I openly admitted, a few days ago, out loud, in public, that I am a book hoarder. I was given the privilege of rearranging and merchandising the book section at Tushita Heaven. (I've started "working" there part time for fun and education.) It's true, there is a pile of books on the floor in the sunroom as I write this. I have an odd affinity, a strong attraction, a sense of pleasure and completeness when I have a book. Books, like cigarettes, were very early safe and cozy companions in my life. I could spend hours at Northshire or Barnes & Noble, more so than a library I like it when the books are shown off to their advantage, shamelessly marketed not just clustered, sorted and filed... but I digress...
Anyway... what I've noticed (now that I'm actually awake and noticing things - THANK God!) is the chain reactions initiated by those few hours merchandizing books... Well let me begin by saying a book got me the job at Tushita. I borrowed a photography book from the owner, Dawn Hall's, husband. I engaged David to teach me more about photography... When he requested his book back I returned it to Tushita rather than drive it to his house. I met Dawn in the shop and the rest is history.
The book selection at Tushita is wonderful, of course, reiki, yoga, mindfulness, death, freedom, loads and loads on stones & crystals (that's a whole different section), motherhood, weight-loss, self help, de-cluttering... The book by Karen Kingston that I referenced in an earlier post was there... another book related God wink... (Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui)... I'd never heard of the book before now it shows up twice in as many weeks... think I should buy it? (and read it of course)
As I'm browsing and sorting and playing in ecstasy, working, I mean! A couple of titles particularly attract me... a pretty thin-ish paperback that looks like ancient text papers by Mike Dooley... Leveraging the Universe and Engaging Life's Magic... anything with magic in it can grab me... what a sucker... anyway. On the back of the book was an ad for a daily "Message from the Universe" email. I signed up with my phone, on the spot.
I was moved and the first email I received was regarding signing up to listen to and watch all the 100 speakers and authors who participated in the 2016 Hay House World Summit for FREE. I didn't know about this. I get Hay House emails for writing but, honestly, haven't been reading them lately. Anyhow... the free period was about to expire (my bad) so I paid $197 for forever digital access to all of it. Hold on... here's the cool part that's only beginning to manifest... the talks are awesome, I started to download them... but there's also online courses and a few movies (15). One of the online courses is ... wait for it...
Judy Hall's Introduction to Crystals... she wrote the Crystal Bibles (1, 2 & 3) that I had just been restocking at the shop... are you shitting me!!!??? I've listened to just the first two lessons and I'm already so much more knowledgeable... I'm going to recommend it to Dawn for new employees. I was going to an AA Anniversary meeting this morning and I'm so excited I'm going to finish this post then listen to more lessons instead.
OK... the next cool magical book connection is a book that also took my attention that day, Emergence by Derek Rydall. I just started getting monthly credits again on Audibles and I bought this book on audio. I'll report back in more detail later, I've only just started listening, but right off there is something intuitively correct about what he's saying... here's the little intro bit from Amazon. I'll explain in my own words later on...
"In his bestselling book Emergence, Derek Rydall helps you throw aside the self-help books and recognize one simple, radical truth: the answer is already in you.
The harder we try to change, the deeper in the hole we get. We find a new partner but have the same old fights. We strive for an ever-bigger paycheck but end up broke at a higher income bracket.
This is what happens when the basic principle of life—the Law of Emergence—is disrupted, stopping you from knowing that you are the perfect you. Like an acorn is a perfect acorn that becomes a perfect oak tree, there is not a part of you from beginning to end that isn't exactly what you should be."
There's so much more on the subject of magical books but that's certainly enough for now. Blissful listening or reading to YOU!
One of the huge fringe benefits of the work that I've done downsizing, organizing, sorting and "re-homing" such a huge array of stuff is my level of appreciation for special things.
Special being a completely relative term. It is special to me... because, just because I said so. The lovely part is I don't have to explain or say why. But I can... because I've actually thought it through and actually carefully consider each purchase. (It's a good habit to get into. All I have to do is think about whether or not I will use it or just have to agonize over getting rid of it later on.) Case in point, there was a neighborhood tag sale down the road today. I did stop and walked to each sale and chatted with the proprietors... I bought two things: a hand made bowl that Snickers can use, a beautifully crafted colorful short shallow dish, the owner was the artist, Carol. I passed by quite a few treasures and interesting things... Nope, no thanks, no, no, no...
The second item a set of mixing, baking bowls the perfect shade of light turquoise... ribbed on the outside, two chips only on one of the four bowls. I have a fancy bowl for my salad eating but it's HUGE... so these are more practical and as it turns out very special. The owner said they belonged to her grandmother, Mary, born in 1904 an immigrant at 17 from Czechoslovakia. The bowls have a Weller pottery mark and were made in the 1920's. SCORE - Photo above...
My acquisitions have practically stopped and I'm happy when I think of something that I have a valid excuse to go out and buy. Like groceries... even there I'm so careful now to be sure that I will actually USE all the food that I purchase. The quick point I guess is I'm grateful that I have the awareness to distinguish and appreciate things... all around me.
