Have you heard of the Minimalist Challenge? Here's how it works- on Day 1, you get rid of one thing. On Day 2, it's two things. If you continue this pattern, at the end of 30 days, you would've removed 500 unnecessary items from your life.
I'm more than halfway through this challenge. I've given away bags of clothes and shoes. Donated stacks of CDs and books that no longer inspired me. Deleted emails from ex-boyfriends. Shredded old bank statements. It feels so good. I feel lighter. The things that stay are ONLY those that spark joy.
My dear friend Praveena first told me about this Minimalist Challenge. Today at lunch I ask her what she's been learning so far from it. I love her answer- "It's only when you create space that new and better things can enter into your life."
The most interesting thing is how this concept and framework is permeating into other areas of my life. On Monday, I closed a door to a lovely side-job in order to make room and time for projects I want to grow in 2017. When more and more invitations and opportunities come our way, it's hard to say no. I am excitable by nature. I want to say yes to everything. But this is what I've learned so far:
Sometimes you have to say no to something good to say YES to something great.
When we're kids, we don't understand this as well. We are shuttled from piano lessons to soccer practice to church functions. We do our homework in between. We are running on auto-pilot with our jam-packed schedules. There is little space. We have no real say in what we can or cannot do.
The good news is, we're adults now. We have agency over our lives. We can decide what stays and what goes. It's only when we've intentionally cleared space in the forest of our lives that we can recognize and welcome in new opportunities, new forms of beauty. The things and people that make us come alive. The things that matter. The GREAT things.