“You know you’re blocking money from coming into your life, right?”
I stared, wide-eyed at my dear friend.
“…And you’re blocking a man.”
We were standing in my bedroom—my friend barely having crested the threshold when the words leapt from her mouth, and seemingly her heart. Among her many talents, she is a Feng Shui master and intuitive interior designer. She was waving her hands wildly as she stepped toward my bed.
“Honestly—Girl. All this stuff under your bed—it has to go. There should be nothing under your bed—“
“But…this is New York City.” I tried to justify, open-palmed.
Needless to say, I started a major spring-in-the-sweltering-heat-of-summer cleaning the moment she flew home.
The thing is, I had been wanting to deep clean, and change things up for a while. Like, three years a while. I had moved piles and boxes from here to there, but I hadn’t really been deep cleaning. I think it is difficult for us to truly see our own space. Especially, if you are like me, and have been in the same home for years. For as much as I love every little thing in its place, I had lost touch with the vibrancy—the motion—the flow of my home.
Part of me had still been holding onto the post-collegiate apocalyptic apartment syndrome whereby you can’t get rid of something until you can replace it with its brand-new equivalent—and why spend money on the brand-new equivalent if the older one works just fine. In college, that saved money could be spent on sports equipment, clothes, or concert tickets. In the big city, that saved money could go towards rent, food, or…rent.
The other part of me had been holding onto the sentimentality of some of the items, trinkets, appliances that had been gifts from special people, bought together with past loves, and reminders of those with whom I had spent formative time. They were special. Imbued with shared emotions and relationships.
However, as soon as my friend had woken me up to the possibility that my excess “stuff” was blocking both money and love, a tripwire was ignited.
I began to see the things around me…not only really see them, but feel them. I felt the once kinetic energy that used to course through each object now sit, stifled. I had spent years putting them back in their places around my apartment. Cleaning them, then putting them back in their places.
But nothing can really be held in place without withering. Trying to hold onto something so tightly, is like Lenny from Of Mice and Men with his “pretty bird, pretty bird.” You end up crushing its spirit, killing it. We cannot grip life and all of the things that we manifest within our experience so tightly. We end up choking them. We end up depriving them of oxygen, lifeblood, adventure—out of fear, a sense of lack, or even simply trying to remember, or return to something that used to be. Movement is essential to the very nature of energy—of molecules, atoms, quarks. We are made up of energy, and everything we collect, buy, receive is made up of energy—of molecules, atoms, quarks. And energy moves. Therefore we—and what we have, own, use, manifest, desire—all of it must move too. It is our natural state. Our optimal state of well-being. It is what makes us feel most alive.
It was time to allow my “stuff” to move—move on from my ownership, move on to someone else, or just move it out from its place in the corner where it had lived for years. It was time for me to trust that every single experience—every shared moment with those I have loved, every gift exchanged—lives inside of me. It was time to trust that I was a living shadow box full of every moment, every person, every dream that had made me who I was in this, the only moment in which we perpetually live. The NOW. It was time to embrace the fullness, the newness of the Now. Movement. Change. Progress. Our mind fights it, but our spirit demands it. And our life is renewed by it. Our life is supremely better for it.
I realized my acupuncturist had been talking about this for years in likening it to getting my Chi moving throughout my body in order to reduce the point of pain and inflammation. In other words, congestion is a killer. Motion is healing. My room was congested. So I cleared it out. It was time for me to allow my external atmosphere to reflect the perfection of our very human nature: An ever-evolving, brilliant collection of genius cells and molecules in constant motion.
I now probably have the only bed in New York City with zero storage boxes underneath.
…But I did receive a totally random and unexpected check in the mail the day after I took the last box out of my apartment. Just sayin’.
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]