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Letting Go and Clearing Out

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There are so many parallels and polar extremes in our daily lives. Sometimes they are so obvious that we cease to recognize them. But even so, strange things happen in patterns to me, to you, to friends, and neighbors. Some call it coincidence, serendipity, or synchronicity. These are the things that are too strange to explain. This is the stochasticity of the universe at play in our lives. It makes life completely unpredictable, and in a way that it is worth starting each day new.

Each day has been unpredictable for me for the past week or so. I just finished up a challenging grant project, and am doing a fair amount of coordinating, management, and physical labor for two (or three?) additional projects. This is freelance I suppose. It’s up to me to get these projects done, but in a way that I see fit. There is something exciting about doing the things I need to do in a way that works for me, but there is something unsettling about it as well. It would be a joke to think that having a flexible work schedule leaves room for more chaos. If anything, it allows room for order to emerge.

This is a good thing, because order has always been a challenge for me. I was raised with little understanding of organization. And as I strive to understand my perfectionist tendencies, I realize the polarity that I have created within myself. I seek perfection in the final product. This is true, especially when its related to writing, art, and aesthetics. I realize that it is up to the creator to say when. Any of these could go on forever. Perfection is not attainable if the objective is to share the final product.

While I seek perfection in the final product, I am rather chaotic in the process. Doing tends not to be about getting done, it tends to be about exploring. I want to see what unfolds before me. I rearrange many times, see what works, and play with possibility. It drives my husband completely crazy. “What are you going to do today?” he’ll ask. “Um, probably whatever I do.”

A strange pattern arises in the parallel I experience with what seems to be a new chapter in my process of healing and recovery. I am beginning to see the impact of my choices on my physical well being in very clear ways. Drinking a Pepsi with dinner leads to leg cramps in the morning. Wearing my favorite wedge heals while carrying and moving things around their space leads do ill aligned posture and positioning on my pelvis, resulting in pain from my back to my feet. Staying up late, trying to get a project done does not help me feel my best in the morning. For the longest time, I would have taken these discomforts as a part of life. But now I am seeing the connections. I don’t want to feel bad. I want to feel healthy, and I have the ability in my own choices to do that.

It is a small step in bringing order to my life. I’m through with waking each morning feeling bad in some way. I’m through with abusing or neglecting myself. It’s up to me to know when to say when.

The parallel to this experience in physical being aligns with physical space. We create our own environment that we live in. And for some, this is easier to create a space they are comfortable in than others. As I tend to do things with spontaneity and chaos hand in hand, my environment is not as tidy as I would like. When I get busy, I lose my keys, my glasses, my purse, my phone, and on and on. I feel a bit of hope in that this doesn’t happen everyday. I feel a bit of hope that I can discern patterns that impact my physical well-being. It seems possible too that I can identify why/what/how/when I do things that result in an uncomfortable living space.

I can feel order emerging, slowly. As my grandfather told me once when I asked him why he had very little hair on his head, “Grass doesn’t grow on a busy sidewalk.” I think that might be applicable here too. This month marks the third year that we have been in our home. That is the longest I have called one place “home” in over twenty-years. Even amidst juggling projects, life has settled enough to maybe, just find a pattern that works well.

Wish me luck today as I finish cleaning my home office- which will probably result in returning displaced items to their rightful spaces, thus cleaning and organizing bathrooms, kitchen, and bedrooms as well. More than anything, I hope to be able to let go of items that no longer have a use in my life. Like texts from graduate school, receipts and lists from last summer, notes and notebooks from previous projects and jobs. Only by letting go of this clutter in my environment and my mind, can I truly hope to see what the future has in store.


About Rachel

Rachel is an independent artist and writer who thrives on sharing her deep appreciation for the natural world. She has taught college courses in wildlife identification, ethnobotany, environmental science, natural resource management, and cultural studies. She lives in North Dakota with her two boys, husband, dog, and cats. She enjoys gardening, cooking, drawing, writing, hunting, hiking, and snowshoeing, but is usually too tired to do any of these, except for writing...

One response »

  1. Pingback: New Pathways to Well-Being | Pages of Paradigm

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