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» Introduction
Sometimes you have to clear out the old --- mentally, physically, and spiritually --- to make room for the new in your life. Life Coach, Author, and Television Personality, Mark Edgar Stephens shares with you a great way to do just that.
» Step 1


Somehow it happened that the calendar year of 2008 has come to a close. In celebration of this passing and to set intentions for a new year, I climbed to the highest peak of a hiking trail near my home with a group of friends at 6:30 am on the morning of the Winter Solstice. On that chilly morning (in Los Angeles, any temperature below 60 degrees qualifies as cold), while carrying a thermos of hot tea and rubbing the sleep out of our eyes, we watched as the first beams of light began to rise in the East.

We huddled together as we laughed at ourselves for venturing out from the warmth of our beds to witness the birth of the shortest day of the year. As we talked about what the New Year might bring, the sun began to lift and rise above the horizon like a magical ball of light. Simultaneously, we smiled and sighed at the majesty of the event, and then, as a group, we became silent. In that silence I did not think about the upcoming year and I did not think about the year that had just passed. I simply sat quietly, holding the warm cup of tea in my hands enjoying the moment. My mind was clear, and my breathing deep and easy. I felt compelled to stand and open my arms out toward the oncoming light. As I did so, a friend snapped a photo of that particular moment.

For the rest of the morning in the warmth of my home, a euphoric feeling moved about inside of me. I was filled with a sense of lightness. Later that same day, my camera-ready friend gave this photo to me. When I looked at it, the feeling of standing before the rising sun with my arms outstretched stirred up inside of me. It was as if I were experiencing the moment all over again. I was amazed to see my right hand turned down as something seemed to be pouring from it, something shadowy and dark emptying out of me. Sitting in my left hand, the overflowing immensity of the sun radiated from me like a globe of pure, brilliant light. I had held that outstretched pose only for a few brief seconds earlier that morning, but those seconds were caught forever in this photo. And what’s more, this photo showed me something of which I was unaware when the photo was taken. The camera acted as the “eye of the observer” capturing the very feeling I had experienced earlier in the morning. I was emptying out even as I was filling up.

I have put this photo on the screensaver of my computer as a reminder that sometimes I have to clear some space --- metaphorically and literally --- in order to make space for something new in my life. This inspiring reminder has motivated me to clear my desktop, remove half of the saved contents from my computer, clean my office and toss files that are no longer relevant, give away old clothes, straighten my bedroom closet, and rearrange all of my dresser drawers. It is a bit shocking that every time I look at this photo (which is every time that I open my computer), I am inspired to be quiet for a few seconds and then I feel the urge to clear some space somewhere in my life. The question arises, “Is there anything that I can let go of in this moment that I no longer need --- physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically, or spiritually?” If an answer comes to me immediately, I don’t hesitate, I clear. The feeling of doing this is euphoric, much like the feeling I had on that crisp morning of the Winter Solstice. It feels great!

Is there anything that you can clear from your life at this moment? Is there any clutter --- mental, physical, emotional, energetic, or spiritual --- that is in your way? Be quiet. Breathe deeply. Look toward anything that brings you light --- the sun, the moon, a photo, the ones you love, a thought, a memory, etc. --- and open your arms wide. Allow a few moments just to be still, just to BE. Even a few seconds of quiet, non-thought is a clear space. When the space is clear, there is room for something new to move into your life. There is more room for light to be sitting in the palm of your hand. Try it. Open your arms to something inspiring. Breathe deeply. You don’t even have to know of what you are letting go. Simply be quiet, focus your attention on something inspiring, open your arms, breathe deeply, and let go. The clearing feels great and the light that fills the newly opened space in and around you is truly … illuminating.

Here’s to a Great New Year,

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