Stripped: Leaving Room for Messiness
I was speaking with a dear friend recently about messiness in life. I’m using the word messiness here to refer to events that happen that feel alarming, jarring, and maybe even terrifying. The things that shake us up. Perhaps you’ve experienced a recurring issue, theme, or symbol in your life, in which you’ve felt fed up with, tired of, angry about - as though you can’t take it any longer. I’m trying to unsubscribe from the belief that when this happens, it’s because I’m not “getting” something or shifting something. Yes, I believe that the messiness happens to crack us open. That it can ultimately be a blessing because it leads us to deeper learning. But despite all of my best efforts, I cannot control or advance that learning. People have said things to me like: “you’re attracting this from your mind, and you have to do the work to shift it.” I think that’s bullshit. What I do believe is that there are events we go through in order to help our souls to grow. What I’ve been learning (and what I also struggle with) is that in my eagerness to learn and to grow, no matter what I do, I cannot speed up the process in order to rid my life of the messiness. I’m learning that if something becomes recurring, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not doing the work fast enough or deep enough. During our conversation, my friend told me to accept that life is not on my timeline. She's right. It just is. It doesn’t have to feel great or even okay. It just is. What’s happening is what’s happening, and no matter how many meditations we do or journal entries we write or deep issues into our childhood we crack open - we cannot govern what’s happening. What occurs on the material plane is not a reflection of our insides.
Perhaps sometimes we have to learn something over and over and over again. And maybe it’s not because we haven’t learned from it the first time around. Maybe it’s because we are being asked to learn more, to go deeper. I am not interested in surface work. I want to go to the depths. The work of Object & Us is not about curating a perfect room or a perfect home or a perfect life. It’s about grounding, even in the midst of groundlessness. It’s about coming home to ourselves, so that our external world has no bearing on who we feel we are.
I don’t care how ugly you feel your house is, or if you even have a house. I didn’t have one for nearly a year, and I still don’t have a “permanent" space. When I was frustrated about this and told my friend that I wanted to finally sign a year lease and ground in one place, she told me that I can do that in my sleep. That what I’m going through is not because I’m not doing self work, it’s because I am. That I can help people with my sessions and workshops and writing more deeply because I’m getting schooled on this shit.
This work is not going to help you to make your life prettier or more appealing. It’s going to help you to ground despite how ugly it may be. A really nice side effect of doing the work will be that you learn to better understand your own likes and preferences so that you can create a space you love. And this is helpful not because of how attractive the space may be, but because the space will help you to operate in a more intentional way. It will support your journey to living with mindfulness. So I encourage you to leave room for messiness in your home. Not so that you neglect your space or become careless, but so that you can leave room for messiness in your life. Controlling your environment to the extent that there’s no room for fluidity will only keep you from your own freedom. There’s room for you to be you - in all of your majesty and in all of your messiness. I promise.
Below are some easy, simple rituals that will help you ground in the midst of groundlessness no matter who you are or where you are:
Whether you’re filling your cup/mug with lemon water, tea, or coffee, study the cup/mug while you’re filling it with your drink of choice. Connect with it - notice the texture and take note of how you feel in your body while doing this. When you sit to have your drink, do a stream of consciousness journal entry.
Take off your shoes and plant your feet on the earth. Connect with your breath and breathe in the earth energy through your feet up into your body. You can also do this throughout the day - even if you are indoors and cannot take your shoes off - at your desk, work table, or in your car.
NIGHTLY SHUT OFF
Turn your phone on airplane mode an hour before you'd like to go to bed. That way, in the morning you can keep your phone on airplane mode until after your morning ritual is completed. Lay on your bed at night and feel the sheets/comforter. Run your hands over the fabric. Allow the fabric touching your skin to awaken the senses in your body. You can then rest, close your eyes, and take some time to just be. It doesn't have to be a formal "meditation," but rather literally a place to rest your head. You can take mental stock of what you're grateful for, or write it down. Whatever feels the most natural. If you don’t have a bed, you can practice this wherever you are sleeping.