I always look forward to spring cleaning...and this time around it also happens to coincide with packing and moving. Living with chronic illness means this yearly ritual does not become the typical frenzied rush to clear out the dust and remove the winter grime. The process of washing and sorting and even airing out stagnant energy is a slow one...divided up into small and easy to manage chunks over many days. It's deliberate and thoughtful and reflective and even without my physical limitations I would still prefer it this way. The method becomes just as important as the end result...which can also be said about a lot of other worthwhile things. I enjoy spring cleaning because the air is positively buzzing with a fresh start. I cannot be the only one who feels this way!
We don't need an excuse to freshen things up...but there is something about the onset of spring that makes it extra compelling. Spring cleaning is a great way to welcome in the next season...while all around us things are getting newer and brighter and emerging from cold stasis. For me...it feels like the previous year was one long and dark and fuzzy winter. Good things happened of course...but I was not grounded. I went through spells of sheer misery because I did not know what I wanted and needed in order to move forward. Flitting around from project to project...even ones that never met public eye...has been extremely tiring. Along with never really knowing where to dedicate the core of my energy. I have been searching for that satisfying click where my daily work feels like an extension of me.
I am not sure how to accurately explain that finding or building something whole outside of myself feels like the best way to establish unshakable inner peace. My happiness does not depend on external factors but at the same time I cannot thrive as some lonely self sufficient island. I need some good strong roots in order to truly become the person that I know exists underneath all of this sadness and confusion. The real me glimmers through every now and again.
As for packing...I won't be able to bring everything...but I am okay with that. Today is about choosing the really special things. The small yet substantial stuff with cherished memories attached that cannot be replaced. To keep them...they must represent something beyond being just random material objects. My keepsakes and decorations are already pretty slimmed down...but those pesky extras still seem to accumulate over time. Tomorrow...I will be focusing on just the stuff that helps me work...and to be productive or in some way move forward with my goals. The full on minimalist mindset was not something that suddenly occurred...it built up slowly around me until I finally took notice of the subtle changes in my thinking. And how much more happy and focused that I really do feel in clutter free surroundings. There was a time in my life when even the thought of letting go of just about anything felt like this extreme matter of life and death. Now...my mind just loosens those anxious knots and makes the decision based on usefulness or sentiment.
One such example...is this lovely ceramic unicorn box that is truly magical! She is very old and fragile and has a big crack right down the front that has been repaired too many times. She belonged to my mother when she was about sixteen and was used to store paper money earned from pet sitting. After it was given to me...I began using it for money too...usually just extra fives or twenties that need to be tucked away for later. My memory problems really aren't so bad as to forget about large sums of money...but I have lost count how many times this little box has multiplied anything placed inside. She is beautifully charged with energy that attracts more of the same and never fails to surprise me with an extra boost every once in awhile! There is no rational way to explain it...and I don't want one. I am just grateful for the mystery and the smiles!
Adopting minimalism does not mean that you end up owning nothing. It means that you only own things with great meaning and value. You are constantly curating and being mindful of waste.
Being this notoriously messy and sometimes rather chaotic artist with a mountain of paints and other supplies seems like it would be at odds with the minimalist lifestyle. I am also a seamstress! But it all comes down to good storage and organization...and dedicating separate spaces to breath and to play and to work. Instead of wasting materials...and getting rid of things just for the sake of getting rid of them like some minimalists...I like to go wild using up the surplus stuff. Creating empty spaces to store more odds and ends allows me to reward myself with guilt free retail therapy. Yes...even the thrift store works.
This is also the ideal time to spring clean my mind and through extension my digital life! This basically consists of clearing out the cobwebs of failed dreams...revise what did not work out during the last year and re-prioritize. I find it really therapeutic to spend some time during the onset of spring...throwing away old goals and projects that are no longer special...that no longer help me get through the day or that I cannot envision myself working on some time during the next year. Just the other day...I ended up with a whole list of casualties that I have simply lost the passion to complete. Two of which I will go into more detail right now!
These are steemit accounts that never made much progress towards even halfway resembling my initial visions for them. I originally wanted @CreativeSteem to become this community focused engine account with many hands on deck for curating and contests and intended usage of SMT and group features. But these never actually happened during the promised timeline and multiple unspoken revisions as to what this account could further be used for...have failed to re-spark my interest in running and owning this account. Since putting @CreativeSteem on pause...steemit has absolutely exploded with a whole bunch of creatively focused accounts and dapps that curate and upvote and showcase...and generally are already doing what I might have done but 1000% times better. I will now gratefully leave this niche to the masters!
