Having recently moved my residence, I just had to take some time to reflect on the experience and the many parallels to my career, my family and my overall state of being – all of this of course neatly but randomly noted in my latest journal.

Hailed as yet another component within “the grand downsizing plan,” I couldn’t help but compare what was happening with my material possessions to where I was headed as a woman just turning 50.

1. Letting Go -- Because we were moving to a smaller home, I set out to find a furniture consignment shop and was delighted to meet my new friend Dusty. Immediately recognizing that tenuous look in my eyes as I entered, she calmly explained that she would take extra special care to find my dearly loved furniture a home with people who would love each piece. A pure professional, she quickly assured me that this “transition” – read: all the anxiety I was experiencing – would subside shortly and all would be well again in my world. I didn’t seem to mind giving up the many trinkets, collectibles and well-loved furniture that we had been using over the years. But my heart nearly broke as I said goodbye to the earthy Belgian Red Oak kitchen table that seemed to symbolize the heart of our family. This fine piece of furniture seemed to parallel all the strength and courage I had to gather to accept the changes taking place in our family as two of my three children pioneered off to college. This beautifully handcrafted piece of oak always stood solid as my children smooshed their first solid foods into its finely grained surface; never complained when baseball bags and volleyball equipment were carelessly thrown on top; formed the foundation for a myriad of artistic creations, cooking experiments and science fair projects; was always available for a soothing cup of decaf; and ultimately became the birthplace of my first book, The Sacred Purse. A tear in my eye, I slowly turned and walked away from the consignment shop, knowing that Dusty would find my Red Oak table the perfect home.

Journal Writing Prompt – Write about something you have had to release. Maybe it wasn’t a symbolic piece of furniture. Perhaps a relationship? A friend? A pet? A home? Expand on why it was difficult or relatively easy to part with. Then write about something you have chosen to grab on to. A new healthy habit? Your faith? A friendship? A family member in need? The humor in life? Is there anything you are currently holding onto that might actually be holding you? Or, holding you back from something exciting, healthy, or closer to one of your dreams?

2. Filling the Void – Closing the door on the echoes of our empty “old house,” I reflected upon what I was leaving behind – the home I had created to hold my children’s teenage years and all the laughter, worry, tears and big cheesy grins that accompanied that time. Besides a sea of boxes at the new home, what was on the horizon for our family? For me as a wife, mother, daughter, businesswoman and writer? Looking around at the white, undecorated walls, I saw an empty canvas and the excitement of a new life phase to create. I realized that only through purging from my past and current life was I able to literally create a space large enough for my next set of life experiences to unfold. Weeks later, I sit and pen these thoughts at the white oak dining room table that we decided to keep. Everything now in its place – the new walls filled with family pictures; my husband, sons and daughter out and about in their new routines; my garden overflowing with familiar blooms… I revel in the quiet solitude of this new space and know in my heart that this is truly a place to write and create.

Journal Writing Prompt – New beginnings include moments of action and reflection. We have to do the work of readying the space -- all the while putting forth our intentions for our next steps. Write about one of the dreams/goals that is unfolding in your life. What did you have to “purge” to create space for this new part of you? What actions and reflections occurred for the new phase to emerge? What will this new phase look like? What needs to change?

Author's Bio: 

Debi Wacker is a Journal Coach and co-owner of Write to Health http://www.writetohealth.com/, a creative writing adventure dedicated to helping people discover the healing benefits of journal writing. Write to Health’s journal circles explore and celebrate health through writing about spirituality, addiction recovery, cancer survivorship, life transition, grief process and life legacy. Write to Health’s online journal writing courses teach a variety of techniques including letter writing, clustering and lists. Inspirational blank journals and guided meditations complement the writing programs and help clients begin a writing practice in the comfort of their own homes. Debi is also co-author and publisher of The Sacred Purse, a collaborative book of women’s poetry and essays, and continues work on her first novel. She is president of LightSource Marketing, a marketing and business development consulting firm with offices in Virginia Beach and Washington D.C. Debi specializes in strategic and market planning, program design and development, and copywriting. Debi recently returned to the college campus as a part-time professor. Reach her at debi@writetohealth.com.