I open the top drawer of the entertainment center to put away the candle lighter and - mmmmmmmmm! - I pause for a few seconds, close my eyes and take a loooooong, deep breath. mmmmmmmmm! I smile. I'm happy in that "I don't quite know what I'm so happy about but I just am", satisfied, contented way.
This is the drawer where I keep candles with soft scents of lavender and jasmine, and others with names like Rain and Heaven. All soft, not strong or overpowering. Inside the drawer are also several types of incense: a favorite is a temple incense that seems to change its perfume as it burns. And there's pinon incense shaped in a rectangular tablet, Nag Champa incense sticks and lavender cones. Is it odd to have a favorite drawer in one's home? Especially one that puts your heart and spirit in such a happy place just by opening it and breathing in such gentle, aromatic scents? Oh, the power of scent to evoke such a beautiful response!
Truth is, though, I was happy before opening it, in that satisfied, contented way. I had cleaned my home top to bottom to welcome in the new year, moving things around, fixing up stuff, tending to little chores that I tend to overlook like scrubbing the kitchen cabinet doors and rotating the mattress. (In my defense, it's rather awkward to try to flip that full-size mattress by myself, so I don't do it as often as I probably should.) I did a couple of fixes, replaced the harp on a lamp, organized some jewelry and tossed a couple of bags of trash and some shipping boxes. Baseboards were scrubbed, carpet edges vacuumed, floors mopped, the front walkway swept. All I needed was a pretty little apron to complete the picture. There was even a vase of pink peonies in the kitchen window.
That night, the eve of 2008, I burned some sage given to me by a dear friend, letting the smoke waft through the house, sneaking into those very clean corners and those empty spaces freed of clutter. I thought about the intentions I wanted to set for my life, the changes I'd like to make, the growth I'd like to see. That night, I fell asleep with prayers still on my lips, happily curled up in my warm bed and so thankful for its comfort and ease.
The space clearing is symbolic of my intentions. For example, clearing clutter from my home, I want to clear clutter from my thoughts and enjoy greater clarity and understanding. Tossing my excess, I energetically release those things that do not serve a higher purpose in my life. I's all just symbolism and setting intentions, giving careful consideration and being fully present in the moment. Hitting the pause button in order to engage and experience with the fullness of my being.
I thought of the things I'd accomplished in 2007, the challenges that I'd addressed. I'm grateful to recognize that I'm doing better in some areas, I improved some this past year and can handle difficult situations (like being laid off) with calm acceptance and can see the joy and opportunity in experiencing change. I also paid attention to areas that are great opportunities for improvement, areas in behaviors and responses where I can seek a higher path and break old patterns. I'm much more in touch with my inner Kwai Chang Caine. Oh, and I've made new friends who offer their kindness and friendship in such caring ways.
It's funny how the turn of a calendar page prompts such introspection and reflection among people the world over. May your 2008 be one with happy, new discoveries and wonderful adventure, filled with love and goodness.
Lokah Samasta Sukinoh Bhavantu: May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
Namaste - and happy 2008!
PS. Christmas music and photos up through the 12 days of Christmas (til Jan. 6). Blessed Christmas!