The Sock Drawer

While grudgingly folding laundry this morning, I had a sudden insight! I don’t need all that drawer space for the business socks any longer! The more subdued hues and chilly fabrics that will fit a dress shoe, they’ve been taking up a lot of room… and my life has changed.

All the newer, colorful, comfy wool socks and funky legwarmers (yes, my secret identity as the Flashdance Yogini) have grown in number. But they’re all jammed in there together — and they really need more space.

The insight:
Make room for what’s happening now.

We so often resist the present, in favor of ideas of what could be, should be, or used to be. You know, I didn’t even want to fold that big pile of laundry first thing this morning. But there it was. And little did I know that a Mindfulness Metaphor for Life was waiting in that pile of mismatched socks. So the laundry that I had been resisting actually held a useful clue, buried in its stubborn requirement that I give up time and energy, to create order out of chaos.

The work socks have served their purpose, and it’s time to clear out that drawer, make a clothing donation, and give the comfy socks more space. Why have I been holding on to the work socks? Why not look at what’s right here: the comfy socks, and what they say about what’s happening now.

Every time I come back from a silent retreat, I think about the title of Jack Kornfield’s book After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, because usually there is a pile of laundry to be done and it’s such an amazing metaphor for the re-entry process into the everyday.

Sometimes it can feel more like — after the laundry, the laundry — one more pile of rapidly wrinkling clothing always waiting for us. So it’s no wonder that we don’t always want to look at what’s there. But then, how freeing all that space it can make, to just clear things out and see what’s there, what’s not needed any more, and what has grown right in front of us.

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