So, I embarked on a 33-day food and body cleanse, but what I ended up with was something totally different.

Although I was determined to do the cleanse for 33 days, I kept running into difficulty.  My mind wanted to cleanse my body. The universe needed me to go deeper than that and presented me with a new opportunity to do so.

A few nights after my last entry, I came home to a notice shoved under my door. It was from my management company: a mid-lease rental increase of $1400 a month. I had 30 days to decide to stay or surrender the apartment.  Now this was a situation I had never been in before.  Find a way to handle a 50% increase or uproot our home within 30 days.  It’s enough to stress a person out when it’s just herself, but now with two small children and friends and school, etc. It was a LOT!

For two days I didn’t even think about it as I had too much on my plate; I had to focus on my daughter’s school concert and my son’s field trip and things at SanaVita. But then, on the third night when I tried to go to bed, the reality of the situation hit and I was worried. And sleepless.  I spent the entire night awake and did not sleep for one second as I tossed around my options.  The next afternoon I went to the leasing department of my apartment complex to see what other apartments were available.

We live in Peter Cooper Village / Stuyvesant Town and there was a large lawsuit that ended with many tenants being forced out of their homes.  It was unusual and unfortunate, but it was happening.  It forced the three of us to downsize from a 2 bedroom/ 2 bathroom apartment to a 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom.  Now in the scope of things, that’s really not so bad. Things could be much worse. I want to provide comfort and security for my kids and I didn’t want them to go through the stress of an abrupt move to a smaller apartment. Even though it wasn’t my fault, it was still a blow to my ego to have to explain to my babies why we had to move and how we have to make lemonade out of these lemons we had just been served.

So the clock was ticking and I was trying to secure this 1 bedroom apartment down the street from us in the same complex.  I haven’t had to “qualify” for an apartment in NYC in years and now they were asking me to re-qualify even though I have been a paying tenant for the last 4 years!  So I was running around trying to get all the paperwork in order to convince my management company to let me stay in their complex and keep paying the same amount of money for an even smaller apartment. Plus moving costs. And while I was going thru this process,  I lost my wallet!

“What is the universe trying to tell me!?!?”  What came to me was “LET GO… go deeper… cleanse further.”

Practically speaking, I was not able to keep a lot of the furniture that we had, as it wouldn’t all fit.  Same goes for toys and games and clothes. An experience like this really makes you refocus your priorities and figure out what’s important. What’s worth holding onto and what do I need to let go of?

I’ve discovered so much unnecessary baggage in my life.  By clearing out the apartment that I had moved into three years earlier as a family of four, I went through a very deep and cathartic cleanse.   I literally had bags filled with bags in all my closets!  Clothes overflowing (I’ve cut back drastically but still working on that one!). Nick-nacks and keepsakes all over the place, burned out used up candles. And PAPERS!!! Sooooo many papers!

One of the items of furniture that couldn’t make it into the new pad was my all mighty filing cabinet.  I’m an old school gal and liked getting my bills in the mail, writing the checks, stuffing the envelopes and mailing ‘em back in old school style.  But what I wouldn’t realize was that I would often be stressed leaving my mail for the last minute and JUST getting the bills mailed in barely in the nick of time!  And all the mail that would come in would just get filed.  And I’ve been holding on to all those pieces of papers for ten years!  Can you imagine?  Ten year old Verizon bills hanging around, paying moving men to move them from one apartment to the other over the course of a decade!?!??  And for what???

So this move inspired me to go paperless!  In four days I went through every paper and made piles. The shred pile. The scan then shred pile. The scan and keep a hard copy pile. I went from a large 2 drawer packed filing cabinet to 1 small box about 8”wide!  Now THAT was amazing!

Moving into a new space with a fresh start was totally liberating.  Releasing all the old cobwebs, letting go of the past. I didn’t realize the impact of living in the home that I had built with my ex husband.  Even though I had rearranged and bought new furniture, it had still been our place together. Now we have a new place.  Me and my two babies. And we are happy.  It was incredibly stressful to go through, but now that it is over, I see it as a blessing.  We may have less floor space, but our hearts are wide and open.  We are safe. We are still in our community. We are less cluttered. And we are home.