A NOTE FROM JENN...
On the move
Spring is in the air for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere. It feels fresh, alive and exciting. Newness and reminders of the cycle of life are abundant. With this cycle there is again the reminder of the transition we travel from one stage to the next.
I am amidst a transition at the moment, albeit one self imposed. As I write this month’s newsletter I am surrounded by stacks of boxes, emptied bookshelves and clutter. All this organised chaos is in preparation for moving house in two weeks time.
Despite years of experience moving (including shifting my life 20 years ago from California to Sydney), it seems that over time we accumulate stuff we don’t notice until we pack it up in boxes. In my world there are four of us sorting and packing stuff.
As we pack and sort we keep asking ourselves the questions:
1. Why do I have this stuff?
2. Why do I need this stuff?
3. Why do I want this stuff?
The answer has to be it brings me joy and happiness, it is essential for living or otherwise it goes out the door via a garage sale or donation. I have successfully applied this approach in past clutter clearing expeditions. However nothing can compare to the scale of a house move.
There are of course interesting conversations going on about what each of us in our household considers important. I value and love my book collection or as others might call it, mini-self help library. No need to go to the shops, just come to my house for the latest on self help, personal development. As I pack the boxes, most books go in, few leave. (I also laugh a little considering how easy it is to transport my ebook collection on 1 kindle and 1 ipad compared to the 7 bookshelves of books in heavy boxes.)
Since my clutter culprit is the library, I reflect a lot on why I have these books. As a writer I love being surrounded by the works of authors who have successfully followed their dream, put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and transformed their message into a format accessible and available to all. The book still trumps all for me as it does not require an electronic device, can be enjoyed for years to come and engages me in a tangible experience. Even today I still do what I did from an early age - sit by a bookshelf, pick a random book, open up a section and see what it says. Wisdom on tap. Try it on your own book collection.
Even so I am truly aware that I am keeping the books for now because I can and not because I have to. If tomorrow life changed and this luxury no longer served me or my household then I would let them go.
Lesson learned: enjoy what you have and let it be a part of your life intentionally not as an attachment or dependency.
The other observation I have about moving that I feel is worth sharing with you is the emotional and psychological aspect of it. No doubt about it, moving is a stressful experience. You are creating upheaval in all areas where normally you assume stability. Our home is our base, our anchor, our foundation. When we shift this physical location we shift everything in our world with unknown and unseen ripple effects not noted until later. Even experienced travelers know that when you land you adjust your living space to suit you and support you in a more personal way.
So moving in itself is another way to check and see how emotionally self aware, together and grounded you are in your practices. The more you have worked on yourself on the inside the easier it is to deal with the changes on the outside. As well the more you are prepared on the inside the more prepared you are for bigger, more challenging change. Moving tests this paradigm and allows you to see the vulnerabilities, cracks and weakness in your defenses. It also lets you discover how you embrace the opportunity and shift of change.
Yet what happens when it’s the other way around? Hmmm. What about moving before you are ready on the inside? Well, I would have to say it works you. In a way you accelerate the process a bit. You are forced to face reality, deal with avoidance, confront unsupportive habits. It is easy to dwell on the negatives. They come up and are real. There is a loss experienced. A loss of what you knew, the familiar, the comfortable. Yet to stay in this place does not serve anyone, especially you.
So for me moving is an exciting opportunity to create a fresh start and new direction. Moving is a chance to really let go of what no longer serves you, is needed or necessary. Clearing out is healthy.
Lesson learned again – don’t wait until you move to sort, clear and let go of what no longer serves you.
It is in this context that I share with you this month’s newsletter.
I also hope you are enjoying the moving moments and change opportunities in your world.