Making Room for the New

©  Michele Lauren Hummel

Most traditions say that the first week in January is the perfect time to be cleaning out, cleaning up, letting go, setting new goals, objectives, desires.  Symbolized by the start of the new year according to the Julian calendar, it is as good a time as any to do this. Or, how about doing it this afternoon?  Well, why not? Avoid the rush!

Right now, mid-November, before all of the weeks of high holy days hit, while the weather is still lovely to clean in: nippy, some ice, pale sun, just warm enough, and without the heavy sweating of August.>

In some philosophies, this is a year of a 9, meaning the ending of a 10-year cycle, and with it completions and closures. There is work to be done now in cleaning out, clearing out. Work to be done in letting go, forgiving, forgetting, releasing, giving thanks for all that the experience or object was and was not, and sending it on its way. "I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair and send him on his way…" Man, (or woman), beast, ugly, broken lamps, hard drive contents, or 15-year-old files in cabinets, this might be a good time for some review and consideration of what serves our lives kindly and what does not. What feels good to keep in our lives, and what does not.  Cabinets or clients, sometimes it is a time to let things go that just don't work!

The trees shed their leaves as they go to sleep for the winter to make room for new efficient food processors (leaves) in the spring. The pines thin out their possessions (needles) so that they will not be broken by the additional weight that ice (old memories) will soon add. Sometimes in this cleaning out and releasing there is great pain as we encounter some objects that represented connection to a person or a cherished time now gone. Holding on to the love letters written by a former Relationship now a thing of the ethers isn't going to help create open, new space for a new love. Holding on to my long-departed aunt's embroidered table linens that I never use and never will use will not bring her physical self back into my experience. If these linens brought me joy, it would be one thing, but I am holding on to them out of a sense of duty to preserving her memory. I don't even believe in this! Yet, there they are, taking up space on my shelves and instead of giving me joyful feelings, they burden me with, "Oh God! There they are again! There are times I cringe a little at the thought of taking them to the thrift store, as though by even thinking about unburdening myself of them, God would reach down from the firmament and thump me on the head in disapproval. I don't believe that either! Today is a good day to let go of pain.

"Stick Season", the time of bare branches with their Escheresque beauty is coming upon us. Serene beauty in the abstract emptiness of waiting possibility.

It is said that 1999 is a year of a 1; the time to sow the seeds of new plans and objectives with the promise of growth and reward. It is a good time to decide to live in joy brought by the determination to do so. Time to sing a new song.

"Pain is inevitable, suffering optional" someone said. Perhaps even pain is optional, some say that is so.

A good friend of mine said, "I'm letting go of wondering if its gonna turn out all right. I know that it is. I'm letting go of wondering where it's gonna come from. I just know that it is coming."

I think this afternoon is a good time to make room for the bright, right, new, healthy next step for one's closets or evolution, for the clarity and space to see what is the best next step. It is time to congratulate every joy - filled, tear-filled, sigh-filled, ache-filled, compost-bin-filled step of progress in every bit of each of our lives, and give mighty thanks for who we were, who we are and who we are becoming.

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