Destinations and Untethering

In my last post I wrote about moving from my home on the Central California coast to an unknown destination. I even expressed my desires to the Universe for the perfect abode to house, not only my two BMW motorcycles, but also my faithful canine companion, Sir Buddy, Lord Protector of the Realm.

It’s funny how the Universe responds to our deepest desires with what some might consider a flat refusal or a haughty laugh. But I’ve always thought that the unifying stuff that comprises the Universe is smarter than that; certainly smarter than we who inhabit this cosmic, floating orb.

What we define as best and optimal often isn’t. In my case, the desire for a one bedroom cottage with an available garage to house my Bavarian steeds and a backyard for Sir Buddy was not to be. However, as the Universe continues to prove its intelligence, perhaps the answer I received is what’s best and optimal at this present time.

As One Door Closes…

I made the decision to move on from the Beach Bungalow after my youngest son moved out. I thought I’d be in the same general vicinity but closer to him and his burgeoning musical exploits. But, as I stated above, the Universe had other plans..at least temporarily.

Most likely, you’ve experienced the phenomenon of one door -being perceived as opportunity- closing in your face while almost instantaneously another opens. Such was the case for me and my planned relocation to Santa Cruz.

A few months ago my mother suffered a stroke and my father’s overall health began to decline more rapidly. I visit them a few times each month in San Jose, a short 40-minute ride from where I live. On recent visits we discussed my impending move as well as their own present state of health and welfare.

I started to feel that my own desire for continued independence and distance was a bit selfish.

I’ve always known that it would be my responsibility to care for my parents as they grow more infirm. My two siblings live a far greater distance from our parents than I do, and as I am the executor of their estate and trust, I feel a strong sense of responsibility for them. I started to see the timing of my relocation and how it might be time to make the decision I knew I’d one day need to make.

With this plan in mind, April appeared to be a good time to untether from my belongings and downsize as much as possible.

Untethering 

There is a concept that Ev Bogue wrote about a few years ago in a book called Untether To Evolve. In it he states that when we cut ties to that which we are connected, we free ourselves and create more space, freedom, and autonomy. Untethering comes in many forms; untethering from physical belongings, relationships, certain people, jobs, schools, places, etc.

If you visualize a string connected your index finger to the person closest to you, that’s a way to visualize a tether. Now imagine more strings, one for each person you have a relationship with; one string to each physical belonging, to your job(s); to your habits, etc. Suddenly the amount of things to which you are tethered becomes overwhelming.

With all of these tethers visualized, it's difficult to see how we experience much freedom at all.

I’ve spent this month untethering from physical belongings, my home of six years, and some professional relationships.  I’m finding that as I do so, I’m also experiencing a good bit of uncertainty, but that is part of the process of untethering. (I’ll write a post about this process in the future.)

I’ve often thought that the perfect life for me would be on a BMW R1200GSA with its panniers packed only with what I truly need to live from day to day. It’s a minimalist, nomadic way of life to be sure, but one that has always appealed to me. I’ve never seen myself as the grand Baron of some estate filled with things. It’s the simple, quiet life with relatively few belongings that appeals to me as the most elegant.

Perhaps I’ll achieve that kind of lifestyle in the future, but for now, the needs of my parents are more important than my need to create a nomadic existence. However, I’m gratified that I will ease into this new role with as few tethers as possible.

Therein lies more space, freedom, and autonomy.