This is the current state of my living room. Despite the fact that it has become a kitchen, a pantry, a storage facility and a china cabinet, I actually feel relief. And here's why. I don't have to make everything look perfect. I don't have to attempt to ward off life's messiness and unpredictability by trying to control my environment through obsessive organization. I don't have to try to manage my anxiety through cleaning, because there is absolutely no point in cleaning right now. It has to be a mess. For now. This is how it is, right now.
And even better, I don't know when it will be over. Our kitchen is being renovated, and we have a general timeline, but there is certainly no guarantee that things will be done at a particular time. It will probably be in stages. And I will have to be patient. And I can do it. Because I am trained in the mindfulness techniques that form one of the pillars of the Love Body Method, I am able to accept my life as it is right now. I am not trying to get to some future, non-existent, unmessy, challenge-free life.
You don't have to have your kitchen renovated to practice letting things be messy, to practice allowing things to be as they are right now. I am not saying that you have to want things to be that way forever; I am simply saying allow them to be as they are now, because the only other choices are living in the past, living in the future or living in a constant state of resistance, discomfort and dissatisfaction.
The next time you find yourself in a messy situation, whether it is in your body, in your home, in your work, or some other messy life circumstance, say to yourself, "Let things be messy. This is how it is right now." Allow yourself to soften around the current circumstance. Allow your physical body to soften by dropping your attention into the foundation (anything touching the ground) and feeling your body breathe itself. The physical piece is key. The sensation of allowing. It is soft and spacious.
If you tend to obsessively organize and clean, try just leaving it, letting it be. Nothing will explode if you don't do the dishes one night. Nothing will collapse if you leave a few toys on the floor. No one will suffer if there are unidentifiable crusty bits on your countertop or bits of congealed jelly on the outside of the jelly jar. In fact, it is quite possible that you may find relief in this allowing. You may find that the anxiety you were attempting to manage or the image that your were attempting to portray to others naturally dissolve in the space of allowing.
Looking for ways to practice allowing and softening? Looking for tools you can use to stay present and to cultivate a greater sense of self-love? Join Erin for More Love: A mini self-care retreat on Thursday, March 12th.
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