I’m moving. In a few short days, the men will come who take the boxes and (somehow) get the funny shaped furniture through tiny doorways.
I’ve spent the last two weeks picking up each and every item in my home. I’ve laid my hands on every pencil, hairband, post-it note, cup, piece of paper, spice jar, book, and t-shirt. Everything I own has seen my face. For many items, that is the last thing they will ever see.
It took me a full two weeks to put all of my belongings in boxes, all tidy and packed just right and organized by what I’ll use and what gets stored.
It took two full weeks not because I had a lot of stuff to pack. In fact, compared to the average American, I’m certain I have far fewer things thanks to my rendezvous into minimalism and my romp with Joy. In truth, it took a full two weeks because it was the most loving and generous thing I could have done for myself as I make this tender yet powerful transition into a new home, a new life. And I didn’t do it alone.
Slow and Steady
Two Fridays ago I picked up a brown box and taped the bottom shut. It was time to start putting some things away. I was thinking I’d start with the stuff I won’t use in the next two weeks. Stuff that’s stored out of sight so I don’t disturb the visual appeal of my home. (Who wants to sit in an empty apartment for two weeks?). I committed to doing a box or two a day if even that. Nothing big.
I allowed myself to be guided to what felt ready. The stuff in my extra room came first. It was easy. Camping supplies, boxes of birthday cards, old journals, and memorabilia. Things I don’t use super frequently anyways. No problem.
The weekend came and went, and I stuck to my commitment of one or two boxes a day. But soon the stuff in my extra room was all packed (again, I don’t own too much). It was Monday morning. I needed to decide where I’d go next. The kitchen seemed like a fine idea. I could get all the stuff on top of the cabinets. Real easy. Or, so I thought.
Unexpectedly, as I cleared the top cabinets I started to feel a density in my upper body. It was a heaviness on my shoulders and a light pressing on my throat and chest. My head felt light but not quite dizzy. I had only just begun what was intended to be a hardy packing session. But, my body wasn’t having it.
I stopped in the hallway and took a deep breath. I went to the couch, turned off the music, and sat down in silence. Tears.
They crept in like they normally do for me. (It might be different for you.) They like to start in my throat. Then they edge up the side of my head, out of my eyes, and over my cheekbones as sobs escape my vocal cords. I placed my hand on my heart.
I had a feeling. Yes, at this moment, feelings of sadness and grief for leaving the home I so cherished. But, beyond these emotions, I had an inner knowing of how emotionally difficult it would be for me to pack and move. And, honestly, I had no clue of the depths and nuance of that knowing until my tush hit the cushion and my hand pressed against my chest.
This inner knowing had clandestinely urged me to get started packing early and slowly. This inner knowing had generously sequestered almost two weeks of space and time immediately prior to my move date (which was only decided upon within weeks of said date) without even letting me in on it. In fact, this is an inner knowing and a guidance that initiated its plans months ago; a tactical move beyond any thing my human mind could have ever conjured.
The Origin of the Knowing
I’m learning to trust life when things don’t work out as planned. It’s a lesson I’m sure we’re all familiar with at this point in time. When things don’t work out I choose to believe that there’s something greater at work.
In January, I paid full tuition for a week-long breathwork training. Excitedly, I placed my request for paid-time-off (PTO) with my assistant manager: September 25th – October 5th. And as you have probably already figured out, my breathwork training was cancelled and moved to the summer of 2021.
I was left with almost two-weeks of approved vacation. I could have very easily canceled it and saved my PTO. But just because there’s a pandemic, I thought, doesn’t mean I’m not going to want some time off work, even if all I do is go camping. I kept the PTO on my calendar.
All summer I contemplated what I’d do during that time. For a while, I crossed my fingers that my new living arrangement would be finished with construction just in time for me to use that week for moving. But, as the time drew near, it was looking like it would most likely be mid-October by the time I’d move. Fine.
I could go on the camping trip I didn’t get to take in the spring. Big Bend National Park, Colorado, Gulf Shores, the Red River, North Carolina. All kinds of ideas came and went. But nothing felt right. Each time I let go of an idea a message would come through, “You’ll want that week to be in your home. Don’t go anywhere. Stay home.”
It was the same message over and over again. It was so simple and mundane I thought it was my mind making the best of what felt like a sad situation. What I know now is that message was my inner knowing, my soul knowing, nudging me to soak in my last few weeks in my beloved home.
Once September arrived, I finally gave up on trying to make plans for the week. I conceded to the message. I felt in my heart the truth of it. But I had no conscious idea of its depths. Not until that Monday on the couch.
