recharging and de-cluttering

Recharging and De-cluttering for 2024

Recharg­ing and De-clut­ter­ing  —  10 Ways to Make 2024 a Year filled with promise and a cen­tered perspective

Want to learn more about liv­ing a full and mean­ing­ful life?

Want to have the best rela­tion­ship ever?

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Not that we real­ly need hol­i­days to jus­ti­fy deal­ing dif­fer­ent­ly with our lives, but since the oppor­tu­ni­ty is here, let’s take it.

Part of my moti­va­tion comes from the odd­ly weird days we are liv­ing in. I won­der how long things will go on before some seis­mic shift occurs  —  I think some­thing’s on the hori­zon. Most­ly, we don’t want to hear that, and pre­tend that if we keep the same old balls in the air, we’ll pre­serve and persevere.

I won­der why we think we can con­tin­ue to treat the world and each oth­er with dis­tain, and that some­how things are joust “going to work out.”

Below, some inter­est­ing tasks for 2024 that you might consider.

1. Simplify

pho­to by diametrik  (mod­i­fied WC Allen)

You ever notice how much ‘stuff’ you have? Junk piled in base­ments… clothes that you just might be able to fit into again? Books you’ve read and will nev­er read again?

Friends, lovers, rel­a­tives that you keep hang­ing out with out of habit?

Beliefs that you cling to, despite their being out­mod­ed and ineffectual?

Start a “pitch­ing stuff out” campaign.

Walk through your space and look for mean­ing­less piles. Then, make a list, say a room a week, and just start deal­ing with the piles. Give away what you can, have a garage sale, and pitch the rest. Then move to the next room.

Peo­ple become col­lectible items too.

Just because you are relat­ed to, in rela­tion­ship with, or mar­ried to some­one, does not mean that the rela­tion­ship is des­tined to last for­ev­er. Here’s a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to vis­it a ther­a­pist. If you think you are cling­ing to a friend, part­ner, or rel­a­tive because you don’t know how to leave, talk to an expert and see if your instincts hold under scrutiny.

The plain fact of the mat­ter is that, as time goes by, we become dif­fer­ent  —  we shift. So does every­one else. 

Peo­ple we are in rela­tion­ship with may not be shift­ing along with us… and the wider the gap, the more it hurts, and the more effort must be expend­ed hold­ing things togeth­er. If, after reflec­tion, you real­ize you are caught in such a pat­tern, think about mak­ing 2024 the year of clean­ing your rela­tion­ships house.

Weed Your Beliefs

Still believe in good luck, mag­ic, wish ful­fill­ment, or ‘res­cue from the sky?’? Still believe insti­tu­tions, politi­cians, big busi­ness? Still believe that any­one inter­est­ed in col­lect­ing mon­ey from you is doing the col­lect­ing in your best inter­est? Get over your­self. In 2024, exam­ine your beliefs.

Ulti­mate­ly, sim­pli­fi­ca­tion is more than a mov­ing of piles. It’s a way of being that is light, effi­cient, and self sufficient.

Drop the beliefs, the blind faith, the trust­ing oth­ers to look out for you, and build a spine, gain ‘a pair,’ and stand forth as a whole, com­plete and ‘sim­ple’ human adult.
Talk about being in rar­efied company!

2. Clean Out

Here’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty to clean your­self out.

Time to get back into shape. 

Many of us tend to con­sume in order to feel “full”  —  and we do so because we judge our lives to be empty.

Need­less to say, the junk food indus­try is built on this premise. Sug­ar and carb highs are built in… and such things are mild­ly to strong­ly addic­tive. We eat ’em because we’re hooked.

Yet, it’s amaz­ing how many peo­ple buy junk food and then can’t fig­ure out why they are eat­ing it. I was hav­ing cof­fee with a friend, who was com­plain­ing that her kids only ate junk. I said, “Hmm. I did­n’t know 6 year olds shopped.”

See point 1, above. Clear all the garbage out. Do not replace it with new garbage.

While you’re at it, clean out your atti­tude. No point bad mouthing or blam­ing yourself. 

Most peo­ple get into rag­ging on them­selves for the mess they are in, and then do more of what­ev­er they did in the first place, to com­pen­sate for feel­ing bad. 

Let go of the grip­ing, fin­ger point­ing, etc., and sim­ply start.

Same thing goes for exer­cise, get­ting a mas­sage, doing some Body­work, etc. Get your­self worked on. Pound your­self into shape.

Haul your butt out there, and hand it over to peo­ple who can help you clear and clean out. No excuses.

3. Make Manageable Resolutions

Empha­sis on Man­age­able. Most peo­ple make these odd lists of things to change, and then try to do every­thing at once, and of course, fail miserably. 

