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Cultural Butterfly


Moving Into a VERY Different Life: Unpacking myself before I can unpack my things

Recently I moved to a house with a yard that I felt strongly drawn to and resonant with. I was really looking forward to creating my new home here. However, when I started trying to unpack boxes, I discovered there is “not enough room” in the kitchen and in the house in general for all my things to fit in the usual way. And the storage that’s there is configured differently than I’m used to. It doesn’t lend itself easily to my old ways of doing things. Oops! I can’t just take everything and stuff it in to this new place like I’ve done in the past. Uh-oh. Now what?

I’ve made some attempts to re-imagine where things could go, with no success. My usual problem-solving approaches haven’t worked. I’ve been stuck, blocked, and shut down. Can you relate? Basically, I haven’t been able to unpack my things, settle in, and create my new home, and I can’t just “power through” using the Nike “just do it” method.

Trying to overcome, conquer, and control this process (our usual Empire cultural model) isn’t possible and isn’t going to work. Trust me, I’ve tried. In fact, every time I even think about doing that, I feel sick to my stomach. It’s as if my body is saying, “Nope! We’re not going to ‘stomach’ that anymore.” I’ve had serious gastrointestinal distress with much releasing. It’s been very uncomfortable, with no energy to create in a new way.

On Day 6 I finally had an inspired idea: to first start clearing the extraneous things I no longer need or want to use and start putting those things in empty boxes to give away. That felt right, but I still couldn’t do it. I was still blocked.

On Day 7 a friend reflected to me that I’m starting a VERY different life. That rang true at a deep level. I realized I’m not just bringing my same “old” life (identity, beliefs, habits, what I’m doing, etc.) and putting it into this new place, like I’ve always done in the past. This is totally new territory on every level--being as well as doing. I’m gestating—probably more like birthing—a very different way of being in and with life.

On Day 8 I had the next inspired idea: to do that clearing consciously, with appreciation, respect, and reverence for all those things and how they’ve contributed and served me, and giving gratitude and blessing them to move on to their next right place. That felt right, but I still couldn’t do it, couldn’t move, was still blocked.

On the night of Day 9 and early morning of Day10, I felt strongly inspired and drawn to get very quiet, really connect with this place more deeply, and be in ceremony. I’d been feeling that urge for a couple of days but hadn’t quite realized it or honored it yet. Along with that, I felt a deep commitment to be in “right relationship” with this land, with this place, with the earth and all her beings. This was a whole new, different level than I have ever touched into before, and I felt deep peace and joy. As I realized this, I felt more connected and my body began to relax.

The next morning, I sat outside with my tea, being present with the land, looking at it and feeling it with a different awareness (not so mental). Then I had the urge to unpack the set of new pots and pans I had bought that had been sitting here for a week. As I did, I realized I wanted to do that with respect, reverence, appreciation and blessing. That felt good! Energy was moving!

That freed up energy on Day 10 to start doing some of the more mental “to-do’s”, which I accomplished with satisfaction. However, I was also aware of what I’ve called the “pusher/striver/driver” energy pattern kicking in. You know, the part that says, “Well, that’s a start, but you’ve still got all these other things that really need doing. You should be able to do more!” You know that one, right? I wanted to do more and tried to, but couldn’t. Sure enough, that night the “sick to my stomach” feeling kept me awake most of the night and continued the next day. Ugh!

I’m not finished with this moving experience--or it’s not finished with me yet! I’m still very much in the inquiry of being in right relationship with life, with the land, and with daily tasks. As I see it, my experience is a microcosm of the cultural shift we’re collectively bumbling and bumping our way through. This is very new, uncharted territory with no maps.

Is this what becoming a “butterfly” looks and feels like?

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