Moving Right Along

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How long does it take to sell a house?
How long to sort through nearly four decades of life?
How long to let go, to trust, to simplify?
How long to uproot, to  transplant,
and how long to put down roots again?

My home transforms in preparation
for strangers who will walk through,
scrutinizing the walls, ceilings, floors.
Will they know how much love
we have put into this place?
Will they noticed the freshly mown lawn,
the touched up paint,
the crystal clean windows,
the carefully placed houseplants?

Has this home become another child?
Will I feel sad if it is rejected?
Will I feel sad if it is scooped up by someone else?

Ahh, the questions with no answers…
they lead me nowhere.
But I am now here.
I have one question–
How deeply can I breathe in?
I have one more question–
How slowly can I breathe out?

Sorting Out My Life

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How many of you are good at letting go of clutter?  I mentioned a while ago how I come from a long line of clutter bugs, and how I have a natural tendency to hold on to lots of random things until they start to pile up around the house and it becomes obvious that some decluttering is in order.  We have come to such a point in our house, and the better part of this past week has been spent pitching things that have no obvious use, sorting through clothes that the kids have outgrown or clothes that are simply no longer being worn, taking a good look at things that I have held on to for years and asking why they are still in my life…

And I am exhausted.  Each object I keep in my life has some kind of sentiment attached to it.  In spite of all of the books I have read about the importance of clearing clutter, I don’t seem to have developed a natural ability to just not accumulate it in the first place.  With two young children added into the mix, I have plenty of excuses for not keeping up with my possessions and routinely sorting through my stuff and doing clear-outs.  Going through bursts of clutter clearing like I have done the past pew days leaves me feeling positively wiped out on every level–physically, mentally, emotionally.

And yet I’m excited at the same time.  Every time I do a good, honest purging of my possessions, it is as if my whole life has room to breathe again.  My living space is more vibrant, energy flows more easily, and positive coincidences crop up with noticeably greater frequency.

In my personal journal writing, I keep asking muses, divine helpers, guides, teachers, guardian angels to be present and assist me in discerning between what is no longer useful and what is truly beneficial to keep in my life.  I pray for the courage to let go of the memories that some of these objects represent…past relationships, experiences, feelings that I had back then.  I know that letting go of the past leaves more space for me to be in this present moment, but I also am acutely aware of the comforting feeling that some of these things give me, just to have them, even if they aren’t immediately useful.

I noticed today that I really do have a thing about rocks…I have rocks from France, from California, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Italy, Turks and Caicos, India, Scotland…I can look at each rock and remember where I picked it up or who gave it to me.  This one came from a river.  That one a beach.  That one from a mountaintop.  This one from a friend…And rocks are heavy.  Do I want to hold on to them and eventually move them into a nice new house when the time comes for that?  And if I don’t hold on to them, what could I possibly do to honor their existence?  Surely I wouldn’t throw a piece of the French Alps or the California coast or the Italian Dolomites into the trash.  Surely they deserve some beautiful resting place…beneath a tree maybe, or in a flowing river?

My journals were mentioned in a previous post–I have boxes and boxes of them, chronicling decades of my life.  Do I want to hold on to them and move them when the time comes?  Yes, I want to hold on to my journals.  Should I question this wanting, or can I just allow myself to have it, despite how heavy those boxes are?

Who here is really good at decluttering?  Who here understands the psychology behind the accumulation of possessions, and can offer some words about how you give yourself space in which to create, to express, to feel and to know this moment?

Any words of advice?  I have many, many nooks and crannies to sort through before our house is anywhere near presentable.

And by the way, we’re planning to put our house on the market this coming Wednesday…

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When I close my eyes and become still
When I let go for just a moment of everything outside of myself,
When I come home to the center of my being,
I remember:

Everything I need is exactly where I am.

As I begin to create more space in my life,
in my mind, body, and spirit,
I become excited about the potential for fresh, new experiences,
and yet…

Change is so scary. Uprooting is scary. Letting go is scary.

But does it have to be that way?

Divine Spirit, guide me back home to myself.
Help me to carve away the excess so that I can
penetrate to the deep core of my essence.

Help me to remember that the real treasure
cannot be held in my hands,
only in my heart.

And help me to laugh as I let go,
Like a child who throws rocks into a pond
and PLOOF!
delights in the sound of splashing,
and then silence…and endless ripples
radiating from the center.

The Only Religion I Know

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Today, for whatever reason,
I found myself remembering how people of various religions
have knocked on my door–
usually when I’m tending to my children–
and asked to speak with me about their faith.

Jehovah’s Witnesses,
Latter Day Saints,
Members of the Greater Faith Outreach Church…
am I forgetting anyone?

