I want to wish all my readers a wonderful Halloween, Samhain, All Saint's Day, Dia de los Muertos, and all the rest! I thought I'd bring out the Seven of Pumpkins today from Kipling West's Hallowe'en Tarot, to provide a little holiday spirit.

Today is a really big day for people like me, who have a more witchy or pagan streak. Samhain is the Witch's New Year, the time of the final harvest, where we look over the past year and what we've grown. 
Tonight's also the time when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, and we remember the people who've gone before us. Our ancestors and lost loved ones are still here, watching over us, as we take stock of what we've done and the seeds we'll plant after the winter's through.

Of course, it wouldn't be Halloween without the potential for fear. Taking stock of your year so far can be scary - was it enough? Have your dreams grown into prize-winning pumpkins, or do you feel like they've withered on the vine? It's hard to face "real-life" fear with the same kind of brave face that you take to haunted houses or monster movies. But so often we forget that our fears are there for a reason. Not only do they try and protect us, they come up to show us where our pumpkin patch is weedy or the soil isn't as fertile. They can point the way to where things feel "just not right", so we can make the changes we need to move on to the next life - or just a new year - with no regrets.

It can be a huge and seriously awesome thing to take a look at your harvest. Make a list of everything you've accomplished this year. Spare nothing - the new dress you bought, the projects you started, the milestones of your kids, or the books you read. A lot can happen in a year, and there's still a few months left to go! Leave me a comment and let me know what you've harvested from this year. I'd love to hear from you!

It's been a long, weird month away from my business and from you, my amazing tribe. I've had a few personal emergencies that threw me totally off my groove and left me putting out some fires - including, at one point, a full-scale top-to-bottom cleaning of my apartment! I suppose it's only fitting, with Halloween and Samhain (the New Year for a lot of Pagans) only a week away. And it's left me thinking about clutter of all kinds: the physical kind, the mental, and even the spiritual.

You don't have to be a hoarder - or someone in a long-time battle with cleaning, like me - to suffer from a buildup of junk. We're reluctant to get rid of things that no longer work for us, to create new systems for our lives, to streamline the world we live in. In honor of the upcoming new year, here are five ways you can cut down the clutter in your life - and feel like you're getting a whole new start!

1. Keep, Store, Toss
Everything has a purpose, but sometimes it can wear out its welcome. Go through your house and take a look at what you have in storage, laying around the house, or in your closets and dressers. Decide what you use all the time, what you need to put in storage (for me it's the books I can't bear to get rid of), and what needs to get donated or thrown out.

2. How's That Working For You?
But this isn't just about physical "stuff"! Spend about a week keeping track of your day, from what you do at work to how you spend your evenings when you've got a moment to yourself. Where are your breaks too long, or too short? Is there a way to cut down on the time your work takes? How effective are you at what you're doing, and is there another way to make it easier?

3. Make Some Sacred Time
It might sound ridiculous to add one more thing to a packed and overwhelming day. But if you're reading this blog, chances are you have a spiritual path you follow and you know how important it is. Set aside ten minutes for some kind of daily ritual: meditation, exercise, yoga, daily devotions, or prayer are just a few of your options. Taking time out for your connection to the Universe gives you clarity and discipline, and most of all, it lets you know you're part of something bigger than yourself. You matter, and we all need that reminder sometimes.

4. The Power of Three
At any point in time, I've got twenty different things I keep meaning to get to "someday". The trouble is, those "somedays" can clutter up my mind and leave me distracted with half-baked ideas, vague plans, and guilt when I don't achieve half of what I wanted to. Pick just three things to get accomplished in a day, and make them your goals. If your goals are long-term, pick three small things you can do to accomplish those goals. Write them down, put the list somewhere you can see it, and commit. When you're done with that list for the day, you can tack on more if you need to, but this will help keep your life streamlined and clear.

5. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help
It can be hard to ask for help - but sometimes it's what we need. When everything gets overwhelming, there are places to go. Life and spiritual coaches can help you get a handle on the day-to-day. Friends and family can give you a new perspective, or just a sounding board if you need it. It's scary to admit you don't always "have it together", like you're making yourself vulnerable and opening your life up to visitors all at once. But sometimes, just getting it all out in the open can leave you feeling clear and refreshed. And two pairs of hands can work much faster than one.

Here's wishing you a happy, healthy, and clutter-free week!

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