Yesterday, we had tree-trimmers here at our house to clean up the trees that were overgrown and also to make room for new growth in the future. We live in a house that is very light and bright, however I was surprised this morning when I discovered how much more light and clarity of vision we have now that we’ve peeled back the layers of debris and overgrowth. Today, I have views of nature and blue sky that were not visible to me yesterday. This got me thinking about how Smart Women know the importance of trimming back the layers of their lives so that they can keep their vision clear and focused on what’s most important.
In my work with women, one of the most essential exercises that we do together is peel back the layers of their lives and take a look at what’s working and what’s not working. It’s important to take a look at each layer and if necessary trim the excess so you can live each day doing what’s most important to you in your life. The challenge for most of us is in the “letting go” of what no longer serves us. Sometimes there’s so much debris in our lives that we are unable to clearly see how even just a slight trim in one area could create a dramatic positive impact.
I, too, have been challenged with this in my life at times. Trimming the excess and making room for new growth is difficult for me as well. I will share with you that the most dramatic positive change occurred in my life once I was able to do this. When I created the space to trim the excess “layers” from my life, real change began to show up for me.
How about you? Are you feeling like there are areas in your life that you would like to shed? Are there areas where you could “trim” away some of your time to create the space for something new? Not sure where to start? Here are some typical areas that you can take a look at in your life. (I invite you to sit in a quiet, peaceful place with your favorite cup of tea or coffee for this process):
1. Self-Care – How much time are you allocating to You? In my work with women, I often find that this essential practice is not anywhere in the layers of a woman’s life. It was a huge shift for me to make some years ago, however when I did this, it made a huge impact.
2. Spouse/Partner – Do you schedule regular date nights with your spouse or significant other? I find this one area can slip under the debris quickly and I have to trim back the layers and make space for it. If you don’t have a spouse/partner and would like that in your life, are you taking some positive steps to bring that love relationship into your life?
3. Family – Are you spending quality time with children, parents, siblings? The key here is quality—really “being” with them. My husband and I schedule “date night” with each of our children and this has created a closer bond for us.
4. Friends – Do you find time to see your girlfriends? Make sure your girlfriends are “nutritious”—they inspire you, champion you and give you those big laughs. I really enjoy taking long power walks with girlfriends and “processing” life along the way.
5. Business/Career – Are you doing work that inspires and motivates you? When you leave your business or work, do you feel energized or drained from the day? This created a dramatic shift for me 8 years ago when I changed the direction of my life and began my work with women.
6. Community – Are you feeling “called” to do volunteer work in your community right now? Is it time to “trim” back the layers of your volunteer efforts and let someone else serve? We are nurturers by nature and tend to say “yes” too quickly. I invite you to take a look at this and see what feels right for you moving forward.
Now is the perfect time to do this exercise. Autumn is the time of year to shed what no longer serves us in order to create space for the new growth and new ideas that will arrive in Spring. I invite you to create some time in your calendar before the holidays to trim back the layers of your life and peel away what no longer serves you. I think you’ll be surprised at how life embraces you when you give it the space to grow.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2009 Joy Chudacoff
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Comments & Feedback:
Great article – we all need reminders about clearing out what isn’t serving us to the best.
One reminder, I’d add this time of year is to spend quiet time with your pets so they aren’t ignored in the frenzy of the holdiays. It’s also well worth a little extra time to pet proof your house for the holidays. A little prevention helps keep the holidays merry and bright!