Friday, September 26, 2014

Letting the rest fall away

One can’t deny that fall is in the air. Somewhere in the beginning of September it begins to creep in whether that’s through pumpkin spice latte’s at Starbuck’s or the cooler nights. Colorado’s Aspen trees change from green to a brilliant yellowish gold seemingly overnight and people flock from all over to see them. I went hiking this weekend and at, 12,000 feet was greeted with flakes of snow as a reminder winter is on its way. Some of the willow bushes we hiked through had already lost their leaves and the alpine grass was beginning to turn brown. Nature is not hurried in its transition and the leaves know when it’s time to fall from their branches. This is my favorite time of year because the colors outdoors are so vibrant and the chill in the air makes me turn inward. It’s a time for hot coffee, hot yoga and introspection. Fall is also the perfect time to begin letting go of what no longer serves us.

Nature does a great job of letting go. As humans we’re not so great at this. Imagine if trees clung to their leaves like we cling to people and things we think we need. If the old leaves, flowers or fruit never fell off, new ones wouldn’t take their place and there’d be no room for the growth. Eventually decay would set in and the tree would die. The beauty is in the changing and the growth. People wouldn’t travel across Colorado to see a grove of trees that remained the same.

For my personal growth I’m learning to let go of the people in my life who no longer serve me. As a mom and wife I’m realizing my circle of friends has to become smaller. I confess that I just don’t have time for everything and everyone. Between my job as a yoga teacher and fitness instructor, flying, promotions for Pressery juice and running my own expedition business I just do not have the energy for what doesn’t add to my life. Lately I have found myself constantly stressed with worry about what other people think about me and it had me questioning who I am. I’ve thought a lot about the mother and wife and friend I want to be and who can add to this growth. I am unapologetically “ME” and as I journey through life I realize this often doesn’t sit well with everyone. People have tried to change me, to mold me, to influence me, to ruin me, to gossip about me and to hurt me over the years and it’s hurt my growth. Why do we get so bent on changing others and wanting them to live up to our standards?

Imagine if you went into your garden and started taping apples into your spruce tree hoping it would become an apple tree. No matter how much you yell at the tree, no matter how many apples you tape to its branches, no matter what you put in the soil or cut off that spruce it will still remain what it has been since it was a seed. That particular tree serves its purpose in your yard however and you just have to appreciate what you have for what it is. Your friends, family and loved ones are just in the same.

While we cannot change one another we can move on from the past. We can cut the dead leaves off and continue forward with growth for the future. If you came to my house you’d see I have a tendency to be a hoarder of greeting cards and cannot help but keep every sentiment given to me. I tend to treat people in the same way, and even if I know someone shouldn’t take up that space in my life I have a hard time letting go. I tend to be so non-confrontational that I’d rather let other people empty themselves from my life rather than clear the clutter myself. However, having a daughter now has taught me that I need to live by a different set of standards. Imagine if I filled her room with all of my stuff so she didn’t even have a place of her own. That’s how I feel about my free time and my heart….I cannot keep so much in there that there’s no room for her or my husband or the friends that really matter. By carving out space for the people I love there’s more room for them and less for drama.

I read a great article in a decorating magazine about a minimalist decorator. He lived in a 900 square foot house and didn’t have room for anything unnecessary and he loved this way of living. He said that by having such a small space he could display the items he found from his travels that were the most special and important. These items on display became the focal point in his tiny space. When people came to visit they could clearly see what was important to him because there wasn’t a bunch of clutter to take away from what was special.

Redecorating your life and the walls of your heart isn’t a terrible thing. As the seasons change it’s a wonderful time to clear the clutter from your personal life. Think about what and who matter to you and start with this. Build your life around those that make you happy and forget the rest. After all, you’re the one who has to live in the space…make sure what you’re looking at is what’s most important.

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