Monday, February 23, 2009

Transitions...

This is a picture of the beach I'll be seeing outside my window when I've moved.

Thanks to those of you who wrote to check on me. I'm okay.

This past few weeks have been filled with shedding old skin for new. Not long ago, I was reading a book by Thomas Moore called "Care of the Soul". In it, he tells us that the state of our environment is often a reflection of the state of our souls.

That stuck in my mind. It was difficult to get it out of my mind, kind of like a piece of music that gets stuck in our heads. Now it makes sense.

Since I am planning a move to Crescent City, I've been sorting through all sorts of old stuff in the house. There's not a lot of room for moving things in my small Toyota. Traveling light is necessary. No room for old baggage. This move is more than just changing locations. It is also a symbolic way of closing the door on the past.

I'm good at compartmentalizing!

As this stuff shifts out of my life, I am feeling lighter and lighter. Sometimes I look at something and think "why the hell did I ever buy this?" There are things in this house that actually feel burdened and heavy on their own. It's as though there is a film of negativity attached to the items themselves.

If it wasn't for some expensive electronics, I'd be tempted to walk out of here with just a few suitcases and a box of favorite books. Realistically though, the cookware and the electronics would all be difficult to replace so that stuff will come along. My TV is new. With the digital/analog thing going on, I bought a new digital TV. Too costly to abandon it. Same with the computer.

As for the rest of it, if it no longer serves me, it's gone. The WEAVE Thrift Shop has been getting bags and boxes from me for the last two weeks. I've sold some things on Craigslist also.

Do you know that I had over 200 CDs? Of course you didn't - but I did. No human being needs 200+ CDs! Most of them haven't been played in years. They're musical genres that no longer interest me or I got them home and didn't like them. I also had over 100 videotapes. Who has a VCR anymore?

I also had things I've been carrying around for twenty-five years or more and haven't looked at some of it in ten years. Example: an old Minolta camera with all the accessories. Now I have a digital camera.

It's gone.

This is a spiritual project as well as a physical one. It is affecting how I see the world and my place in it. The lightness of having very few material possessions is freeing.

Each article that comes into my new home in Crescent City will be chosen mindfully and carefully. I'll have it because I love it, not because it's something I picked up at a yard sale without any particular thought, something that just "happened" in here or something I acquired out of momentary necessity.

I will do the same with ideas, people and beliefs.

The condition of my environment will reflect the state of my soul. Unburdened, free and open to experience. Weightlessness.

So. It's been a while. What is everyone up to? I will be sure to visit all your sites again very soon.



~*

30 comments:

Anvilcloud said...

Just earlier tonight, I was musing that you had been quiet for a while.

I do understand this piece.

Olivia said...

I'm glad you're okay, Chani. Your shedding process sounds wonderfully supportive, especially in light of your move. Good to see you "back",

Love, O

Catherine said...

I echo Anvil Cloud word for word - just this evening as I was writing I was wondering about you.

Also, I once visited an Indian friend in India. He had in his one room home about three things - no exaggeration. He was not poor - he had everything he needed. This struck me as something we who are consumers should long for.

Mary G said...

I'm looking forward to more photos of your beach. And what you are doing sounds stressful and liberating at the same time.

wheelsonthebus said...

i was wondering where you were!

Leann said...

I am so envious that the vision out your window is not mine.

citizen of the world said...

It is indeed a spiritual process. Whenever I am in a transition, or feel the neeed for change, I begin weeding out stuff. I always feel lighter and more ready to face challenges when I am done.

Stacia said...

I'm glad you're moving and the view is beautiful. I know what you mean about getting rid of stuff: I'm trying to do that now. I know my blog has gotten boring, but I started one for my baby: growingnavybean.blogspot.com

Sherry Peyton said...

I was thinking of you just the other day. Glad to finally see a post. What a great view to have! I envy you that. I love water.

I think that shedding the unnecessary accumulations of the years is healthy and it feels great! I love doing it periodically. I makes me feel light and free. I'm a great believer that too much stuff is inhibiting to our Spirit. Alas, it seems most every nook and cranny gets filled before long again though.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Interestingly, I am going through the same process but on a smaller scale since I have no plans to move soon.

We donated a couple of carloads of items to the Goodwill over the weekend including some formerly high-end electronics, lamps we once loved, and many other things, and both of us felt physically and spiritually lighter afterward. It was quite amazing. It seems that giving things away is the best feel-good remedy of all!

I'm excited about your move and know you will love living by the sea.

Defiantmuse said...

I'm definitely looking forward to your move up here. This is such a healing area. I really think you'll dig it. :)

Angela said...

