Perhaps it is the inspiration of a new year; this new beginning and new perspective that has seeped into my awareness. I keep feeling like becoming empty is something that is urgent and important.
It started when a friend & several co-workers started talking about intermittent fasting. I tried it for a week to see if I could actually tolerate going 12+ hours without caloric intake. As someone who eats every 3-4 hours at a minimum, I was skeptical. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad; simply an adjustment. What I realized in retrospect, is that the fasting also created a symbolic emptying, a shift; a space to feel. The experiment was over and I resumed eating in the habitual way I always do. Then the holidays, social gatherings, and the indulgence of the season took over.
No wonder the need to empty keeps resurfacing right? In the days since Christmas I find myself focused on cleaning and emptying the closets and drawers, the refrigerator, and the calendar. I have sifted through my purse, my work bag, and literally boxed things from shelves that have accumulated mindlessly in the busy-ness of December. Somehow “stuff” finds its way in. I need to empty; empty the “stuff” I have accumulated over the past year; empty the thoughts that don’t support who I want to be; empty the planning of every free moment; empty the scrolling and digital and social media binging; empty my body of the excess. I want to empty. Just like yoga, this isn’t a goal but a path.
Historically, empty has felt like something to avoid… you know the saying “we cannot give from an empty vessel’? Without going down the lane of scarcity and abundance, this sense of emptiness feels good and right. While this notion has caught my attention, I found validation in communication from others.
Patrice Federspiel writes “As counter-intuitive as it sounds, my first course of action is, well, inaction.” She writes about finding alignment before we can move to acceleration adding “It’s time to rest & LET GO into LOVE, letting love be your guiding star — even more than it has been.”
Then our dear friend Mark also wrote to us saying “The emptiness feels full and the fullness seems empty”… like he was having the same conversation with himself that I was, though in a very different context I am sure.
Maybe 2023 will empty us all of the things we no longer need simply by bringing us clarity. I am not wishing to be empty in the way there is nothing to give, but empty in the sense of spaciousness for more FUN and goodness. Empty to feel and listen to what YOU really want this year and to have the room to settle in and germinate.
Other inquiries that might interest you, from Melli O’Brien:
What were the best decisions you made?
How are you different from a year ago?
What have you learned from the hard times?
What did you enjoy the most this year?
What are you most proud of this year?
What did you learn about yourself?
What energised you? What drained you?
What advice would you have given to your last-year self if you could go back and start the year again?
What matters most to you in the next year?
What are you going to continue doing?
What do you want to change completely?
How do you intend to be different at the end of next year?
What is your highest intention for this next year?
Happy New Year! Cheers to all the ways we are letting go!