What Really Matters?

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I have been moving into a whole new way of being and as I do I am finding a greater sense of peace and ease than I ever remember having. I almost named this post “Simplifying Your Life” but that has ramifications far beyond what I mean here. You don’t have to throw out all of your possessions, move into a tiny house. (I love the idea of them and think it is a grand way to live but it would never work for me. I like my things around me and creature comforts, and snuggly things, and vintage things, and lots of room for my animal companions and I.) No, what I am doing is systematically (and very slowly) going through my life and finding out what really matters to me and then ever so gently letting go of the rest.

This has been coming. Slower, smaller, simpler. Simmering. And during these days of slowing down the pace of life, even slower than normal, I am looking around and not liking what I am seeing. I have been in this rental house for 3 1/2 months and I have bought too much for this tiny house, not furniture or big things but the kind of things that make up my life, art supplies, office supplies, more toys than the dogs can play with, and so on, trying desperately to feel at home, grieving all of the thing that were lost, most especially the 4 parrots that died that night, and, well, all the things around me that made me feel like me. I don’t mean that I’ve purchased truckloads of things, but I have found myself in the middle of too much stuff, and now there is clutter, and I want to scream, and it makes me nervous, and Lord knows I don’t need more of that.

Clutter. The clutter has to go. Mostly it is having ordered things before they finally got around to sending me a desk — it took a month — and in the meantime I had accrued quite a lot of office and art supplies. Then the desk came and by then I was all set up in my over-sized recliner here in the front room with my work things organized in baskets from the dollar store on an end table next to me and a dining room chair that holds a file box of art supplies on the other side. And I was working, trying desperately to get caught up with my work, or at least get a toehold in the front edge of whatever beginning again meant so that I could start to feel some semblance of forward motion. And once I really get working, except for caring for the animals and basic needs I work all day long until bed time. Writing, reading, drawing, planning, designing and all of my online work which takes many hours each day. In other words I never got a chance to put anything away and now there are boxes everywhere and it has paralyzed me. When I get like this I can barely move out of this chair. If it weren’t for caring for the dogs I don’t think I’d ever move. I get up to take them out and while I’m up I do a bunch of household chores, not de-cluttering, I mean fixing meals for me, taking care of Miss Scarlett the grey parrot, doing dishes, taking out trash, doing laundry, the basic chores. Then I rush back to my huge chair, (Seriously, you can look it up online, they call it The Beast! I wanted a big chair so the 4 pug and I could all fit.) as if barely making it to safety, and I don’t move again for sometime. These things come in fits and starts all day.

As far as other things I need to feel less clutter in my work life, a greater sense of clarity, spaciousness, and truth telling. What does that mean? Well, today I redesigned this site to look cleaner, and the white, instead of the bold, bright colors and patterns I have always used both in my work, and my home, makes me feel such a sense of peace I kind of went, Ahhhhh, as soon as I was finished and looked at it. And my house that burned down was all bright colors, every room was a different bright color, the doors down the hallway were painted the same color as the inside of the room so going down a turquoise hallway you had warm rosy pink, sunny yellow, orchid, and aqua doors. I’m talking colorful! And painted ceilings too. I love color on the ceiling. For months now I have been rather shocked at the colors I have been looking at for the house as it is redone. Not white white, oyster or cream with the other colors being seaglass colors. Those are the kind of colors I have used in the redesign of this site for the most part.

Next there is the blog. Blogging is my heart and I’ve been doing less and less of it and after some hard thinking and truth-telling I realized what was wrong. I started the 365 Days project fully meaning to do 365 consecutive days, or very close to that, and I did a pretty darn good job, but then the fire knocked it out of the ballpark. As I came back I have tried and tried and not been able to pick up the momentum. At first I simply couldn’t get it done. I was in a hotel for a month after the fire, I had lost all of my computer equipment, save my tablet that was in my purse near the back door where we got out, and by the time I got a new laptop, just before moving into the rental here, I was so far behind that as I’ve tried to go on I have felt so overwhelmed about the big gaps, well, I have just been stalled, more like frozen, a little despairing, and a lot embarrassed. I’ve talked a good game about it being perfectly fine if I didn’t do it everyday but that was just a bunch of hooey. That project ended the night of the fire.

One thing the women in the Circle that I run in conjunction with The Spontaneous Art & Writing Project have been talking about since I wrote about deciding not to begin mentoring again after all, at least not for now, just on the heals of announcing that I would, is that people so often keep doing something because they are too afraid or ashamed to say that they can’t do it after all, and that kind of guilt is very prevalent in our society. One feels like a failure, or fears they will look like one. They liked that I just said, “Well, I thought about it and it’s just not going to work right now.” Period. Well, I’m about to say it again. I tried, I’m proud of what I did in the beginning of my 365 Days project because I kept it going daily for quite some time, and it was good while it lasted, but it’s over and my guilt about not being able to keep up is keeping me from blogging almost at all and that just won’t do. I love this blog dearly and since September of 2007 to now I have had a million and a half visitors to my blog. The first 700,000+ are at the original blog which migrated here last July 1, almost 1 year ago. It is at www.maitrisheart.blogspot.com. This is still the same blog but it moved to WordPress when this website went up. I miss blogging regularly and I want, I need to blog more often. I’ll not say daily but at least a few times a week. I need it for my soul. I love this blog.

So this is a start, a new day, and the changes I am making now will be the foundation for my future, for the work I will do, for my new life at Dragonfly Cottage when I move back in. I have begun. I will continue.

Blessings & Love to one and all…

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Comments

  1. Good morning Maitri, I’m sitting on my tiny veranda (it is less clutter here), with one basket and two bags with things I migh need (but probably won’t use). I smiled when I read your post – it sounds so familiar…
    I’m in the process of going through my parents things (after a long life, there are A LOT of things), and try to decide what to throw away and what to keep – and where to put what I keep.
    Thinking of you,
    Margaretha

  2. thank you for being wise enough not to offer the moon – and the sun – and more – as you are rebuilding your life, your psyche,
    your home. you do enough. you do enough. you are enough. of course you want to make a living – of course you want to help others thrive – and every day you create a template for just that… without going overboard, without trying too hard. you are a powerful and creative soul living in a culture that does not value introspection or single tasking. i still remember very fondly your magazine: The Contemplative Way – Slowing down in a modern world. yes, how the themes repeat, dear friend! i am in awe of how you pulled yourself together after the fire. take your time in re-construing your existence. and i agree, the blog is a lifeline to the outside world, to friends and students and to your own heart. yay maitri xo ka

    xo
    ka

  3. I do enjoy your musings and totally love your new look. Also a lover of vibrant colour, sometimes it is more restful to be in the understated.thank you for sharing your life and visions.xxx

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