A few recent things that tie together:
- I have been so inspired by minimalism the past few months. I generally consider myself an organized person to begin with, but I did have my closet and a few areas of boxed clutter that needed to be sifted through. It takes time, but it feels so good to let go of things that no longer have a function or you simply don’t feel as much attachment to anymore.
- I have also started a running training program that my friend (also a personal trainer) created for me. We will be running the Rainier Ragnar in August. So far it helped me get more ready for my annual tradition of doing the Shamrock Run in Portland, but it has also gotten me a little more familiar with things I need to work on with my form.
- I am feeling a bit more established in Olympia, especially since starting volunteering at GRuB (an educational community farm). I have what I need, and I can see staying here for longer. I have a feeling of fulfillment from bare necessities.
After a walk in the woods, these three topics came up in my mind. I noticed that they all shared a theme of clarity and being attuned. Once you sift through the static, the fog, the clutter, you can find underlying tendencies. I think it’s interesting that in the two definitions that come up for “attune”, there is “make receptive or aware” and “accustom or acclimatize”. It’s like the definition is set up in helpful steps: awareness, then adjustment.
The first step to solving an issue is to acknowledge and accept a tendency. It doesn’t do you any good to see the tendency, then deny it or to beat yourself up about it. Simply noticing a possible problem and being honest with yourself brings you closer to finding tools to help you when it comes up in the future.
Seeing tendencies using minimalism: When I sorted through my box of stuff in the closet, I noticed that I held onto a lot of sentimental things, especially if they were gifts. From there, I could ask myself if the gift was still relevant to my life or if the person would even care that I had kept it for years. I also found a lot of things that were simply remnants of who I used to be and what I used to care about. I was able to move on from a lot of those things.
Some other examples are when I go for a run with a clear mind, I am more able to notice what habits my body has. Are my shoulders stabilized? Am I running evenly on both feet? Are my feet flipping out behind me? On a similar note, when I still my body and only focus on my breath in meditation, I can notice thought patterns that constantly surface. Sometimes I’m planning. Sometimes I’m remembering events. Sometimes I’m being a perfectionist about my breathing or posture.
When looking at the seasons, we go through a bare winter, all the leaves have shed, we may even get the blank slate of snow. At that point, we can get attuned to what’s going on inside and perhaps adjust. Once spring comes, we are more able to grow, to build, to branch out, to blossom.