Thursday, January 8, 2009

Buddha In My Closet

Not long ago, I talked about the need to clean out our emotional closets in preparation for the New Year. Like I said, you can't expect to bring anything new and wonderful into your life if there's no space for it! So I've spent two days digging out my actual closet.

Does anyone like that job? Even if you keep it relatively straight, it's still no fun to pull it all apart. Putting it back together can be tricky, too. I actually had the ghost of Martha Stewart standing at my left shoulder saying, "No, No, Dear! Colors together. And, if at all possible, make sure the garment lengths match! Are shoes in wonderful containers? Now on to hand bags..." Get out of my closet Martha! Yikes.

Now, my friend Jackie has a closet that would make Martha swoon or stamp her feet in complete pea-green envy. Jackie collects dinnerware and linens. She has absolutely beautiful things! Everything lined up in storage boxes. Labeled. Linens hang laundered and pressed on roll hangers. It's gorgeous! What a lot of work, but if you love something, it's not really work, is it? Well, I'd just like to grab Martha by her ear and say, "Get a load of this, sister!!!" That'll show her.

While my closet is not the poster child for those fabulous California Closet systems, I have to admit, I do a pretty good job keeping things contained. I'm a big fan of all the choices we have now for organization like baskets and boxes. I recommend them. When I have a few minutes, I pull one down and sort/refold it. Done regularly, it seems to do a good job of staying on top of things. However, there's a down side to containers in that they keep things hidden and ignored; things that no longer serve but haven't been asked to move on.

With this recent clean-out, I wanted to identify items that no longer serve. And, give them to others who could be benefited. The same with some of the bears in my vast collection that also live in the closet. What? Doesn't everybody have bears living in their closet?

I didn't think there'd be much. After all, I did two massive purges of my life- first when I prepared to move to PA with Michael. And, then 18 months later when we moved to this address. I got so I was phobic about green trash bags. But, I'm better now.

At the end of two days, I had a bag of good clothes and shoes. This time it was really hard because everything had an emotional anchor attached. Nothing easy to let go. But, I did because I've been reading lately about meditation and attempting to live the Buddhist notion of loving kindness.

This thinking directs that any change that is lasting and positive starts from a point of awareness and acceptance, or as they call it, Loving Kindness. In other words, if you can't develop compassion/kindness for yourself and your weaknesses, change seems impossible. When you don't like something or care about it, even if your head says you should change it, your heart and feelings argue, "Why bother?" You have to love something to nurture it, while kindness creates a supportive environment for positive change.

Like all things that really work, begin with yourself in mind. I'm tired of being a fat woman. I'm tired of the fact that some unscrupulous female snuck into my house in the middle of the night and attached her unwanted ass to mine. I'm tired of walking around with two asses where there should be only one. I wasn't born to be a fat woman, but I've been walking around as one.

And, it's not authentic. This year, I'm working on authenticity and learning to adore the authentic me. That's why I stopped coloring my hair. And, why I cleaned out my closet. Because, I can't learn to kindly accept myself, just as I am, with size 12 jeans in my closet. I'm not a size 12 now. Lying to myself isn't being kind, so I can't say I will be again in a little while. That doesn't help me be at peace with the unspecified size I am today. And, if I'm always in a battle with myself, if I hate myself, or I continue to ignore the truth of me, I surely can't begin to work toward happy change. Can I finally look at myself truthfully?

So, all those clothes went out to someone who is a size 12. And, today, I feel better about that. Today, I know I've helped others and it's the start of helping me to learn to take a deep breath, and realize that, yes, I'm fat but I'm also healthy and pretty fabulous. A pretty good place to start reaching for better!

Starting from a spot of accepting and not judging is a solid foundation for lasting change. Like returning to the shape I was born to be. Each day, making small choices that are happier or better. And, each day remembering to act with loving kindness toward myself first and all others, after. To be more lighthearted about my fat flaws so that I can also be lighthearted about other's flaws. To stop all the negative talk in my head about where I failed and what's wrong with me. Which means I'll be quicker to hear and self-correct when those negative thoughts are about others.

Wish me luck. Oh, and feel free to stop by and admire my closet! There's room in there now.

Namaste' Till Next Time,


jkc said...

Thank you for my morning chuckle as I get ready to go downstairs for one more day of organizing Christmas decorations. I do truly believe that clearing out a closet helps to clear out the mind. After two years of living in this house, I am ready to how do we convince my better half that less is better and purging leads to less stress??

melissa said...

Me too!

I have been avoiding cleaning out my own closet for ages...and now, I actually have a reason to. The space is needed. Still, I managed to keep pawing through the clutter every day.

Then I read your blog. On my day off. And, when I could be reading, being lazy just for the fun of it, or napping (I love napping)...I figure I might as well get started on clearing out space for some new adventures. Someone else might even get some new clothes out of it.

Thanks. As always, you've inspired me. I'll be in the closet.

Rainstar16 said...

Holly I love this post! I am just now getting around to reading every entry in your blog and I love it. This one stirred me enough to comment. I just got off a weekend meditation retreat which brought me back into the loving kindness mindset, particularly in regards to my self loving or loathing around my body. As women we do this far too much- the loathing instead of the loving. We trick ourselves in these ways that really keep us stuck in non-acceptance (like holding on to the size we are not now). I am so happy to hear of your buddha in the closet and your liberation. I try and remind myself "when I am laying in my coffin no one is going to be checking my pant size and I am pretty sure the numbers on the scale will mean next to nothing." Namaste!

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