The Value of the Vacuum
It turns out that most of our life circumstances are a choice. We can bitch and moan all we like, but when we’re really honest we’ve made a decision, conscious or unconscious:
to stay at that job that sucks our soul
to stay with that person who doesn’t bring out our best
to stay on the couch instead of taking a walk
to stay exactly where we are.
Part of my creation of and embarkation upon The Freedom Tour was a conscious move toward simplicity. I sold an apartment, got rid of two-thirds of my belongings, and decided to be homeless indefinitely. I bought a Prius, filled it with the stuff I thought I would really need, and then threw in a few extra pairs of shoes, a sunny outlook, and an open heart. Then I said goodbye to life as I knew it.
There’s a feeling of fullness that comes from letting go that can’t be replicated in any other way.
What I got from cultivating simplicity via releasing what no longer served me (books, clothing, a home, a city, business agreements, and some psychic contracts) was a lot of space for what did serve me.
I’ve heard it told that nature abhors a vacuum. First you must be willing to let go of what’s no longer working in your life (physical, spiritual, emotional, whatever, what have you.) Then most of the time you’ve actually got to let go of it. (And no, breaking up with your dead-beat boyfriend and then texting him for late night sleepovers does not count as letting go.)
And then this beautiful thing happens. You sit with the discomfort of the empty space (be it a cupboard, a slot in your schedule, or a place in your heart.) You get your chakras all spinning in the right direction. You get your vibration running on high.
Then the universe, God, Goddess, the Divine, all that there is, the great beyondananda, or whatever you want to call it brings you something better. Often way better than anything you could have imagined in your wildest dreams.
When I did all of my letting go in early 2011, I sat in my empty apartment and sobbed the night I left New York. The vacuum felt pretty painful at first. As each person left my apartment, holding something of mine that I’d let go of, I felt a bit panicked. What if I end up needing that thing that I’ve just given away?
I, of course, followed my fear of needing that thing that was walking out the door all the way to its inevitable end-point:
What if I’m making a huge mistake and my life is over? What have I done?
And thinking that thought felt extremely painful. So I reminded myself that not only was my stuff in very good friends with all of my loved ones, but I could come back to New York City any time and pick up right where I left off.
Surrendering to the great unknown of emptiness freaked me out. And it made me feel free. And in that freedom and open space I manifested great love with a man I adore, a much deeper connection to my worth, a trust in my voice I’d never found before, more money, a book deal, and a life I’m in love with.
Remember, nature abhors a vacuum. The emptiness will be filled with great if you’re willing to give up crappy, ho-hum, or even good. The sheer act of releasing something that no longer serves you is a giant message that you know you’re worth more. It’s like a smoke signal of your divine value.
A year and a half after starting The Freedom Tour on February 2, 2011 I’m probably due for a new vacuum. I’ll begin with my t-shirt drawer and shoes and see where it goes from there. The great thing about letting go is that you can start anywhere.
Vacuums are transferable. If you want to attract more clients, try cleaning out your sock drawer. If you’re looking to increase your income, see if you can create some extra space in your garage.
Let something go. Even if it’s little. Create a vacuum. Send that smoke signal declaring your divine worth out to the ether. Sit with the emptiness and feel what that feels like. And then relish the beauty that manifests as nature fills that vacuum with goodies.
And please report back.
Kate Northrup, October 2012