I suppose there is always the chance that something catastrophic will happen. The seller might change her mind. Or maybe the numbers won’t add up. But those possibilities are, at this point, remote at best. It looks like escrow really is going to close in seven days.
I’ve never owned a home before and until I signed the first sheet of paper that initiated the home buying process I didn’t know it was something I wanted. But my signature on that piece of paper delivered a powerful and unexpected wave of energy that was at once euphoric and grounded. Some might feel that home ownership ties you to an impossible commitment. I had the opposite reaction. For the first time, I felt free.
Of course, that sense of autonomous freedom is tempered by the heavy burden of borrowing enough money to purchase a four-bedroom home in Des Moines, Iowa. But the Below Market Rate program exists so that individuals like me have an opportunity to stay in the overpriced Bay Area. Even if instead of a four-bedroom home what I’ve found is a perfectly located one-bedroom condo to call my own.
But the burden that follows debt is not the only weight I have to process. As I fill boxes to move and boxes to donate to charity, I am struggling with the weight of accumulation. I’m asking myself if the gathering and release of too many belongings is indicative of a lost yoga practice. How do I reconcile my yoga life and my worldly life? Are the boundaries blurred or hard-edged? Where do they overlap? Or are these two lives really the same?
Last week, I made an unsettling decision. I set the intention to rid myself of ghosts. Five years ago my move into this small studio apartment was an act of self-preservation. Personal difficulties offered no alternative. I brought what little furniture I had and gathered what else I needed from gracious and generous friends.
But the pieces of furniture that I brought with me then now hold ghosts from that past. I can’t bring those ghosts with me. It’s time for a new beginning. And so the desk, the book cases, the chair and the fold-up-futon are being sent away to neighbors and strangers who won’t notice the memories tucked into the back of a drawer or molded into the crease of a seat cushion.
But I wonder if the willful release of these very functional pieces of furniture demonstrates a lack of fiscal responsibility and an all-consuming selfishness? As a yogi should it not be part of my practice to mindfully detach from the troubling memories and emotional scars? What surrounds me is little more than an assemblage of particle board and veneers of inexpensive birch. How can a desk hold the imprint of trauma? How can wood hold memory? Yet the very glue that binds these pieces together also binds me tight against the energy of events that unfolded years ago.
It doesn’t matter if you move across an ocean, to another state or down the block. Moving creates chaos. It stirs up dust. Surrounded by the boxes I began to pack when finding home was still only a hope, I’m reminded of the promise I made to myself to live simply. I ask myself if, after everything that has happened since my return from Ireland, I deserve the happiness I’ve enjoyed over this past year. The answer is easy. Yes. Of course I do. We all deserve happiness and we all deserve a place to call home. Even me.
And so, for now, this is my practice. I will remain in the happiness of the present moment. I will humbly remain mindful of the truth we call change. With each breath I will be grateful that I am loved and that, as of January 26th, 2015, I have a place on this astounding planet that I can call my home.