Checking In


Clearing Clutter for 2012


By Catharine Cooper

“Life is like a closet.  You have to clear space – throw stuff out – to make room for change and shifted directions.” – cc


If you could have anything you wanted in 2012, what would you choose?


A better financial picture?  The love of your life?  A new home?  The trip that you’ve never taken?  A scholarship for your child?  And end to world hunger?  Climate change reversed?  All of the seas bountiful and not polluted?  More time with your family?


How big do you dare to dream?  How much are your dreams dampened down by your own stories of what is and isn’t possible?  How much do your behavioral patterns hold you in a space that prevents you from growing?


I wonder if the Wright Brothers let the words of the naysayers impede their plans for a craft that would glide like a bird above the pull of the earth?  How many must have called them crazy, told them it would never work, suggested that they were wasting their time? Flight became a reality – not because of no – but because of yes –  because the dreamers held fast to their visions and their goals.


Dreamers are often portrayed as romantic fools, not grounded or dealing with that word again – reality.  But what in your world holds you back?


Certainly experiences change us.  Paths that we thought we had nailed often shift course.  The players change.  The unexpected happens.  Oftentimes we cling to what we have, afraid to risk stepping into cold water or unfriendly territory.


It’s been hard for the last two years.  We all know someone who has lost a job, lost a home, lost a friend or a loved one.  We’ve struggled with a shrinking economy and local businesses have shuttered or changed hands.


But “what if?”  I love those words.  They have an innate power to set the mind to soar.  What if doesn’t have rules, boundaries, or limits.  What if opens the door to possibilities.


What if – for 2012 – we all put more ‘yes’ back into our lives.


Could we sit down, here at the cusp of one calendar year shifting to another – and dare to dream?


Here’s an exercise I’ve cobbled together from several different sources.  I offer it up as a starting point for dreaming.


All you need is a half an hour, a pad of paper and pencil.  Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and ask yourself, “If there were no impediments, what would you like to manifest in 2012?”  Likely, you’ll have a myriad of choices rush through your processing bank.


Choose one.  Write it down.  As big and as bold as you can make it.


The first thing that will happen, now that you’ve placed your desire for change into the universe, is that no-no-no will jump into your head.  Every reason why you can’t have what you asked for will start running along side your dream, trying to damp it down.


Your task:  thank your critic for sharing and go back to the dream.  Read what you wrote again.  Now make a list of exactly how you would feel with that goal or state of being realized.  Fuller?  Richer?  Happier?  More content?  More secure?  Wildly alive?


Let yourself feel into this space, into this luxurious sense of accomplishment.  Imagine how it can feel to actually have what you asked for.


Put your dream up where you can see it every day.  You could use the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or next to your bed where you’ll see it before you sleep.  Each day, take one tiny step, one action, that leads you closer.  Write it down, that step, so you can see each one as it builds upon the other.


I believe, if you take 365 small steps toward your dream, at the end of one year, you’ll be amazed at what you have manifested.


May your 2012 be filled with surprises, challenges, and movement toward the life of your dreams.



Catharine Cooper is a vintage Laguna cheerleader, who keeps opening doors, looking down new paths, and dreaming up life as she goes. She can be reached at [email protected]


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