Tick Tock

In planning to move away in three months, I force myself to get rid of what I don’t need. 

Evidence of my gluttony surrounds me – all the crap I’ve accumulated because it seemed necessary for this little project or that. So impractical. All my perpetual dabbling instigates consumerism. (If you object to toxic capitalism, boycott.) It also prevents me from focusing on the creative endeavors I truly enjoy now. Here comes the weight of objects – telling me how I’ve disappointed myself, then the spiraling downward…

I am love, but broken love. No, wounded. I lost faith in myself for whatever reason, and it holds me back. When I doubt myself or feel in-the-wrong, instead of looking at my faults head-on and accepting them, I’ve been running out of steam. I injured my back, which slows me more.

Example: I used to create whimsical cookie and cake gifts for friends. Looking to bring brightness into their lives or showing off? When I ask myself that and see the negative second option of the question, I’m scolding – faulting – myself. Oh dear. I wasn’t perfect. I hold onto the past too long. Down I go.

Question: Do I feel proud when praised? Yes. Is that why I baked? Maybe a little, but my primary purpose wasn’t ego boosting. Okay? Okay???!

Checking further: Back to my many shelves of baking supplies (some of which are past their expiration date)…how often has Maggie mythologized the shock of seeing those cupboards for the first time? (I’m never sure if she’s mocking me or amazed at my dedication to meaningless details.) Oh oh. Going dark again.  

Remedy: Learn to stay cheerful when in shadow. Shake it off. Notice when I’m stuck, and stop sinking. Take a break. Breathe. 

Forced downsizing: Make room for open thoughts and open heart.

Reinforce: The intention is liberation. While this clearing work might feel odious, having it done will lighten my load. The promise of greater space/new adventures motivates me.

So I am clearing places inside me that prevent me from going forward. I’m giving away and tossing out oceans of items. At this point it doesn’t matter how I managed to stuff myself/my home so densely; what matters is no longer letting that reality anchor me in a woeful trap of grimy, putrid thoughts. I clear a spot. I wipe it down. Voila!

Progress

(my continued adventures in homemaking)

For a moment, wiping off the kitchen ceiling fan, I was alone, present in the experience of cleaning, fully absorbed in the double task of clearing my space and clearing my mind. Yoga. Union. 

I might’ve ridden the momentum and continued on to another needy spot – for example the dining room ceiling fan – but instead I sat down to look at a screen. I was in the flow, feeling fine, until ancient history came to haunt me. When I live in my body, I move at a pace that works, but when I notice I’m happy I either freeze up or collapse. Ubiquitous analysis ensued. Was I stalling, trying to find a way to stash the experience away for later use instead of diving back into the flow? Was I worn out? Was I running away from work? Why? Would that added little bit of labor be so hard? 

Silly fears. Disappointment. Mental acrobatics. 

I watched myself in a depressed state, barely willing to move my body…and then understood why it’s so creaky. I was in my head, ruminating about my faltering instead of living and enjoying every moment I’m alive. Because honestly, wiping dust off the fan wasn’t terribly taxing, and I’d actually enjoyed both the activity and the results. 

Timidity, hiding inside of shame? There. There it is. 

Here’s an alternative: Sit for a few moments and breathe. Catch and release. Then move along. The only one judging is me. Breathe. Release some more. Grab the ladder and dust cloth.

I’m listening, not dead. Not clutching, open. 

On earth again, ready to dance.