I wake up with a groan and smack the alarm clock. I’ve hit the snooze button several times now, but the warmth radiating through the blankets from my Golden Retriever, Bodhi, feels so nice that I curl into him instead of getting out of bed and starting my day. I’m not relaxed. In fact, my entire body is tensed as if ready for a fight. The repetitive snoozing is simply avoidance — of the day, of the week, of everything that seems to have become a struggle. I feel smothered by my life. And yet…
So many changes are getting ready to crash through my life that it would be absurd to say I need a change. The truth of the matter is that I need to change. I have become unrecognizable to myself these past few years, but looking back seems to keep me stuck. I can’t recapture who I was because I am no longer that person. I have to start with who I am and decide from there who I want to be.
I am fortunate in that this is a time of year when I can take an extended number of days off, and no one will even notice my absence. I’m planning to use the time to dig out (of my clutter) and dig in (to some real soul-searching). I need to center myself and discover what is critical to me, what is merely important, and what needs to be shed.
I’m calling my holiday the 12 Days of Discovery. During those 12 days, I plan to really examine who I am and what I want. I’ll organize my explorations around three themes:
Clearing: Thinking about what I really value — possessions, attitudes, thoughts, beliefs — and discarding what I don’t. Easier said than done, on all accounts, but at least I have a plan. And the new can’t manifest until I make some room for it.
Cleaning: Putting what I keep in order or, in the case of discarded thoughts and attitudes, replacing it with something better. My diet will be one of the things I work on.
Creating: Making new things. Writing. Cooking. Putting my creative energies to the test and building momentum.
It’s time to stare myself — and my stuff — right in the eye and make some decisions. I can stay anchored to the past, or I can do things differently and build on the work I started doing about 6 months ago when the path forward started taking shape in the shadows.
Bodhi slaps a big old paw over my wrist and starts licking my palm. “Open up!” he’s telling me. “You can’t accept the day’s gifts with a tightly closed fist!”
I named him well.