Each new year brings with it a new opportunity—to reflect on what has been and set intentions for what’s to come. This year, of course, we’re saying farewell to more than the past 12 months, but the past 10 years, and in turn greeting a new decade.
It’s the perfect time to look back on what the past decade has brought you, both the triumphs and losses, and examine the effects of those events on your life. What made you happy? What worked? What did you learn? How can you take those lessons and apply them to the next 10 years?
Perhaps most importantly, it’s a great time to ask yourself what you want from the decade to come. What does a successful decade look like to you? What goals do you want to set for yourself?
For me, at least one answer is clear: I’m committed to sustainability, and continuing to focus my attention on the importance of transitioning to a clean energy economy. I’m going to reduce my CO2 output in every way I can. I will also continue to provide aesthetically stunning and peaceful environments for the wellbeing of my clients.
You can help yourself with this exercise by clearing your surroundings and creating a sacred space where you can meditate on your goals and plan your future.
Here are a few ways I like to clear my space and my head. May they bring you sanity, success and abundance in the new year and new decade!
6 WAYS TO CLEAR SPACE FOR THE NEXT DECADE
Before you begin, there are a couple of golden rules that are useful in just about any situation but will serve you particularly well here:
Be patient: You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but change takes time. Set reasonable expectations for yourself, and understand that all growth is a process.
Enjoy the process: Speaking of processes, enjoy yours. If you don’t like what you’re doing, you probably won’t like where it’s taking you. So choose suggestions from this list that resonate with you, and then relish in the joys and challenges they may bring.
1. Listen to music to cleanse negative energy
There’s something almost magical about the power of music to change the energy of a room. Play something that makes you feel good. What that is may be different for everyone, but choose a song or album or playlist that simply makes you happy—whether it calms or excites you, if it uplifts your mood, it will also uplift your surroundings. I like to put on something quiet like Tibetan bowls, sounds of nature or soft music.
2. Burn sage, palo santo, or simply a candle with a scent you love
Through a simple act such as burning a bit of dried sage, we can connect with the ancient human ritual of cleansing through fire (the olfactory benefits are pretty nice, too). Note that there’s been a lot of discussion over the past couple of years about the sustainability of harvesting both sage (specifically, white sage) and palo santo. If this concerns you, one way to make them last longer is to burn very small amounts. With sage, for instance, even part of a dried leaf, rather than lighting an entire bundle, will have a powerful effect. Alternatively, you might try using more common herbs, which have their own unique benefits, such as dried lavender, rosemary, mint, juniper, mugwort, or desert sage.
3. Redirect your thoughts
Meditation, self-talk, and intention-setting are all excellent ways to jumpstart (or maintain) a positive mindset, and all they require is a comfortable, quiet place to rest. If you find yourself feeling defeated or overwhelmed, take a few minutes to close your eyes and picture something that brings you joy, whether real or imagined. It’s incredible how quickly you can shift your mood and outlook simply by creating that kind of space for yourself.
You change the flow of energy in a room just by moving through it, and the way you move makes all the difference. It might sound silly, but dancing is good not only for your body and mind, but your home.
Using whatever method you prefer, the new year is a great time to go through your home and find items that no longer serve you, but may serve someone else. By letting go of objects you no longer want or need, you create space for other, intangible things. Minimal layouts not only use less resources, but they give you more room to move, and often more room to think as well. Remember to sell or donate whatever you part with.
6. Commit to sustainability
Making a conscious decision to choose sustainable food, clothes, and design wherever you can is not only good for the planet, but good for your health, both mental and physical. There’s no better way to welcome a new decade than committing to doing your part to keep yourself and the world as healthy as possible.
With that, I wish you from the bottom of my heart and soul, a happy, healthy and prosperous new year and new decade!
Laurence Carr is founder & CEO of Laurence Carr Design, an award winning interior design firm in New York City providing full service and e-design services to clients. She creates exquisite holistic interiors that promote mindful living and harmony, while attaining a level of sophistication through layering modern art, furniture, antiques and accents. Born in France, Laurence has 20 years experience in design, the performing arts, and fashion. She has been nationally published and is a frequent speaker and panelist in major industry related events.