Thursday, October 02, 2008

making room for the new

Fire, incense, marigold. At the Monkey Temple (Swayambhunath Stupa) in Kathmandu, Nepal
Copyright (c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

When I was a kid I loved sweeping. I don't know why, but I did. Mostly now my kids do the clean up and sweeping but after getting a letter from the Homeowners Gestapo about my yard, I had to get out there and clean it up a bit. Honestly it is not that bad, but I'm on a huge corner lot so everyone notices every little thing. So I decided I'd sweep the driveway, and the sidewalk leading to my front porch and it felt really good. It's almost meditative. I like the idea of sweeping away the old, and cleaning up. And not only that, we totally cleaned out the garage to make room for the wood we gathered from neighbors' homes in our Rec.ike.ling project we're starting. I had so many old boxes just piled up in there. So we broke them down and recycled them all and cleaned it all out.

The whole process of cleaning and sweeping and getting rid of things reminded me of this slideshow a friend had sent a few weeks back, which was awe-inspiring. It has beautiful imagery but also beautiful text. It's called Abundance, and the text is modified from "The Principle of Emptiness" by Joseph Newton.

Some of the text goes:

Have you got the habit of storing clothes, shoes, furniture, utensils and other home supplies that you haven't used already for some time? And inside, yourself...? Have you got the habit to keep reproaches, resentment, sadness, fears, and more? Don't do it! You are going against your prosperity. It is necessary to make room, to leave an empty space in order to allow new things to arrive in your life. ... As long as you are materially or emotionally holding old and useless feelings, you won't have room for new opportunities. ... When we keep in store, we consider the possibility of wanting, of penury. We believe that tomorrow it may lack, and that we won't be able to fulfill those necessities. ...

Every place with an ellipsis I cut out some of the text. I highly recommend looking at the Powerpoint though as it's beautiful and inspiring to see it all together. But after looking at this the concept stuck in my head, and I've thought of it when cleaning out my garage, and sweeping, and also in the "work" I'm doing on my past and childhood right now, which is helping me to get rid of old resentments and mourn old losses so that I am fully free to live and love today in the present. All the old things I'm holding onto that have no positive purpose in my life must go!

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