger risks- you will just be more comfortable with unfamiliar space. You might even crave it.
Breaking the cycle of clutter and comfortable numbness is magnificent. You may not know how stuck you are until you un-stick yourself! Take the time to prepare and create clean space…but get ready to fill the void you are creating with some dazzling new art, music, sensory experiences, breath and action. Design that dream life…and let yourself own it! xoxo Dana