As for @CreativeMoon ...I originally saw this as an individual handmade maker type account for SteemBay and selling stuff directly on Steemit for Steem. This was meant to be my pagan goods outlet for selling handmade candles with painted tins...silk tarot card pouches and earthy beauty products. I wouldn't say this kind of side venture will never happen...but the next two years are already filled to overflowing with more urgent goals. Since coming to the conclusion that a potential handmade shop can be just as easily...and probably more sucessfully branded under this account...I have decided to offer @CreativeMoon up to someone else who will hopefully decide to use it as more than a side project. And there are no posts on this one!
If anyone wants to take over these accounts...for the exact cost of the steem and the steem power...please leave a comment with what you would do with them! I really want them to go to good homes and see them actually being used. A more dedicated writeup will be posted on @CreativeSteem within the week.
On the same topic of spring cleaning personal goals...I have just unearthed pages upon pages of handwritten notes...binders full of alternate universes. Business ideas...creative writing ideas...shiny new side projects...plans and opportunities that caught my interest for a short time. There are too many lists of things that can be used to make other lists of things. I am embarrassed to say that I always run out of ink in ballpoint pens before they dry up or get lost....and recycling all of this paper can sometimes be a nightmare. However...recording things digitally has done nothing to discourage this bad habit...because jumping on my phone to jot down a note often leads to mind wipe! I always have pens and paper nearby because the ideas come like lightning and technology is too slow to keep up with my thought processes. My hand has a hard time though.
The notes and reminders from my scattered and yet infinitely imaginative mind usually need some translation after landing onto the page...and rarely make sense to anyone else. Sometimes they don't even make sense to me...after being tucked away for a few months! Looking at them...it sometimes feels like someone else wrote them. And in a sense...this is true. Past me saw a different vision of the future and how all the pieces fit together. Looking back to that version of possible events is like looking into the mind of a different person because I have already walked different roads. All that can really be done about this...is to keep on adapting to the changing tides. Life is not static....and things are always changing.
I have been sorting through all of these papers and wiping clean the slate on everything that cannot be easily incorporated into three main goals. I will still keep searching and experimenting when something fits underneath one of these endeavors...but the importance of letting go of the stuff that isn't working out is key...and has a kind of power not to be underestimated. I believe in leaving some room for surprise...but will be working extra hard this year to stay as focused as possible to the 'core three' and anything related to that which moves me forward in some sort of really undeniable and valuable way.
My lifetime goals have been adapted around an incurable disease...and way past the point where I recognize them anymore. I do not talk about my neurological condition often enough...but some serious awareness needs to happen. It's hard calling myself a CRPS Survivor and holding on to the promise of those better days...because I am still doing the surviving. I feel more like a Warrior because the battle starts anew each day...and I just keep on fighting. Sometimes blindly...but most of the time with purpose. Dwelling on what could have been is a total waste of energy...so instead I like to find new and interesting ways to have a future again. This is the main motivation behind officially getting my shit together this year! I need to refocus my attention towards only the projects that will ensure that I will finally have real access to the natural medicine and alternative medical treatments that have always sadly been out of financial reach. I did receive an outpouring of help awhile back...but my health continues to deteriorate the longer that I go without other more expensive and ongoing kinds of treatments. We are talking about thousands of dollars here.
Nobody knows how much time they have left...but even with all the time in the world...it is never a bad idea to treat every day like it might be your last. Although dreams do not normally come true in just one day...I still feel fired up to be ferociously working on them should my time come. I have been asking myself what truly means the most to me right now. What makes my soul dance? And what makes me feel complete and entirely without lingering regret?
I don't have all of the answers...but I am closer than ever before to finding them out! Targeting those previously mentioned core goals has been essential to cleaning both the clutter in my mind and immediate surroundings. With inner life and outer life made sparkling clean...I am ready to make some waves! Even though my life has been shattered into pieces over and again there are unlimited chances to make it whole again. If I have learned anything lasting in living these 28 years...it is that I stumble and fall down a lot. I make mistakes and go the wrong way all too often. But I am the only person that needs to make sense of this...to learn from it and to feel like my efforts are enough. With hard work...focus and determination I will build life that I want! Which in essence isn't much more than a home...the means to be healthy and support myself and enough abundance to make the word a better place too.