As the holidays kick into high gear, I am thankful and a bit overwhelmed as I fill in my calendar. There are parties to attend, dinners to organize, presents to buy, decorations to hang, and visits from out-of-towners, friends, and family to prepare for. As I anticipate the month to come, it feels like my to-do list is infused with a sense of accumulation. Although I look forward to the abundance and merriment of delighting in the decadence of December, I also feel a strong sense of urgency to resolve and handle certain issues so I do not carry them forward into 2018. And the good news is there is still time.
In my book The Integrity Advantage, I write,
"Integrity is a process of elimination—you need to let go of that which you have suppressed, clean out that which does not serve you, let go of toxicity, and make space.
To flow freely and powerfully toward the future, you must eliminate anything that might have a gravitational pull to the past or keep you connected to old karma or chaos. It’s like pulling out the old weeds before you plant new seeds, washing your face before you put on makeup, or clearing the table before you set it for the next meal. You always want to start with a clean work space."
To support me in starting the year with a “clean work space,” I have been spending time really contemplating the following three questions:
- What incompletions do I need to address?
- What do I need to clean up?
- What or whom do I need to let go of?
Already this past week I threw away garbage bags full of old papers, gave away clothes that I have not worn in years, dealt with an issue that required me to actually go down and wait in line at the Social Security Office, and finally got someone on the phone at Apple to discuss the recurring charges that appear on my credit card statement each month which I have no idea what they are for but since they are only add up to a few dollars, I justify ignoring.
Although on the surface each of these issues were “small,” the feeling of space and freedom that I feel now that they are resolved is huge. It fuels my desire to rid my life and surroundings of anything that might consciously or unconsciously be a drain on my energy. So as the year draws to an end, I want to encourage you to be mindful to not let your focus on your holiday shopping list deter you from spending time doing end-of year clean up. If you want to ring in 2018 with a sense of clarity and calm and joyously jump into January, than I invite you to join me in taking on elimination as well as accumulation.
Transformational Action Steps
Spend time looking at your life through the eyes of elimination.
(1) Dwell in the following questions:
- What incompletions do you need to tackle?
- What situations or relationships do you need to clean up?
- What or whom do you need to let go of?
(2) Make a list of action steps and make sure to schedule these action steps into your calendar.