In February I was preparing for my fortieth birthday bash. The basement was a hot priority for me to organize. There was room for kids or adults to hang out but I wanted it to represent me. Clean it up and organize it to make it me.
“Many people get the urge to clean up when under pressure, such as just before an exam. But this urge doesn’t occur because they want to clean their room. It occurs because they need to put “something else” in order.”
Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up
To begin I thought I would move a futon, so I had to pull out the stuff from underneath it and behind it. The futon and the stuff was strategically placed in the middle of the room. Then I wanted to move a shelf. So all books and items needed to be moved off so I could move the shelf easier. Into the middle of the room it all went. And this continued until I was bombarded with STUFF. Stuff everywhere. I couldn’t walk. Absolutely overwhelmed!!!
It occurred to me that I could not just put this stuff back. This was way too much stuff.
“Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder.”
Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up
Where do I begin to fix this mess. I got some tea and sat and stared at it for a while. Maybe even an hour. Then, I figured piece by piece I was going to pull this together. One van load, and not even a full van load, was given away to Salvation Army. Maybe two garbage bags of garbage. There is still a long way to go but I need help to get through the rest of it. To clear my mind and narrow down what to get rid of.
“Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.”
Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tiding Up
Now, months later the clutter has returned. Not like the mess I created. But there is clearly still too much stuff in my life. A new way of living is in order. Please follow me on my journey as I embark on purging and decluttering my home with the help of Marie Kondo and her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up as well as the Waldorf/Anthroposophy philosophy on homemaking.
Find me on Beautiful You. Beautiful Home on Facebook.
Earlier this year I posted on Facebook that I was ready to get out into the workforce. Behind these words was a desire to make something my own, a homier home, a feeling of fulfillment and purpose each day. I wanted to wake up and feel that I had something to give the world (other than trying to be the most perfect mom and raise functioning children for society.) Feeling blessed to be able to stay at home with my kids I wanted more.
When I posted the desire to work on Facebook my original intention was to stay open to whatever came my way. But as friends started providing me with suggestions, I got all clammy and hid in a corner. I realized I wasn’t able to do that.
Floating in the background was Thirty-One Gifts. People new I loved the product. That I was spending a lot of money on it. Dreaming of it and how I could organize this area or another with the products. Or how I just loved the feel of a tote, its soft cotton. But I was not a sales person. I prefer to hide and let people find me. So this wasn’t for me. Yet I would go to bed thinking of Thirty-One.
Simultaneously I was taking a course called Foundations of Anthroposophy through the Rudolf Steiner Center in Toronto. One of my weekly homework assignments was to become someone else. Simply go to a store or park and watch someone’s body movements or habits. Then go to another store and act them out. This was a very nervous and anxious experience for me yet I did it every week with mixed results. But always I felt different. I felt like someone else. Taking on their walk made me create a story about them. Who they were. Sometimes I would feel more relaxed and joyful, easy going. Other times I felt confident. Each time a different emotion. My mentor taught me that all of these personality traits are in me. Until I can take them on as my own and make them mine I can walk differently, for example, to reach these traits.
“I am talking about a life driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Soon this idea started to mesh with the idea of selling Thirty-One products. Maybe I could be ‘that person’. I needed work on my image of a direct sales person and make it my own. So here I am. I decided to go for it on the 21st of July. Take on a new adventure. See if I can be another version of myself.
Soon I found that using and dreaming of Thirty-One products was inspiring me to write again. My Muse. Writing is my soul’s life. My soul, me, feels so excited to be useful again.
I had several intentions when I joined Thirty-One. They are:
- To learn more about business. I wish to be my own entrepreneur one day and could use some training
- To be financially independent. Even if I can just make $500 a month I will feel like I can be more creative and make my home a home; my life my life. This will make me feel successful
- To push myself out of my comfort zone. I have become such a quiet hermit. Sitting here eating to fulfil what is lacking in my life. I have put on 20 pounds in the last year
- I need more things on my plate. I need more than home. The desire to connect with others and hear their stories excites me.
Here I am beginning my journey. I am so glad you are on this path with me…Stepping out of my box.
The universe keeps nudging me to get out of bed an write. Good ol’ universe. I can always count on her. ;)
Often I can ignore her. I have excelled at that this last year but today she is kicking me in the butt. Moving from my daughter’s bed into my own I hear a beep come through the baby monitor. Whenever our monitors pick up sound it also goes staticky. So I lay there for a bit wondering what is going on. The monitor is plugged in so it isn’t its battery. After hearing this a couple of times I begin to feel that something is wrong with the baby. Perhaps she is moving and creating a sound and the monitor is beeping … That doesn’t make sense.
I get up out of bed and step into the hall, slowly pulling my door handle towards me so I can close the door quietly. As I stand there I hear the beep. A sharp piercing sound. The smoke detector battery alarm. I move quickly to the kitchen, grab a chair and pull that thing down.
