Friday, July 1, 2011

Building the foundation

Growing up, my house was messy. All the time. My family has lived in the same house for the past 85 years. There are 4 generations worth of old furniture, books, pictures, tools, linens, china, clothes, papers and documents, and just a huge assortment of random little items that are only meant to sit on a shelf and look cute. There were so many physical items cluttering up every corner of every room, that it was impossible for everything to stay organized for more than a few days, if that. In the last 6 years, we've gotten rid of decades worth of clutter and useless junk, but there is still more. My father never wanted anyone to come into the house, and so as I grew up, it made me uncomfortable to have company. That, combined with a plethora of other issues, made me lack a real sense of foundation.

Over the last few weeks, I've been really feeling the toll that an entire lifetime of clutter takes. The farther I go on this journey, the more I see that I've always felt the effects. But having never known anything different, it's only now that I see how detrimental it's been. I've always had a lack of motivation that, combined with social anxiety, made it almost impossible for me to accomplish anything, or to feel really comfortable anywhere outside my own home. And because of the clutter and negative energy settled into every corner, my own home wasn't even all that comfortable.

The first several weeks of this journey were about trying to determine the cause of this lack of motivation. Because I had no foundation, no real sense of security, it blocked the energy that deals with family, safety, survival, passion, motivation. It made it difficult for me to even get dressed in the morning, let alone accomplish anything real. And so I've had to begin this journey from the absolute beginning. So far, it's been all about building the foundation.

Being unemployed has left me struggling to determine what I want to do and where I want to go. Even when I have a vague idea, I'm left not knowing where to even begin. It seems like every time I have the thought, "What's stopping me?" or "Where do I start?" the clutter is always the first thing to come up in my mind. Looking around and feeling how desperately this house needs to be cleaned, I finally have a true sense of solid intuition, and a solid place to start. Looking down this path, I have the sense of openness, the sense that there is more just ahead, beyond where I can see at the moment. That's the sense that tells me that I've finally taken the step that leads where I'm headed.

Ironically, or perhaps not so ironically, it was only when I stopped trying to figure things out that I figured things out. I read somewhere (I can't remember where, now) that when you're thinking about something for a long time, and all your thoughts lead you in circles and you find that you've gone as far as you can go, the best thing to do is just to stop. Just stop thinking about it. It's only then that you leave your mind open to the small voice behind the thoughts that's telling you all you need to know. That's intuition. And there's a fine line between intuition and thought. Learn to separate the two.

When I stopped focusing on how I'd make money, and how I'd accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish, I started focusing on what needed to happen right now. With that came the realization that after doing what needs doing now, the next step would naturally fall into place, because the first step would already have been carried out. And even though I may not know where that next step will lead, I know that it can only happen when it's ready to, and it won't be ready to until the first step is taken.

There is a great website called ZenHabits that was passed along to me by someone. The first article I read was called "The best goal is no goal." Throughout my journey so far, I've noticed that many of the blogs I've read deal with issues I had just been thinking about, sometimes not even a day before. They have all confirmed conclusions that I've already come to myself, which has strengthened my intuition and my trust in myself. This one was no exception.

I may not know where I'm headed, tomorrow or the next day or a week from now. But I know what needs to happen at this moment, because I've given in to the need that has always been with me. After that, I don't know and I don't care to know. So long as I keep taking the step right in front of me, I know the next one will happen when it's ready to happen.

What's been keeping you from taking the first step?


  1. Amazing article. You're a really talented writer.

    The present moment is all we ever have. The mind creates the illusion of time...of past and future. When you live in the mind and thoughts, that manifests as you living in a disorderly fashion. Suffering arises and overall happiness will dwindle.

    When you come into the present, you are aware of what's here and now. You do not have to worry about things that don't concern you here and now. That's why if there was one thing I could tell someone, I would tell them to be aware of this moment always. All else stems from this one principle. We are all one...a manifestation of god...and it all exists right here, right now in this moment.

    Namaste :)

  2. Thank you, Jason =) I think in my case, a large part of the struggle has been the disorderly fashion I've lived in my whole life. The cluttered house led to the cluttered mind, and the cycle just kept on going. But 'right now' is what's kept ME going. Staying strong =)