There’s a big stigma going on in these turbulent times about the concept of change. How change is unsafe and dismantling. Whether it’s political, social, economical, grammatical, or perhaps you want your spice rack to be alphabetical… whatever is changing, I personally think change is freaking awesome. Change represents an opportunity! Take quarantine for example. What wonderful exhaustion that was. We were given this golden snitch of an opportunity to finally stop and smell the racism, voter suppression, exes we shouldn’t be texting at all hours of the night, that diet that ‘never’ worked and the concept of belts. Out of every inner morality lesson I have learned since March the most profound was my discovery of what I wanted versus what was provided.
I spent the majority of the quarantine lockdown out on Shelter Island, NY far removed from the expensive storage unit called my apartment I continued to pay for.. I indelibly exchanged all of my past purchases and currency clutter for clear skies, good company, silk beaches, gardening by the pool, volunteering at the local mom and pop grocery store, sunset cocktails and conversation, kayaking in the rain, birds singing while sipping morning coffee.
It was a pastoral awakening every single day that I never took for granted. It provided me with change I never thought I needed. It gifted me space. I woke up happier, healthier, my third eye was open, everything was in alignment, all because I had less. My materials had shrunk. Something in the stars had given me the user manual on how to simplify my bandwidth. And in return, what I had was community — the exuberant feeling that I was engaging, participating and giving back to the actual people and places around me. I wasn’t buried in my phone like a gnome wishing I had other people’s lives, scrolling to my inevitable doom, adding to cart every little tchotchke on Etsy.. I rediscovered past goals I had tucked away, relationships I had forgotten about, and even started running! I felt like Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love.
Now being back to the ol’ New York City grind attempting to navigate through some new semblance of normal, I am discovering the true power that is change. Having lived for nearly 6-months out of a suitcase I now have a deeply personal understanding of what I actually need. What a concept! #woke
I am sure I will still go through seasonal periods of wanting to accumulate and hibernate, but what this time has taught me having hit the big red reset button is that I finally am able to confidently say, ‘No!’ No..’ I don’t need that in my life. ‘No..’ That won’t make me feel whole. ‘No..’ I don’t want to supersize my order for another dollar-fifty. What I need to do is volunteer, I need to garden and watch things grow, I need to practice patience, I need to vote, I need to call my mother! That’s growth. That’s how you simplify your life, through gratitude. When you shift your perspective and percolate on what you’re grateful for, you invent your own joy. That spark of happiness becomes a mental health tool that you can in turn pass onto other humans. Your presence becomes the present and when linked like that through community, when you make others happy through that joy and gratitude it can be harnessed as a force for good. And that’s when you will experience mountains of space open up in your life. Gratitude is the golden ticket.
Make space for life friends. Make space for possibilities. Make space for proactive, productive, applied change. I like to think of it like a cross country train ride, each stop is progress.
P.S. be sure to laugh at some point today. Laughter is so necessary and important. It’s vital. We all need the life affirming laughs, now more than ever. It really is the best medicine, next to actual medicine.