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Happy 2006 to you all!

02 Jan
Happy 2006 to you all! Moving is such a bizarre thing to do. The last time I moved was in 1983, when I came to Cleveland from Washington DC with my husband and three kids..
Hello, folks, and a happy, healthy 2006 to you all! We’ve been incredibly busy at the office, thanks to a happy convergence of unexpected gifts: an article in Oprah’s January magazine, a plug from Andy Weil in a recent newsletter and New Dimensions Radio playing in Australia - this was an incredible interview that Justine Toms did, asking me about my book on imagery & trauma, Invisible Heroes which, by the way, is now out in paperback. So the office and warehouse have been hopping like mad over the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

Moving is such a very bizarre thing to do if you haven’t done it in a while. For me, it’s been 22 years. The last time I moved was in 1983, when I came to Cleveland from Washington DC with my husband and our 13 year old Aaron, 10 year old Keila and 7 year old Abe. Art was about to become Dean of the CWRU School of Applied Social Sciences (which he subsequently turned into The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences), and I’d arranged to commute to my private practice in Northern Virginia, from Tuesday mornings to Thursday afternoons, to see clients and supervise junior therapists. (That lasted for 2.5 years, ‘til Keila ordered me to stop.)

I remember thinking then, on our first night in the ‘new’ house, lying awake in the new bedroom, surrounded by disordered boxes, inaccessible necessities and very excited kids who’d finally crashed, how very disturbing it was to move, and how utterly weird it felt, on some primitive, pre-verbal level that was hard to even express, to have left the comforts of our old home and be in a new space (even though it was far nicer and roomier space that what we’d left behind).

Well, that new space became old and cozy and comfortable, of course. And now I just did it again, and I’m here to report, moving is still weird. Not for nothing is it tops on the stress scale, over death of a loved one and loss of a job! But I tell myself what I once told a client of mine, who was a compulsive stasher who needed some help clearing out the vast piles o’ crapola she’d collected in her house: don’t count what’s left to be done; count the trash bags going out the door! So I’m taking my own advice and trying to stay mellow about the chaos and befuddlements within.

Meantime, I’ve been taking shortcuts wherever possible, to carve out some time for these endless boxes. For instance, instead of my usual translating of a Pubmed research abstract into readable English, I just posted one, more or less verbatim last week. I thought I could get away with it. Not so! I got busted by the vigilant Tom W, who writes:

We found last week''s "Hot Research" on long term effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on panic disorder to be nearly unintelligible, with seeming internal contradictions. Are we missing something? Are research reports now written in gibberish?

Pretty funny. Sorry, Tom. I’ll have to dig up that abstract and see what I posted. And I’ll try to make sure it won’t happen again; and when I have time, I’ll even go back and fix that one. It’s good to know somebody out there is paying attention!!

And one more thing about moving: how is it that you throw out, give away or sell tons of stuff, move the rest, and then unpack complete junk that you totally don’t want or need?? I’m unpacking useless junk that I paid to keep in storage and then move! This is a most mysterious dynamic, this temporary suspension of good judgment!

And of course it leads to the real question of how much do we really have to have, anyway? I’ve been living for 6 months with my stuff in storage, using an absolute minimum of this and that, and mostly it suited me just fine (could have used my winter coat, is all.) Makes one wonder, does it not? …

Anyway, happy new year to you all. Next week at this time, I might even have my wireless all set up, the crib for my delicious grandsons all assembled, and my pots and pans on the shelves.

All best,
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award