Out with the old

11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

Returning home this summer for ‘good’ was a sneaking reminder of that old adage: “Wherever you go, there you are”. On each of my journeys, I worked hard to be a ‘good’ traveler, to pack lightly and leave expectations behind. To embrace each experience, as a chance to learn something new about myself and about the world around me. But being somewhere new doesn’t change who you are. You can grow, but when you return home, you may find you still have some of the same habits, the same thought patterns. And probably the same clothes, the same stacks of old paper.

When I left Micronesia, Paraguay and London, I found it relatively easy to give away or throw out most of my belongings and pack everything back up into one or two bags. Those things didn’t define ‘me’, I felt secure in who I was as I returned home. Here in Vancouver though, I found I hadn’t ‘escaped’ who I had been. I was still the same person. I had some great new photos, friends and memories, and a little more courage. But I hadn’t changed the deeper layers of my being And being here, I find it harder to throw out or get rid of the things I have identified with for years. What do YOU cling to, that makes it harder to become a higher manifestation of yourself? Old emotions? Ratty underwear?

In 2011, I would like to get rid of the following:

1. My habit of making up excuses for putting off the things I don’t want to do. The laundry, the cleaning, the errands, the phone calls. They don’t go away, the list just gets longer. You have to address what it is that is holding you back from doing those things, before you can plunge ahead and get them done.

2. My old school books. I don’t need my notes from second year women’s studies, or the textbook on computers and society. I haven’t even opened them in years. By winnowing out the books I no longer need, I can make space for new learning.

3. People who haven’t learned the truth that is respect. I have amazing people in my life, loving friends and incredibly inspiring peers. With so much genuine authenticity around, my life can be so much better by letting go of the people who don’t understand what it is to respect others for everything they have to offer.

4. Hair twirling! Enough said.

5. All the junk in my car. I don’t know how it accumulates so quickly, but there are socks in the trunk that have been buried under towels, shoes and who knows what else, and its starting to get a bit troublesome. Imagine a cleaner carpool with me!

6. Five pounds – the last of my ‘study’ weight. More anusara yoga, longer runs, more climbing time – to help my body be as efficient and healthy as it can be! Cutting back on the mochas might help too, but oh how I love them so.

7. Self-criticism. At times I can be too hard on myself, and I let these little things take over. But by allowing myself to embrace everything I am capable of, I can make a bigger difference in the world and in the lives of those around me.

8. My expectation that I have to fill a certain role or be in a certain position to make a difference – i.e. get my dream job right away or be letting myself down. By letting things take their course, I can enjoy the journey and learn a whole lot more about my field and the people in it.

9. The dozens of oversized t-shirts I still have collected up from the age of 9. There is just no need for all of those to take up closet space! However the Pohnpei Green Steps and Galapagos “I heart Boobies” t-shirts will be kept – those are just too good to give up.

10. The 24 bottles of nail polish I haven’t used in years.

11. The high heels I never wear because they keep me from dancing like a mofo.

I’m looking forward to 2011 and all the possibilities for growth, learning and love. Although cleaning my car should probably happen sooner than January.

What will YOU get rid of? Let’s do it together 🙂