Come September when autumn winds start to chill our focus is on the harvest. I have friends from all over who are busy canning and preserving fruits and vegetables they have grown in their gardens. Those of us who don’t have access to a garden or allotment may be looking at ideas we planted in the spring. How have they grown? Are they ready for harvesting and completion?
The focus is very much on bringing in the harvest, whether literal or symbolic, but little attention is given to the other part of this season – this is a time of culling.
For the farmer, this meant looking at his livestock and making a decision on which would be worth keeping over the winter, and which would need to be killed to provide food for his family, but also to make sure there was enough food on hand for the livestock he did keep. In addition, he would need to think about the number of animals that he might get the following year when mothers dropped their young.
These days, most of us don’t have these worries because we probably don’t live on farms. We can still look during this time of year to see what needs to be culled from our own lives though.
Now is the time to do work to release those outworn ideas that once served a purpose, but are now holding us down. It’s the time to take a look at what is cluttering up our lives, whether they be physical objects or outworn habits. It’s time to do a bit of culling.
This doesn’t mean that it’s time to spend a few days bashing yourself over the head for every perceived fault. Even the most unhealthy habit or behaviour at one time served a purpose, though you may not remember any more what that purpose was.
When looking ask yourself – does this serve me in a healthy way? Does it bring me joy? Has it served its purpose? Then take the steps you need to cull what is no longer needed or wanted.
I won’t go into all the various systems and programs that can be followed, and there are many. Many people find success with Fly Lady or Side-Tracked Home Executive when it comes to decluttering. You may also look at support groups or professional help. Sometimes, habits and behaviours have become so ingrained that we don’t even realise we are doing them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And don’t be too ruthless either when deciding what needs to be culled. Remember, the careful farmer always made sure he kept enough breeding stock on hand to sustain the farm in the coming year.
When you are ready, you may want to do a small ceremony. This is one that you could adapt for your own circumstances.
You will need:
- A fireproof dish
- A small piece of paper and pen
- A candle and means to light it.
Prepare yourself in whatever way you wish beforehand. You may also want to light candles, clear the area with incense, and/or create a ritual circle.
When you are ready, sit with the tools before you.
Centre yourself, then state what it is that you wish to cull from your life. Write it down on the paper.
You may state these words, or some of your own choosing.
“Today I wish to release (this behaviour/habit/thought process) from my life. It has served its purpose (state what that purpose was if you know), but I have grown and it no longer serves me. I am grateful for the purpose it once had for me and release it now with gratitude and love. “
Light the paper and place it in the fireproof dish. Allow what you have released to be consumed by the flame while saying the following, or similar words of your own choosing:
“Peace surround me,
Light shine within me.
I release this now with gratitude and love.”
When finished sit quietly for a few minutes. Then take any remaining ashes from the paper and dispose of them someplace away from your home. Running water is ideal.
What do you need to cull from your life?
Image in public domain, source of quote is unknown