Have you noticed that minimalism has been getting a lot of attention lately? I started hearing about it a couple of years ago when the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way to Banish Clutter Forever by Japanese organizing consultant and author, Marie Kondo, was first published. But then a couple of months ago, I saw the movie Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things and I was hooked. I could see the fear coming up into my husband’s eyes as I reached for a pen and paper while the movie was just getting started. You see, between the two of us, he is much better at picking out the movies and he realized that he just picked one that was going to affect us in a very personal way and soon. He could see me lighting up with excitement and motivation and he seemed to sense that change was coming…and he was right.
As I have mentioned in past posts, I always have an eye out for fertility and adoption in all I do in my life. I can’t help but think about how something like minimalism could affect my clients. Let me back up a second to explain my understanding of minimalism. To me, minimalism is living in the energy of spring cleaning all year long. It’s a way of thinking about everything you own as having a current purpose and the other things that you’re saving for that “just in case I need it” you donate or recycle. I think the reason this speaks to me so strongly as a yogini, is that I think a cluttered home can reflect a cluttered mind. I find that when I clear my space I breathe more deeply, I feel more peaceful and confident, and I think more clearly.
The act of simplifying your life by getting rid of extra books, clothes, or kitchen appliances that are just collecting dust, reminds me of what practicing meditation can do to de-clutter the mind. Often before I write these blog posts or start a coaching session with a client, I will center myself and ask how I can best serve you. I get quiet and listen to what you may be struggling with and I either write about that or listen while you share your challenge of the week with me. I find that when I am free of distraction and focused on your needs I reach you in a more authentic and deeper way.
This mindful practice also translates into our relationships at home and work. When your work space or bedroom is clear, you have more energy to focus on your needs and the needs of others. Kondo recommends to her readers that you want to keep the things that bring you joy and get rid of the rest. For example, if you were given a beautiful wool sweater from your favorite aunt but it’s itchy, it’s time to clear it out of your wardrobe and make way for comfortable clothing only.
I think this practice of clearing is particularly helpful for your baby’s nursery. What old hobby supplies, fertility cookbooks books, or items are you storing in the room that will become your baby’s nursery? I had a client who was waiting for her baby through adoption and found the wait particularly difficult. I asked her what the nursery looked like and she said it was all ready for the baby. So, in her case she had physically cleared and prepared the room, but not energetically. To her, the space represented loss not joy. She kept the door closed and felt sad each time she walked past it. Then I asked her what she did in that room and she said, “What do you mean? I don’t go in there. I keep the door shut.” So, then I recommended that she get a special pen and journal and start to write to the baby. I encouraged her to ask her future baby questions like, How can I prepare for your arrival? What are you looking forward to doing when I’m your mommy? Is there anything you’d like different about your nursery? When will we meet?
Ready to try this? Write down all of your questions and choose one question to reflect on. Sit in silence for a few minutes. Then pick up your pen and start to write for five minutes or longer. Don’t stop to reflect… just write. If nothing comes out, it’s ok. Just sit and listen. If you don’t hear anything, it’s still ok. You’re just getting comfortable with a really different way of communicating with your child. Just be open to messages coming through your friends or dreams or while you’re in the shower. (You can do the same if you’re expecting a baby, by the way.) This client started to connect with her future child in the nursery on a daily basis and made this her morning ritual. She kept the door open now and as she passed it she would say a little prayer. She put some plants in there as a way of bringing prana, or life force, into the space. A plant needs love, water, and sunshine, just like a baby does. So she was staring to nurture life in the nursery, not resent the emptiness.
I know on my wait, I sang a song called The Long Time Sun by Snatam Kaur and I imagined myself rocking my baby in the nursery. Sometimes I did it in my mind’s eye and sometimes I sat in the rocking chair in the nursery and sang. The joy wasn’t immediate, I had fears, sadness and anger to work through at first, but eventually I felt myself smile as I sang the song and I imagined that I was singing it to the soul of my baby.
What you are doing by clearing the old energy of your baby’s nursery? What can you do to bring fresh loving thoughts and feelings to create a welcoming space for your baby to arrive into? You can also energetically prepare his or her room with positive thoughts of love, safety, comfort and good sleep. While you wait, this is one thing that you can control in your world. Plus it’s a beautiful way to start the day.