I'm participating in Reverb10 in December. Won't you join me?
December 11th | 11 Things
What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)
1. Comparisons. I am living my one, unique life. Comparing it to anyone else's is a recipe for anguish.
2. The Old Stories. I am constantly evolving. Adding new experiences, people and perspectives to my life. The old stories, whether told by me or others of influence, often don't serve me any more. They are like clothes that no longer fit. It's time to let them go.
3. Clutter. I am actually a pretty organized person. My closets are organized by color and type of clothing. The "junk" drawer in my kitchen has nice, neat partitions and I can always find stuff in it. My filing systems are legendary for both their color coding and the beauty of the files themselves (hey, if you have to do a chore you dislike, at least you can make it pretty). I have fabric lined baskets in my linen closet that hold all of the extra soaps and deodorant and toothpaste. My towels are all neatly folded and stacked in beautifully aligned columns. My t-shirts and sweaters are neatly folded and stacked in my bedroom dresser drawers. My books are arranged on my bookshelves by genre, and the food in my kitchen cabinets is arranged similarly. I haven't gone so far as to alphebetize my spices - but the thought has occurred to me.
But there are two places in my home where clutter is a problem: my home office, and my studio. And - oddly enough - these are the two places where I have found myself the most stuck lately. What do you know about that.
Here's a blinding statement of the obvious: the relationship between the amount of clutter I allow into my life, and my ability to function at my peak (whether its creatively or otherwise) are directly connected. It's time to literally clean up my act.
4. Toxic relationships. Whether business or personal, there are relationships in my life that do not support my quest to surround myself with people who bring out the best in me; people who support my strengths and are encouraging when they see weaknesses. While 2010 has been a year of recognizing these relationships, 2011 will be the year of letting them go.
5. Unrealistic expectations. I am finally getting it through this thick skull of mine that I am not Superwoman. Nor do I want to be. I may have at one time, but not any more. So even though I have done Herculean things to accomplish certain projects or produce results that far exceeded anyone else's expectations in the past, that is not going to be my modus operandi in the future.
6. Weak boundaries. This is a biggie for me. It is so important to me to make other people happy that I turn into a giant door mat almost instantly. 2010 has been a year of practicing establishing some stronger boundaries. 2011 will be a year of perfecting that skill.
7. The weight. It's something that has plagued me for the past several years, and 2011 will be the year that I say goodbye to the extra pounds... and to the reasons for their existence in the first place.
8. Excuses. Far too many times, the "I don't feel like it" excuse has stopped me in my tracks. Stopped me from exercising. Stopped me from writing. Stopped me from drawing. Stopped me from trying something new. 2011 will be the year of eliminating excuses and to "just doing it." (Thank you, Nike.)
9. Judgements. On Friday night I attended Patti Digh's book signing event in Skokie. It was extraordinary by all accounts... but one of the things that was most impactful for me was when she let each of us choose a special rock from a beautiful little red box (without looking!). Written on each rock was a message.
My rock said, "Give Up Judgements."
While I'd like to see myself as someone who fully embraces others, in all of their imperfections - I know that I am not always that person. 2011 gives me an opportunity to practice giving up judgements. One day at a time.
10. Every little "freebie" that comes my way. Seriously. The make up bags. The Clinique lipstick that is NEVER the right shade, yet I always hang on to them. The email subscriptions, shopping bags, and any various and assundry tchochke-esque items that enters my world is going to meet with a resounding, "No, thank you." in 2011.
11. Holding back. Every time I hear someone talk about "stepping into their power" I cringe. I cringe because I generally don't think that's an option for me. I feel caught in what can best be described as a double-bind situation - on the one hand, I know how strong, smart, creative and capable I am. On the other, I know how those qualities can scare the living bejezzus out of people. So for decades I have held the reigns of my potential pretty tightly. Often accused of being "intimidating," I've come to believe that label, however unfitting I may think it is.
As I've gotten older, though, one of the miracles that's happened is that I've started to be a whole lot less invested in what other people think. I'm much more willing to accept the fact that whatever someone else thinks, is much more about them than it is about me.
That certainly doesn't give me any right to be intentionally mean of belittling or abusive. But what it does do is free me up to really own all that I am. It's a big step, taken one small step at a time. I'm on my way, though. And 2011 will be the year that holding back becomes a thing of the past.