Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Your Inner Walk-In Closet

Over the course of this year, I’ve heard so many people talk about how everything in life seems crammed in.  There is the need to work longer hours, while still taking care of family and home life, and then there are the multiple ways we communicate via text, email, and social media that constantly divert our attention.  While the digital era has made life easier, it has also made heart centered communication and human connection more challenging.

I was recently talking to a friend about how life in New York City feels like an overstuffed walk-in closet.  Everything one could ever need or want is there, but we are so crammed in both physically and mentally, sometimes there isn’t enough space to see and appreciate what we have.  While NYC does have its own unique dynamic, I suspect many who don’t live here feel the same way.  In a modern, fast paced lifestyle, it’s very easy for the mind, body and spirit to mirror this and become like that overstuffed walk-in closet.  We’re constantly thinking and worrying about what’s next or getting overstimulated by messaging and social posts, and so our being does not get a chance to calibrate. 

When one cleans out a closet, there is a physical and emotional feeling of freedom and lightness.  Sometimes there is also a sense of gratitude due to all the wonderful things from the past that are rediscovered.  Perhaps this is why more and more people are turning to practices such as meditation, reiki, yoga and other disciplines that require the mind and body to surrender to the present.  They offer space for the “inner walk-in closet” to get cleared out.  The more regular the practice, the more fully one can return to center when life does get chaotic.  Taking the time to quiet the mind and calm the heart is one of the most empowering things you can do on a daily basis, and all it requires is you and a clear intention.  It allows us to move through life with more grace and take pleasure in and appreciate all that is good in the here and now.

With the onset of winter and shorter days, we have many holidays that celebrate light.  This is a great time to light a candle, quiet the mind and allow spirit to shed light on all the great gifts that reside within us.  I invite you to do this simple meditation I’ve written:

Inner Walk-In Closet Meditation

Read this meditation a few times before you begin, so you can remember the steps.  You can take as little as a few minutes to do this meditation or as long as a half hour or more.  Try doing it several times over the course of a few weeks and see how it evolves. 

Find a place to sit quietly in a chair or on a meditation cushion, or you can lie down on the floor.  You may wish to light a candle, burn some incense or play some soothing music.  Gently close your eyes and relax your facial muscles.  Take some slow deep breaths, expanding your lower abdomen on the inhale, allowing your body to release and relax on the exhale.

You see before you a door.  Take a few moments to examine the door, its color, texture and design, as well as the details of the doorknob.  As you do so, a light begins to stream from the gap between the door and the floor.  You turn the knob and find yourself stepping inside a walk-in closet.  Take a few moments to adjust to the light and look around you.  Are there boxes, books or clothes?  Or are there a lot of objects piled up inside?  Is it neat and organized or cluttered and in disarray?  Is it empty, or is it overstuffed and in need of purging?

As you look around, a box of some sort catches your eye.  You open the box and look inside.  Take some time to connect with what is in the box.  It could be an actual object or it could be something abstract like a color, sound or word.  What does it mean to you?  Is it something connected to your past?  Or does it remind you of a forgotten desire?  Does it symbolize something you’ve been trying to release from your life or does it represent advice for a challenge you are trying to overcome?  Or is it reminiscent of a happy memory?  It could be something that reminds you of a lost loved one or of someone you’ve wanted to contact.  The possibilities are endless, so take your time and connect with what is inside this box you have uncovered and what it means to you.

When you are ready decide what you will do with what is inside this box.  Will you use it or throw it away?  It may be time to release what is in there or it may be time to connect with the thoughts, feelings and ideas it inspires.

When the time feels right, take a few deep breaths, imagining you are stepping out and closing the door to the closet for now.  You can always return whenever you need to take inventory of your life or to empty out the mental and energetic clutter.  Gently open your eyes and write down any details you wish to remember.

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