“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou
“The important stuff will still be important by the time you get to it. The unimportant will have made its insignificance obvious (or simply disappear). Then, with stillness rather than needless urgency or exhaustion, you will be able to sit down and give what deserves consideration your full attention.” – Ryan Holiday, Stillness is the Key
In “before” we prepare, we do the work, we walk the path step by step that gets to “after.” Sometimes it feels like we are stuck in before, circling, lost and then suddenly, after arrives and the work pays off.
I’ve been planning for a first-floor remodel for a few months. Clearing clutter, organizing. Choosing the paint, then painting. Looking at several floor options, then deciding. Moving an entire first floor into my garage. All with help of course. And today is day one of three to get new floors installed – luxury vinyl plank flooring – much better with dogs. Good-bye 15 year-old laminate, linoleum and carpet and hello new floors in 22 easy steps. I haven’t taken a vacation in a long while so this is my “big” trip, creating a new cool space at home, little did I know how much time we’d all be staying at home.
And during this time, especially during this time, it’s good to plan and prepare for the future, even though we are stuck in the murkiness of now, in our before. We are all going to get to our after when before finishes its job, even though we don’t understand why, how or when. Keep planning, do the work, hold tight to trust and faith, savoring the long overdue stillness. After is coming and our before will carry us forward fully prepared for it.
“Space the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s continuing mission. To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.” – Star Trek monologue
Time starved, too busy, overcommitments are no longer an excuse, so let’s get to the work of open space – the final frontier to our joy, reflection and purpose. Like many, I’m cleaning and organizing a room at a time. Clearing clutter. Writing and running every day. The garage will be punched in the face this weekend. I’ll also be trying to narrow down 752 paint color choices for the first -floor paint project in April.
I dare challenge you to savor this time. To explore strange new life, worlds and civilizations of your thoughts, dreams and aspirations. Boldly go where humans avoid at all costs and blame busy and commitments. Don’t miss these moments right now. Return to yourself. The deep. The murky. The complicated. The discovery. The delight. Home.
Break the habit and comfort of mental “to do” flurry and focus on one thought, on “one room at a time.” We have a lot of unstructured time coupled with uncertainty right now. If we get stuck in the uncertainty, we will miss the gift of unstructured and open time.
For so long we’ve been caught in the “fog” of busy and not enough time. Now we are presented plenty of time and could easily fall into the fog of “uncertainty” and “binge watching” our life away.
Imagine. Explore. Be bold – go into uncharted territory – this is the path to the #otherside and beyond!
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” —Socrates
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” —Hans Hofmann
We must create open space each day to enter our thoughts, hear our voice and witness the unfolding of our purpose for being. I can multitask with the best of them with meeting after meeting and saying “yes” way more than I should or have the capacity to do.
When we say “yes” to more, we say “no” to what we should really be doing. Urgent trumps important again and again, quickly followed by disappointment and a longing for something real. Jamming more into the day is crippling out ability to do what we want, to rest and to engage our imagination.
We have too much clutter both externally and internally. And our frustration is rooted in the fact that more stuff does not, cannot and will not equate to contentment and happiness.
The Japanese concept of “MA” (pronounced “maah”) is about creating space. When we stop our pursuit of more, we can create space and open ourselves up to enough, depth and meaning.
Slow down, listen, say “no” more so you can say “yes” to what’s important and create some open space today. Here’s to more MA!
“Have gratitude for the things you’re discarding. By giving gratitude, you’re giving closure to the relationship with that object, and by doing so, it becomes a lot easier to let go.” – Marie Kondo
It’s been on my mind for the past month – clean out the closets and organize my clothes. Two rounds and 3 hours later, done. And it’s freeing. Sifting, sorting, bucketing and giving away clothes to someone who may actually need them. Organized, orderly and findable. Clothes that I will actually wear and can find quickly. Shopping my own closet rather than getting more. We keep adding without counting, taking inventory. And yes, I am parting with the Hawaiian shirt that’s too big, but I am now in search of my next loud shirt that sings, “let’s have fun!”
In addition to some Spring cleaning our physical space, we can also do some decluttering in our minds, assessing what’s already present in this very moment. Eliminate the “I’ll get to that later” piles and put it in its place now or let it go if you don’t need it.
Our clutter and inability to let go has created a $38 billion+ industry in the United States. According to SpareFoot, there are 50,000 facilities, 2.311 billion square feet of “stuff apartments” and enough storage space to fill Hoover Dam with crap, I mean, keepsakes that we can’t let go of.
And that clutter and accumulation is rooted in our mindset of more, more, more. A scarcity in our thoughts where we’ve convinced ourselves that this stuff will create happiness. It’s not working. Stop the pursuit of more and actually get more by counting what already is. Stop accumulating stuff and start accumulating daily joy. The search is over. It’s all within you.
And when our days on this earth are over, you can’t take it with you. And I can guarantee, your relatives will be getting a dumpster for your “keepsakes.” Let it go now and starting living today.