Ask Sam: Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

In Manhattan, when it’s time for an old building to make way for a new one, dynamite is used to implode the building. There is an explosion, everything collapses, the rubble is cleared and a big hole in the ground is made to pour concrete into, in order to lay a new foundation. In other words, before one can build a new skyscraper one must get to bedrock in order to rebuild.

Everything in life has its cycles. There is always life, death and renewal. Nothing is permanent. The seasons turn, markets fluctuate, we get older. We gain, we lose, things change. The power to survive is often dependent upon our ability to adapt and evolve.

My clients will tell you that I am a master at pruning and reorganizing closets. This skill stems from traveling as a nomad. Traveling light with no attachments or clutter makes this a little easier. My foundation lives inside me.

When I was a kid, each spring my mother would go through every thread of my drawers and closets with me. Things that were worn to death or I had outgrown were put to rest. (Repurposing started when I discovered the delight of shopping my mother’s closets.) So this talent of being able to let go and get rid of things was born. It’s a comforting notion that all things, even our favorite little black dress, or what we were wearing when we got our first kiss, can live in one’s memory. Our thoughts and memories, just like buildings and closets can be vaporized, reorganized and make way for better, new improved thoughts. The ever elusive future being where new memories can live after they are created in the present.

Life is like experimenting in the kitchen. Like a soufflé, it rises in the warmth of the oven, all golden, fluffy, light, rich and delicious. Then, boom! The whole thing collapses. All your hard work for nothing. Suddenly everything is burnt, inedible. The kitchen is in smoke, you’re up to your tits in flour and béchamel sauce. You clean the kitchen, buy new eggs and start again.

Sometimes life strips away everything through circumstance, disaster or both. It can feel like the end but perhaps it could be seen as cosmic dynamite leaving a gaping hole in which to build a new life. Packing only what we need, discarding everything else which is just baggage hindering us from moving forward. Just leave. Start over. Pitch a new tent. The new tent could be wonderful. Perhaps a chic Moroccan style pleasure den with silk carpets and lots of pillows. A silver tray with an endless supply of dates, fresh figs and nuts, Mint tea and a hookah, maybe even a mountain of glistening muscles to fan me with feathers. Why not? I can have anything I want in my imaginary tent. Everything we manage to achieve is first conceived in our minds.

Whether it’s your closet or your home or your whole life, we can apply the same principle: evaluate, clean, organize and make space for the new. If we can dream that the new things can be great, maybe they will be.

Occasionally, in our emotional foolishness, we try to cling to what is familiar, even when the entity is dead, the feeling gone, the damage beyond repair. We torture ourselves in bizarre and damaging acts because we are frightened of facing the unknown. What a waste of the precious time allotted in life. Mourning the dead is part of the process. We just have to make sure we don’t spend our whole life in a subterranean emotional abyss.

Bring on the bulldozers! Welcome construction crew, architects, engineers, interior designers, project managers and organizational coaches! I’m grateful for the accessibility ramps that will allow my titanium reinforced heart to enter a new life with the coming of spring. A clearing to plant new seeds. A greenhouse for all those New Year’s resolutions to come to fruition.

The law of nature is that one cycle must end before a new one can start.  We can’t rush or stall the process. Nature has its own sense of rhythm.  We just need to move with it. More complex than any tango but like the ebb and flow of the tide, dictated by the moon who also has her cycle. Primordial yet unstoppable. It’s powerful to let go and move on to the next chapter of whatever will be. It is ours to build, something shiny and new.