Clutter, Space and Infertility - How Do You Clean it Up?
Here’s a previously written blog from 2010. It seems a like a good reminder. Where can you create a cleaner, neater, more organized space for yourself?
Emotional clutter. It's sticking in my head for some reason. I had no intention to write about it this morning, meant not to, actually. But it keeps coming back to me. Or I keep coming back to it. Infertility causes clutter. Living causes clutter.
Here's how it came up. A friend was talking to me about an Oprah show this week (I think it was Oprah!) that showed people and their cluttered homes. The episode showed people who hoarded things to the point that it was almost impossible to walk into or around their homes. Stacks and piles of things that they felt needed to be saved were everywhere. On the tables, chairs, piled on the floor, creating narrow paths through the rooms in their home as the hoarded items took over. Things like newspapers and magazines and junk mail that were years old, piled all the way to the ceiling. Literally choking the space in their homes.
I didn't see the show, but I've seen shows like it. You really feel for these people as you can see what their homes could be without all the unnecessary items in it. I really feel for these people because you can see the emotional pain that they are in, seeing that that is unhealthy, and feeling unable to make changes.
And of course, being me, my mind jumped to the clutter and the saved items in our heads and hearts. Of course it did. If our brains and hearts are our real homes, as I believe that they are, how do they look? What are we keeping there, unable to let go of, even when we know that they are old and unnecessary? I am a visual person and I can just imagine how I need to tiptoe in certain very cluttered parts of my brain because I have made such narrow pathways.
Unlike our physical homes, our hearts and minds have an infinite amount of space. That does not mean that we don't create clutter and just as importantly hold onto things that are so old and decrepit that they are crumbling and decaying. If we add enough things to our physical homes, at some point, they will be full, completely full. No room for more. There is only one way to add something valuable, beautiful or cherished to our homes when our homes are full. That is to create space. To get rid of something. To make a decision that something can be thrown out, recycled, given to someone who needs it more, buried, or even transformed into something else.
Create space. If we hold onto things, enough things, over the years, the space fills up, gets messy, and gets cluttered. This is just as true in our minds and hearts.
Turning Toward Fertile Yoga - Creating Space
Always my heart and brain turn towards Fertile Yoga. What do I have to offer to my students, what do I choose to offer that I think is valuable or healing. Creating space may be the theme of the week.
As you move through your time in the next few days, perhaps doing chores and cleaning in your house, consider the idea of creating space by letting go of something. Often in yoga a teacher will invite you to let go of something that doesn't serve you. Put it down and let it go. You can always pick it up again later if it feels impossible to live without. But even for an hour in class or on a walk or browsing through a bookstore, or five breaths in a class, put it down, move it out of the space that it has been occupying.
Who knows what's waiting to take its place? More importantly though, how much easier to take a breath without all that clutter.
Follow Lisa on Google+
This week is all about thanksgiving. Gratitude. Thoughts of what we have in our lives, right in this moment, even with infertility in the front of our minds. Each day’s blog will be dedicated to gratitude and thanksgiving, in all its different forms.
There are days where the things that I am grateful for huge, epic in their vastness. Things like health and love and kindness. Friends and family. A home, not just a house.
Then there are days like last week, (thank you to everyone for your love and concern!) that the little things in life pop up to be grateful for because the bigger things seem to far away. Love those little things. That the day is 4 degrees warmer and so the air feels gentle when I walk outside. The patch of sun hitting the floor, making it glow. Phone call from a friend that I haven’t heard from in a while. The estimate on the car repairs being far lower than expected. My favorite tea being there. A full water bottle in the car. Hot water for a shower. Two dollar movie theatres (Edmondtown Hall in Newtown, CT, what a steal!) Not having heard a single Christmas song on the radio before Thanksgiving. Yet. Clean sheets on the bed. A working dishwasher after two and a half years. My mother being alive and well. My sisters being alive and well. The best dog in the world. Fabulous friends. Partner and husband of over 31 years.
Interesting how the little things that I am grateful for lead me back to the bigger things that I am grateful for. And so it goes the other way around. The more that I feel grateful, the more that I feel grateful. Big things lead to appreciating the little things, and the little things lead to appreciation a bout the bigger things.
A few more things that I am grateful for: Fertile Yoga students (you rock!); the people that I work with; being able to inhale and exhale; finding a reason to smile every single day.
Thursdays’ blog is your blog. Your opportunity to say what you are grateful for. Including not having to see people or that Thanksgiving is only one day and then it’s over or that you are getting through the day by hiding at home.
Please help me write it this Thursday. We’ll share Thanksgiving together.
I'm writing this blog in anticipation of being home soon. I am sure that I have had a wonderful vacation. I am equally sure that I will be thrilled to come home. Vacations are a wonderful break from life, but if we enjoy our lives, it's always good to come home as well.
That's what I missed most about the time that I was being treated for infertility. I never felt at home. There was always a list of things that I felt that I couldn't do. Some of my Fertile Yoga students and I were talking about that in the peer support group last week. We even discussed whether decaff coffee was ok to drink. Not enough to give up caffeine, we also need to wonder about decaff? Then there's no drinking, no intense exercise, less processed foods. These may be good things to give up, certainly good to moderate. But for some of us, they indicate making a change to our lives, giving something up.
Comfort foods, for instance. Different for all of us. Mashed potatoes, grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, miso soup, ice cream sundays, martini straight up, french fries, huge steak, maybe even lime green jello from childhood. Comfort foods, by definition, are eaten for comfort. They remind us of a earlier, usually happier time in our lives.
Ok, so no heroin. Got it. No painkillers. Got it. No marijuana. Got it.
What if feeling at home is all tangled up in some of the things that we need to give up?
Here's what I was always so relieved at not having to give up:
- cotton sheets
- good books
- leisurely walks
- fresh fruit
- egg white omlettes
- sappy movies
- crossword puzzles
- yoga classes
- friends who didn't ask questions but listened well
- sleeping late on the weekends
- gardening in the shade
- clean floors
- grilled cheese sandwiches
- college Lacrosse games
- well vacumned rugs
- picking blueberries
Doing or enjoying any one of those things listed always made me feel at home. And comfortable.