For some reason today,
I found myself remembering how I responded to them.
I didn’t want to be impolite or dismissive.
Clearly they had come for a reason.
I also didn’t want to spend my time
in discourse with them, feigning interest
in adopting their shared religious identity.

I remembered how I told them,
“Yes I believe in God,”
and how I silently added,
“Probably not the same way you believe.”

“Yes I pray,” I told them
and then thinking, “Probably not in the same way you do.”
Trying to maintain a sense of connectedness,
while not selling out or losing my authenticity.

I remembered I didn’t want to hurt their feelings,
but I wanted to reclaim my afternoon with my children,
and just bask in the sunny patches  of grass under the maple tree in the back yard
and stare at bugs, and clouds, and how the blades of grass dance in the breeze.

I thanked them, accepted a pamphlet,
wished them a wonderful day,
closed the door, relieved that they were gone.

Today I wondered how a spiritual master would greet such people?
Would they invite the Witnesses In, laughing?
Would they give the Latter Day Saints more of their time?
Would they listen to those of “Greater Faith,”
and offer the most precious gift of their attention?

Today I wished I could’ve had such a master with me when I answered the door.
Someone who would say, “Watch this,”
and skillfully remind whomever it was who had arrived with a speech
that silence speaks louder than words.
How if we could all just shut up for a moment,
and take the hands of the person nearest to us,
if we could look into their eyes with true love and acceptance,
we wouldn’t need to call it anything,
we wouldn’t need a special building to house that feeling
or validate that ceremony.
We wouldn’t need a brochure or a liturgy or a ritual or a common prayer
to impress newcomers and draw them into the fold.

That moment of true connection, silent and pure,
that moment of seeing the perfection of all that is,
that moment of oneness, of wholeness, of inexplicable peace for no reason at all–
this is the only religion I know.

The Great Mirror of Existence

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These days
when energy seems scarce
and the demands placed on it
seem to be increasing,

I am grateful for little moments of rest,
of non-action,
of just being in this moment
and savoring what I have.

I don’t need to understand every single thing.
If I have one purpose in this life,
it is to awaken to this moment
and to love it with all of my being.

If I profess to understand anything,
then doesn’t my understanding
cover the essence of now
in a mask of presumption?

I presume to know nothing
and allow myself to see like a child.

Knowing that I don’t know,
my eyes are bright and open
and I look,
heart beating
lungs breathing,
into the great mirror of existence.

Trusting What Is

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When I stop for a moment–
just one little moment–
and I take a deep breath,
I wonder what I was running from
And why my mind was clouded with so much thinking.

If I take a good look at my thoughts
I discover that I often attempt to control outcomes
and many of my efforts are devoted
to creating a future that fits with my vision of how things should be.

This way of acting creates suffering.
When I want it to be cooler out
and it’s 96 degrees and humid,
I feel irritated because of the discomfort.

When I want it to be warmer
and we’re stuck in a polar vortex,
bundled head to toe in multiple layers–
I curse the winter and wish it could be summer again.

What would life be like if I could trust what is?
What would this moment be like if I loved it completely?
How would I interact with everyone around me–
my husband, my children–
if I accepted them exactly as they are?

How would I feel about myself
if I could focus on this being in me,
instead of all the things that I perceive as faults?

Sitting in meditation brings me closer
to this place of knowing, of loving,
of trusting what is.

May I carry the wisdom of my deep self with me
when I rise from my cushion to be in this world.

The Everything

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Lost my temper today…
I was jumping up and down so hard
that when I went down in the basement
there was some thick wood dust
on my craft supplies
directly beneath where I had been stomping.

My kids heard me yelling and ran…
They were scared of me,
and then I was ashamed.
“Now I’m angry and guilty…great,” I told myself.

I took some deep breaths and moved on.
If we view emotions like the waves of the ocean,
they crash and recede,
crash and recede.
They crest and seem impressive one moment,
they become a flat nothing in the next.

Here I sit musing over all the waves that
flowed through me today.
Instead of fixating on the waves,
I’d like to notice the immensity of the ocean
that contains and holds it all:
the water, the waves, the fish,
the light of the sun and the moon,
the hot and the cold,
the day and the night,
the salt, the air,
the everything.

This Now Freshness

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Tonight–
lavender, rosemary, and lemon
essential oils diffused,
tiny billowing clouds floating on the air
a cheerful scented vapor, uplifting.
a light invitation,
freshness.

Although my body has had enough of this day,
My mind continues to whirr.

Hopefully meditation will help me to see
what I was looking for all day long.

Hopefully my sitting still
will remind me that I am more than this body, this mind
this name, these roles and responsibilities,
these hopes, these fears, these projects, these goals.

Hopefully the quiet will give me what I was wanting–
More of myself as a human being,
not a human doing.

And even if my mind wanders,
I can revel in the lavender, rosemary, and lemon
scented air,
this now freshness.