The View From Where I Stand

This morning I was writing at my desk, located on the second floor of the old farmhouse where I live, and I happened to look outside the window; I needed to rest my eyes. I love the view of trees from that standpoint; it feels as if I am inside a tree house. If you are familiar with the layout of the very old farmhouses (over 108 years) the upstairs almost has that barn feeling, the very low ceiling and the continuous bedrooms separated by one entry way. When heading upstairs I immediately land on the first bedroom, no landing or hallway. I love that feature, although impractical. The view from where I stand offers me peace and serenity, and for that I’m grateful.

There was a time when the view wasn’t as serene, and I mean it metaphorically. It was a challenging time, the most challenging so far, and I knew it could break me or make me. The days felt longer than they were, but as with any trying time, the view started changing and things got better and better; it is the nature of the test. Although I might have not liked the view (of the situation) from where I stood, I knew that God had my hand, and it was all temporary. Looking back, I understand many things I did not see before, and I can understand the view at the time as well.

Many times, life puts in front of us a view that is not what we hope for nor what we want at the time, but believe me, there is always a reason. Even when we want to close our eyes, the best thing we can do is keep them wide open and observe the situation/the process. The more we see, the more we confront, the better it is, and the process moves along as it should. It is part of going through the many “views of life.” It is all temporary.

Change is Transformation

Yesterday, I was thinking about all the themes in Moonlit Valley, my first novel. Throughout, I could identify many underlying topics such as love, trust, spirituality, the paranormal … and many others; however, I wanted to identify a core theme, and I think that if I was going to select only one theme, it would have to be the idea of Change.

In Moonlit Valley, the idea of change carries all the other themes, and it makes itself present throughout the entire story, up to the ending.  Change is never easy. It may be good or bad, but never easy. Why? Because it shakes our foundation, causing us to react, and pushes us forward. Even when we resist change, we have to react to it – whether for better or worse.

When change manifests (or we bring it about), inevitably, we become engaged in body, mind, and spirit, as well as emotionally. Our reaction and action will engage those aspects in different degrees, and how we deal with each part, will propel or slow us down.  Many times, we “hover” but not necessarily resist change; sometimes, hovering is what we need – a truce – to be able to proceed with the proper action for us.  Whether that time is short or long does not matter, as long as we recognize the need for it. It is after the truce, that transformation occurs.

Because change is never easy, we should prepare our mind, body, and spirit for it and through it. We do that by minding each aspect, and doing what is needed to promote its wellness, as an example, you would nourish your body by eating well, healthy foods, and exercising it, and avoiding unnecessary stress situations, patterns, or habits. Nourishing the mind and spirit as well, will ease transformation. Many times, change brings with it a sense of spirituality or spiritual transformation, of growth and connection. How we deal with change, during the transformation, will determine our growth, or stagnation – but it is always up to us. We are in control of our emotions.

I leave you with a small excerpt from Moonlit Valley.

“Loss changes your perception of things. It sweeps the hallways of your mind and dusts off your most precious memories. It forces you to open the doors of rooms closed for a long time and peer into your soul, looking for the last ray of hope, of faith. The hope you desperately need now, knowing that at one point, you had put it somewhere and forgotten about it. When you find it, you grab a hold of it, tight, fearing that when you wake up tomorrow, it could be gone. Tomorrow arrives and you realize that although in a faint state, it is still there, and you hold on to it again.” – Rose Carrigan 

MOONLIT VALLEY

MOONLIT VALLEY

Pairing Down to Discover Yourself

The Queen of Hearts, from a 1901 edition of Mo...

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It started with a desire to de-clutter my surroundings and get rid of everything – this is when I knew that I was headed towards simplifying my life and spiritual transformation.  A friend once called me  “the queen of everything” since I loved everything charming and cozy and my home was resembling “The Brass Lantern” – a local store that is filled with the most precious trinkets and magical things, a favorite of both.

The desire for simplifying started in my closet, and moved on to the entire house, luckily coinciding with our decision to move to Virginia, to a simpler life, which made it easier to get rid of much stuff.  The result was – being able to pack everything we own in a medium size hauler, the kind you use for transporting one car, I think an 8×16 or so.  I was happy with that, but during the de-cluttering, I found myself longing for true purpose and undergoing a spiritual search – I’m still working on that.

During the process, I found a few things about the stuff I owned and its relation to the person I was becoming.  First, I was amazed at the amount of stuff I had, although my home has always been very organized and neat.  I learned  that you can have tons of clutter neatly organized.  Eddie has always been a minimalist, and I guess his love for me tolerated my insanity.  However, he discovered that he was getting attached to stuff, and had some issues with letting go of some of it.  My insanity silently had made its way to the minimalist I married over 24 years ago.

Second, I learned that much of that stuff was not me anymore, but I kept it throughout the years.  In a way, I had outgrown my possessions, and the stuff did not suit the persona anymore.

Third, knowing what I knew now, and the evolution I was undergoing – from Queen of everything to Princess of Bare to Basics – made it easier to get rid of much of my stuff – a ton of it.  Understanding that it was better to live surrounded by the things that I truly loved made it easier as well.  I only kept what I loved and had meaning and let the rest go.

If you find yourself on this path, it makes it easier when you approach the path to a simple life from the point of view of the new you and the relation of that persona to the things you own – this will lead you to keep the things that you truly love and are meaningful and get rid of the rest.

There is one organization that is in need of donations and you can schedule a pick up online – The United War Veterans Council (UWVC).  Their website to schedule a pick up is http://www.uwvcpickup.org/  and you can also call this number 1-888-821-UWVC(8982).   In that way, your pairing down serves a purpose as well.