clean is a process

the end of the year is here, just like that.

my rituals tend to be in relationship to the people around me. in my little circle in detroit, we make predictions for the next year, read our predictions from the year before, and dance all night.

the one thing i do, which just feels right to me, is to clean. we clean the kitchen, the bathroom, sweep the floors, take out the compost and the garbage, dust. i have been dreadfully ill for the past few days so the cleaning is even more needed. the idea is: let’s get things in order, a new year is coming.

2011 was, for me, an incredibly messy year. i was more aware of how messy i am as a person than i have ever been before. i made messes, spilled things, broke things, double- and tripled-booked my life, hurt people, lost people, wasn’t at my best. i reached my limit, over and over again, disappointed and relieved to find that i just had no more to give.

and…it was an amazing year.

i learned SO much.

the whole world seemed to be in parallel upheavals, learning new ways of being, not avoiding the hurt or tender places, bursting like cosmic hulks out of the too-tight clothes of small thinking, seeming to fail, seeming faster and closer and more frantic. a hot mess, a dramatic crescendo.

for me, the lesson from this year (as much from watching my 3-year-old nephew and 1-year-old niece learn to clean up as from watching the whole world seek clarity about what it means to be human at this point in history) is this: clean is not a destination, it’s a process.

we clean things up so that we can take stock of what is really there, revel in the temporary and lovely order. and so that we have space to begin the next mess. the mess comes from living – playing, cooking, eating, creating, loving, fighting, dancing, drinking – learning.

perhaps some of you, like me, hold an ideal, visceral in our senses. i can feel in my bones when i am approaching it – in my space, in my emotions, in my relationships. i create some order and systems in my life to reach that personal ideal, which gives me a sense of calm and control, however mythical.

when i walk in my house and everything is in it’s place, i feel a vibrational calm that makes me more creative, more curious, more spacious in my life. when i am fully honest and present with my loved ones, i feel that same calm.

then i can get on with messing it all up.

in a couple of weeks, i will begin a journey which i expect will be equal parts cleaning up and messing up my life. my partner gifted me with a community supported sabbatical (which you can still contribute to if you like the idea of me resting, writing and rebooting – just look up adriennemaree at gmail on paypal and give).

i am going all out with it – traveling to places that feel important to go to. that includes morocco because my sister had a dream that that’s where our people are from, and because i have never touched my foot to africa and it’s past time. mexico because i want to be on mayan soil in 2012. hawaii, because i want to invite the energy of the volcano into my life right now – whatever it is that is inside boiling up and contained, i want to invite it to come forth and reshape everything.

preparing to be away is a cleaning up – tying up of loose ends, setting boundaries on my time and availability, clearing my calendar of engagements and my heart of guilt about not being here with my loved ones and my many jobs. reducing the amount of things i need to what can easily be carried without having to check bags.

cleaning up by directly facing and challenging the part of my ego that survives by feeling needed in the work i do, feeling irreplaceable. facing and listening to the part of my heart that is longing for even deeper transformational work than what i currently get to do, and not yet sure what that means about who i am now.

this trip is a cocoon. i am going all the way in and not sure what will come out on the other side. cocoons only look neat on the outside.

it’s invigorating and daunting and terrifying.

there is only one thing of which i am absolutely sure:
i have new messes to make.

1 Response to “clean is a process”


  1. 1 Shawn

    Stunning. Inspiring. Timely.

    Thank you for putting lyrics to the meoldy of life. I wish you joy and ducovery in your travels and await the stories of growth as you discovera new way of cleaning for yourself.

    Shawn

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