If you look again at the first two points, you’ll see a pat­tern, and it is this. 

Decide, right now, that 2024 is the YEAR you trans­form all aspects of your­self. In stages. With del­i­ca­cy and care.

Projects are best accom­plished when bro­ken into bite sized pieces. 

Back when I coun­selled at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Guelph, man Mas­ters stu­dents came in dur­ing Jan­u­ary, whin­ing about hav­ing to write a the­sis. Most were sci­ence majors, and need­ed to write 100 pages. (I laughed, as my the­sis topped out at 297 pages.) 

I’d say. “You do not write a the­sis. You take a page and type “Intro­duc­tion,” on it, and go on from there, word by word.” Every­thing is accom­lished step by step. We for­get this.

Look at the list of things you want to accom­plish. Break each one down into man­age­able chun­kettes, stick dates on the chunks, and do them! One by one. Cross them off as you accom­plish them.

4. Develop a Practice

more zen ideas - meditation

Ground­ing is key to liv­ing life ful­ly and passionately.

Most peo­ple flit around in their heads  —  think­ing, plot­ting, and plan­ning. And they get nowhere. Our cul­ture seems to be head­ing more and more into the head, away from the heart, away from the soul, away from phys­i­cal prac­tice and centeredness.

The key to cen­tered liv­ing is to actu­al­ly find your cen­tre  —  and here’s a hint  —  it’s inside of you!

Rather than land in there and “just sit” with your­self, we are drawn into our heads for explanations. 

I’ll not iden­ti­fy her, but a woman of our acquain­tance told us her wid­ow’s hump (bad pos­ture) was due to her job, and to star­ing at a mon­i­tor all day. She swore she was going to “do something.”

I came across a pho­to of her from 10 years ago, before her job, astride a horse, and with exact­ly the same weird pos­ture. Hmm.

The first step we rec­om­mend is med­i­ta­tion, and the sec­ond is Iyen­gar Yoga.

Look for a local Zen cen­ter. You don’t have to become a Bud­dhist to sit. Zen is not a reli­gion  —  it’s a way of liv­ing, being, and engag­ing. Pri­mar­i­ly, it uses body tech­niques to still the mind and to being your atten­tion to your whole, com­plete self.
We are also fans of Iyen­gar Yoga, and Tai Chi is also a good thing for grounding.

5. Create Something

Dar­bel­la made this!

Most peo­ple are so busy run­ning around in cir­cles that they fail to bring cre­ativ­i­ty into being. All of us have tal­ents  —  for most, they nev­er see the light of day. 

Paint­ings don’t get paint­ed (or they remain hid­den in the extra bed­room…) sto­ries remain unwrit­ten, beau­ty remains hid­den in the dark recess­es of scram­bled minds.

Think about what you’ve want­ed to bring into being.

Cre­ate amaz­ing rela­tion­ships. Once you’ve cleared the decks of the dud and drag­ging rela­tion­ships, com­mit to only excel­lent rela­tion­ships, from now on. Learn and use a com­mu­ni­ca­tion mod­el. Speak using “I” lan­guage. For more ideas, check out this article.

Go play. Hang out with your favourite people.

Have fun. Play games, and laugh. Be encour­ag­ing, reach out, make phys­i­cal con­tact, and let the peo­ple you care about know you love them.

Cre­ate a beau­ti­ful, secure, and serene envi­ron­ment. Chaos in your space equals chaos in your life. Clean your room, hang up your clothes, stop being a slob. Make pieces of art and dec­o­rate your house. Set up a lit­tle shrine and keep in unclut­tered and clean.

6. Stop Complaining

Check out the “Com­plaint Free World“cam­paign.

Have you not noticed that com­plain­ing does­n’t work, and only gets you more of what you com­plain about? Knock it off. Right now.

THEN, change what is change­able. Some stuff can only be changed by oth­ers and all you can do is ask, polite­ly, and then let it go. Any­thing that has to do with you (the stuff we’re talk­ing about this week) is some­thing you can change  —  either direct­ly, or by describ­ing it differently.

Live your life as you want to live it, and walk away from con­flict. Just refuse to play that game.
Very quick­ly you will see the con­flict end,
as one sided fights are impos­si­ble.
Don’t com­plain about your health, ever again. Do some­thing. Try oth­er approach­es  —  east­ern approach­es, ther­a­py, Body­work, what­ev­er.
When your body needs a shift, shift.
Com­plain­ing only brings you more of what you com­plain about.

7. Do Something Exciting


Or risky. Or scary.

Find a way to chal­lenge your fears, includ­ing your fear of los­ing control. 

