I took some time during the past week to do some deeper reflection on the past year and everything it brought up for me.
There is no doubt that 2020 held many difficulties for all of us. What I noticed for me is the disruption of pandemic affected me on a personal energetic level. I felt remnants of things that I thought I was done with swirling around in my face. Old childhood wounds, parts of myself that I didn’t like, voices of judgment.
In the past I may have wanted to ignore, or get rid of the uncomfortable things. This time I got curious, I had the time to get curious. For many years I had been “trying to slow down” In 2020 I actually did it, our of necessity. The message I continued to receive was that,
“Now it the time to attend to everything that has been clamoring for your attention all your life.”
That seemed like an insurmountable endeavor, and yet moment-by-moment I was able to meet everything that arose. I gained a new perspective on presence.
This moment here, and now this one.
I’ve been dancing with presence and present moment awareness for a long time. It is what I turned to early in my grief journey to help me navigate the rocky waters of grief. It is the foundation of my daily practice as well as my work with my clients. How was it possible that I had more to learn about it? And yet there was, there always is, because the present moment is always new. There have been times that I have tried to figure out how it works in my head. When that happens I struggle with the concept of what present moment is. I tell myself if I can just figure it out logically, I’ll have a much better explanation of what it is and how it works.
And while I am in that struggle, I am not being present. Huh.
This year we traveled from Raleigh, NC to Minneapolis, Minnesota in an RV to meet our granddaughter. Upon returning we decided we were being called to move to Minnesota to be closer to her and to be a part of her life. My initial thought there was that we would take about a year to do it slowly, there was a lot to do. I talked to a friend who is a stager and a couple of realtors to get a better understanding of what we had to do. It seemed even more overwhelming, and I was sure that waiting until spring of 2021 was the sane decision. And then I got present. I asked deep in my heart what was needed. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I recognize my intuition when it arises from my heart and soul. I received guidance to set up an appointment with the realtor we decided to work with. It was September 27, 2020. We thoroughly talked about the steps needed to do to get ready for an open house. She told me that she thought we could be ready for an open house on October 24th.
My mind was waving its arms, (metaphorically!) saying things like, ”That’s less that a month away! “ “That’s impossible” Your crazy if you think you can do all that in less then a month.”
And then I heard myself say, Ok, let’s do it.
My mind was incredulous. I didn’t ignore them, I brought them into my heart, let them be heard. I found this helpful in helping those voices to calm down; they felt heard. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing what they told me to do. They only wanted to be heard.
On December 27, 2020 we were sitting in our new condo in St. Paul MN. We moved in on December 11th. I can honestly say that I am not carrying any remnants of overwhelm from the activities we did to get ready to move, of buying a new condo, and of physically moving here, taking 3 days to drive over 1600 miles to snow country in the winter. My prayer of a snow and ice free move was a welcome gift.
After we moved, we spent the first week unpacking boxes and getting organized full time. We got our new home to a place of livability. We still had lots of boxes to unpack and new homes to find for our belongings, but we also made time to continue to settle in, which for me meant listening to what I need in each moment.
We explored our new neighborhood when the temperature was above 30. We found the closest entry into the skyway so we can walk when the temperatures are in the single digits. We found our neighborhood co-op and became members. We envisioned what our new life would look like, each of us writing about what we need daily, or weekly. We purchased new furniture to fit our new space and organize our books. And most importantly we saw Arya,(and Peter, Christine, & Marlowe) a lot.
We saw Peter and his family more in the last month than we did all last year. We love all the possibilities that come with living close.
About 2 years ago we began a conversation about building a tiny home in Peter’s backyard. At that time, we envisioned spending the summer months there, and at the same time spending more time with him. We talked about what that might look like, both physically and emotionally. Dan began designing tiny homes, and we talked about what we wanted in a new home, choosing a final design. We were in the process of looking at a few possibilities for the backyard project when Arya was born.
And then we met her.
After that, there was no question that we would move to Minnesota full time so we could know her, and be a part of all of their lives. That meant a change in plans. For me, a tiny home was out of the question if we would be there in the winter. We decided to revisit a dream we had early in our marriage. We found a condo in downtown St. Paul in a walk-able neighborhood. We are on the 32ndfloor, and have a beautiful view that includes the Mississippi River, as well as sunrises and sunsets. Our condo fits our style and our simplified life.
We are adjusting to our new lifestyle. Dan retired, and is getting used to a new rhythm. I’m continuing to do my work; and listening to where I’m being called next. We’re both enjoying spending more of our days together, and exploring our new city.
All of these changes were able to happen because we were present to our feelings throughout the process.