What Moving Gave Me

Posted by Joanna Van Vleck on

Today I made my morning tea. The sky still black outside with a small ribbon of light beginning to emerge. I am getting familiar with where things are in this new apartment. Remembering where I placed the tea bags has moved back to being a conscious remembering the last few days. My daily rituals feel backwards, clumsy. I forgot how much muscle memory is in my daily, morning rituals. 

I moved. This week we moved Organic Erotic from Union City, NJ (right across the river from Manhattan) to Petaluma, CA. I moved my home as well. Packed all my belongings, put them in the hands of a giant teddy bear of a truck driver and got on a plane to come West. As a self proclaimed minimalist, I thought I didn’t have that much to pack. I was wrong. The gift of packing is the natural recommitting to each piece that occurs. With each item I placed in a bin and the question that arises…Do I need this? Do I want this? Does this bring me joy still? 

Fast forward a week. The giant, saint of a man who drove our truck across country in a blizzard showed up carrying the same joy he left NJ with. The slow, seemingly daunting task of unpacking before me. I sat on the undressed mattress placed on the floor. Staring at the blank canvas of this new apartment. I sunk in deeper to myself. This is where I know to find desire. 

A new place is a new unfolding in me. A different version I get to uncover and allow. Mostly with the same items as before, while including some new. I like old, new items, things that have been used before. They have a history and a richness they add to my space. My aged alter table has the same items on it with a new bright green plant. Now this altar sits directly in the line of windows. The morning sun shines directly on it as though each piece is powering up through nature. There are new uses for items I already had. The baskets once by my washer and dryer now have a home in both the kitchen and bathroom. I feel a small sense of delight each time I see them in their new location. 

This week has been a reminder of patience and allowing. A blizzard the truck drove through taking more time that we had planned. Insurance certificates needed that no one could have predicted. Empty corners in the space that haven’t spoken to me about what wants to inhabit it. As I was meditating last night the thought came….surrender to the new. Allow it to unfold in its natural timing. My work is filling the space in between with gratitude and joy of this new life. 

The hardest part for me is allowing the empty. Letting the space and each item in it to reveal the new spot to me. I have a tendency to want to get it all set so I can “move on” to other things. What if I live in it while it is telling me what it wants? What if I live with the empty? What do I do in the place of the discomfort that follows? I enliven what is. I look at each piece as it catches my eye and delight in the beauty of its new location. I allow the new found appreciation for the vintage wood desk that has sat in many of my rooms to fill me again. The love and purpose I have for each piece feels alive in me. An active gratitude for how it feels, only now, in its new home. 

This week has not been easy. I’m amazed at how much I want to rush through this stage, get it all “set” and move on. My practice this week is to live in the empty and the space between. Someone wise once said it is the journey, not the outcome, that it is the gift. 

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