Our church recently hosted a special healing event where several alternative wellness practitioners and healers shared their skills and wisdom with curious would-be clients. Healers offered services such as Reiki, SRT, or Yoga Nidra. One gentleman offered his intuitive skills through reading Tarot cards for folks. I was one of them and the last person to sit at his table.

As it was the end of the day and nearly time to start packing up the event, the reading needed to be shortened in some way. I asked him to do just one card. He shuffled the cards. I cut the deck. He fanned the cards across the table and waited for my selection. I used my own intuitive nature to select the perfect card – the 5 of Swords – and with no verbal input from me to offer any clues (I thought), his interpretation began.

This card, in general terms, is about the fear of loss, of losing control…an illusion of its own. With his eyes focused downward to the card on the table, he talked of how I was going through or may soon be going through some sort of loss. His eyes questioned my face as I remained silent and unaware of anything about which I may have felt a sense of loss. My mind was blank…open.

He continued this line of explanation and then reassured me that, while I may be saddened for a time over the loss, this void would open my life to greater expression and possibilities. His commentary and the session came to a close. We all packed up the event. I put the experience aside as something that was fun and interesting. I could think about it later.

Later came sooner than I expected.

Two days following, my husband and I agreed on a new wall-hanging/headboard idea for our bedroom… one that would utilize an embroidered duvet cover I had painstakingly created about 20 years prior and that had become our bed’s covering in the early years of our marriage. As our bed size had changed, and to preserve the memories associated with the piece, we no longer used the coverlet but had stored it away.

The detailed needlework designs on the queen-sized muslin coverlet had taken me two years to complete, with subtle, hand embroidery work that filled the center and ruffled sides. The angelic design symbolized our Divine introduction and enduring Love. It was the largest and most complicated fabric art I had ever done. I knew I could reconstruct the coverlet into a beautiful wall-hanging, a visible reminder of how we met and how our love had matured. I couldn’t wait to get started! I fell asleep with great anticipation for the project.

The next morning I went to the linen closet to fetch the coverlet from the plastic storage bag. It wasn’t there. Each shelf I searched revealed only towels and sheets, but not the embroidered masterpiece. I expanded my search to the craft closet, sewing bins, guest room, dining hutch, boxes of holiday decorations, and the garage. While I located many items that were no longer useful and could be given or thrown away, the coverlet was not among the finds.

Besides my own prayers of resolution and peace, a friend offered prayers to Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. I called a couple of my children to see if it was accidentally packed among their belongings during previous extended visits. I changed my affirmation from “I can’t find it!” to “It’s somewhere in this house and it’s ready for me to see it!” I cried at my loss. The words of the Tarot reader came back with haunting clarity.

I fully realize my sense of attachment to this artwork and the memories I have threaded into the design. Still unwilling to face the loss of this treasure, I’m continuing the systematic search box by box, closet by closet, corner by corner, and drawer by drawer…until I know with absolute clarity what I truly do have as my earthly possessions and if this one accomplishment is among them. I will do a thorough and complete investigation. In the process I will also “release” many other things, more clutter and unused possessions that no longer serve my new direction and the life I now express.

cherub_trumpetIf by some accident the embroidered cherub truly has taken his trumpet and departed my realm, I will let go … by choice or otherwise … and open my consciousness and my interests to richer and fuller experiences. And so it is!


A Spiritual Practice of Release

I was recently introduced to a spiritual practice that was somewhat familiar, but came with a new name…new to me. This practice has now become a mental obsession! I think about it all the time. I want to implement it, follow through with it, succeed with it. It’s called…clearing.

Clearing can take the form of a variety of release methods. I started by applying this practice to my dining area. For weeks I had been gradually accumulating stuff on or around my dining table. Nothing major and certainly no item that I couldn’t just push aside or lay on the floor if we wanted to use the table for a meal. However, the stuff was building up; it was looking cluttered. I made a commitment to myself that on a certain day I would finally take all that stuff and put it where it belonged and reclaim my dining area.

That day came…and went. The shopping bags containing recent fabric purchases remained in view. The piles of papers were still neatly stacked by subject matter on the table’s surface for quick retrieval, later. Every time I came into the kitchen and looked in the direction of this beautiful but buried table and hutch, my energy diminished. I had broken a commitment with myself and I was reminded of that each day. I couldn’t take it any longer! I prayed for time.

Unexpectedly, but happily, a two-hour block of time and no one around to distract me finally came into my schedule. I quickly moved the fabric purchases in their store bags to where they needed to be. The piles of papers found their way to my office. Knick knacks were put back into position. Art projects and supplies got returned to the hobby storage area. The hutch was dusted. The table was honored with a new centerpiece and decorative runner that replaced the piles of stuff. The entire room was transformed. Not only did I regain use of this inviting space, but my energy returned and I was calm being here. My commitment to myself – to my soul’s need – was fulfilled.

I started using this clearing and release method in other areas of my life. To improve my health and stamina, I’ve managed to release several pounds of weight from my body. My computer files are being reviewed and consolidated; I can find data faster. By gathering similar household items together, I’ve discovered how abundant our life is. We are blessed with numerous and duplicate items, such as cleaning supplies, bath soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper. And how many packs of batteries do we really need for two small flashlights? I’m amazed by our CD music library and DVD movie collection.

I see this clearing practice as a way to let go of what no longer serves me. You can call it downsizing, cleaning or releasing. Once you find, sort or group together possessions in your home, office, garage, basement or car, you will feel gratitude for your material life and/or gain a sense of calm, even abundance, as you sell or give away the excess. The Law of Circulation must occur. The Universe loves a void. The sooner you clear away what no longer serves you, greater Good can come into your life. Get going, start clearing, and be ready to receive!