Today, I would like to share with you a strategy for releasing stress to the clouds.
As I look around in my library, I see books which I have never read, some well – used, and many about which I have long forgotten. There are also paintings, photographs, certificates, awards and dust -gathering souvenirs. I peek into my clothes closet and get the same experience – dresses of all ages, sizes, fabrics, styles and colours. The storeroom is replete with tools and many other items for which an inventory does not exist. Locked away in the kitchen closets are cutlery and dishes – some of which would make interesting museum pieces. As age advances and memory recedes, do you too wonder- Where do we and all these possessions go from here?
In general, we are acquisitive beings. We spend much of our lives acquiring material possessions such as homes, cars, trophies, souvenirs, clothes, jewellery, gadgets, books, paintings, collections of videos, music and speeches. On our computers, we manage the excesses by opting not to store only to the drive but also in the cloud. At the same time, we are compiling and storing internally, unseen projects and significant memories. Periodically, some of us do external and internal spring cleaning, thus managing to reduce the clutter. However, for others, it takes a crisis to remind us of the material and emotional clutter that has been mushrooming in our lives.
The intervention of the corona virus pandemic and the associated lifestyle changes have made many of us realize the excesses and redundancies in our various external and internal collections. At each phase of our lives – children transitioning to adults; workers transitioning to retirees; couples and families separating through death, divorce or migration; as well as through academic milestones, goals and projects accomplished or abandoned: all of these add to that mental, emotional and spiritual pile. At the same time, the truth is that little concerted effort is made to reduce the pile. Not surprisingly therefore, sometimes this internal clutter may cause us to feel stressed or overwhelmed.
At critical points, many of us have reduced our physical clutter by down-sizing, gifting, selling or simply throwing it away. However , we tend to leave the inner decluttering to chance. I would like to share a strategy for reducing that mushrooming emotional clutter by releasing the helium balloon, in other word, releasing the clutter to the clouds.
Recently, I completed one book project and I am about to focus on another. For the former- the Ferncourt book, I had researched, written, designed, promoted and am now awaiting a response from a sluggish market. This experience has produced its own bundle of internal clutter and stress.
Convinced that I have done my best, I know that I need to transfer some of this stress from my hard drive to the cloud. I have this conviction that I need to stand still and let the outcome happen. And so, I am envisioning the act of allowing all the energy that I can muster to flow out from my head, heart , veins, nerves, feet and hands into a helium balloon and imagining the weight of doubt, fear, effort, work and ego being absorbed into and annihilated inside the balloon. And before the balloon rises and soars, I visualize its contents being transformed, transmitting to me the weightlessness of hope, love, compassion and faith.
I relax, retreat, exhale , even levitate, releasing the doubts about the future and achieving the certainty of movement towards a greater good, in a vast universe, towards a larger cause directed by the workings of a being – much bigger than you and I. Perhaps your balloon may encounter mine and declutter together in the clouds beyond.