Yesterday, Ash Wednesday kicked off the forty days of Lent. For those who follow church time, Lent is traditionally a period to clear out the excess that clutters our days to make room for the new life that will come with Easter. It is true that the new will have a hard time finding a spot to settle in with us if all the available real estate is taken.
Without a doubt, our lives get cluttered. Objects, behaviours, ideas, activities – you name it – somehow, these things start to take up way more time, energy and space that we ever thought they would. In the best sense, Lent can be the broom that sweeps clear and helps us get back to the basics. Lent can be a time when we hone in on what really matters to us and how we might find our way to doing what we can to enact change.
Here is a list of ways to make change this Lent (by no means exhaustive and only meant to prime the pump of your own imagination):
- Spend at least an hour outdoors every day for the next forty days – fresh air and glimpses of nature (even in the city these do abound!) are restorative.
- Look into a micro-lending agency like Kiva. Giving a hand up is a great way to make change.
- Resolve to grow something – anything will do. Start some seeds. Nurture a house plant. Pop the end of a green onion in a glass of water. Simply pay attention to the process and enjoy the miracle of growth.
- How about this … don’t buy anything you don’t really need for the next forty days.
- Tackle a de-cluttering task – break it down into small pieces and resolve to finish the job before Easter. Less stuff hanging around is always conducive to a better outlook on life. And you may just find a few things to give away.
- Heal a broken relationship even if all it involves is letting go and forgiving yourself.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose – any of the R’s will do.
“Everything in life has its own time. There is time to celebrate and there is time to mourn. This is the time for reflection and transformation. Let us look within and change into what we ought to be.” (Aaron Saul)