Major changes need to be acknowledged and celebrated in some way.
My daughter went off to college this fall. Not that far away… it’s only a couple of hours drive from home. But, not here.
I was the stay-at-home parent and was with her daily the first four years of her life. Pre-School and later Kindergarten were big transitions for her… and for me.
Then while she was in middle school, our family separated in divorce. I got a place close by and she was with me at least a couple of days every week… five days including the weekend every other week. Although she was here at least half the time. Only, half the time was still hard, too.
Since I work from home, the structure of the my days and weekends revolved around when she was here. And as she became more independent, when I was the on-duty parent.
Now, I’ll see her every now and again for a long weekend or her school vacations, but she’ll spend a lot of that time with friends. It is the end of life as we know it.
She is off on a grand adventure / challenge / walkabout. I’m… still here.
So, what to do?
I am now in what Jane Fonda call’s the ‘Third Act’ of life. What now? What will fill this new space / time. What will I do for the rest of my life? What is this new Walk About, for me?
You probably know I’m a shamanic practitioner. But, as weird as it may seem, I’m really ritual and ceremony averse. My rituals take a few moments. Reminders. Moments of connection.
In my work, there is not drumming or chanting to shift consciousness. I just… shift into the consciousness required and ‘go’ where I need to go. No drama. Nothing to see here, citizens. Go on with your lives…
But, this life transition needed a ceremony. I needed to acknowledge the transition. I considered moving to a new place, but I am not really ready, I didn’t find a suitable place and there is a lot to clean up and clear out before I move anywhere else.
So, I decided that ‘turning my life around’ was the appropriate metaphor.
My living room had the entertainment area on one end and my home office on the other. Their positions were determined by happenstance.
The cable TV connection was in one corner. I guess that’s where the TV will go. This wall is exactly the size of my desks. I guess this is the office. It was, as the contractor lingo goes… quick and dirty. And, it worked ‘well enough’ for these nine years. But, as my friends might say, the Feng Shui was not so good.
But, now I don’t need cable TV anymore. I can stream what I want to watch through my wifi connection.
So I could make the living room make sense. Put the entertainment and bookcases near the entrance and the kitchen creating what will be a pretty and comfortable entertainment space. Put the office in the back corner where it would be less prominent when hanging out relaxing.
but moving a room of furniture is still a ‘move.’ And, after several attempts to find help fell through. I decided to just do it myself. How hard could it be?
Three days of lifting, pushing and dragging later I was exhausted and hurting in places I forgot I could hurt. But, it was a good hurt. The hurt of accomplishment. The hurt that says… not too bad for an old guy, eh? And the hurt that is part of any demanding initiation.
Then, of course, everything was in disarray.
Things needed to find their new places. Things that really had no use needed to find a new home. Giveaway is good for the soul.
It’s amazing how much stuff can be collected and left unexamined for years. I had stuff from my old business doing graphic design and illustration. Stuff people gave me years ago. Clothes that had not been worn in years.
Many years ago a wise man told me that, to grow spiritually, clean out your closets.
The unexamined ‘stuff’ in the dark corners of your closets are the physical representation of the unexamined stuff you are not letting go of from the dark corners of your consciousness.
Well, if that’s the case, I’m on the fast track.
Except when the process gets stalled and I can’t seem to do anything. That is the resistance and fear percolating up to be released. Sometimes it shows up as old or new pains in my body. Or being tired and unfocused. It’s all part of the healing process. The obstacles are the path.
Letting go, like getting older, is not for sissies.
I am participating in a healing initiation
with a good friend who is a profound healer / priestess. I told her about my process of ‘turning my life around’ to start a new phase in my life.
I also asked if I could burn something in the sacred ceremonial fire. The paperwork from a very trying time in life some twenty years ago which I had shredded, needed more of a ritual and cleansing.
Knowing my aversion to ritual, she giggled and said… you have created two sacred ceremonies to mark a major turning point. Who knows what else will change now?
And, indeed… who knows?
On this path the watchword is expect the unexpected. And enjoy it! The shaman’s only question is, ‘what would you have me do now?’
It’s lovely sitting on the porch with my laptop listening to the crickets and tree frogs peeping. I hope they all get lucky.
I gotta run. Have to text my kid.