Louise had been wanting to clean out her basement for months. The last couple of years were rough for her; after her divorce, she suffered from depression and couldn’t seem to complete the tasks she started. She’d gained weight and wasn’t feeling like herself.
“If I clean that basement out, I bet I’ll lose 30 pounds,” she emphatically told me. My ears perked up because I do sooo love hearing that clear voice of intuition!
So we rolled up our sleeves and spent a long day clearing everything out. Louise has always been that crafty, efficient mom who does everything from making homemade Halloween costumes to single-handedly installing a dishwasher. Much of what we threw out was years of art supplies and unfinished projects. As we worked, Louise talked about her decision to give up that part of herself that had to be all things: artistic, creative mom; project coordinator; DYI-er; frugal problem-solver.
Then we came across some items her husband had given her years earlier. She looked at them without expression, but later that night, a wave of grief washed over her. She was surprised at the emotional charge contained in a few slips of notepaper. Ironically, removing the bulk from the basement lightened her mood, but it was that final piece of paper that opened her up.
Five months later, as she predicted and declared, Louise is nearly 30 pounds lighter.
This is what occurs when we mindfully take charge of our lives and courageously uncover our buried pain.
In my case, I was inspired to take a fresh look at the emptiness of my own basement. It was a large, unfinished concrete space in need of a vision. What I wanted most was to create a boy-cave where my 2 sons could bring their friends. So I carved out a corner and made a room by hanging blankets on the walls and plugging in a space heater, TV, and Xbox. Now I’m up to my eyeballs in teenagers, Nerf guns, and indecision over whether they should be watching ‘Family Guy.’
My life is a little fuller.
Your basement is your foundation. It quite literally holds you up and supports you. Metaphysically, it also holds either positive or negative energy, as all matter does. So what do you have down there? What do you hide in the dark that you’d rather not see? Or what do you allow in? What could bolster and strengthen you?