Inner Peace, Zen and the Art of Moving

First off, before I move…I set an intention of having “the most effortless, flowing, stress-free move I’ve ever experienced”. I imagine everything coming together neatly into boxes, things moving quickly, nothing getting damaged…..and most importantly ME EXPERIENCING PEACE throughout the day.

There are ALWAYS THINGS WE CANNOT PREDICT OR CONTROL in the outside world — however, we CAN INFLUENCE our INNER BEING. And, when we do, we always ultimately access peace and joy. There are several
overriding beliefs that I believe allow me to have the experiences that I do during a move. Also, they are very useful beliefs to live life by.

  1. It will all get handled…ultimately. It might look a little messy and disheartening in the middle of it, but I WILL get from Point A to Point B. There is “always a way” when one is committed.
  2. I am at peace, as long as I DON’T resist “WHAT IS”. “Accepting what is” is one of the most useful principles to live by. The cranky lady at the U-Haul office is just being herself. I can think “she shouldn’t be this way”, OR have compassion for her, and chuckle instead. RESISTANCE is the ONLY factor that creates STRESS. It’s never the cranky lady at U-Haul…or whatever you think is creating stress in your life. It’s ONLY our reactions and resistance to “reality” or “what is”.
  3. All is well. With this belief, I know I can experience PEACE in any moment. When we embody “all is well” to our core…nothing in the outside world can rock the center of your soul. Unless someone has a knife at my throat, or I’m threatened physically…..I am fine, really.

So, what’s it REALLY like to be “present with” a MOVE?

Here’s exactly how I experienced one of my moves a few years ago…when I moved from southern to northern California.

As I started packing, my predominant feeling inside is one of deep, serene inner peace and the “all is well” feeling. It is as though two entirely separate experiences are present. The thought, “Mary, you should be really stressed right now” comes to me…..and yet, when I’m just “going with the flow” and truly ACCEPTING each little challenge and moving to the next…the resulting experience is one of inner peace.

Yikes! The thought came again, “Mary, you should be really stressed right now”. And, yes…plenty of evidence for stress. However, simultaneously, and even more profoundly….I notice a very deep “inner calm”. Peaceful, even blissful. Again, it seems I “should be” stressed.

Finally, I broke.

They asked me to fill out yet another U-Haul application for that auto transporter they should’ve had at the first U-Haul location.  Can you believe it??

As I noticed my ego reaction building, RESISTING THIS PROCESS and wanting DESPERATELY to be done with this silly preliminary stuff…these words came to me, “what’s REALLY different in this moment, than the others?”

After about a minute of pouting, I started laughing at myself and surrendered to the process. What’s another 5 minutes, really?  The only thing that was different was ME, and my RESISTANCE to the reality of the moment.

Well, the movers left at 9pm after miraculously squeezing EVERYTHING I owned into every available inch of that truck. Packing a truck is like completing a very large jigsaw puzzle, don’t you think?

Feeling rather spunky, I decided to drive the 17 ft. truck – towing my stuffed car by trailer to Northern Cal. Yes….the same night.  Figured the cooler air would be easier on my plants and frozen vegetables…and the beloved U-Haul.

Still in my moving clothes, and 12+ hours of running around…I cautiously inched ahead with the monstrous load.  Since I’d been “living in the present moment,” I hadn’t stepped into the experience of driving the contraption, until THEN.  Thus, I hadn’t “stressed” about it.

Let me tell you, it is a bizarre feeling to drive something so big, knowing your car and EVERYTHING you own is behind you — and in your care.  Yikes!

The thought came again, “Mary, you should be really stressed right now”.  And, yes…plenty of evidence for stress.  However, simultaneously, and even more profoundly….I had a very deep “inner calm.”  Peaceful, even blissful.  A true knowing that indeed,“all was well,” and that I was going to be “in good hands” on my drive to Los Gatos.

In this altered state, I noticed the cars around speeding ferociously past me… after another… I awkwardly plugged away at 45 mph.  Yet, it was so beautiful!!! All the tail-lights zipping ahead…like watching the wake of a boat separate around the bow.  Very surreal.   Of course, it seemed like I was driving REALLY fast at this point.  How bizarre to be the one BEING passed, since I’m typically doing the speeding.  Again, it seemed that I “should be” stressed.  But, from the depths of being was that incredibly calm, warm feeling of security.

And,…..what a great metaphor for life – “it really IS okay to slow down, to go at your own pace, letting other’s pass you by — knowing that you WILL reach your destination if you just follow your path”. Those were my exact thoughts.

There was an intense joy and relief as I surrendered even more fully to this knowing.  And, I thought….“how true this is – in life.” Society creates expectations and pressure about going fast, getting it done, speed. And yet…when we get “in tune” with what feels “right for us” in the moment — even if it doesn’t match the outside world — we ARE on “the right path”. Life becomes a joy.  It’s all we have to do…just trust in our process. And, I thought…this is going to make a great Soulfully Living topic.  How perfect. 🙂

Well, I had to stop 3 times going UP, UP, UP the Grapevine overpass on I-5…because the beloved U-Haul needed breaks. I assumed that when the little gauge goes all the way to the top of RED, and I smell something funny….it needed a rest.   I pulled over… stopped for 15 minutes while the engine cooled, then continued.  I surrendered once again to reality.

In addition, each time, I pleasantly asked the angels to help this beloved truck get over the darn peak.  We eventually did.  After 3 stops.  Sometimes, this is what life delivers.

Without sounding airy fairy, it truly felt as though a team of angels and spirits were “with me”….transporting me to my destination.  They kept me awake and alert – without a cassette or CD player.  They kept me safe. And, they allowed me to eventually approach speeds of 65-70 mph.  Or was it adrenaline and the excitement of the move??  Hmmm.  I KNOW I wasn’t alone.  How else could I account for the inexplicable feeling of “peace” that was present throughout the entire event?

I drove until 4:30am.  Slept for 2½ hours in a rest stop between a few dozen semi-trucks. At sunrise, I finished off the 9 hour trip (it actually takes much longer with all the stuff), driving into Los Gatos at 9am.

After a brief pit-stop, went to Home Depot, was swarmed with Hispanic workers (imagine dropping food into a tank full of fish….you’ll get the picture)…..picked 3 that “sort of” knew English.  2.5 hours later they’d emptied the truck.

Then I got a hankering to drive my Lexus, so went to U-Haul and drove it off the ramp. My friend Margaret had come up from Aptos to help….so, well…..”no time like the present”, we jumped right into unpacking and box shuffling. Signed the lease in there somewhere. My friend Dave also stopped by to lift the heavy stuff. Margaret’s actually a World Champion power lifter so I didn’t do the REALLY heavy stuff.

Then, of course, it was time for dinner. It’s good to eat occasionally…and I’d mostly forgotten about that for nearly 2 days. Between the margarita, the glass of Red Zin, 2.5 hours of sleep AND moving constantly for 2 days…..I could barely see straight by 9pm.   But, the job was done.  I slept well that night.

Three days later I was nearly 100% settled in my new pad. Some times it’s essential to SURRENDER to the snail’s pace, and some things are best done very QUICKLY. Especially, with a little help… Wisdom is knowing when each serves you best.


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One Response to “Inner Peace, Zen and the Art of Moving”

  1. Addison Mcdowell

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