What if you could empty yourself of all the things you have been conditioned to believe, programmed to think, told about yourself, made to feel…
what if you could clear out all the clutter within…
and start from scratch…
redecorate, refurbish, refurnish…
regain control of your inner world rather than find yourself controlled by all the ghosts, goblins, goons, and gobbledygook which control you, cause you to lose self control, react to old pains, triggering fears, anxieties, the screaming me-me’s, phobos… and the survival mechanisms designed to deal with them which aren’t always as helpful and useful as they claim to be…
and what if you could fill your empty room inside with only those things which you want and need…?
Recently I’ve been able to tidy up some of the things which have been in a state of mess since I moved into this house. I had tried to organise these things before, but failed, and trying became trying, frustrating, a source of constant stress…
at one point I found myself hating what I had once loved… this is a familiar feeling, territory I have lived in far longer than I’ve lived in this house. It’s a pattern which is part of the fabric of my history… I’m not sure if this is one I created for myself to cope with life or one which others created to cope with life and then passed onto to me due to close contact.
It helps to know where our patterns come from as this allows us to understand them a bit better, however ultimately once something is yours, it’s yours… but it doesn’t have to be yours forever if it doesn’t suit you.
The things which I’ve finally been able to sort out are small things, not the big ones I’d like to tackle… but sometimes you have to start small, let those small things add up, and lead to the bigger things.
Sometimes sorting out a small thing can make the bigger thing smaller or at least solve a small part of the bigger thing…
It’s surprising how much stress a small thing can cause, and releasing yourself from that pressure can release energies which were imprisoned allowing flow to move once again.
Real control sometimes comes when you give up trying to control and accept things as they are…
work with what is there rather than trying to make something into what it is not or make something that isn’t there be there…
work with what you can actually do rather than try to do something which you just can’t do…
There is an ordinary and beautiful healing power in admitting to yourself that you just can’t do something…
giving up, letting go, relieving yourself of the burden of all the geegaws which go with attempting to be who you aren’t and do what you can’t…
but it can be hard to admit that you can’t do something, and not just because of pride, ego, vanity, self-esteem, and all those other human trouble-makers which gift us with complications, but also because of all the clutter which society dumps into our inner room…
such as that we’re not allowed to say something is impossible or that we can’t do it, we’re supposed to believe in ourselves and our ability to do anything and everything which we set our mind to do… failure is not an option!
There was a time in my life when I really liked positive affirmations… these days I think they’re negative space.
There is a satisfaction, a surge of personal power, in clearing out a room…
the space fills with so much potential…
but it’s also rather lovely exactly as it is…
and emptying the inner space of everything for awhile has a similar effect.
Sometimes it’s fun to just furnish the space with one thought or feeling and watch what it does when it has the room all to itself…
What would you do with yourself if you were emptied of everything that is there now and could pick and choose what could be there?
I love the concept of these thoughts and they are ones that have been quietly fomenting in the back of my mind for a little while now. Also that acceptance of the idea that sometimes we should surrender and accept what we can’t actively change, while perhaps that acceptance is allowing it to unobtrusively dissolve over time anyway.
An image from 1 of the Castaneda books has always impressed me of Castaneda studying don Juan and being hit by the realisation that he was an empty vessel. Teflon coated insides where life flowed through him but he had no ego and so none of it could attach to him.
This emptying came after years of practising recapitulation of remembering life’s events in order for them to be emptied and power regathered.
Their aim was exactly as you say here to declutter their minds from all that was there and return them to an empty room.
I found this post very zen and beautiful.
Thank you very much 🙂
I used to love reading Castaneda (I also read the works of Taisha Abelar and Florinda Donner-Grau). Don Juan was a great character, definitely a provider of crazy wisdom, and quite a few bits and pieces stuck with me. I liked the concept of ‘Intent’. Later on I found out more about Castaneda himself and the story behind Don Juan which was in some ways even more fascinating than what he weaved into his work.
I also love Zen, particularly the riddle-like stories.
Have you ever read the work of Reshad Felid, he was a student of Sufi which is a rather wonderful philosophy, similar to Zen in some ways such as in accepting what is and simplifying our approach to ourselves and life.
It’s not always easy to do, to de-clutter, as human nature seems prone to collecting…
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Yes I loved Abelar’s book “The Sorcerer’s Crossing” and read some of Florinda’s account. I especially loved reading how Don Juan and Don Genaro would concoct their elaborate scenarios to entrap their students which were hilarious.
I know little of sufism but the little I have read is quite beautiful. Thanks for the tip I will look up Reshad Felid.
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This was really good. I have been in the same mode for awhile. First, I had to allow myself to feel angry at someone I was never supposed to feel angry towards. After working through that, there was fully realizing imperfection is ok. Wow! What a concept! I don’t have to be perfect to be ok. And I don’t have to fix other people’s lives or emotions. I can even be a little selfish and the world doesn’t end! So, from there I actually can be MORE kind and loving and interested in others. Because I don’t feel like I have to be perfect or make their lives perfect. Voila!
Thank you very much 🙂
What you’re working on sounds awesome! I had a similar epiphany about making mistakes – that it wasn’t the end of days if I made one, and that sometimes mistakes are actually worth making.
The impulse to be perfect is a rampant one – we’re constantly bombarded by ‘perfection’ and the pressure to achieve perfection in the media and mainstream, as though being perfect is a desirable goal, and yet… it’s a goal that is constantly on the move. Just when you think something is perfect, someone finds a flaw with it and the sky falls – sometimes the flaw is that something or someone is ‘too perfect’.
I totally agree with being more selfish and less selfless, it’s surprising how positive something which is supposed to be negative can be and vice versa.
I’ve done a lot of emptying out lately of things, places, jobs and even people. It was like I was due for it or something. It was more than just a physical emptying, too. It’s an interesting (and movable) phase. 🙂
It’s always intriguing to observe that as soon as you create an empty space in your life, it is soon filled up again 🙂
I once had a memorable dream of an empty room. It was like a small hangar or maybe a very large polly tunnel. It was entirely devoid of content except a kind of quiet peace. I suppose the thing to remember is whatever the clutter is, its temporary. the room always is.
That sounds like an awesome dream!
Usually when I dream of rooms, the moment I become aware of the room it begins to morph and often becomes a room leading to other rooms which lead to other rooms… and they’re never empty if only because the moment you step into a room you fill it with yourself 😉
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