The Transition Period
The reality of moving dawned earlier than that tearful moment though. I’d been grappling with it in my mind for months. I had already gone through the challenging process of sending in my notice-to-vacate to my leasing manager. My mind was well aware of my pending transition.
My heart had even briefly started the grieving process more than a week before as I began to tap into what was coming. But it was in this moment of clearing my kitchen cabinets where I felt for the first time the tug of emotional ties cutting away from my body. I knew in that moment that the process of extracting myself emotionally, and energetically, from the place I called home for the last six and a half years had started. I knew it was time to honor the transition.
Transitions have come to be a point of tremendous depth, beauty, and richness for me. Over the last years, I have grown in my conscious relationship with and respect for these sacred portals. As you may know, I’ve mostly done this through my work with the seasonal shifts but also in my work with smaller transition points. And, most recently, by doing group ceremonial work to assist others in honoring these initiation windows as well.
Despite my conscious work with transitions, there was no way I could have worked out the timing on this one quite like soul. The first Monday of my vacation week and – bam – I crossed the threshold of my transition portal. A portal that can vary in length of time depending on the gravity of the ending and the individual soul experiencing it.
You know you’re in the heart of the transition when the feelings come on strong. It’s this point that can be truly the hardest. That’s why I wholeheartedly believe in the power and importance of consciously honoring our transitions. Being as present as possible allows us to choose greater compassion and love by taking actions that support us in the process – not ones that undermine.
In honoring transition points, I believe we are able to get to the other side with as much of ourselves intact as possible and feel deeply nourished along the way, despite the hard feelings. Otherwise, we’re prone to numb ourselves, which affects our overall capacity to experience the tremendous depth and richness of life.
It could also leave us less engaged and unavailable for what’s next. Or, we could even feel energetically incomplete, which feels a lot like something’s just not quite right. Of course, we’ll each do what we are most capable of in any given moment, knowing full well that it’s the best we’ve got, and it’s good enough.
I’m uncertain of how long my transition period will be but, in a flash of a moment, I was fully aware of exactly where I was at as I sat there on the couch catching my tears. And I was ready to devote myself to the process and to take on the full experience of my transition.
Responding with Devotion
As I sat there on the couch with tears streaming down my cheeks, I felt a sudden burst of gratitude. My inner knowing came into full view.
Yes, of course, I was off work and at home this week. How could it be any other way? Soul has been planning this for months. Scheming behind my back. The most I got were mere whiffs here and there. Whiffs that I didn’t want to buy into. But, She knew all along. She knew exactly what She was doing.
And now, in my full knowing, I would honor and move and work with my body, my heart, my transition, and my soul with as much conscious, loving awareness as possible.
I’d make room for all my feelings. I’d go slow and do no more than what I felt I could handle. I’d stop when my body and heart said stop. I’d let the full waves of feelings move right on through unimpeded by rigidity or structural constraint. My home and body became the sacred temple within which I gave myself over fully to the depth and heights and tenderness of my experience.
As I moved through my week, I began to sense pieces of my final ceremony coming into place effortlessly. I gathered memories and tears on tiny slivers of pink paper, placed one by one into a mason jar, to be used later. I took photos and videos of my sacred space before boxes filled the view.
I said, “Goodbye. I’m leaving. Goodbye. I’m leaving. Goodbye. I’m leaving.” Over and over and over again as I walked from room to room during the day and as I ventured around my neighborhood. I could feel in every cell of my body how this was helping me to embody the knowing and reality of my imminent transition.
I even felt the nudge to honor my home by sharing the space and my story of how I came to be here with my friends. I shared my favorite nearby park with them, too. I took a walk and collected the energy of the place in a small stone for my altar.
And as I sit here writing, I’m still deep in the process with great honor and reverence as I continue to move forward through my transition, listening to where my body, heart, and soul lead.
When I step back and look at the story that I’ve shared with you here what I see is a soul’s love for a human. And I see the human responding to that love by opening up wide and receiving and participating with as much conscious, loving awareness as possible.
I wish I could take responsibility for all these beautiful and grand synchronicities but I can’t. It was Divinity’s hand at play. I can take responsibility for my response though.
I’ve allowed myself to receive with an open heart all of the generous space and time my soul craftily coordinated months ahead of time without my ever consciously knowing. And I’ve allowed myself to respond and play and follow all the guidance that has been gifted to me in this week as well. It’s a gift. All of it. Truly. And I haven’t squandered it.
I’m doing exactly what I need to feel complete and to feel certain I have done right by the home I’ve lived in and the land I’ve lived on and my soul, who’s paved the way. This is why it has taken me two weeks to pack. This is how you consciously navigate a transition. And this is deep self-love. Soul love.