The qualities that allow me to move through moving…

…instead of holing up with a book, taking endless baths, or hiding out at the movies

Not to mention stress and its friends sleeplessness, pain, and lack of balance

Yes, I admit it. This journey of moving home and office has been a bit much for my tender diva please-don’t-ask-me-to-change-anything self. Yesterday I got my second load of donated boxes and packing materials and nearly every square inch of my front room is now filled with boxes.

my labeled moving boxes

Here’s how last week went.

Let’s start with the stuff that didn’t go so well, when I was wrapped in qualities of sorrow, fear, and pain.

I’ll keep this down to five things (TBH there’s much more than that to choose from!)

  • I found my self-care slipping away. Eat an entire bag of cough drops like they’re candy? Yup. Stay up too late and get up too early? Yup. Worry much? Oh yes!
  • I convinced myself that focusing on packing and moving would result in losing my clients and any chance of getting more of them. Yes, that’s always fun.
  • As my to-do list began to grow and grow, I started to obsess about doing a perfect job of moving. Which makes me easily distracted and too easily irritated.
  • Now that I have boxes, I started to get really sad about packing. How am I supposed to be able to thrive when my house is being dismantled and deconstructed?
  • I couldn’t find any way at all to get started on the sales page for my new amazing retreat program. Sweaty and grimy from hauling boxes, I flopped into the belief that I couldn’t do it.

From Rumi:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

I did some surrendering. I welcomed each of these dark thoughts, maybe not with laughter (see the poem), but with softening, and was able to shift some of these and welcome the qualities that support my ease, that allow me to be of service.

So here’s what shifted, and here’s what worked last week.

  • Welcoming the darkness, and the sadness, changed everything for me. I was able to make some lovely shifts. Even though I am about to start taking down all the beautiful things that makes this place my home, and pack them away, I will do that from gratitude, and wonder, and be completely prepared to smile with delight when I get to unpack them again in their new home.
  • I decided to take the sales page one week at a time. And to trust that the pace of my business development, glacial as it seems much of the time, is just where it’s supposed to be. I will try again next week to begin. And I will keep working on my clients’ new websites. And complete what’s needed on my to-do list so the move can happen in perfect time.
  • I did unplug most of the weekend, and I went to my synagogue’s retreat, and I went on a date, and I showed up for my sister’s airport ride. I had fun, I laughed, I tiptoed into the mystery of getting to know someone new, I had some down time.
  • I looked up on my walks, I expressed gratitude, and I listened to people. And when I noticed myself getting triggered, I worked on it. (My poor clients; my Jewish mother hen has been activated!)
  • Even after the cough drops day, I was able to return to mindful and wise food choices. I embraced and continue to embrace my wild imperfections, and I dare to forgive myself!

So precious you, what do you think? Any other labels I should add to my boxes? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Thanks to Havi Brooks for inspiring me, as usual, with her article about qualities.

Take a deeper dive — more articles like this one...

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Time and means — a blessing and a reminder to be grateful



I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Dear Sue,

    I know how unsettling moving can be but I also know it can be an exciting adventure. As a former military service member and then military spouse, for 16 years we moved every 2.5 years. Yup. I learned to live light, pack smart, and always have a plan to uproot my kids on a moments notice.

    Your clients can wait while you take care of what needs to be taken care of. When you take care of you first, the rest falls into place effortlessly.


  2. Dear Sue,

    You so have a gift for grace in all the right places. Thanks for ’embracing all those wild imperfections’. Girl, can I relate to those two words. I’m inspired to take that next step – embracing them.

    You are a model of transparency. I just so, so appreciate that quality you model for us.

    Sending you ease in these days of packing up and out.


    • Yes, Diane, it’s a game changer when you can embrace all of yourself. Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate the ease sent.

      Blessed be!

  3. I love the Guest House poem. It feels good to hear your struggles and that things are going slowly for you. Hearing what you say reminds me I need some self-care and welcoming of symptoms right now as I struggle with a depleted body. Thank you Sue.

    • Shulamit, thanks for sharing your self-compassion with me. Helps me do the same for myself.

