Empty Spaces

My mom is awesome. I’m not just saying that because I’m hoping she’ll read this and then be so happy with me she’ll buy me a treat. And well, I guess that’s because she constantly gives me little gifts, commodities for around the house, or slips me some coffee or pizza money without me ever asking. I’m not lying when I say I’m probably the most spoiled 46 year old on the planet. Although spoiled might be a misnomer, because it indicates I ask for or expect these things, and my mom gives just because it brings her joy to make other people happy. Spoiled might not be the right word, but blessed certainly is.

     What does all this brown nosing have to do with today’s post? Let me lead up to it. I had been working in my basement, trying to clear out more “stuff.” I say stuff, because it happens to be a very large category for items to fall in. I have this shelving unit, among others, that I use for storage. I am constantly on a mission to clear things out, and as I’ve said on other occasions, organizing is a process. Life and the things in it are constantly in flux and need to be managed. I would also like to finish my basement within the next year or so, and there is absolutely no reason for me to be storing so many things. It’s better to have space to live in than have things pile up and block our way. Back to the shelves. On this unit were various items: some books my hubby wasn’t ready to part with yet, two humidifiers for when one of us gets sick, a space heater, because sometimes Karlie’s room gets chilly during the winter. How about some mason jars and spray bottles for when I make my essential oil concoctions or the soap making kit I was supposed to use this summer but again, ran out of time? Yes, this is some the stuff I was attempting to organize by getting rid of various items (books were finally released,) or by moving others to different spaces (heater went on the shelf in Karlie’s closet.) Hear me now when I say I WILL make that organic lavender soap one day! Anyway, what was the end result? An empty shelving unit. Yay!

     Each time I went downstairs, I was delighted by the fact that I had all this empty space. There is something about having a clear outer environment that fills my soul. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, a neat outer space leads to a peaceful inner one. I also felt like I was calling in my new basement by clearing out and prepping. Paving the way for a manifestation. 

     A day or two later my mom came to visit. 

     “Jen!” She shouted up the stairs. “I brought you some Goldfish, dog treats and paper towels. I’m putting them on the black shelf in the basement.”

The infamous unit and my goodies from Mom.

I was grateful and didn’t think anything of it. After all, I will never complain about freebies that help my household budget! Thank you Mom. But later, when I walked downstairs, I was struck by not only how different the space looked but also how quickly it filled up. I started to think about the house…and life…In truth, I went a bit Plato on my own ass. 

     Why are we always trying to fill things up? Our spaces? Our time? It’s as if whenever there’s a void we don’t sit with it or appreciate it. We don’t know how to be still with it and we’re often uncomfortable with it. So we buy, and we schedule and it makes us happy for a bit, but then we find ourselves in the basement, trying to clear out the crap once again. Is this just the cycle and the way it is, or do we need to learn to live with less, do a little less, and just be still.

My much awaited for, new couch. Yay! I had to share.

We just got a great new couch for our family room, hallelujah! Already I am looking for a little table to go behind it. After all, I a place for a lamp and some more storage in the room. Sheesh, does it ever end? What the heck do I even need extra storage for? The soap kit?

   I spoke of my mother’s generosity only to show how quickly we can acquire items, and how easily space can fill up. If she hadn’t provided me with goodies, chances are, I might have provided myself with some. I am making a conscious effort to reduce and also to stop before I purchase something. After all, a void doesn’t have to be negative, indicating something is empty or lacking. It can be an opportunity to sit with ease, in clarity. Our uncluttered spaces can help us to unclutter our minds. Note to self, when the shelving unit is again empty, move it on!

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