Each day this week my morning started with a strong urge to deep clean something. From the moment I opened my eyes I found myself imagining how satisfying it would be to transform a space from dirty to clean, from disorganized to everything having its home. One day it was the bathroom, from the toilet to the shower, another day it was the kitchen from the countertops to the pantry. Scrubbing, sweeping, slowly cleansing my space and transmuting the energy all around it.
There’s something so magical about having the energy and motivation to complete something that’s been on your mind, even if it only recently popped in. Cleaning is one of the most tangible ways to practice energy work because you’re quite literally transforming a space, the energy in it, and the items that occupy it. Everything is energy and if you bring intention to whatever it is you do, anything can become an offering.
There’s a palpable change in the environment when that happens, and when you can bring mindful awareness of what’s being moved, thrown away, cleaned thoroughly, or properly placed it’s like you’re waving the magic wand of change.
That’s what nesting has felt like to me and it’s been a lot of fun.
Exhausting but fun.
Exhausting because it’s coming in waves of urges that I can’t seem to suppress or logically wish away. So during the moments when I’ve attempted to tell myself “just relax you can get some of this tomorrow,” there’s a loud inner voice that instantly responds “let’s just see how much we can accomplish now.”
It’s been interesting, however, to maneuver this energy work with a big belly and swollen limbs. There are absolutely times when my body is speaking louder than my thoughts and forces me into a nap, or at least sitting down in between tasks. And believe me, I listen.
It’s been a loud reminder that intuition isn’t always woo-woo. Sometimes it’s incredibly practical, it offers guidance that you know is best for you but maybe you’ve been too distracted to listen.
Somewhere in between reorganizing the pantry and elevating my swollen ankles, there’s a voice of wisdom guiding me throughout my day. After more than half a year of transformation and change grounding me into the physical realm, it’s been pleasant to feel my intuitive senses reignite within me. Whether it’s coming in the form of nesting for my sweet babe’s arrival, or suddenly feeling like an open channel with the ability to write for three hours straight, I’m grateful, I’m open, I’m willing to be guided.
Finding gratitude in the lack of control
This week I’m grateful for the bursts of energy that have been followed by the inevitable winddown. From starting off my day like a firecracker, with focus and intention on specific tasks that are calling me, to the hot shower and red raspberry leaf tea routine at night, these moments are sculpting something beautiful in my home.
In an incredibly physical way, all these little moments are teaching me the importance of balance, the feeling of doing and being, listening and taking action. More importantly, it’s helping me understand the balance of that which I can control and that which never was in my control. When I tune into the rhythms of my intuition and the direction it’s guiding me each day, I become more trusting of the universal wisdom that is all around me. For all of the lessons I’ve learned, there are another thousand I have yet to learn, and that’s such a wonder.
Each time I follow my intuition the universe ushers me closer to where I’m meant to be, all while miracles and shifts are taking place behind the scenes, most of which I’ll never even know about. Something as small as following the “urge” or “inkling” to clean my kitchen countertop could be the smallest step in a larger vision unfolding for me. And the more I listen the deeper I establish trust in what’s to come. The more I trust in what’s unfolding the easier it will be to practice gratitude for it all, not just what I believe is working out or in what I am in control of, but for the unseen unknown parts of my life as well.
These days I’m finding gratitude in the unknown because I’m faithfully falling in love with this next chapter way before I know what’s written. I’m choosing to be grateful rather than be worried because the vibration is higher and honestly it just feels better. Even if I’m blissfully unaware of what’s to come at least I’m choosing to do so from a positive standpoint. I’m choosing to surrender the illusion of control for the belief that something greater has my back. So while admitting there will always be areas of life I can’t control, I’m also willing to accept the areas I can-like my thoughts, my mindsets, and my beliefs about what’s on the other side of the unknown chapter.
And that, my friend, is the greatest power any of us can harness.
How I’m Practicing Presence
I’m at the point in my pregnancy where the baby can come in the next 5 days or 5 weeks and still be considered in the realm of healthy. It’s easy to get wrapped up in wondering when things are going to start to happen, looking for all the signs, and listening to the old wives’ tales about which gender the baby will be. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t swept up in those “what-ifs” every now and then. But the truth is this is the ultimate unknown territory and as a mindfulness teacher it’s the greatest curriculum I’ve come across yet.
Not knowing what motherhood looks like, not knowing exactly when my child will come earthside, now knowing how it’ll feel or what to expect, it’s the perfect opportunity to remain open. There will always be moments when worry or doubt creep in and in those moments they’ll be brief pauses between the thoughts that follow. In those pauses, I see the string of narratives created in my mind and recognize when I’ve gotten lost in the thick of it all, allowing the unknown to consume me rather than cultivate curiosity and openness.
It’s interesting, you can try and plan every detail of how something will go but the truth is everything is unknown. Sometimes it feels like that’s how the media and society promote pregnancy, as something to prepare for from the nursery and toys to the schedules and types of parenting. But as a first-time parent, I’m becoming a brand new version of myself that I’ll have to learn and figure out as I go. And that’s okay. Planning is okay and so is not knowing it all, making room for both I believe is key.
Something as transformational and unpredictable as pregnancy can really drive home the point of not being in control, while simultaneously teaching me all the ways I am.
I can control my breathing when it’s time to calm down.
I can control whether I move my body or whether I allow myself to rest.
I can control whether I fuss over when the baby will arrive or whether I chose to be present.
I’m incorporating mindfulness practice by focusing my energy where I actually have a say while calling energy back from all of the worry and doubt that drains me.
To be present doesn’t necessarily mean to feel pleasant. It doesn’t mean I have to enjoy what’s currently unfolding or have control over it by any means. Presence, rather, is the choice to be here now, no matter what. To practice presence is to be where my feet are, to observe my thoughts, to notice my attitudes and body language, and the energy I’m offering at this moment.
It’s only in the present moment that I can recognize the ways my mind is driving me to nest, or when my body is begging me to take a break from moving so much, or when it’s time to hydrate and take some deep breaths. Life is happening in the present moment always, never in the past or the future, so each time I notice myself worrying or planning or assuming I know what comes next, I remember I’m not living. I’m oscillating between thoughts of the past and the future, constantly ignoring what the present is currently offering.
The beauty of this practice is that it’s a practice, meant to be revisited consistently. The present moment doesn’t take it personally when I’ve been lost in thought, instead, it invites me back in with grace and compassion. It invites me with a deep inhale and a slow exhale.
To embrace what is.
To be here.
What is the present moment offering you right now?
What is it inviting you to experience?