      Love and ease,

  4. Love that you chose to have yourself sit on the wonder box in the photo – on purpose? Wonder, as in wondering what your future will bring, and wonder, as in appreciating all moments in life with a bit of wonder and awe.

    • Kimba, Actually I could have planted my metaphorical but on any of these qualities. But wrapping myself in wonder (all qualities of wonder) has been a radical act, and so helfpul as I move through this!

      Patience is a close second as a quality that’s keeping me sane.

      Thanks for this awesome comment.


  5. Sounds like you are doing all the right things for this part of your journey Sue. It’s been about 6 years since my last move, but one never forgets that process so I hope that it all goes well for you. 🙂

  6. Sue, I love hearing how you care for your tender diva self – yes, having moved too many times in the last few years, I empathize and truly wish you well. So inspiring to hear how you’re working with all of it.

    The photo is Great!!! Definitely when I need to move again, I’m doing Qualities on boxes. Oh. That reminds me, I still haven’t unpacked everything from my most recent move (4 in the last 2 years, ick!) – I do believe it’s time to label the as-yet-unpacked boxes with Qualities so that I can approach my stuff with more kindness. Thanks!

    • Amy, glad this is a useful concept for you!

      The packing begins in earnest this weekend, and I have my stash of Sharpies ready to actually label the actual boxes!


  7. Sue, I love this! My son and daughter-in-law moved this past weekend and many times packing was totally overwhelming. And when they actually got to their new place, it was still overwhelming because now was the next phase of trying to settle into a totally new place. I wish they had your post to see – I’ll be sharing it with them. I especially love the image of boxes with qualities to get you through. Just perfect!

    • Diane, thank you. Hope it can help your family even in the getting settled stage. And beyond.


  8. Hi Sue –

    I’m someone who has also moved many, many times. One of the things that helps me the most? Remembering and acknowledging the fact that it is difficult. I don’t think we’re supposed to be able to breeze through it! Hang in there. <3

  9. Congratulations & Condolences! My own experiences of moving house taught me that sadness and hope often travel side by side. Being part of the conversation between them is enlightening! Blessed be.

    • Valerie, welcome here, I’m so glad we’ve connected.

      I love your comment, and am taking the insight you offered right to my heart. So helpful.

      Blessed be!

  10. Hi Sue,
    I am glad you have embraced this move, see it as peggy says as an adventure — where you are moving to looks wonderful and a great walking area on the water.
    After our last move that was stressful and then I gave myself sciatica but not asking for help, I plan to not stay so long in one place and throw more out to start afresh and I have a wonderful checklist too.

    Make it fun and looking forward to pictures when you move
    love and big hugs Suzie xxoo

    • Suzie, well, TBH, I have my moments of embrace, and then moments with some less comfortable feelings. Got the first six big boxes packed, and the place is echoing alrady. It’s going to be an interesting month from now until the move.


  11. Hi, I can totally relate to this, together with my family, we usually move to another place every three years because of my husband’s job, I know how hard it is, but no worries, I’m sure everything will fall into place. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Dear Sue,
    once again so much thank you for your precious words. The fact is, I am moving too. And it was decided plenty of time ago, so that I knew it would have happened and thought to be ready. But I was not. I got angry with the entire world and behind, I lingered on my thoughts and helped them to become giant monsters, I began hating who was trying to help me and absolutely refused to get everything packed. I didn’t want to. Now my flat is full of boxes and I’m waiting for the moving (on Friday) as if it was the doom day. But I’ve learnt two important things: the first one is that surrendering is much easier than fighting and now I’m trying to stay in the flow, second, if you want to get angry, insult, cry and cry and cry, just do it. However, no one can believe it but packing and thinking of leaving your space is incredibly imbalancing.
    Sharing is a great help.
    Love, Micaela

    • Micaela, Thank you for sharing your heart.

      So timely for me. I had a nearly completely sleepless night beset by anxiety about my new living situation.

      I am beginning to be surrounded by boxes as well. Your words are soothing and honoring, and just what I needed.

      May your move bring you to a place where you can easily grow your roots and thrive.

      Blessed be.

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