A client recently wrote eloquently to me about a mindful transition she had made with a calm heart, a clear mind and some suggestions from me about the ceremonial aspects. The transition centered on getting rid of an old sofa and replacing it with a new, smaller version that suits her lifestyle and her living room. The old sofa-bed had provided comfort and support during earlier times in her life as she faced the loss of her parents, the retirement from a job she had long enjoyed, and the gradual and steady decline of a romantic partner who suffers Alzheimer’s disease. It both represented the life she had once led and her entrance into a new stage of life as an elder.
Here is how she chose to honor this significant transition:
- After opening up the bed, she sprayed the old mattress with lavender essential oil and also used purification essential oil in a diffuser for the entire living room. She relived memories and expressed gratitude to the couch for all it had witnessed.
- After she donated the couch and it had been removed, she swept the floor and spot-cleaned the carpet.
- The following day, when the weather was beautiful, she opened some windows to air out the house and the living room and she used the purification in the diffuser again.
- She sprinkled salt on the area where the new couch was to be placed, invoked a prayer of cleansing and purification, and then vacuumed it.
- Having an open space in the living room also opened up awareness of things in her life on an emotional level. It made her more aware of the transitions and changes she was going through,and gave her an appreciation for the new stage of life she is now creating, beginning with the purchase of a new sofa.
- When the new sofa is delivered, I suggested that she light a candle, and bless the space in which this new piece of furniture is being welcomed into her home. She could choose to write some simple phrases on index cards, or cut and paste images from favorite magazines onto cards that express her sentiments and can be tucked under the cushions.
Benefits of graceful transitions:
- A sense of completion, of coming full circle, is one of the most meaningful gifts of a conscious transition. By giving it full acknowledgement, my client’s sofa was recognized as a primary companion over a 25-year period of her life journey. It had been a silent witness to many significant changes and had borne her sorrow, and her grief during times of loss. It felt “right” to bid it a dignified and sentimental farewell.
- Creating sacred space for the new sofa, and anticipating future experiences that it might help support and comfort, brings a sense of preparation and readiness; like packing for a trip helps us get ready to travel.
- By being mindful we can elevate an ordinary event into one that has meaning and significance to us. We can sharpen our sense of appreciation and gratitude for the passage of time, and how we are aging and growing into our future selves. There can be great joy and simple pleasure in the process.