Archives for the month of: October, 2012

One day, I was cleaning my piano and thinking. I was thinking about all of the work that I have done for myself and  others that has defined the distinction between holding on to something and cherishing something. This often comes into the process when I visit people in their environments, personal and professional, and we, together, assess the appropriateness of current possessions in their lives. The ultimate goal  is to reach congruency with present time.

As I was cleaning my piano, I found myself using Q-tips and being very determined to not only capture every speck of dust so it was clean, but also to honor it as my treasured possession. I thought of all of the possessions that I had cleansed over the years, keeping them in good order, even the ones that I do not use everyday. They are a part of my history and when I see them, I light up.  The others have been recycled, repurposed and repossessed by those who will appreciate them.

Shortly after this pondering cleanse, I was talking to my mother on the phone and she said, “I am so glad that you kept the piano because I went to work so that you could have it.  That is what your dad and I did; when we needed something, I went to work.”

And there it was, the essence of the piano, the holder of deep love and sacrifice and the joy that was created as its sound lilted through the house on Melhorn Drive in Alhambra, California.  I could surrender the mystery of why I was driven through every move I have made, to always, always, keep the piano with me.

I also have my great grandmother’s well oiled  mortar and pestle and my mother’s punch bowl. These will always be with me.  I remember the punch bowl at all of the showers we had in the family for babies and weddings and I remember longing to have it be a part of my celebrations.  And it will be a part of my daughter’s and son’s as well.
Tradition. Treasures. Trust. Holding space for special; making room for cherishing.

I encourage you to hone your trust level when you are decluttering; there is a reason for holding on to anything and anyone.  The  reason may be revealed to you as mine was to me.  Just make sure that cherishing is there.  It adds an authentic warmth to your choice and creates a mirror of your values.


Soon, we will become inundated with catalogues encouraging us to make choices for holiday-themed giving, eating and living.  The pictures will encapsulate perfect place settings, families around a fireplace with green things and sparkles; everyone will be smiling and the sense of abundance will be clear. There is a lot of encouragement to “get the house ready for company”, plan outfits for the holiday- themed cocktail parties and create an interior and exterior that binds it all together.

When I think of the holidays for myself and the year’s end, I meander back in my mind to the experiences I had.  Yes, the food, atmosphere and people are there, but I mostly think about how I felt.  What moved me.  And what do I want to experience this year.

I think my favorite New Year’s Eve was my first one with my husband when we went to a Kurosawa film with subtitles.  I was so in love with him I just didn’t care that it was three hours long and we had not had dinner. I just wanted to be there. With him.  The holiday events that stand out for me are when I was in church on Christmas Eve and it started to snow; when my siblings and I drove miles to surprise my mom on Christmas Eve and stand through a high Mass so she could look up and see us;   my first Hanukkah and Christmas with my husband;  the delight in my children’s eyes when they really got that there was a special event happening and it was all theirs.  I remember not eating turkey for Thanksgiving and then eating turkey for Thanksgiving; doing elaborate table settings and entertaining and some years, honing it down to what really mattered. The people. The pleasure. The connection. With no frills.

This year, I want all of us to take care of ourselves.  To create the experience that we want. To create the environment that will support us.  To create a memory of good will and gratitude for ourselves and to create  the catalogue, the choices, the pictures that work for us. To be clear and defined and inclusive all at once.  And to experience joy as it  unfolds.

Whether you are alone, in a crowd, at a setting you love or not, the deep appreciation of all of who you are is all that matters. When you are in that  place, that internal design, you can experience wonder and you can appreciate  people for exactly who they are and events for exactly what they are because you are there with yourself. For yourself.  And you got there by taking care of your needs and your desires and your wishes.  You will be enveloped in richness and the gold in your life will surface.  All around you.

Last week I was entering my grocery store and realized that I was feeling pushed out of the space.  A plethora of displays for Halloween with multitudes of candy and goblins were in my way as I maneuvered my cart towards the vegetables. I realized something.

Each holiday season, as I frequent the hubs that supply me with my living needs, I start to walk differently, maneuver defensively, so that I can make it through the aisles.  The displays push into my familiar paths and I have to be more alert.  I start to want to frequent these establishments less and turn to online opportunities.  The parking lots change as well as the traffic flows and I feel like I just want to crawl inside myself. I feel that I need to shrink.  The more I shrink, the less I express.  The less I express or choose, the less there is of me and my convictions.

As the space around me changes, just for a time,  perhaps I need to make space for tolerance, for creativity, for better.   Perhaps my comfort zone needs some redefining during these times.   It is more than adjusting; it is creating a new reality within a defined space.

Changing patterns requires perseverance. Courage. Thought.

Making room for new paths requires a new map that encompasses a marvelous trek that is defined by commitment.

As I reframe this for myself, perhaps you will too.  As you walk through your personal familiar environments in the coming months, perhaps you will ask yourself as I will, ” What do I need to make space for in my life?”  Then, create the path to get there.

I will be along side you opening up to what is next and making space for celebrations.