For me, midwinter is rarely the right time to kickstart anything. It is still dark and cold outside, I’m still not out of hibernation.

So instead of big plans and changes, what I want to do at New Year’s is to let go. Let go of the year that passed. Let go of all the things that happened and the ones that didn’t happen (maybe especially those). Let go of ideas and dreams that don’t fit any longer, let go of whatever is not true anymore. Clear out some stuff. Clear my desk. Make room. Create space.

When we want something new in our lives, we can begin by making space. Empty space.

Usually, we do it the other way around. We stick with what we’ve got, not wanting to let go until we know for sure something else is coming in its stead. We hold on to stuff, to work and to people. We know what we’ve got but not what we’ll get.

But empty space is our friend. Because it’s not really empty, it’s charged with potential. It’s the birthing place of creativity. It’s a seed bed, the soil black and moist and ready to sow. Whatever we plant there can grow all the more effortlessly, because there’s plenty of room to expand.

So I ask myself:

What needs to go in order to make space for something new in my life this year?

What can I give less energy to?

What can I quit altogether?

We usually know. Even when we don’t know exactly what we want we know what we don’t want. We can start there.

Let it go. And resist the temptation to immediately fill that empty space again. Keep it empty for something important to sprout, maybe that one thing you’ve said you want for a very long time. Create the space. Give it a fair chance to grow.

With a bit of light and breathing room, it will.

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