This should not be such a difficult, torturous, agonizing, vexing question... I guess it's just me? A testament to the inner turmoil and furry, fuzziness? If I knew myself and wasn't so conflicted, it would be easy to answer this question? I'm just guessing...
Back to Anne Cushman's article in Tricycle (Spring 2005). The book she's referring to, in the article, was written by Karen Kingston (Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui) and published in 1999 (according to Amazon). The book recommends asking the following three questions regarding each item as you sort...
I find this particularly interesting because there is a recent author whose book has gone "viral" "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. Now her latest book is "Spark Joy." What I find so curious is that the basic concept is exactly the same as Kingston's book and probably countless others along the way. Slightly different words with variable practices and processes to arrive at the same end goal... Joy - Love - Lifted Spirits and de-cluttered spaces and minds. (Side note... book wise, it's a new generation with a different jargon... note to self, research how often the same books present with only slightly different advice on similar subjects.. maybe some are due that I know something about =.)
For me, as I'm noticing, there's a distinct theme... it comes down to awareness first and foremost. Maybe that's obvious to everyone else and they just "get it" and move on. For me it's an ongoing, never ending awakening. The proverbial onion peeling over and over. Awareness of the circumstances presented by the senses and then the resulting feelings available due to the perspective on the circumstances. You can, and many people are, totally happy in a cluttered space... mad scientists and all. They're happy because their perspective on the stuff allows for joy... good for them! I have no need or desire to take their stuff away to make them happy based on some socially acceptable, cultural fascination with organization. Who am I to judge? I know what works for me and, personally, I'm mildly disorganized. I'd be a mess if I was worried about everything being perfectly in it's place all the time. Life's too short.
What I do notice is that people are frequently unaware that their clutter is costing them time or causing some mental turmoil, restlessness, upheaval or mild annoyance. Step one be aware, then comes that action step... what to do about it? Awareness level number two... what to do with it and/or why are you holding on to it?
In the article Anne realizes that "It's not the things themselves that I cling to, but the memories that swirl around them." For Anne it eventually comes down to a shift in perspective which provides guidance and motivation... "On a deeper level, it's about balancing the twin poles of spiritual life: cherishing life and holding it sacred, while knowing that it will pass away. It's about learning to care for the things and people that are precious to me - and, when it's time, freely letting them go... The joy comes not from trying to keep things forever, but from keeping them well... "
I found this inspiring because it is so eloquently and thoughtfully expressed. It assisted me in clarifying my function as a professional organizer which is NOT to inflict some pre-determined culturally acceptable way of being or lay down the law of some best practices and perfected procedures. It's really to serve as a guide on a journey of awareness. Allowing the client to discover their attachments, breakthroughs, and perspectives all along the way. Sweet! Thanks Anne Cushman and Karen Kingston.
I "accidentally" came across an article in a stack of magazines on a random shelf at a client's home last week. The magazine was Tricycle (Spring 2005). I'd never heard of it. I did, however, open right to an article by Anne Cushman titled "Clearing Clutter." Joe said I could have the magazine so I took it home and I actually read the article... (the fact that each phase of this process actually happened, is amazing in it's own right... ) Joe is a spiritual guy and so his books and magazines reflect that.
She begins by admitting that she's been cluttered her entire life and has no idea where to begin.. ".. I'm as clueless about how to create that kind of order as I was in first grade. I know how to organize an essay, a book, a yoga class. I can sit and watch my breath for hours at a stretch.... but my physical world still looks like it did three decades ago: papers spilling out of my desk and me hunching in front of it so the nuns won't see."
She proceeds to research organization and finally gets help from Karen Kingston author of Clear Your Clutter. The reason I'm going through this build up... ? I absolutely love these lines and the awakening and practice behind them...
"And to keep clutter from immediately reaccumulating, I discover, I have to SLOW DOWN - I have to take the time to close the cabinet door, screw the cap on, put the coats AWAY without galloping headlong toward some future goal I view as more important...
"This kind of mindfulness forces a kind of embodied, full bodied living, with awareness of every gesture. This way of living takes time. But it also gives time back. It gives me back my life, every moment of it."
more on this coming soon... there's at least two other fabulously expressed breakthroughs I plan to share from this article. In the meantime, here is another jingly, Suessy shameless self promotion poem.
Prick up your ears,
Dust off your lenses,
Listen, watch out
Going out of their senses
A referral for me
Looks distraught, overwhelmed
Is crushed by the prospect
Of the stuff in their realm
Let them know it’s ok
Someone can assist
Onward & Upward is here
Have them call to enlist!
I've been dragging big time, forcing myself, frequently without success, to attend a weekly business networking group. I've been in for two years... I absolutely love the energy, the referrals and the people. I was sitting in this very seat on Tuesday morning and I remembered that I realized last week, the group meets every Thursday morning, that if I'm prepared with something to say during the 40 second commercial portion of the program it might be more interesting and less stressful. I proceeded to write the following bits, jingles? I'm officially set for 8 weeks! They were a hoot to write, not hard at all. It was so much fun that I will definitely continue. Moral of the story, have fun, use your talents in odd and interesting ways (I am a poet!) and life is much more bearable and interesting! I'm only posting some of the total... I'll post them all on my Onward & Upward business facebook page. I think they have a bit of a Dr. Suess rhythm, fun!!
