All great changes are preceded by chaos

Silence.

Stillness.

Sleep.

As I look around the quiet room I gaze upon the slumbering faces of my dog flopped down on the floor, my cat curled up on the chair and my baby laying next to my lap and wonder how I became so lucky that they would all be asleep at the same time during the day.   What a miracle!  The cause must be the slow and constant pattering of rain on the roof and the dark, dreary clouds looming out in the chilly winter air.

Am I the only one who likes to stay indoors, curled up on the couch, pensively reflecting with a mug of steaming hot cocoa on a rainy day?

I didn’t think so.

The dark, quiet, peaceful atmosphere of a rainy day almost beckons deep thinking and creative pondering.

So what am I pondering today?  My latest project: my house, or more specifically, feng shui.  With the new year has come new actions and my spring cleaning has started early.  Before I can get to the principles of beautifying and rearranging my home I have to first de-clutter and clean it thoroughly.  (A big job for a big house.)  Be proud of me; it’s day 10 of 2013 and I’m still persevering in my cleaning campaign!  I’m tired of being a pack rat, keeping junk for sentimentality when I ave better items to maintain the same sentiments.  I’m tired of keeping broken items that I have been meaning to fix for years.  I’m also tired of the choke hold clutter has on me.  Clutter hides in every room of my house waiting to ninja chop me as soon as I walk in the door.  How can I start new projects when there is no space in which to work on them or my mind is filled with a never ending to do list?  How can I have a simple life when I have too much Stuff to create simplicity?

Though I’ve tried many organizational books in the past to help me create a plan to clean house, this time I’m working on removing the clutter from my mind and spirit as well.  This combination seems to be working well.  Beginning by answering questions about what I love/hate about my home and how I feel in different spaces, I had a few revelations:

 Firstly, there are rooms in my home in which I love everything in that space yet spend little time in that room.  At first glance that seems to make no sense.  Why would I not spend time in a room that looks nice and contains pleasant things?  The answer: the atmosphere.  The room is cold or the room is dark or the room has a gloomy aura, etc.  Like many other things in life, the outside or first appearance of something can be good yet need fixing when a deeper inquiry is made.  The vice versa is also true.  I tend to spend lots of time in rooms that I don’t love or that feel dysfunctional.  Is it because the room projects some aspect about myself that needs work?  Or is it just that I’m glued to the TV to escape reality and the couch to escape action?

Secondly, I sometimes feel like I don’t deserve beautiful things.  Am I afraid that I won’t preserve the beauty or that I will ruin or lose such things?  Or do I feel unworthy?  I’m not sure.  I took this picture of a room in Chatsworth on my choir tour to England many years ago.  This is my fantasy drawing room:

Chatsworth The beautiful rug, the walls lined with books, the treasured antiques and the grand piano… Exquisite!

Obviously, I don’t have the money for this type of splendor.  But what if my home looked like this:

Peek Crescent, Wimbledon SW19 ref328

No, I don’t have the money to own an elegant London mansion either, but I could make my space this beautiful if I chose to.  I could even be 125 lbs if I chose to be.  Why do I not work for what I want?  Why don’t I deserve beauty?

Lastly, I have a hard time separating objects from memories.  Some people can pick up a plate and only see a plate.  I pick up that same plate and feel happy because the plate brings back the memory of my roommate in college who helped me pick out that plate set.  Some people get rid of that same plate when they buy a new one to replace it, but I keep the plate to preserve the memory of that friend.  I am learning (albeit slowly) that the object does not make the memory, nor does getting rid of the object devalue the memory.  I’m also discovering that getting rid of the old makes space to bring in the new and that this type of change is refreshing, revitalizing.

***

There is no magic in feng shui, except the magic that we bring to it. Your house changes when you do as you incorporate new principles and habits into your style of living. As you rearrange your furniture you are rearranging yourself, and the world reacts to your inner revelations. Ripples do not just belong to water but to energy, to life.

I have been a student of feng shui for a week, a student of psychology for seven years and a student of life for twenty six years so I’m no expert on anything. I do know for a certainty however, that change is as inevitable as death and taxes. How a person responds to change, whether wonderfully or horribly, quickly or slowly, is vacillating.  My change is taking much longer than I would like, but hopefully this type of minuscule movement will lead to lasting change.

Hello, my name is Virginia.

I love feelings and hate change.

I am afraid to work for what I want because I am afraid of the unknown.

But now is the time for something new.

Something beautiful.

Because I deserve it.

Deepak Chopra

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