The panic before the heart of the storm

Sell. Donate. Dump. Three words I have been living by for almost two weeks.

I am moving. Scratch that, I am evacuating. Selling everything in my home and heading overseas for a writing sabbatical. Why? Because my dead mother told me to with a series of signs pointing towards Colorado (you can read the book I write about it when it’s published).

People think I am so buddhist getting rid of all my things. They think I am practicing non attachment. Yet few buddhists I know would have inhaled two bottles of champagne followed by a bottle of wine then inhaled a box of non organic full GMO chemical infested Oreo cookies with a side order of processed milk all in the one night in a bid to quell the anxiety. Then taken an out of date valium to deal with the panic created by the panic.

And before you ask, no I did not drink the booze alone. But did I mention I try to avoid preservative laden wine, sugar, processed dairy and pharmaceuticals where possible? Oops. That went well.

So here I sit, me, my bean bag, my television and my booze and sugar hangover – all that’s left of my three bedroom sanctuary by the sea once dubbed the house of the healing heart. Oh and a bed, I have kept my bed, for now. A girl’s got to sleep.

Though I fear I may have peaked too early with my furniture packing and offloading with still 19 days to go before I lock the door on this two year chapter of my life for good and hand back the keys.

The real truth is I am not a buddhist (though I do have a smudge sage stick if that counts). I just don’t want to pay for storage and would rather have the cash than the couch in a bid to cover the normal life debts created by anyone living in a city built for millionaires and a single resident in a society economically geared to dual income couples.

Everything about my decision to head to Colorado has been easy and the most natural thing in the world. Until now.

With every big ticket item I sell I ask myself if I am doing the right thing, a question I never asked myself about this entire life writing USA adventure before. Why? Because it has always felt so absolutely completely right.

But somewhere between writing my book proposal for NYC literary agents, organising Colorado accommodation, booking my flights, giving notice on my lease and that box of Oreo cookies I began to second guess, doubt and allow fear to get in my monkey mind way and it all started with dismantling my home.

This is the first home I put my being into. Yes, I have been renting but I imprinted my style and design and soul upon it’s walls with coloured Kilim rugs, hand carved cow skulls from ethical farms, well worn leather couches to sink into, yellow armchairs that sang sunshine, Malawi chairs that I should have known better than to buy, marble bowls, deck chairs and plants.

A thousand plants in pots that healed my broken heart when my lover left the home we got together, a thousand plants that marked the passing of a dear friend, a thousand plants that let my mother’s soul fly free when her body could no longer. Elbow deep in organic mulch I would pot herbs and vegetables and flowering succulents as a form of meditation that brought so much joy.

When people entered my home they exhaled. It was a home for friends, old, new and soon to be. A place where life stress was left at the door and salt air washed away urban pain. A place where laughter was number one, no matter how bad the life situation, and a place created by my heart, that same heart that wants to dance and laugh out loud in Colorado.

Silly external obsessed me thought that if I packed up the house that my sanctuary space would be packed up too. I thought that without my home to reveal my taste and style that my essence would no longer exist. In short, a part of me clearly defined myself by my things. But it’s not my things that make a space loveable, people don’t come to your home to hang out with your things they come to hang out with you.

When I was in my twenties I defined myself by my body (instead of my home) and when I put on a kilo or two my self worth would plummet. Even now after the box of cookies that dare not speak it’s name I can easily fall back into the belief that the size of my thighs determines whether I am sexy or loveable.

But the fat or lack of fat on your bones does not determine true connection, that, like my home, comes again from the heart and people with heart are the sexiest things on the planet (in my experience anyway).

Size small to extra large, big bank account, no bank account, hot car, no car, minimalist home, messy home or stylish home, rented or owned, who cares? When sitting in the moment with someone the worldly possession externals simply do not matter.

I have taken heart in many of my items going to homes that will love them like I did. It is easier to let go when you know someone else will benefit. When I told the story of my plants to one buyer she burst into tears before scooping them up into her arms and returning to her abode to send me a photo of the plants now re-homed.

By the time I arrive in Colorado I will be lighter. Esoterically lighter. It will be just me, no things in storage to return home to as a changed person and then wonder why I bought things I have outgrown.

I miss my mother the most when I think I need an adult and want to run home to her but she’s not there. ‘Home’ doesn’t feel like home anymore at her place or mine.

Home is now in my heart where it’s probably been all along. It’s time to open the door and invite people there instead.

Speaker of ElephantTruths, teller of ElephantTales. Author, writer, journalist, blogger, producer, humorist.

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2 thoughts on “The panic before the heart of the storm”

  1. Hi Rach, You are doing so well my dear, following what your heart tells you and heading to Colorado…I miss you so.
    We moved at the same time, you up to Avalon and me back to Edinburgh. Our stuff from Oz has been sent over so I’m sorting through it when I get the chance…photos and books are the best of it…snippets of memories, people and places dear to me and us. And yes the other stuff is just ‘stuff’…too much, so much stuff in the world!
    Good on you for lightening your load…all the better for your new life in Colorado…you will be fine there, you’re gonna shine Rach! And you will Roar too, which is good too! Lotsa love H xxx

  2. Rachael, You are my kinda Buddhist! Really. How many people are as authentic, raw and courageous as you, whatever religious fervour or not takes your fancy. You are The one!! The one who vomits and blogs about it, fesses up to Oreo and milk binges and can give the truth away as easily as selling her beloved pot plants. The truth can hurt, unless they are delicious, delectable elephant truths written by a truly loveable erudite gal as you. Xxx

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