Last year, we went through Christmas ornaments and culled the ones that didn’t inspire of joy. That meant that we thanked and released our two Christmas tree toppers because they didn't make us feel happy when we held them.
One was the angel from some point in my later childhood. She was quilted and sweet but also dirty and not well cared for. Generally, that doesn’t deter me. I immediately began thinking of how I could fix her hair and her crown and clean her up to be more presentable. However, as my mind churned, I remembered to stop, hold the angel and pay attention to how she made me feel. Turns out, the response was less than joyful. I happily thanked her and sent her along to be loved by another (joyful in knowing I’d also freed up some of my crafting time to make gifts!).
Our second topper was the one my best friend had picked out when she came to visit me in an early apartment of mine. She was pregnant with her first child and I had no kids yet. It was just the two of us, creating ornaments for the very first tree of my own (I’m tearing up--overflowing with joy--just thinking about that sweet time).
My best friend designs clothing--among other things--and found this miniature mannequin made of brown paper-mâché. We gussied her up with a skirt of feathers and put her up in the place of honor at the top of the tree. I held on to that little mannequin for over a decade, and had her out year round with my chachkes. But it began to irk me that she had no head or feet. She seemed to reflect body image alone rather than the powerful intellect and capacity that I like to associate with the fairer sex. So I thanked her as well and sent her on her merry way.
Last year, we used a big sequined star ornament hanging from the ceiling overhead, but this year our tree was a bit taller and that wasn’t going to work. What was I to do?
First things first: I let my mind get away from me for a moment and felt that twinge of how it would be easier if I’d simply kept those toppers despite the lack of joy they inspire in me.
But after that momentary lapse, I took to the trusty internet and found the simplest of patterns to make a paper angel.
Fifteen minutes later, with two child collaborators, we had the sweetest and most perfect angel for the top of our tree. (We added impromptu skirts to make her more befitting of the tree-top. :)) And my son wanted nothing more than to continue making them out of his lovely painted watercolors from his Waldorf school (oh how I love thee).
Sitting here in the present--because I listened to what makes me happy rather than my rationalizations about why I should keep something--instead of two Christmas Tree toppers that weighed me down, I have:
- Re-lived that lovely memory of simple pre-kid pleasures. It is a memory I will never forget, though I haven’t thought about in ages (even though I had the mannequin in my presence daily for 10 years). I love how your memory is not actually dependent on your things.
- The lovely experience of creating together with my children--cozy inside on a snowy winter’s day.
- A simple and perfect little angel that brings us joy, every time we look at it--as it floats above our tree all lit up at night.
I will take those things any day over a chachke that had the potential to make me feel guilty whether I kept it or let it go... that was a reflection of a woman without capacity to think or move.
This is such a very small example of how powerful it can be to FIND YOUR JOY and listen to it.
Purging the items that don't bring you joy creates ample space for new opportunities. Combining that process with clear intentions and concrete ways to pinpoint the areas of your life where you are unhappy and create the space that reflects that life you DO want to live.... well, it is powerful medicine my friend.
Your space is a reflection of yourself. When you're ready to come into the most energized, inspired, rejuvenated version of yourself, hit reply. We can find a time for a free Discovery Call to find out how your space is holding you back from living your most joyful existence.
Give yourself this gift of clarity. I look forward to talking with you,
P.S. Don’t take it from me, here’s what a woman who committed to the process, had to say:
"Now, I feel much more satisfied with what I have and think more consciously about what I bring into my home. I don't have the same desire to continually find the "better" option, because I appreciate and enjoy everything I have kept. Amazingly, it has resulted in me saving money!" .--Danica Lombardozzi