the magic sofa

Dear Ones,

There are some contemporary life basics missing from my home right now.  Like, a sofa.  Art, or anything, for that matter, on the walls.  Friends who could reasonably travel about 15-20 minutes to come over for a visit. 

This does not worry me. 

And that is pretty weird.

Yesterday, when I chatted with one of my dearest friends (via Skype), she said that she admires this about me - my apparent ability to feel comfortable in my new home even though it isn't finished.  That got me very interested in what could be going on here.  Because, me??  Not worried??!  Huh.  For someone who was sent to therapy as a teenager under suspicion of clinically diagnosable OCD, this worry-free state in the context of moving (!) qualifies as a true paradigm shift.

Typically, in my world, a move would go more like this:

Make a list of tasks.  Add to this list every day, capturing all the tasks: pre-move, during move, and post-move.  Feel a bit smug (because that list is organized, baby) and also feel overwhelmed.  In fact, feel rather bullied by this impressive list.  Obsess over the list.  Fling myself into action (to compensate)!  Pack boxes at random, discard too many things, stand awkwardly atop a stepstool to reach the top shelf in the storage unit, bang my elbows as I step down blindly.  Feel sorry for myself and my elbows.  Wonder why I'm doing all this work alone?  Keep going (because the anxiety has returned).  Stub my toe and cry a little.  Sit down with the list to cross off some tasks.  Add tasks to the list that I did so I can cross them off.  Don't laugh at myself, because this is serious.  Go shopping, both online and in actual physical stores.  Buy things to feel better (so I can cross them off the list):  furniture, kitchen doo-dads, bed linens.  Realize that these new things don't all add up to the beautiful new life as intended.  Feel "frustrated" (code for angry) that now my choices are to return these things / spend more time shopping to replace them or to live with things that kinda suck.  Sigh.  Keep going, because there's a whole hell of a lot more to do!  Etc., etc., etc..

I totally remember all this:  the gale-force swirl of anxiety and the constant impulse for ACTION!

This time, I've moved homes - I've moved states, even - in a way that's more accurately characterized by an absence of worry.  And if I can do this, ohmygoodness:  ANYONE can. 

I don't think it's about experience.  Practice does not make perfect; only perfect practice makes perfect.  I've never moved peacefully, so the experience explanation doesn't hold even a little bit of water. 

I don't think it's age, either.  My mom and many other wonderful women have told me that they've found themselves becoming more and more relaxed as they get older:  worrying less about what other people think of them, feeling more comfortable in their own skin, even becoming more courageous.  (Like the greeting cards featuring those adorable octogenarians - in swimsuits - with their friends on the beach!!  Have you seen those ladies?  Goodness gracious, I hope I get there.  They look like they're having SO much fun, don't they?!  #LifeGoals.)  I sincerely hope this dynamic is at play in my life, but even so, I wouldn't credit it with the straight-up ease of this move.

When I think about the extraordinary humans who helped me move, then I'm getting warmer.  My entire family came over to pack up the moving truck the day before I left.  Everyone packed boxes and lifted furniture.  My five-year-old nephew and my three-year-old niece carried boxes out to the truck - small boxes, yes, but still!  It was pouring rain, and those sweet little monkeys kept going outside and then coming back, empty-handed and dripping wet, demanding to know whether or not another box was ready yet. 

Add to that vision my sweet ex-husband, Luke, who drove us in the moving truck from San Francisco to Seattle in two days.  He insisted.  He wanted to do that for me, and he wanted to make sure Emma the Brave was okay, given that she wildly dislikes car travel and would require a sedative.  He even brought four grocery bags of delicious snacks for the ride.  This is amazing, right?  (Clearly I need a new label for Luke because "ex-husband" doesn't cut it.  He's one of my closest friends, so maybe a new word...like frusband? husbriend?  I know, not great - I'll work on it.)

If you can stand even more goodness, please add to the mix the fact that my marvelous friend Katie flew on an airplane from Denver to Seattle solely to spend my first four days here helping me get settled.  Her idea, not mine - because she wanted to help and she correctly predicted that I would need support.  She got me out of boxes on THE FIRST DAY.  (What!  Has that ever happened in the history of moving???!  I mean, really.)   Luke parked the truck in front of my new building around 11:30am, and all the boxes were flattened and in the recycle bin downstairs by 9pm that night.  Can you imagine!  And that was just day one

So, yes, I'm totally bragging about my beloveds and having a sumptuous gratitude feast for one, but that's not the point.   

My point is that I allowed myself to have support with this move in a way that I really never had before; I created real space in my life for extraordinary humans to do extraordinary acts of love.  And that space-making capacity comes down to mindset

Two key beliefs animate this mindset, and these reflect a LOT of examination, effort, and intention over time - with infinite thanks to my coaches and teachers.  And now I'm sharing them with you:

I always have exactly what I need.  Help, money, friends, time, love, resources, access, etc. - you name it, I've got enough.  (And I bet you do, too.)


Everything happens at the right time.   No need to push or force or wrangle; everything is unfolding in exactly the right way, with perfect timing.  Taoists believe in the paradox of "doing without doing" and now so do I.  (How about you?)

These beliefs directly contradict the very American, very often unconscious beliefs in MORE and NOW.  More more more, now now now. 

I prefer believing in enough

Perhaps that makes me an eccentric hippie.  Sure, whatever.  Do I still want a sofa?  Yes!  Do I still want friends who live nearby?  Yes, definitely

But the anxiety isn't really showing up and driving the bus.  Because I'm not worried about these things, and therefore I'm not whizzing around Seattle like a maniac trying to hunt down the best sofa and meet the coolest people today (which is what I would have done before).

I know that I'll find the right sofa at exactly the right time, and I know that I'll meet the right people at exactly the right time.  Because, honestly, that's how it works!  That's simply what happens when we calm down.  That's what happens when we consciously choose to relax instead of freaking out, worrying that things aren't good enough, doing something about it right now!!!

Want proof?

Yesterday, I walked into a furniture store that looked inviting.  Within five seconds I met Clyde, the most tranquil Schnauzer on the planet, and his caretaker, Jeff, who is a gentle person, an expert in furniture, and the business owner.  Jeff just came over to my apartment this afternoon for a complimentary design consultation during which he spent nearly two hours helping me choose a sofa, and now, at this very moment, I've got both a beautiful sofa on it's way here as well as a lovely new friend who works two blocks away and wants me to meet his husband. 

You see?

All I did was follow a whim to go window-shopping!  Everything happened from there - it unfolded, really.  Without me striving or pushing or trying.  It's actually enough to take effortless action.  It's enough to want what we want and trust that it will all appear in perfect timing. 

Doing without doing is my favorite form of practical magic, and it is eminently learn-able, even for those of us with a massive bias toward action.  For now, I'll wish you happy experimenting with this principle because I am off to find my task list - I get to cross off buy a sofa.  Oh, the joy!!!


Much love,
Julie