Doing The Heavy Lifting

I feel your pain, Tom Hanks.
I feel your pain, Tom Hanks.

My family and I moved last week, and let me tell you, I feel lucky to have made it out with my sanity in tact. Anyone who's ever gone through the moving process knows that I'm not being melodramatic here — at some point in the middle of the experience, when you're sitting amidst what feels like mountains of STUFF (boxes, furniture, decor, etc.), the idea of putting your life cohesively back together feels impossible. It can be so overwhelming that you just want to give up in the hopes that someone is going to come along and rescue you (i.e., do the work for you).

For me, the main issue was feeling scattered and out of alignment. There I was, in our beautiful new home that I truly loved, but feeling unsettled. And it's obvious why — our "life" was randomly strewn about in piles, everything needing to be gone through and put in a proper new place. When you're in the middle of it all, staring at the entirety of your belongings heaped up here and there, it looks like a disaster. And, for me anyway, it made me feel like a bit of a disaster. Out of sync. Lacking a solid foundation.

This overwhelming sensation also has something to do with not being able to clearly see how to get from point A to point B. I could only see a mess, not the things that made up the mess. At one point, I decided to just do something. I ventured up to the bedroom while declaring to my husband that I was not to be bothered unless our daughter was in serious danger. Box cutter in hand, I shut the door and proceeded to unpack everything onto the bed while desperately trying to summon up my “inner Marie Kondo" and magically tidy up the mess in front of me. Only — ugh! — this was no better than the disaster downstairs. There was just too much shit to deal with and, once again, I felt lost, overwhelmed, and ready to throw in the towel.

Then there was this moment. Sitting amidst the piles of my life, I thought about the Path Course that we teach. I dealt with this kind of thing on a regular basis...I've createdcurriculum to help other people with this sort of thing! But, like anything else in life, it's more difficult to practice than to preach. I laughed to myself when I realized that this is exactly what Path is all about…unpacking everything you want and clarifying your goals so you can organize them, prioritize them, and eventually make a plan to accomplish them.

I can't tell you how many people have come to the first day of class with the same feeling that I had while staring at my boxes — unsettled, out of alignment, and scattered. And why wouldn't they? When you have this general idea of what you want out of life, but no idea how to get there, those goals seem out of reach. They're just this amorphous idea of something that could be possible...someday. Why wouldn't you be out of sync if you constantly feel distanced from what you want? When thinking about the way I wanted my home to feel and contrasting that with what I was facing, it was too much. But, once I began focusing on specifics (one room at a time or — even more helpful to me — one corner of one room), I was able to begin seeing what I would have to do in order to accomplish the task. Like our Path students, once I had a plan and was able to start organizing, I felt a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders. I had direction...a system I could rely on that fit my specific rhythms and needs.

Look, it's not easy. When I was lugging box after box into my new home, my thought was, "Yeesh! These are SO heavy!" But, the truth is, the REAL heavy lifting took place when I began unpacking each box and going through everything, piece by piece. It takes time and energy, and it often requires outside help. That's what Path is all about — helping you take stock and formulate a plan that supports you as you do the heavy lifting. Is it hard work? Yes. But, let me tell you — now that the pictures are on the walls and the books are on the shelves, relaxing in my new living room with my family and feeling like I'm actually at home makes it all worth while!