The Chinese have a beautiful tradition for Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year. Each family cleans their house thoroughly before the end of the year. In mopping, dusting, and sweeping every nook and cranny, the old energy of the previous year is cleared away, and there is space for the new. On the first day of the new year (according to the Chinese lunar calendar), everyone wears new clothes, symbolizing a new beginning.
As with many Chinese traditions and practices, I fell in love and integrated this one. I’ve been cleaning out my phone of old voicemails, old texts, and apps I no longer use. I’m going through clothes I no longer want or need. I’ve also done the unthinkable–my primary Gmail account is 98% full, so by necessity, I’m slowly making my way through 11,000+ emails (had the account since the dawn of gmail in 2005). This tradition, like my numerous moves around the world, invites me to keep that which is valuable and let go of the rest.
While clearing out the physical of old receipts and trinkets, I’m also making space for the new in mind, body, and soul. I’m waving goodbye to old ideas and ways of being. I’m reflecting on what I accomplished this past year, in the 2 years I’ve been in SF, and in the 10 years since I graduated high school. I’m remembering those that passed this year like my Grandmother, my high school classmate, and a man in my group of China friends. I’m letting go.
As for the New Year, I’m not a particular fan of New Year’s Resolutions because they sound so intense and ominous. Moreover, most people don’t stick to them. Instead, I like to think about New Year Possibilities. What is in my heart? What do I want to see? Where do I want to go? Who do I want to meet? What adventure is next?
There are a lot of ideas about what 2012 will be and won’t. Call me a dreamer, but I believe 2012 will be one of humanity’s best.