At the time of this writing, the year is 2020. Also known as the year many people wish to forget. The year of the great pandemic. The year the world was faced with changing the way we lived our lives. The year that shook things up. The year where we got to witness both the best and the worst of the human spirit unfold.

This was the year many of us started to make subtle shifts in how we lived, worked, played, and socialized.

This year gave us all a fresh perspective. Even if we really were not asking for it, it came knocking violently at our door. When we closed the lights, ducked out of sight, and pretended we were not home, the wind howled and opened our door anyways. The loud hurricane-like wind funneled in through the windows and doors and made itself comfortable. We began to feel uncomfortable with how comfortable the wind made itself. Opening our refrigerator, eating our food, leaving a mess and then still refusing to leave when we said we were out of food. Instead it put on its cozy onesie, fluffy slippers and made itself some tea as it controlled the remote control and our TV. When we said we had watched everything on Netflix and suggested maybe it should leave now, it still did not go.

Instead, the wind lingered around the house like the old familiar smell of your grandma’s moth ball blanket. After countless washes, air drying in the breeze and dousing in a bath of essential oils you can still get the faintest whiff of moth balls when you cuddle up really close with your blanket.

The smell makes you uncomfortable, but it becomes familiar.

Every time you try to take a nap and relax, you pull the blanket closer to your nose and are instantly reminded of the moth balls. And the feelings of discomfort set in again. Tight stomach, headache and racing thoughts. “When will this mothball smell ever leave!?” you cry, stomping around the house trying to get the wind to notice how aggravated you are at its presence.

It still doesn’t get the hint.

Instead, we learned to cope with that discomfort.

Through the summer we might have started to meditate, exercise and grow a garden to get out of our stuffy homes. We began walking towards the self- help aisle in the bookstore and picking up books like “How to feel calm in the midst of chaos”.

Through the fall things started to get even more uncomfortable, as the way we lived, worked, played and went to school began to change. Business was not running as usual and that made us feel uncomfortable. It could have been this way that we started to make new realizations.

Through the winter, the snow came and we all went back indoors. We could no longer air out the blanket or open the windows to air out the house so we were forced to sit with the lingering smell of moth balls. Sit with discomfort. Sit with the breakdowns that followed. Sit with the fear of the unknown. Sit with the tough days.

Then one day, as we squished ourselves onto our couch as our unwelcomed, onesie wearing, moth smelling, food stealing, remote control hog of a guest sprawled out on OUR couch we had a deep realization.

“This is my house!” you say.

The wind does not even flinch.

You begin to question whether you even really said anything at all, convincing yourself you must have just said it in your head.

You muster up the courage to try again.

“This is my house!” you whisper.

“Sorry, what was that?” said the wind.

You are caught off guard that the wind actually acknowledged you. Haven’t you been trying to get him out for months? you think to yourself.

“Please leave my house. I am not kidding this time.”

“But I have been here for so long” says the wind. “This feels like my home now.”

“I can see that” you say as you gaze at the windstorm that he has caused in your home. “I am sorry – but you must go.”

“ I really think you are making a big mistake, you will miss me when I am gone” says the wind.

“ I will call you if anything changes, but for now you are no longer welcome here.”

The wind seemed surprised by my new tone of voice. The new confidence and power that began to overtake me. The directness of my request.

The wind slowly began to pack up his things into a small duffel bag. Before he left he made sure to make his displeasure clear. He changed my Netflix password, raided my fridge for some Cheetos and bananas for the road and said he was keeping the fluffy slippers.

As he was halfway down the driveway my nose caught a lingering smell.

“The moth ball blanket” I cried!

I rushed to the couch, snatched the blanket and ran outside.

“You forgot your blanket!” I said, throwing him the all too familiar blanket.

“You sure you don’t want to keep it as a reminder of our time together?” the wind said.

“I’ll pass this time, I am actually expecting a new blanket in the mail today” you say as you wave goodbye.