When a professional is called for,
To prod, plead and wheedle
To stack, shuffle, and clump
To cluster, pile and parcel
All the wayward stuff…
We maneuver, prioritize,
Consolidate and more
We’re planning experts
We concoct and devise
Assembling your assortment
Is what we do best!
Call Onward & Upward
Put us to the test!
If you are overwhelmed,
Over powered, over thrown
By a stuffy, cluttered space
In your office or your home…
There’s light in that tunnel
It’s in there, I swear
An assessment is needed
Let’s walk it through
It’s not all that dreadful
Please don’t be blue
Allow us to assist -
To discharge, release, set free
Your time, your money, your creativity.
Move Onward & Upward
We nourish productivity.
When the end of your rope
Is too close for comfort
Your chattels submerge you
You can’t cope
You’ve tried on your own,
Bought all the books,
To wrangle and sort
Played all the games
Yearned for support
Without much success
To Finally report
Don’t give up the ghost
Pick up the phone
Call Onward & Upward
You’re not alone.
Odd question? I think not... most mature - ish people I know are consistent and most consistent people seem mature to me anyhow. I guess that's not an ipso facto conclusion based on what I remember from logic, plus our terms are a bit loosy goosy. So let's get down. Initial observations... I couldn't find any links online in images which included consistency and maturity. Consistency is apparently required for success. Maturity has to do with behaving "properly" as an adult whatever that means. The quotes varied greatly. Suffice it to say I learned something and I'm not wrong... nice double negative and appropriate.
Consistency = noun, plural consistencies.
1. a degree of density, firmness, viscosity, etc.:The liquid has the consistency of cream.
2. steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.:There is consistency in his pattern of behavior.
3. agreement, harmony, or compatibility, especially correspondence or uniformity among the parts of a complex thing: consistency of colors throughout the house.
4. the condition of cohering or holding together and retaining form; solidity or firmness.
Maturity = noun - NO HELP HERE
1. the state of being mature; ripeness:The fruit will reach maturity in a few days.
2. full development; perfected condition:maturity of judgment; to bring a plan to maturity.
3. Finance a) the state of being due. b) the time when a note or bill of exchange becomes due.
Mature = adjective (OK - OVERLOAD.)
1. complete in natural growth or development, as plant and animal forms:
2. ripe, as fruit, or fully aged, as cheese or wine.
3. fully developed in body or mind, as a person: She was a mature woman who took her family responsibilities seriously.
4. noting or pertaining to an adult who is middle-aged or older (used euphemistically):
discrimination against mature applicants.
5. pertaining to or characteristic of full development: a mature appearance; fruit with a mature softness.
6. completed, perfected, or elaborated in full by the mind: mature plans.
7. (of an industry, technology, market, etc.) no longer developing or expanding; having little or no potential for further growth or expansion; exhausted or saturated.
8. intended for or restricted to adults, especially by reason of explicit sexual content or the inclusion of violence or obscene language: mature movies.
9. composed of adults, considered as being less susceptible than minors to explicit sexual content, violence, or obscene language, as of a film or stage performance:
for mature audiences only.
10. Finance. having reached the limit of its time; having become payable or due:
a mature bond.
11. Medicine/Medical. a) having attained definitive form or function, as by maturation of an epithelium from a basal layer. b) having attained the end stage of a normal or abnormal biological process:a mature boil.
12. Geology. (of a landscape) exhibiting the stage of maximum topographical diversity, as in the cycle of erosion of a land surface.
Apparently I'm more fiercely independent than even I imagined. I once thought, and was quite sure that being a monk on a mountain top is the way to go. Surely I could achieve that to some extend right in the midst of the chaos of everyday life. Isolation is the enemy, says the AA code. Given my state of gutterdom and the fact that I have greatly reduced the number of meetings I attend, I may have to concede the truth of that.
I had my two year anniversary celebration last Friday and I almost didn't go. I was very grateful that I did go once I was there, especially once it was over. I guess I've been wrestled into thinking the worst of people based on the behavior of a few. The very thing that I loathe in the media and various family and friends. Maybe it's the weather or some astronomical astrological event I'm unaware of like Mercury Retrograde on steroids?
I've recovered a bit of my more sunny disposition and apparently odd and somewhat sarcastic point of view. I hesitate to write it, afraid I'll jinx it since I'm not sure how to replicate the resurrection. I spent time with Marc, a friend, working with a long time client and making some much needed headway. He's experienced a funky mood lately as has another friend. Varying degrees of the same dense muck that I've been wading through. How does that saying go? Misery loves company? It also helps to know you're not alone. That alone lifts the veil a tad.
I've found an interesting online community for poetry as well... All Poetry. Recommended, astonishingly, by Chris my partner. It's not really a forum in the manner he's used to but it is curious and fun. Finally, I'm working part time at a mineral and crystal shop, a veiled metaphysical shop really. How fun! What grand people and energy to spend my time around! So much, really SO MUCH to learn and remember. At any rate, sorry I was gone gutterish... I'm back.
Laurie Anne McCauley
Did that make you feel better?
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!