There’s a cacophony of noise around me as I begin to write. The washing machine is cleaning the cover of my comforter for my bed and the bath rugs. The dishwasher is cleaning my dishes. There’s a helicopter flying in the night sky out the window and my daughters’ clothes are gently tap, tap, tapping in the dryer.
Before me are graph paper and bills, a 3 year strategic planning sheet, bucket lists and end of year planning questions.
I’ve had this distinctly overwhelming sense of suffocation lately. Too many papers in the house. Too many unfinished tasks. Too much clutter. Too much noise. Too much of - well - pretty much everything: foods my body doesn’t tolerate well, alcohol, late nights and a plethora of other "too manys".
This is my pattern. I recognize it when it’s happening, which in itself is a huge step. I’m still working on accepting that it’s OK for me to be in this space. For what feels like the first time; I’m not shameful of writing or sharing this. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It is what it is.
I’ve also cleaned out a few spaces that hadn’t been touched in a long time. You know what I’m talking about…those “secret” drawers, corners and cabinets that collect things that don’t have a proper “home” in your space. It turns out I have a lot more of those than I thought I did and lately, cleaning those spaces out has helped with my sense of overwhelm.
Last night I took a bath and as soon as I was done, instead of enjoying my relaxed state of being, I took out the rubber gloves and proceeded to clean not only the tub but also the shower and the tile floor as well as the sinks and the counter.
Tonight it was laundry and dishes. Cleaning also helps with my overwhelm.
Tomorrow, who knows what will beg for my attention.
I mentioned my pattern - here it is. When I reach my limit on a “problem”, I get obsessed with fixing it.
The current issue is with my space. I feel into my spaces. What’s exacerbating this particular problem is two fold. The first is the influx of new stuff from the holiday that now has to find a “home” in my space. The second is my relationship with material things has shifted dramatically and my desire to purge is obsessive.
I know instinctively (and over years of practice), that when I reach this mental head-space I usually need a counter-weight to get me more into “flow”.
By now, you’re probably aware that I don’t often come up with solutions by myself, I ask the Universe for help. This time, I asked what I most needed to understand about how to proceed more calmly and with more trust in the ultimate plan for my life.
It was maybe 24 hours later, I was on a phone call with a dear friend who made a comment about loving the library and having access to all of the books he wanted for free. Shortly thereafter I went into my Evernote app in search of a recipe and found my “book” list where I keep recommended books from others.
The top one on this list is called The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. Because I'd been toying with surrender as my word of the year, without hesitation, I downloaded a library app called Libby on my phone, connected my library card number and looked up the book. Tapped the first one, paying zero attention to the fact that it was an audio book until after I had “borrowed” it.
What a beautiful gift having this audio book has been! I realize it’s fairly common to listen to audio books but I’ve never done it before this one. Amazing is all I can say.
I was ready for this book at this point in my life. I'm certain if I had read it sooner, it would not be having nearly as big of an impact.
It’s having an impact now because of the bristled place I’m in. The words and story are acting like a soothing balm. I can feel my "ruffledness" beginning to relax back into my body, covering me like a soft blanket, helping me to regain my warmth.
I have found my counter balance, thank you Universe.
While Michael is reading his words to me, his stories are reminding me of the ones I have in my life that have brought me to today.
The unexplained phenomenon of people, opportunities and yes, even books that show up at exactly the right moment with exactly the right words that end up shifting my path, my course, my perspective.
I remember a coworker of mine had once commented on how quickly I adapt to and adopt new information into my life. Learning is something I love to do and books like this one are some of my favorite teachers.
We are ending this calendar year in less than 25 hours as I type this, and starting a new one.
My life today looks nothing like I had hoped it would. I couldn’t have planned for what I have. I couldn’t be more grateful that I have it. This is more than enough evidence (and another lovely reminder) that my journey on this planet is far greater than my human mind can currently conceive.
All of this leads me to recognize the power outside of each of us that is far greater than who we are as individuals; connecting, coordinating and working its magic. It also reminds me of a line from one of my favorite movies by JK Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:
Jacob a “No-Mag” or non-magic person says to Newt, (the protagonist) after going into Newt’s magic suitcase for the first time, “Newt, I don’t think I’m dreaming.”
Newt asks “What gave it away?”
Jacob says “I ain’t got the brains to make this up.”