Good to hear that you're lightening your load. I did that when I moved into this apartment last August, but I find that it's a continuous process. Stuff just has a way of cumulatin'. What a beautiful view you're going to have!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Chani, I, too, was gone, so I didn't notice you were gone. These last 4 weeks have been a series of small, but debilitating health issues for me.

My mother is going through what you are right now. I wish she felt as free about it as you do.

I long for the days of a much more "thing-free" existence, but living with a packrat husband and a packrat son makes that dream a far-off dream.

They're worth it in other ways, though. And I've gotten rid of many, many of my own things.

It's very, very freeing, isn't it? And I'm delighted you'll join Blogger Aid - there are many ways to help that go beyond submitting recipes (they need help with editing and a variety of other tasks).

Olivia said...

Chani,

I'm reading your new comments and somehow (duh?) missed the view from your window! What a change from the urban chaos you've lived in...I am happy for you and curious as to how this will change your life as it edifies you.

I found Crescent City on a map---how beautiful...only about 446 miles south of me up here in Puget Sound.

Very, very exciting.

A smooth move,
O

ThomasLB said...

A change of surroundings is always a good idea. Best of luck to you!

Amy Y said...

Hope you love your new place! There's nothing like a transition and a good purge to revitalize the soul...

Oh, and next time you purge CD's, DVD's and Books, check out:
www.paperbackswap.com (there are links to pages to swap cd's and dvd's on it and all the credits are interchangeable between the three sites...). It's a good way to get rid of the old by trading for new.

PeterAtLarge said...

Good luck with the change. Ellie and I and George spent a couple of nights this summer in Crescent City,on our way north, at a B&B where George found a couple of members of his breed. Hope the town turns out to be the place you need to be...

meno said...

Getting rid of stuff is so cathartic. Ane even more so if i can give it to someone who will use it.

LittlePea said...

Moving can be exciting and scary at the same time and as you knew I have a lot of experience with moving. I feel an urge to shed a few things myself. Must be the coming Spring that's pouring in a need to renew. I totally understand what you say here. I too feel like I need to make a promise to myself to stop cluttering my life and space with things I don't need or even want. For some reason I have a hard time letting "things" go. But if I keep telling myself, it's just a "thing"(!) as I place it into the trash or donation box, it starts to get easy. And when I'm done I feel freer, as you do. I had no idea what a burden a "thing" I forgot I even had could feel like until I was able to just let go.

Brandi said...

I'm naturally a travel light kind of a person but still, stuff builds up occasionally.

and when it does and I purge, I am always reminded just how much energy that STUFF has.

I'm glad you are feeling lighter and that this is so meaningful for you!

Carol said...

Aaaahhh! I feel lighter just reading this! I keep attempting to lighten my load - and I have made a dent in it - but I think that I need the excuse of a move in order to do a thorough job.

Enjoy your freedom!

(And I love the view of the beach!)

Carol said...

I think your view is beautiful: out your window...and inside your soul. May you find much happiness in this 'lighter' space!

Border Explorer said...

I feel better just having read about this process. I'm doing fine, ThailandChaney. In a couple months, I'll be moving too, in my semi-annual migratory pattern. I like the freedom of not having a lot. Less is more. Good luck!

hele said...

ah, you always take such interesting twists and turns, always moving forward, always willing to engage with what you truly want.

i hope your new environment trausures you.

slouching mom said...

I am so so glad that the move is proceeding! Have been thinking about you.

And the rule I've always liked about stuff, whatever it is, is that if you haven't used it for (fill in the blank -- I say six months), you're probably not going to be using it.

Mauigirl said...

What a beautiful beach!

I know what you mean about clutter. And if my environment reflects the state of my soul I'm in trouble!

I can imagine it is very liberating to get rid of a lot of unneeded stuff.

Rebecca said...

I resonate so deeply with your process, having recently done the same thing. It is so freeing to not be possessed by possessions.

Blessings!

Woman in a Window said...

Chani, the cutting loose of extras sounds devine. Lighter for it, indeed. This summer coming we plan to lighten our load considerably but we still have so much. I shudder to think how we will continue to grow our stuff. Must reign it in.

(It was timely to have you by today. I'm glad you got to read that one. Thailand was a strange place for me. What that stranger did to/for me that day hasn't left me all those years later. I've other experiences, too, I'm afraid not so good, except to say that I've learned from them.)

painted maypole said...

damn... for a brief second I thought you were moving to THE crescent city... until I realized that beach is no where near New Orleans. ;) it's beautiful, though, and that scene would be salve for my soul daily

Catherine said...

Although I'm not exactly fond of all the work a move takes, I do love how I can cull out the cacca.

And the older I get, the smaller the abode gets, and the less cacca I end up with.

It's a good thing, as the older I get, the less I remember where I put everything.