Monday, July 12, 2010

R & R in my own nest

After a very long, arduous month of packing and moving (layered on top of full time summer classes -replete with piles of reading, paper writing and the like) I am finally, fully and most of all, happily living in my new home.

That it was an epic struggle to get here should have come as no surprise. Like a limpet wedged into a crack in a rock being pounded by the sea, I was entrenched in my old place, body, soul and possessions. Holy crap, what a massive amount of possessions I own. It's easy to fall into self-disgust and tempting to just make a bonfire to purge the excess. Much harder to actually sort, sift, pack and label.

I took the harder path, dear readers. Everyone says "moving sucks". And so it does. So some folks never budge from their spot on the planet and that's ok. Others, like me, feel the need for change at regular intervals. I was restless and unhappy in my old situation at year three, but being in the middle of cancer treatment and such was a suitable distraction. As year five rolled around, I knew in the back of my mind that something had to break. My trip to Mexico in late December clarified that tension so much that I formulated a plan.

The whole situation was driven by financial issues. Namely, too much debt and too little income for too long. Crawling out of the hole created in my financial picture by the cancer experience has taken time and careful planning.

At this moment, in the sanctuary that is my new home, I am flooded with gratitude.

For the first time in seven years, I am experiencing a sense of total peace and relaxation in my home. I cannot stress enough what a profound shift this is in my life. Even with boxes still to unpack here and there, I have been able to expand and sink down into deep relaxation. My new back porch is a dreamy space, with a view of the mountain and valley below that continually opens my perspective. I can literally see the bigger picture! A beautiful Mayan hammock, brought back from my trip to Tulum, Mexico, many years ago is now hanging on the porch. And even better, I have been spending time enfolded in this hammock - just lounging.

Typically, I have to travel far away from home to find this type of relaxing.

Another key change in my life-style which directly affects my level of happiness or depression took some bold decision making as well. In May, I cut off my cable plan and gave away my TV. Pretty radical stuff for anyone living in US culture! As my spiritual fog began to clear at the start of the year, I remembered that the last period in my life where I felt fully happy, engaged, physically in shape and often found time to make art...was when I got rid of my TV. When I realized this, the choice to get TV out of my life was easy. But just like quitting anything addictive, the first few weeks are jumpy and restless. It took time to settle my anxious energy down in other, more meditative ways. I planned this for a time when I was very busy packing to move and taking classes, which helped tremendously. Now, I don't have any urge to watch. I feel free!

This new chapter seems to have and emerging theme: seeing beyond. Seeing bigger and further, outside the four walls of home and outside the TV box as well. I have been pretty self-absorbed and inner-focused for a long while now. Entering this graduate school program has begun to draw me out into the bigger world again, the world full of people to help and important work to do. Finally leaving my apartment managing job and the living situation attached to it has opened up a door to a place where I am more comfortable being in the world because I have a serene sanctuary to recharge my batteries at the end of each day. With a retreat of my own, I can expand and experience more of the world.

Experiencing this sense of opening is truly beautiful. I've been waking up smiling.
I've effortlessly become more social and excited to spend time with others. My friendships are more joyful.

p.s. I'm about to embark on a big adventure next week. A whole month in Puebla, Mexico, studying Spanish in an immersion program. I'll even be doing a home-stay so all my waking hours will be lived in Spanish. It is exciting and something I have dreamed about doing for years. While I am away, I will be blogging on Found Object, so if you are inclined, you can follow my journey.