February 23, 2016 Blog No Comments

tree1I had tree guys come and clear out a tangle of trees and dead wood. Being a serious tree lover, it seemed all wrong to take out so many. But now, it is wonderful to see a clear sky and the morning light streaming in from the east. With this new light, there is suddenly more planting options where it’d been so dark and overgrown.

Inside, I started looking around. There is a lot of “dead wood” here too. Books spilling out of bookcases and piled in corners, closets full of clothes I haven’t worn in ages, stuff pushed into cabinets because I don’t know what else to do with it. It’s overwhelming.

I have several friends who have made it their work to help people clear out and reorganize their lives. I understand why they are in demand. Clearing out is serious work. Getting some coaching is a good idea.

There is more to clearing out than stuff. I’ve had some significant conversations with family recently about clearing out old patterns of interactions so something new can surface. There are habits that could use some change as well. Situations and the people in them sometimes need to be shifted.

This is what comes to mind when I think about what it means to “clear out” our life:

STUFF
We know the importance of clearing out the things that are unnecessary in our life. It can be required because there’s too much, or symbolic as a release of things that represent negativity. Either way, clearing out can shift you into a different level of awareness.

In my case, I’ve done it both ways and right now it’s simply a matter of critical mass. Once it’s overwhelming, it’s harder to tackle. There are some helpful ideas about getting rid of things that no longer serve you. There are questions you can ask which help you determine if it needs to go. You can “keep it” if you think it serves a purpose or it has important sentimental value. If not, then it “has to go” either by recycling it or giving it away.

The professionals say do this regularly. Isn’t that simple? We make this too complicated. What is clear is this:

Regularly clearing out what no longer serves you is refreshing and liberating.

INTERACTIONS
Recognizing patterns of interaction that are unhealthy with people you care about is a difficult issue to address. I’ve taken on several recently. It can be touchy for everyone involved. The motivation to do so is the same as with the trees and too much stuff – at some point it’s necessary. The problems detrimental patterns cause will only get worse with time.

The way you obtain clear space for something healthier to surface is to face and clear out what doesn’t work. Have that conversation, say what is wrong, what needs to change, and clarify your vision for how it can be better. Despite this being uncomfortable, when the focus is on a vision of something healthier it can inspire everyone. The objective is to be very clear about the potential you are missing out on by not getting your interactions on the right track.

Envision the quality of interactions that are possible – the contrast will serve as your guide.

HABITS
Looking at our bad habits is another piece of self-examination that we often ignore until something critical is staring us down. When there are health problems and lifestyle compromises we frequently feel the wakeup call. But what about looking at it from the perspective of the the simple things you may be missing out on by not considering change?

What things are you not allowing yourself that are the consequences of habits that may not be serving you well? I know that by staying up late, I am missing out on the lovely quiet I had waking up early in the morning. If you approach it from the idea of the contrast – what are you missing out on, it will be clearer what you need to do. Maybe you can see it like this too.

Longing for something that is missing, due to a bad habit, can motivate a change.

SITUATIONS
Sometimes “clearing out” means facing the reality that we are in situations with people who no longer serve our best interests. Facing this can be challenging. The goal is to make it very simple and clear. Again, when you focus on the contrast it will serve as your guide.

What are you missing, what are you wishing to be different? Is it related to your work, a relationship or something about your environment? All of these things can be changed. Does the thought of change bring you some relief? It can be as simple as clarity of thought to organize yourself to make a change.

Anything that no longer serves you can be changed – imagine the relief and you are half way there.

These are some things we individually explore in our Spread Your Wings course on the principles of transformation. Everyone had the opportunity to look at what no longer serves them in preparation to develop a clear image of what they would like.

This week will be our last class – we were canceled out by weather last week. We are creating the visualization and a vision board of what is wanted – the vision of the dreams we’d like to give flight. These thoughts and images are a potent calling for your potential to take shape. It invites us to Spread Our Wings to lift ourselves into greater life purpose!

I will be hosting the Spread Your Wings course on life transformation again. In the meantime, if this is something you’d like to explore for yourself, my Transformational Coaching does just that. Working in individual coaching accelerates your change process. Contact me if you’d like more information. You can message me here, my email connie@conniemilligan.com or find more information on my website www.spectrumtransformation.com . I look forward to hearing from you.

Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com