Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ownership - in a world of excess

Happy New Year! The dancing poetess is back.

And, this year I have set a strong intention of OWNERSHIP.  The idea of owning and ownership first came up last fall in my CFR work.  In this case, I was so frustrated with a part of my body that I had essentially disowned it completely. Ignoring it in a vain hope that it would somehow go away to fix itself.  Of course, it just doesn't work that way. 

And so the questions arose:  What does it mean to own something?  What does an owner do? 

To put it into context I thought about owning a pet (which I currently do not for many of the reasons below):
First, when you own a pet you must care for it regularly.  You must feed it as needed and clean up after it on a daily basis.  You must care for it at all costs under all circumstances, even when you are mad, even when you are tired, even when you are out of town.  In return, you get to love it and it loves you back. You receive the joy of interacting with it and all of its quirks and personalities.  But, when a pet is ill it can be heartbreaking, therefore, we must also be prepared to care for it during these special times, giving it extra time, attention and love.  Also, we must realize that our actions directly reflect the life of this being.  For instance if we overfeed our dog or cat, it is our responsibility to change the diet.  For its health and longevity.  Excess only makes it harder to properly care for something we own. 

So, now I am looking at the things I own in my life both physical and energetic/emotional.  Both came into practice when I decided to clean out my jewelry drawer.  I love jewelry (mostly funky, hippie stuff, cheap and of little value).  But, having so much of it was making it hard to appreciate what I owned. Much of it has gone unworn for years.  I had too much to properly care for what I had.  So I started giving and throwing things away as needed.  In this process I had to own my decision making for what was worth keeping and what needed to be giving away (even if I never wore it!). For more on my erroneous thinking behind saving things, read my blog Save the Blue Sweater

I moved onto my other drawers and then I hit the gold mine of excess-- the sock drawer. Or rather, the sock drawer and nearby basket full of various socks.  Immediately my mind went to the justification. 

I am a dancer. We often dance in socks and need a lot of them.  Plus, they get really dirty on the dance floor, and I need to keep some that are designated dance floor socks, right? Some socks have just the right texture for a marley dance floor, while others don't work at all, but are great with boots or other shoes.  I need all of these socks. Unless they have a hole, I can't give them away or throw them away.  

But, of course, the reality is that I don't need all of these socks. And, while I can't go back and un-wear them or un-buy them. I can throw out the old ones and make more space for what I do have. 

I went through this process with much of my small house. My husband Dan helped support me and also gave away much of his old or simply unused things.  We made space and through the process really owned the things we wanted in our lives.  While, the house purging was fantastic, the real value of this practice was in the process of practicing my sense of ownership

I had to own every decision I made about the things I want in my life.  I was exercising the muscle of ownership and conscious dis-ownership.  By practicing ownership I was practicing my personal power.  I was owning my personal power.  Even in this small way, for me it was a huge step.  It was a metaphor for they way I have been ignoring other aspects of my life and not owning them.

Now, I see much more clearly how I want to honor chosen aspects of my life and my person with my time, attention and care. And, how, more will only make it more difficult to do so. 

What exists in your life that you might not be owning right now?  Do you own your body? your time? your things? your decisions? your power?  Are you giving the care-taking energy these thing deserve?  

Happy New Year,

1 comment:

  1. Scot writing:
    Such a deep post for what you explicitly wrote, and what the story implies metaphorically.
    To respond (in a spontaneous, first draft way) to the above writing assignment, there are many things that I alternately own jealously, and leave out as Craigslist "curb alerts." For instance, I sometimes let my time be sucked up by whomever asks, and others I hoard my time to myself, yet do little with it. (There are times I actually accomplish what I want, when I want, but I tend to be reactionary too often).

    I regularly oscillate between action and non-action. This is a personality trait that I just much oscillate between trying to control and not. I do own this.

    In direct response: I own my body and realize that whatever state it is my responsibility. I have long said that whatever state of fitness I may be in is a consequence of what I do i.e. "I am in shape because I dance", not "I work out to look good" Or likewise I got skinny this winter, then sick because I over-worked and under-ate. My time, I mention above, my things I am learning to let go of.
    My decisions, whether good, bad, or indifferent, I own. I always reserve my right to reconsider.
    My power - that is a very deep rabbit hole I'm not prepared to go down right now, thank you, Alice.
    I am currently trying to prioritize. Perhaps more aptly, the time consuming and space consuming things in my life are going through triage. My significant other and 2 cats stay, all else is negotiable. Sometimes it feels like UN negotiations, but there you have it.