It is almost Passover, time to celebrate the freedom we had been given. A holiday known in Hebrew as Chag hacherut, the freedom holiday.
People are preparing by cleaning their houses, emptying their cabinets of any food that they cannot eat during the holiday, called Chametz (anything that is unfit to consume for the holiday), and getting in the spirit of renewal and rebirth.It is springtime 🙂
Even in COVID time, we mark this time, we celebrate this time. We honor this time. Life does go on!
The miracle of Passover is about the Hebrews gaining freedom, physical freedom. Into the vast desert they went, a seemingly empty place where they gained their identity, reminding us that opening ourselves to new experiences can only happen when we are in a desert of our own.
Let’s apply this simple concept to our own lives. I call it–
Declutter and reclaim
Being in the desert exposes and reveals our identity. When we cannot hide behind anything, we are exposed. When we let go of the baggage—figuratively spiritually and physically—we create inner desert-like conditions. What we notice when we let go and declutter are new ideas, new opportunities, and our core beings coming to life.
I know many of us cannot go to the Sahara Desert or the Sinai Peninsula to experience a physical desert environment and conditions. Too bad for us!
We can, however, create a form of emptiness, for just a short daily practice in our busy schedules to reconnect with who we truly are.
Imagine for a second if you’re standing in the middle of the desert. Would you see a lone plant sprouting from the ground? Of course, you would, because it will be noticeable. It is, after all, the only one!
On the other hand, if you are in the jungle, would you be able to detect the differences, the numbers, the quality, of all the trees and bushes around you? Of course not.
Sometimes to see the value of each individual idea, or to gain an understanding of who we truly are, we need to create a desert-like experience in our own mind.
How? By emptying our minds and focusing on one aspect of our being. Our physicality- our breathing, sight, sounds, tactile.
In Positive Intelligence terms we refer to it is PQ. Positive Intelligence Quotient. For a few minutes throughout the day, we take a break, letting go of our thoughts and create a “desert” in our mind. When we do that practice consistently, we gain awareness, and new creative ideas pop up, just like the plant in the desert. We are seeing the idea manifest itself. Why? Because we were ready for it. We have been trained to find it. The ground is empty and fertile for that one idea- we trust that it will show itself.
Have you seen the movie Karate Kid? In the movie I especially remember the phrase, “wax on and wax off” as the old men trained the younger protégé how to practice resilience and sustain focus.
These days I look at it as wax off: empty your mind; wax on: allow new thoughts and ideas to enter.
Declutter and reclaim.
The Hebrews had to declutter who they were—the slaves they had been for hundreds of years—and reclaim their essence as free people and, later on, a nation. They couldn’t have done it if they didn’t declutter.
If we find ourselves behaving in a certain way, gaining habits that may not be as productive or that cause us to be unhappy, it is perhaps time to declutter. We may be in a jungle 🙂
Once the Hebrews decluttered, reclaiming was the only new choice.
The question is what we reclaim. We can reclaim who we had been and continue in that same path for years to come.
Or we can reclaim parts of our souls that had been quiet and dormant. We can reclaim the small voice whispering to us how we can show up for ourselves and for others. And declutter that which is not needed (pride, ego, anger, guilt, shame, stubbornness, control, and so on).
Declutter and reclaim.
What would you declutter? What feelings, behaviors, habits, would you want to let go of?
What would you want to regain? What new opportunities do you want to create for yourself? In your mind, body, and soul?
I am writing this blog as I’m visiting my daughter and my son-in-law. This visit is much longer than any visit I’ve ever done with anyone, anywhere. I am here for 10 weeks to help and celebrate before my children’s lives change forever as they will greet a new baby and expand their nuclear family. (And on a lighter note- co- workers at my children’s work were questioning if 10 weeks was too long of a stay. I am glad to report that not only were my children surprised that others don’t do it as well, but they were also feeling blessed that I am here! So, here you go! We are one week into it and things seem to be going ok! Read my future blogs to find out if anything changes!)
Back to Declutter and Reclaim.
To be fully present, here with my children, I had to declutter my own schedule, allowing time only for the important and crucial events to be inserted into the calendar.
Declutter and Reclaim so you can Regain. So you can see the benefits of your own decluttering.
And that requires making a choice. A decision to make a choice. A choice to make a decision.
My decision to reclaim has helped clarify my own identity as well as my priorities. My identity as a mother, wife, and soon-to-be grandma (Savta in Hebrew). My priorities as to what truly matters in my life and evaluating if I act out my spoken priorities.
Declutter to reclaim.
I invite you to consider this time, this season to reflect back on your life, your priorities, your wishes and desires.
- How can you create a desert like space in your life? How often can you visit this place?
- What can you let go? What are you willing to declutter from your daily schedule?
- Can you commit to 10 minutes a day sitting without doing anything, listening and noticing your breath, and when a distraction intervenes, letting it go?
I bet when you do that, you will see your desert’s lone beautiful plant!