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Decluttering:  I still stand by its therapeutic powers.  Losing my sports massage virginity (therapy without words).  Maybe overdoing the spiritual searching (still have a tendency to do that sometimes). Definitely catastrophising (nothing’s changed there either).

‘I long for the days when everything I owned fitted into the boot of a Fiat Uno’*  (First published in July 2014)

It is no way news that de cluttering is therapeutic.  Last week I did my clothes and shoes, even quite happily throwing away the (too high) gold sandals I got married in only last year.  Today I tackled the really hard stuff: the art and craft stuff under the stairs.  The wire mesh I made handmade paper with fifteen years ago and that I kind of always thought I might do again with my step daughter but haven’t.  The little cardboard pot of sequins I used to make cards with.  Coloured pencils I have had for years, little paintbrushes.

This stuff is hard because on the one hand it seems to reproach me for having abandoned that side of things- I no longer make cards or sew- but it also forces me to realise that I am not the same person I was.  That can be viewed sadly or perhaps it can be viewed happily: Wow, what an amazing creative person I used to be, even when I had no money and a little child and was a single parent and was probably a bit depressed, how cool was I?  I remind myself that that cool young woman helped lay the foundations for me to grow into the calm**, centred, super happy person that I am today.

This week I had an experience that I couldn’t describe in words (a challenge for a writer): a sports massage.  As she twanged the big tendons of my neck my mind skated over how to describe the feeling this induced: it was not at all a sexual feeling but it shook though my body like an orgasm.  It was a feeling like a loss of control and yet not.  The feeling of stress leaving the body, or leaving via the body, was like a spiritual experience (except that it was physical not spiritual).  As she went over and over an area of my back, working out a knot, I experienced it like a rollercoaster, up, up and over and each time me trying to relax and let it wash over me and not fight against it.  The feeling of rebirth afterwards, a mild euphoria, and the next morning, skipping, singing, even my voice sounded better.

In the pool this week there was some kind of gala going on in one half and there was a PA system, plugged into the mains, on a stand inches away from the pool.  I thought of people being electrocuted when their hairdryer falls into the bath.  I wondered if such a big amount of water would dilute it or would we all die.  Would it hurt?  Okay, I thought, everyone’s okay.  There would probably be compensation.  I wrote my book.  And my blog.  I found God.  I was happy.  I wouldn’t have to worry about or deal with old age or illness.  I accepted it.  They unplugged it.  Oh well, not my time.

I read a blog about blogging, in which the advice given was, that you need to do it for a year before you know if it’s worth doing.  That advice could also apply to spiritual practice.  Although I already know it’s worth doing, it’s more about a test of my commitment, much like how healing training takes two years.

After a weekend of complete R&R I realised I wasn’t going mad or embarking on a dangerous course, risking losing connection with my husband; I was just tired that’s all.  A week of staying up too late, working late and getting up early to go to a conference, that was all.  I do like to catastrophise (have I said that before?)  In bed one night, my husband enfolded me into his arms and I felt our breathing merge, felt myself merging into him at each contact point.  This long, no sex cuddle was like being in a cocoon or having steel bands of love wrapped around me, and the next morning I realised, not only can I love God through loving my husband but God can love me through the love my husband gives to me.

*our good friend DW
**on a good day, anyway