Getting ready to leave my home of 20 years to move onto the ship I anticipate to be my home for the next 20 years required a lot of letting go, releasing. It wasn’t simply about “moving away” when you go from a large house to a small cabin.
I released family heirlooms. I released many of my favorite clothes and jewelry. My carefully curated collection of kitchen appliances and eating ware — released. Plants, artwork, and even exercise gear – all released. And keepsakes from my multiple exotic trips adorning my home — released. Fortunately I have kept my friends.
I had what felt like an ideal life. Beautiful mountain views from my 40 acres on the Mesa. Delightful cats to keep me entertained and company. Things I loved to wear for guests, going to the theater, taking walks, and just hanging around filled my heart. And when we had friends over, I relished pulling out one set of dishes or another, depending on my mood at the time.
Making More than Space
As I slowly decluttered a layer at a time, getting rid of things, I realized I was creating freedom in my life. I could feel the weight of Stuff lift from my shoulders. My creativity returned the more I cleared out the closets, cabinets, and drawers. That sense of freedom and lightness was worth the struggle with my heart. My heart eventually agreed with my brain — less is more.
If you’ve been reading these Residential Cruising articles for awhile, you’ll know that our first ship was “released” when they delayed its departure without explanation. We quickly found another ship, but its departure date was later than we originally had planned for, so we had to nest somewhere for the winter.
That turned out to be a gift. One, we were exhausted from getting out of our house in a hurry. Two, the ensuing two-month Tour of The West to say goodbye to family and friends wrung out the last of our energy. We needed weeks, if not a couple of months, to recharge, and we’ve decided it was a lot better to do that in a temporary apartment near friends than on a ship, getting going on a big new adventure.
The letting go was more pervasive than you might think. I gave up all the intentionally developed habits and lifestyle choices to support my idea for a long, vibrant life. I’d already given up my stationary bike and my miles of walking each week. My isometric routine had fallen by the wayside in the time crunch involved with getting out of the house. Even my meditation practice was accidentally on hiatus for a few months. My clean diet of a green smoothies and no grains fell by the wayside.
At least my twice-daily warm mask for my dry eyes stayed a beloved ritual. And I still had my “morning cocktail” of mushroom powder tea and other nutritious elements. I had my can of mixed, raw nuts with coco nibs for snacks. And Randy and I still enjoyed our evening of mushroom tea as we unwound from the day. But those habits also fell away with time, too.
I thought for sure that my healthy routines would return once I got settled. I knew for sure that having a familiar ritual would help me feel grounded. But those rituals didn’t return. And I wondered why. I wondered if maybe that was part of the change I’d embraced.
Then it occurred to me: I’d let go of my Colorado residency, Colorado being my native state. I’d let go of the house I designed. I’d even let go of my pets (nature took care of most of them, a neighbor took care of the other one). I’d let go of all that shaped me. I was mourning. Now it’s time to embrace the new.
I still want to have a healthy diet that will support a long, vibrant life. I still want to surround myself with things I love, though not nearly as many. I want to release the weight I added to my frame during our Big Release. (I have learned that stress can lead to weight gain, especially at the belly because of hormone changes and cortisol being especially fond of the stomach area. Ugh!)
Developing a new routine to enhance flexibility and strength is high on my list of rituals to add back to my life. I’m looking forward to incorporating new friends with my old friends. And the best part is, I’m looking forward to someone else preparing my healthy foods.
Initially I was distressed about how much I’d changed. Until I realized that the changes were part of letting go of the old to make room for embracing the new.
When you are facing a life-changing event, be prepared to let go of the old so you can make room for embracing the new. It can be absolutely freeing.
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Kit is the co-founder of Residential Cruising, and is best known as a coach at Live in Focused Energy. She and her husband, Randy, are actively working toward moving to a full-time Residential Cruising ship, where they intend to be “Digital Nomads” — continuing their work while aboard the ship.