This is a big­gie for many. You can learn to let go through dance, mar­tial arts, act­ing class­es, learn­ing to give and receive a full body mas­sage, going to a spa, and through count­less sports and out­door experiences.

Trav­el. leave the false safe­ty of North Amer­i­ca and see oth­er parts of the world. Skip the guid­ed tours and go meet people.

This is your only ‘go-round’ and it’s a big world filled with real­ly inter­est­ing expe­ri­ences. Stop wait­ing for the right moment or for ‘per­mis­sion,’ ask for what you want, and go get it, feel it, have it, savour life lived full bore.

8. Make a Difference

OK. Fair warn­ing. The next points are polit­i­cal, and a bit of a rant. Nec­es­sary in my opin­ion. I’m inter­est­ed in yours!

Stop try­ing to blend in  —  please!

Stand for some­thing, have integri­ty, and be inspir­ing. The world is stuffed to the gills with small, pet­ty, mean spir­it­ed peo­ple, who love noth­ing more than to rain on oth­er’s parades. 

Since you’ve cleaned those sort of folk from your life, now is the time to show the world who you are.

Get out there. Be of ser­vice. Teach your skill set to others.

Demon­strate authen­tic liv­ing - don’t just talk about it. Your life is your mas­ter­piece, your life is who you are. If you don’t like aspects of your life and your self, add those things to the list, and make a plan to do things differently.

Be relent­less.

Step by step, declare your­self as a free and inde­pen­dent being, liv­ing your truth, com­mit­ted to your val­ues, and a per­son of your word. There should nev­er be an excuse for being any dif­fer­ent than you declare your­self to be, nev­er a rea­son to betray your self and your path.

9. Be Steadfast

This year’s list is meant to be life chang­ing. In the past, you’ve like­ly giv­en up and stopped try­ing. This year, keep going. If there are set­backs, give your­self a hug, and start again.

Reset your goals (paper is cheap) and go for it.

If you find you’re bog­ging down, find some­one to talk with. Encour­age your friends, and accept encour­age­ment from them.

Do not yield to the temp­ta­tion to give up, to get by, to set­tle for less than you are and who you are becom­ing. Not this year, not ever again.

The world needs you to walk your path, step by step, inch by inch, as each per­son who so com­mits changes the ener­gy of the world, just a bit. Giv­ing up when the going gets tough is for wimps and sissies.
Put on your adult pants and get it done.

10. Be a Realist

Remem­ber: No One Is Coming.

No one is going to mar­ry you and sweep you off to Nev­er Nev­er Land. 

We live in a world where fools strap bombs onto their bod­ies and kill peo­ple, maim­ing in the name of stu­pid, asi­nine causes. 

In a world where pow­er and force is val­ued more than strength and integri­ty, being any­thing less than a real­ist is a chump’s game.

Real­ism lies between opti­mism and pes­simism. Just as airy fairy res­cue think­ing gets us nowhere, lying down and snivel­ing in fear is equal­ly non-productive.

The real­ist says, “Here is my world, and it is exact­ly as weird and nasty as it appears. It is also mag­nif­i­cent and lov­ing. It is exact­ly as it seems.” 

I can’t change the world . How­ev­er, how I am in this world is com­plete­ly my choice.”

You are not forced to join the fools and idiots (lem­mings all) in a race to jump off the cliff.

Stu­art Wilde, who was one of my favourite prophets, coun­selled “walk­ing rapid­ly in the oth­er direction.” 

I agree. Walk your own path. Set your own goals and direc­tions, decry the fool­ish­ness and mad­ness, and refuse to get sucked into it.

Killing the killers sim­ply means more killing. Build a life of cen­tered, eth­i­cal, pas­sion­ate pres­ence, and invite oth­ers to join you.

Abhor vio­lence, and stand your ground. Do not cave in, do not move an inch from what you know to be right… for you.

As Gand­hi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Think of Lin­coln, John & Bob­by Kennedy, Mar­tin Luther King, Gand­hi, Man­dela, Steven Biko, and count­less oth­er “walk­ers of this path.” Many died walk­ing, at the hands of “the dark side.” Yet, each touched and shift­ed the plan­et, just through the force of their presence.

Each of us, in our own way, has a sim­i­lar chance to make a dif­fer­ence, but only if you do what you be. The rip­ples may not be world chang­ing, but are no less sig­nif­i­cant. Stand for some­thing, and have it be some­thing oth­er than “The one with the biggest pile when they die, wins.“
Give up pil­ing and duck­ing, stand forth, and be the change you want to see.

2024  —  the year you become the best you can be  —  the year you become yourself.

With boundless metta from Wayne & Darbella!

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