“Being human is a precious situation, and we shouldn’t waste time on useless activities. This conclusion motivates us to look at what to cultivate and what to discard.”
– Sakyong Mipham
Ever since I came back from Europe, I’ve been living in Richmond, Virginia. (Why Richmond? I went to college here. Proud to be a VCU alum! After being away for eight years, the city feels familiar, yet completely new all at the same time.) Right now, I live in an extended-stay hotel that’s close to everything I need in the city. After that, I plan to move into another cheap sublet that will allow me to continue saving money for my next international trip! I used to dread moving, but now that I’ve drastically downsized my living situation, it’s easy for me to imagine traveling from place to place. How easy? All the clothes I own now fit into one 20-gallon plastic bin.
Over the past year, one of my priorities had been to get rid of certain things to make space for what really matters to me: traveling, being self-employed, cultivating better relationships and living a healthier lifestyle.
In the process of downsizing and purging, I’ve gained so much clarity around what really makes me happy. I’ve also been able to tap back into my love of experiences over “stuff.” This has led me to rearrange my life to focus only on the things I truly care about.
And now, I pose the question to you…
Is there anything you need to get rid of to make room for what really matters to you? Is there anything taking up physical/mental space in your life right now that you could be using to focus on something more important and aligned with your values?
Below is a process that might help, or at least get you thinking.
A Four Step Process for Making Space
- Make a list of all the things, people and activities in your life. (Start with just one category if this part seems too daunting at first.)
- For each item on the list, apply the following questions: Does this thing/person/activity add anything valuable to my life? Does it make me happy? Has it ever? (If NO, go to Question #3. If YES, proceed to Question #4.)
- Get rid of it. (If it’s a person, release them with love and truth. If it’s a thing, have a ceremony if you want. If it’s an activity, take it off your calendar or make plans to reduce your time doing it.)
- Keep it. (And treasure its presence in your life.)
When you are conscious of where you spend your time and energy, you are better able to make space for the things you truly care about. Today is a good day to give yourself permission to let go of everything that no longer serves you.