As you step into your home, it almost feels as though you are entering a new home for the first time. The air feels lighter, the space feels bigger and the smell is just delightful!

Just as you are walking around feeling blissful and at peace a little gust of wind blows on the window.

At the sound of the wind a new thought creeps in. “What am I going to do with all this space?” you say hesitantly. “I have nothing left – no job, no food, no company, no Netflix. I should just call my friend the wind. What can I do when I am left with nothing” you think to yourself.

As you are picking up the phone to call the wind and ask him to come back, you hear a knock at the door.

You rush to the door, thinking that it is your comfortable friend coming back but instead all you see is a box.

Your package has arrived.

You rip open the box and pull out your brand new fluffy blanket. You bring it up to your nose and take in a big whiff.

“It smells like nothing” you say. “And nothing actually smells….well just delightful.”

You realize then in that moment that you won’t be calling back the wind. You don’t need to call back the familiar feelings in order to feel whole and complete.

You appreciate the fullness of nothing.

And what can you do with nothing?

…………………………..

Anything . Absolutely anything.

This year (2020 if we have forgotten) has left us feeling similar to the character in the story, sharing a crammed sofa with an unwelcome guest that refuses to leave.

The wind character in the story represents our fears- both individually and collectively. The fear that sits in the background, making itself a little too comfortable in our home. This fear suffocates us, quite literally like a moth smelling blanket.

The home in the story represents our body, mind, and spirit. We can allow our sacred home to become infiltrated with fearful thoughts that grasp onto anything they can to stay around for another day.

The main character in the story represents our free will and choice. As long as the character let the wind (fear) hang around her home (body, mind, spirit), she felt uneasy, powerless and like a victim.

It wasn’t until she had the realization of her own power within that she was able to use her words and stand up to the wind. In the moment when she listened to her inner voice of knowing, she gained her sense of power in choosing to protect her sacred home from the wind.

When she decided to release her unwelcome guest named “fear” she created more space in her home.

And what can you do with more space?

Anything you want really.

It provides you with the space to start from nothing. The space to choose differently or start fresh. The space to forgive and let go. The space to release old patterns that hold you back and create new ways of being that are in line with your truth.

And ultimately, the space to make a choice…again and again, moment- by- moment to surrender your fear and choose love instead.

Just as in the story there will continue to be gusts of winds howling at your door, asking to enter your home, eat your food and steal your Netflix password. However, it is us who truly holds the power to protect our home. It is us who holds the power to ask the wind to kindly leave, again and again as we continue to choose the delightful smell of nothing.

And when we can come from that place of nothing. No fears, no old stories, or limiting beliefs or age long dramas.

We get everything and nothing all at the same time.

We get the power to choose powerfully to come from love, each and every time.

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This short story is truly about coming from the concept of nothing. As we leave our old ways of being, old paradigms, old systems behind – we give ourselves the space to create.

Here are a few prompts for you to practice creating from nothing in your mind!

  1. What is your truest, most beautiful vision for our education systems?

Prompts: If you could wave a magic wand and instantly create your grandest idea for our education systems, what would you create?

Using present tense language. Ex. In our schools, I would create the possibility of…

Let your mind wander and imagine.

Who is doing the teaching? What would you want to learn? How would you want to learn it? Where would you want to learn it?

  1. What is your truest, most beautiful vision for our environment?

Prompts: If you could create heaven on earth in our environment, what would you create?

What does a uniquely beautiful environment look like for you? How does it feel, smell, taste?

Using present tense language Ex. In our environment, I would create the possibility of…

Paint us a picture. What is your grandest idea for our environment?

  1. What is your trust, most beautiful vision for the way we work?

Prompts: If you were suddenly put in charge or re- creating the way we work, what would you create?

How would working in our society look like? How would it feel like to work in your society? Who would be working? How long? On what?

Using present tense language Ex. In our work, I would create the possibility of…

  1. What is the truest, most beautiful vision for our health and wellbeing?

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