Anyone who has ever been a devoted breastfeeding mum will probably relate to this easily but I think this may be relevent to many more such scenarios so bear this one out if you will.
Weaning This is not a straightforward process. What in life is? If it’s a process at all it usually involves many convoluted twists and turns, backs and fills and sometimes the odd devil’s Switchback.
Like any process I am finding the only way to keep my head above the choppy waters of chaos is to really live in the moment and in my feeling body, not my thinking head.
I am learning (finally) that the head, or the thinking self at least, wherever that’s really located, is great when it comes to following prescriptive routes to a destination; turn left at the corner shop and go straight on till you come to a white office building etc.
However, when it comes to matters of timing, especially with a little one who has no mood filter, control management or desire modulator, it’s a whole new ball game.
Just like the ones you used to play throwing the ball against the wall, you never quite knew the angle it would ping next when it hits a different brick or paving slab.
Every throw is different, every catch unique and if you remember it took a lot of mindful attention in order to keep catching and throwing the ball in some sort of rhythm without losing momentum.
The same goes for my process toward minimalism.
There is no way I’m going to get there in a straight line. Forget it! This is a deeply intuitive process that has no complete end goal in sight. Only an ideal.
How does that work? Well, by now I have done a few years work on defining my wants, my needs and my desires and now I’m onto the dirty work of actually letting stuff go, culling the excess and purging that which no longer suits, all of which is correct and tickety boo.
But oh is it a long drawn out affair for me. The clothing pile has once again appeared on the landing floor and I’ve actually arranged a car boot with my friend who is accompanying me in the purging process. I’m only doing it if it’s not raining (we both agree on this) and if I can’t get out of bed that early then, well, back to the charity shops.
I have a nasty habit of putting stuff out to be ‘donated’ and not doing it immediately (it’s Sunday, or half past four…whatever) and the clothes suddenly look oh so attractive and I find a use for them for the first time in 15 years! Yes I really do keep things forever. Entirely sentimental.
How are these things similar?
Well, inasmuch that they are both highly intuitive processes that involve a definite outcome (baby not on boob and clutter not in-house) but will take their time and winding ways to get there. The processes both involve quite high degrees of emotional growth and resilience to avoid pitfalls and unwanted consequences of not following through (thirty year old having ‘bitty’ and living in paper mountain!).
Both processes, however, do have their natural progressions that would be hard to miss and thankfully nature will lend a big hand if I can simply trust the path that is opening before me as I step into the latest abyss.
Sometimes it’s as if, like Michael Jackson in his Billy Jean video, the way lights up beneath us, but only when we step on it!
I think there’s another song in there somewhere.
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