As I put the smoke detector on the counter and the chair back in its place I realize I am awake. The first thought that pops into my mind is that I should write. Immediately my mind does a check-in looking for excuses… hmmm am I tired? I don’t feel tired. I should go back to bed. It is early. No, it is 7-ish.What other excuses can I find?! Before I allow my mind to find one I grab my notebook and pen and sit down. And this little diddly is what I wrote.
I do sense a metaphor in the smoke alarm battery needing to be renewed, if I can call it that for the sake of my metaphor. As the time has been passing since my last post there have been stories brewing in my mind. The last few days I have been feeling anxious, expired, about ready to explode, exhausted, … irritable. My warning bells have been going off as well.
So Miss. Universe, I have heard your call. I thank you for releasing some of the pressure. Please come again soon. Don’t give up on me.
In the fall of 2012 I was delightfully happy. Joy. That is what I felt. It was throughout my entire being. My cells even danced in my body. Despite this joy, writing was a struggle. It was my challenge to balance it with homelife. I found myself feeling guilty that I wanted my kids to be gone so I could work yet I saw myself as a homemaker. How could I want to be home with them yet wish them to be gone?
It seemed as though I had to choose. I chose my family, focused on homeschooling, and stopped writing. Every once in a while I would lift my head out of the sand and do a blog post or journal but my pen would go into the drawer and I would get back to business. Homelife business.
My thoughts of writing increased as I became pregnant. To me my little one was telling me to get to business even from the womb. Write. I did not. Not on any regular basis anyway. Not in anyway that seemed significant to me. Now she is here and the pressure to write is even stronger. Yet I hide and avoid the pen. What is up?
I think I have to deal with my choice-making back in 2012. I have to deal with why I choose to leave writing. One of my quests has been to balance work and home. With writing home life is better. I am a better mom. A better wife. A better person. Yet, it seems as though I really need to fight for my time to write and it became too much. Without it I am not my best. I also need to battle with myself to actually sit down. My thoughts allow me to do everything but write.
Food has become too much of a crutch. I am 20 lbs over weight. My whole body hurts. Foods bother me like they never have before. I am tired all the time. Never excited for life. Honestly, I think I am burning out. Much of what is going on right now is very similar to what I went through in 2010.
Now, I must write. The battle of my thoughts must begin. I need to plant new thoughts that will lead me to writing. I need to return to my life of awareness and mindfulness. I need to return to yoga, meditation, cooking … finding a family rhythm. I need to uncover and demyth all the stories I have told myself about writing. It isn’t a competion or a choice to be made. I can have both. I have to have writing.
Recently a used book store contacted me to tell me that a Rudolf Steiner book came in. I am on a waiting list for any of his books. I am mostly interested in his views on education, child development and spiritual development although much of the latter is above my level of comprehension. The book that came in was called The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path. Wow! What a title right! So I got the book despite its level of intensity.
I read Chapter One in kind of a blur. It is good but I went at it with the intention for it to distract me or fill a void not to actually take in its content. It wasn’t perfectly clear to me then but now I see what I did. There was a gap before I started Chapter Two. Life got busy and I couldn’t pick it up I guess. The other day a thought popped into my head “Why this book?”. Why did this book come to me instead of all the others that I have wanted for a long time. The ones that have been on my amazon wish list or my goodreads “want to read” category. Why this one. Perhaps I got more from Chapter One than I thought? Could this be a sign?
So I start reading Chapter Two and what I discover is inspiration to write. He describes what I have been feeling unconsciously when I write. He talks about how spiritual forces enter through us when we perform any act and we act with those forces. They embody our work.
Doesn’t this make our work feel more important. Like we are supposed to do what we are supposed to do? When I get an erge or inspiration to write something that is the spiritual forces working through us and that we really really really should act on it.
When I get a feeling to walk a certain direction or to not do something as planned that perhaps I should not do it. The spiritual forces are guiding me?
Now I can understand if many people out there find this hog-wash. Perhaps they, you, have never experienced something spiritual. I have so I feel what he is saying quite easily. Steiner addresses this issue in Chapter Two as well. That unless you have had a spiritual experience or think in this way there is no convincing you. I don’t intend to try. I will simply keep on reading.
My first thought when I asked if this book came to me as a sign was in naming our baby. For some reason I am hell bound on her having a name from my mothers maternal side. I feel as though that side of the family has a unique energy and that energy is in this baby girl. My husband thinks I am nuts and that is okay. When this book dropped into my world I thought maybe it was shedding some light into why I feel this way. Maybe Chapter Three: The Presence of the Dead in Our Life or Chapter Four: The Blessing of the Dead will shed some light on that. What intense titles hey? Steiner is very specific on his wording. Words are very important to him.
What is even more special about this situation is that I had been asking for a Steiner book from the used book store. I had put my name on the list a year ago and lately I had been thinking that I may never hear from them or it will be a long time. Then POOF! they called. Ask and you shall receive.
Photo curtesy of Sunstone Creations