Simplicity is the path to freedom.
This was the last line in today’s 3-minute Sagittarius Today podcast that I listen to every morning before getting out of bed. After replaying the last segment of the recording to make sure I got it right, I jotted it down in the notebook app on my phone, a narrative nugget for later. This timeless message guided the whirlwind of activities I was caught up in all morning, and it may be my mantra for 2021.
However, this wasn’t entirely clear as I dug through potting soil to complete the first of several trans-plant procedures. My orange tabby cat, Elliott Orchard, has been slowly destroying a prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura) a friend gave to me. I love the plant and the pot it was in, which cost the earth because it was shipped from France. The plant and pot were liberally doused with anti-cat spray, which proved useless.
A few leaves were chomped, and it began to resemble the leaning tower of green thumb failure. I tried shooing Elliott off the counter, also useless, and even tied a chunk of rope around its flailing stems. I finally admitted defeat and the bedraggled plant now lives in a square glass vase on top of the fridge, far from her antics. Say a little prayer for it, will you?
A series of unexpected aesthetic tasks began to flow from this single act of rearrangement; pull one thread and the whole sweater is out of alignment, so the saying goes. Although initially a little stressed when I saw the design challenges before me, it soon became fun. I turned on a cool playlist, took slurps of coffee in between decisions, and moved in and out of every room with a certain lightness.
Three plants found new homes, four display areas got makeovers, many dry plant bits got tossed or snipped (yes, I snip them = obsessive), and several decorative items went from downstairs to the second floor. The dark morning hours evaporated as I listened to 50 cent, Stevie Nicks, Neil Young, and the Beastie Boys and made countless small transformations throughout my home.
It’s magical when design quandaries offer up new creative possibilities that expand how we think and feel about the things that please us, and why. Much joy was transferred to and from different items and among myself and my two cats. They were slightly on edge because I was doing new things, which goes against the feline preference for all things routine. With the air infused with both uncertainty and juicy arty vibes, Elliott and Jhona joined in the fun to ‘help’ as only cats can.
Reflecting on the decisions I was making, it struck me that simplicity was the theme. When we reduce and take away more room is given to space itself, which is essential in good design and good living. It gives us more room to be in the room more fully and it can help each item sparkle brighter.
As I looked at my newly refreshed spaces, I am grateful to Elliott for being such a brat! I had to bend to her and in doing so I opened up new, more expansive outcomes for myself. Following energies instead of resisting them is wise, not always possible, but wise. It helps us flow, which is our body’s natural state as an organism in the world. There is much freedom in letting the path lead.