One of the attractive features of my home is all the storage space.  I mean goo-gobs of drawers, closets and storage bins.  When I moved in I was dizzy at the prospect of being ultra organized, having a place for everything and everything in its place.

So why is it every year I’m out of breathing space for all my stuff?  As I survey my living areas, they’re tidy. But the places not easily seen; the depth of drawers and caves of closets are holding contents elbowing their way out.  It’s amazing the amount of clutter I can collect in the course of 12 months. It’s time for the annual purge!  Once a year during my birth month I take time to go through the place where I move and live and have my being to reassess and toss out things.

During this same time I examine my life. I take a global view and weed out, reassess, purge and discern my day-to-day existence. One of the freeing “Ahas” about seeking and embracing the wisdom from the previous year is if I don’t like the way life is playing out – I get to change it.  I say wisdom because whether it’s been a year burgeoning with joy-filled awakenings or heart-felt challenges, like the woman in the book of Luke who searches for her precious lost coin by sweeping through her house, my September deep clean allows me to search for the treasured “learnings” I might have missed the previous year.

I’ve also been known to weigh relationships.  I started this practice after my mother died.  She was a mover and shaker in the Los Angeles African American society scene.  Although beautifully charming and graciously hospitable my mother was very demanding of our relationship. So I learned early how to manage our very complex mother-daughter pas de deux.   While we had intense moments we loved each other passionately and resolved most of our issues towards the end of her life.  But I promised myself I would never enter another draining relationship.  So when I returned to New York following her funeral, I went through my phone book and everyone who produced a low return on my investment in our relationship was eliminated.  For those who were questionable, I invited them to dinner and made an on the spot evaluation.

All relationships tend to be somewhat of a tango – the push and pull of emotions.  But the question becomes is the dance energizing or just exhausting. So what do I do with the new found energy?  These days I’m in search of revitalizing and enlivening dance partners, be it the all inclusive Electric Slide line dance, an intimate slow drag or God’s soft embrace of love I experience when praying or meditating.

So I encourage you to de-clutter the caverns and grottos of your living space, evaluate your phone/email list and love yourself enough to toss out what is not life giving.  And hold on to all things and people who rekindle your lust and passion for life.


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