This morning I sold the bike I’ve had for the last 10 years. It was a 1983 vintage Trek full of quirks that finally got to me. I have been hanging onto it until I found a new bike, but earlier this week I realized I needed to make a hole before I could fill it. With my old bike gone, I feel surprisingly lighter. The magnitude of this feeling made me realize the importance of cleansing your life to make way for new possibilities, even in very simple ways. Here are four areas of life where you can make room for happiness.
Make room for love
Once I reached graduate school I knew I was ready for a life partner. However, my room looked more like a museum than a bedroom. I had traveled a lot and had collected some ‘treasures’ which made my tiny bedroom interesting, but also busy, loud, and intimidating. I paired down my items to a coveted few functional art pieces, cleared up my space, purchased a new bed, and, while I was at it, updated my underwear drawer. In the end, what I created was a space that I was ready to share. A month later, my husband walked into my life. If you are ready for love, get your space ready to receive it. Buy that tent for two, add another mug to your minimalist kitchen, and leave empty space for your new love to fill.
Make room for perfect
When I moved into my last apartment I had a big empty wall to fill. I knew I wanted a painting there, but after a month I tacked up an old National Geographic map to fill that space while I ‘kept looking.’ Three years later, when I was about to move to my current apartment, that map was still there. This time I wasn’t willing to hang onto it as a place holder. I gave it away, along with every single place holder I had: the sofa, the tiny kitchen table, and the futon frame I had been using for my bed. True, it took me some time to fill my new apartment, but the results were liberating. Get rid of your fillers and let something better come along.
Make room for your goals
During my first year as an astronomer I ended up traveling to both Arizona and Chile to go observing for senior astronomers who didn’t have time to go themselves. Believe it or not, it’s rare for an astronomer to actually spend a night at a telescope, so these trips were amazing experiences. Soon after, however, this valuable part of my ‘job’ came to a halt. I was too busy. As I gained more experience, I took on more tasks and before I knew it my plate was overfilling. Observing opportunity in South Africa? Not this year. Want to go observe in the Canary Islands? Forget it. I was saying ‘yes’ to extra tasks I didn’t care about, forcing me to say ‘no’ to the ones I did. It was a painful lesson. It took me a few months but finally I was able to clear my plate. Keep your focus and say ‘no’ to tasks that don’t fit your goals, because the ones that do will surely come along.
Make room for change
Stretching your monthly income as far as it will go doesn’t leave you much choice if you want a career change, or any change for that matter. What if your partner just got their dream job, but it only pays half as much? Or how about leaving the busy city to live closer to friends and family? What if you decide you want to quit your job and start your own business? I have always been good about not trying to keep up with the Jones, and when I decided to make my career change I was grateful. Not only have I been able to pay for the training I needed, but I’ve been able to pay for a coach, travel for workshops, and start up costs for my business. You don’t have to be scraping gum off of the sidewalk, but put your money where your values are. For me, that has always been freedom and adventure.
If you would like help making room for happiness in your life, check out my programs here!
Do you need to make space for the goals in your life? If you already have, what inspired you?