'"What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen. " - Henry David Thoreau
One of the obstacles in deciding to go back to work, change careers or go back to school is the “someday stuff" we accumulate in our personal lives, which hinders our getting on track professionally. When I sat down and took stock of all the creative/household projects I have accumulated over the years, I realized it would take more than one lifetime to get them all finished! Let's face it - my projects were definitely going to outlive me.
What is it about getting rid of piles of unread magazines, tossing out that accumulated junk hiding in drawers, donating clothes that haven't been worn in years, and letting go of old projects waiting to get our attention? Why do we allow these “someday" things to take up so much space in our environment and in our head?
When I started to let go of my accumulated personal projects two years ago, I asked myself questions like:
- If I were moving, would I take this with me?
- Is this something I see myself completing and even something I want to complete?
- What is the cost to building my “bigger dream" by keeping this (fill in the blank)?
- What is my priority?
- What is more important to my happiness?
At the same time I asked these questions, I checked my feelings about letting them go or keeping them. When the feeling lacked passion or desire, I would let it go. Admittedly the range of resistance varied when deciding which “someday" to release. Some were easier than others.
The letting go of my “somedays" was a gradual process. I had no idea of the magnitude of “somedays" I had in closets, in the basement, and containers. It wasn't necessarily all cut and dried. For example, I gave away a box of knitting books I collected during my knitting days. I kept the needles - never know when I will want to get back to knitting.
Where there regrets? There were a couple of items that I wished I would have held on to; specifically, two dressage saddles, even though I am not sure if I will ever ride again. It has been more than ten years since my horse passed away. I have many fond memories of riding my beautiful Arabian horse, Gadez. My life has changed so much since then. Plus riding facilities are further and further from the City of Chicago. I think what bothers me most is that I was hasty in letting the saddles go. I didn't ask the above questions, and it cost financially, since I gave them to an e-Bay trader who was unfamiliar with the value of the saddles. I believe if I would have been really faithful to asking the above questions, I would have held onto the saddles and eventually sold them when I was emotionally ready. Fortunately, I am now over the regrets.
Gradually I let go of the past promises I made to myself regarding the “somedays. " Someday I was going to start up the kiln again to work on porcelain antique doll making. Someday I was going to wear those wonderful hats I had stored in hatboxes. Someday I was going to shorten slacks that were in the closet for several years - and also fit into them. Someday I was going to put together the beautiful candelabra fixture I had stored in the basement. You get the idea.
It wasn't easy letting go. I felt guilty over money spent; guilty about letting dreams go. However, I now see the metaphor of having these “somedays" in my life. They were keeping my bigger dream of living life on purpose into the same “someday" category. In releasing my attachment to these articles, I allowed myself more space to grow emotionally and professionally.
I donated a lot, sold some and trashed some. I still have more to do. It is amazing how much one accumulates. I risked letting go in favor of my “bigger picture" in being true to myself and purpose. I have a BIG Dream. When you have a BIG Dream, a higher level of commitment, perseverance, and discipline are required. Look at athletic champions or successful performing artists who are examples of these characteristics.
The main reason most of us don't get rid of our “somedays" is because of the above example in reference to the saddles. That was a small price to pay when I look at what became available to me personally and professionally by creating that space. I have been able to take on more coaching clients, classes, and speaking engagements. I have more freedom from all the guilt. I feel more at peace. It has changed my life significantly and has me living truer to “anything is possible. "
Questions have the answers:
- What are your career/studies somedays?
- Where are your somedays stored?
- What somedays are keeping you from being on purpose to your dream career?
- What someday are you still passionate about and want to pursue?
To create space for passion, the future has to be free of baggage that is clogging the future. Look around your environment. Take an inventory of what's sitting around taking up space and sucking up your energy. The list can be overwhelming.
The best way to begin is small steps at a time with small blocks of time, and with a goal that each week something will be sold, trashed, or donated. For example: I gave craft projects away to a high school and they used them for a class project. A bike I gave away went to a 76-year old nun, who uses it on the Chicago lakefront bicycle paths. I sold the kiln to a doll artisan. Do one drawer, one closet, one room at a time. The freedom you will experience will amaze you.
Remember to dream big. Anything is Possible!
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Copyright 2008 - Theresa-Maria ("TM") Napa, CPCC - All Rights Reserved - This article may be reprinted freely online, as long as the entire article and this resource box are included.