De-clutter and Detach

Today my backyard is a soggy wet field of green, and the forecast calls for continuing rain . A possible blessing in disguise, at least for the next couple of days. Because if it was beautifully sunny out, I would be tempted to chill on my back deck, laze around in my green chairs with a beverage, and snooze the long weekend away. Remove the lure of sunshine and along comes the perfect opportunity to blitz the basement and de-clutter.

De-cluttering is a true test of detachment; of letting go of what really is no longer important. I think it is safe to say we ALL have some “hoarding” tendencies. We hold on to STUFF forever (not only in our closets but in our hearts and minds), even though we may not look at it or use it or even really know where it is buried deep in the basement. Sure we have sentimental items that remind us of special times or people; all it takes is one look at the item and all those wonderful (or not so wonderful) memories come flooding back. Other things we have long forgotten about and wonder why we even kept them in the first place. And then there are those things we keep “just in case”…in case we MIGHT use it, MIGHT fit into it again, MIGHT give it away, MIGHT be valuable one day…

How do we cut these strings of attachment? It starts with being mindful of how we cling, why we cling, and our reluctance to let go. It means recognizing that some things we can truly live without; then we take that step to cut the cord. It might not be easy, maybe even downright unpleasant and painful, but it is necessary. Yogis and sages have taught that the regular cleansing of one’s bodily “temple” provides a clean, pure, sacred space for the soul to reside in. Regular meditation clears and calms the mind. Why not use the same wisdom for our homes? Clear the boxes, cobwebs, old trinkets, and non-useful things so that energy can flow freely. We don’t have to get rid of everything…but making space lets us breathe, move, and live a little lighter, in body, mind, and home.

So as I venture into the basement, with all good intentions of slicing and dicing and clearing and purging, I’ll let you know how it REALLY goes…

Advertisements

Father’s Day Pride

My hubby is a do-er. He has what seems like endless energy, so even on Father’s Day (supposedly HIS day), he is up before anyone doing last night’s dishes and running to the store to buy HIS beef tenderloin for HIS barbeque. He even brought me coffee in bed…

As a father he sets the ultimate example of DOING FOR OTHERS; an example set very early on in our sons’ lives so that they have grown up witnessing how a small act (and sometimes a big act) for someone else can make a difference. Father’s Day is an opportunity to say THANK YOU to someone who is a role model; who has made a difference in our lives (whether it be a birth father or another person who has guided us). To all those wise men who have been there as mentors, advisors, supporters, and stand-ins (I will never forget when a good friend, Mike, attended my son’s Father’s Day school function on my husband’s behalf while he was travelling – certainly caused a few eyebrows to raise!), a very HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to you all. And to my own Dad, I love you…

A PARENT’S PRAYER – author unknown

Oh Heavenly Father, make me a better parent.

Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly.

Keep me from interrupting them or contradicting them.

Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me.

Forbid that I should ever laugh at their mistakes, or resort to shame or ridicule when they displease me.

May I never punish them for my own selfish satisfaction or to show my power.

Let me not tempt my child to lie or steal.

And guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty promotes happiness.

Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. And when I am out of sorts, help me, Oh Lord, to hold my tongue.

May I ever be mindful that my children are children, and I should not expect of them the judgement of adults.

Let me not rob them of the opportunity to wait on themselves and to make decisions.

Bless me with the bigness to grant them all their reasonable requests and the courage to deny them privileges that I know will do them harm.

Make me fair, just, and kind. And fit me, Oh Lord, to be loved and respected and imitated by my children.

AMEN

Fly away with me

As a new iPad user, I was playing around with my new toy one day loading apps, reading magazines, listening to my music, and checking my email. After working on a computer during the day, I am often reluctant to spend more time in front of a screen…but for some reason my iPad seems different. And with my Google Earth app, I have discovered an incredible mode of travel…literally while sitting in my own backyard!

That day, I travelled to the Himalayas, exploring Mount Everest and K2 then floated down the Ganges as it twists and turns through India. Then I flew to the Sahara desert and travelled miles and miles through sand dunes that look like tan waves. I also discovered that some of the tallest sand dunes in the world are in Namibia, Africa – my app allowed me to fly above and around them! Check out this amazing view from http://www.spaceref.com:

ooNamib_Desert_large

I then flew to a tiny group of islands in the south Pacific called TONGA – literally specks in the ocean until I zoomed in to find towns and settlements and life.

250px-Tonga_on_the_globe_(Polynesia_centered).svg
(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonga)

Don’t we all sometimes think our “own world” – that which is our immediate, daily perception of reality – is the centre of the universe? We think/feel/behave as if what goes on in our own backyard is THE most important, THE most relevant, THE most significant. Yet our backyards are even tinier specks of the whole BIG picture. From my Google Earth perspective, I realized there is another person among the tiny islands of Tonga, who lives, loves, laughs, cries, and survives…just like me. We are not so different at all. I never imagined how this app could make me feel so CONNECTED, and give me a deeper appreciation of our existence. And it reminds me to not take the everyday “stuff/crap/sh*#” so seriously as if it is the ONLY thing going on in the world. I guess my backyard is not just my fenced-in lot after all…

So I am happy to fly away, around the world, visiting remote areas that I might never go to EVER (i.e. the Mariana trench – way to go to James Cameron for really going there!). During my travels, I will say hello to my fellow beings and wish them peace. Come with me!!