Photo Credit: Simon Matzinger by Pexels

Throughout my life, I changed physical homes often, a turtle who has known many shells. This occurs for varying reasons: a fluctuation of income, a geographical relocation, a change in relationship, or a need for a more peaceful environment. I am wired like a giant nerve ending, and although I try to predict how quiet a neighborhood may be, there are times I am unhappily surprised, and moving onward as soon as possible.

Plus, like most people in New England, I’m often in want of sun in the winter. Heaven to me in February looks something like a southwestern window.

Astrologically, my moon (heart/home) is in the sign of Cancer, smack in the middle of the 4th House. In plain English, this means I’m natural to change homes often physically, and potentially will change emotional states (another kind of home) on the turn of a dime. I have a very moon-like moon, a sensitive heart.

I spent the past month packing boxes for a May 1st move, yet again practicing the ritual of 1. Taking inventory of the physical items I gather to me, 2. Acknowledging the needs, intentions, emotions, people, and memories they represent, and 3. Deciding which items to keep and which to discard—and why.

Ruminating on which emotional and mental attachments to continue or release—as they relate to physical objects– can be a detoxifying cleanse if the “expired” objects are discarded properly. Katherine Woodward Thomas, one of my main teachers, acknowledges the necessity of “cleaning house” in her books Calling in the One and Conscious Uncoupling. If you are holding on to physical objects, surely you are holding on to the people and emotions they connect you to. And/or: these objects may have a hold on you.

Of course there are a couple of unopened boxes that have been with me through a few moves since I mailed them from Texas to Vermont in 2013, but I won’t mention them. (Yes, laugh!)

As if the packing/purging ritual wasn’t hard enough, many times I get the second opportunity as I unpack.
This slow-motion inventory, if done thoroughly and well, can leave me with a renewed sense of myself and my life. (I am still unpacking..) I prioritize the things that are medicinal and healing to me: photos of my friends and their kids, chaga tea, my yoga mat (and practice).

When I travel, I often pack a small bad of “home medicine”– whatever is appropriate at the time.

I even worked for HomeAway, Inc. during my 5 year break from Vermont– a vacation rental company named after the phrase “home away from home”. (Which, Texas is just that to me!)

What are the most important things that you keep, and why? When is the last time you did a thoughtful catalogue of the items in your home, or have you ever? (Post a comment!)

“Spring cleaning” happens when it does for a reason—the old has passed away, and there is new life in the works. I wish everyone in the northern hemisphere a renewed sense of self right now! The lilacs just bloomed, and their sweetly piercing scent is slapping me with love.

As I unpack, deliberate upon, and place each possession in my new home, I create a new life. This is one sensitive turtle who already knows her new shell doesn’t fit well, but she’ll be grateful for it during her stay. I already know in the future, as always, I’ll be moving on.

May the season of rebirth find you doing the same, even if you are simply staying right where you are.