Shed Confessional

After living in my shed after a year I have finally finished adding my Brittany touches and making it my own. With all my spiritual training, I am aware that home can be created wherever you, but I can’t help feeling for the first time in a while that this home. Growing up our house wasn’t extravagant or large (it was a manufactured home), but it always had the homey quality. Not some over the top home with rooms not for sitting or movie theaters, it was us, it read Paulin all over. When I moved out at 21 to live in a one-bedroom apartment with two of my greatest friends, it felt like I was visiting. I slept on a couch in the front room and only paid the electric bill. It was immensely fun, but it never felt like mine as Tab’s dad let us live there. Two summers ago, Doug flipped a three-bedroom house in a stunner, with new cabinets and appliances. It was nice. Even though this time I was paying equally for rent, it still never felt like mine. All the niceness radiated Tab, and that was okay, but it again I felt like a hotel guest. Tab did her best to make me feel at home, but I withdrew further and further. Cue in Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life. It may be cliche, but this book really did change my life. I vividly remember sitting in the back office of our Avon store, sitting cross-legged on the couch reading with my notes scattered around me. When I got to:

Learning consists of daily accumulating.

The practice of the Tao consists of daily diminishing;

decreasing and decreasing, until doing nothing.

When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained

by letting things go their own way.

It cannot be gained by interfering.

To which Dr. Dyer clarifies: Cease interfering with the natural world by doing as much as you can to decrease your impact on the environment. That is, live in harmony with the no-thing-ness state from which you emerged and to which you are destined to ultimately return. Enjoy the flowers, clouds, sunsets, storms, stars, mountains, and all the people you encounter. Be with the world, in it and adoring it, but not needing to possess it. This is the way of peace.

Something just clicked. An idea came to me, I don’t know or question from where, but I decided to act on it. I called my mom and although she initially tried to talk me out of it, my Dad pushed me on and that evening she apologized and came around. The idea? To move out of my house and build a Cabin. Did I know how to build a cabin? Hell no, but the great thing about technology is the internet allows access to all the information you could have ever dreamed. I went home that night and packed my stuff, I had to act, I couldn’t let others, conditioning or memes talk me out of it. I was ready to go, I figured I sleep in a tent while I prepared my humble abode. There was a hang-up: my best and faithful friend Tabitha. I loved living with her and she always supported me unconditionally (usually after a bit of convincing or because she finally realized I was going to do my own thing). How to tell her I was leaving? Someone who had done so much for me? How to break it without her feeling like I was abandoning her. My plans were on halt, while waiting for signs of the right time to tell her, I thought of a plan. When I asked my grandmother if I could build on her property, she proposed that I live in the shed adjacent to her house. Brilliant, why waste when this was right in front of me. there perfect size too (actually it may be a little too big)! This was it, I talked to Tab, she didn’t get it completely, but she she would never put herself in the ways of my dreams or something I was passionate about. So two weeks after my first revelation, I was moved into the shed. I got rid of most of my clothes and took to the task of uncluttering. Gradually (and continually since then) I keep getting rid of more stuff. Detaching myself I got rid of probably at least 75% of my wardrobe (which was quite extensive and magnificent if I say myself). It something didn’t serve a purpose it was gone.  Initially I didn’t even have picture frames. Over time I kept clearing out more and more of my grandmothers items stored in the lofts above (she’s a bit of a hoarder, but I pushed her: it’s been out of site out of mind, you’re not using it, nor will you probably use it again. Unbeknownst to her I began clearing things out. Eventually I had a blank canvas. The past few months I began the task of transforming this canvas into something that represented me: simple, eclectic, fun, completely balanced (masculine/feminine, naturally/modern). An inspirational palace for me to lay my head and read. I painted the dresser, hung up deer antlers for my jewelry, hung a hammock bed and created a chalkboard inspiration board. It was completely me, and for the first time in years it feels truly like home.

Shed life hasn’t always been easy, but I do compromise. For instance I cook most of my meals while at work, where I also shower, and my grandma lets me use her washer and then I hang them on the clothesline. Most of the time, I am honestly not there. I do sleep there, which is actually my biggest attachment. It’s like a cave in there, dark and perfect for sleeping. I’ve grown completely in sync with my circadian rhythm, falling asleep and waking up naturally in the morning with a certain chorus of bird singing, that I have come to realize is nature’s perfect alarm clock. Now sometimes sleeping is the challenge. I don’t mind cold weather, I can always had blankets and layers to sleep in. The upcoming summer and heat are the problem. You can only take so many clothes off. Often I sleep with door open at night, letting air come in, but sometimes this is not enough (and I often joke that I going to wake up with a raccoon in my bed or a deer staring down at me) and I lay smoldering. That’s part of the challenge, though and I have spent the past year challenging myself. I chose this lifestyle. Everyone else is allows surprised and fascinated by it, but honestly it has never seemed like a big deal to me (and like I said I do concede some compromises). I couldn’t let the thought that it was hard get into my head, otherwise I may have changed my mind and talked myself out of living there. I have lived there since last March, and although it’s not a big deal anymore, I know it has changed me exponentially. I have gradually been weening myself away from the desire for material things, although I am human so I do have an attraction to pretty dresses sometimes (although I find books are my main challenge). I’ve stopped the persistent shopping (although a lack of funds has aided this, which I am actually very grateful for). In having less, I’ve cut strings to all my stuff. With less strings, and less stuff to look after, I am able to focus on life and living life. I actually feel like I have more. It’s weird in having less, that I feel the richness of other parts of my life. I’m thankful more for the beautiful people in my life, for nature (just living in awe), just life in general. This a great change I feel, plus it makes me realize how I prefer things natural. I can no longer sleep ‘indoors’, I’ve had many miserable nights sleep at the shop or other locations outside of my shed. There is too much light, too much noise. We live in a world of distractions and I want to see and feel the world, not be taken away from it.

Living Simply has helped me live more. Having less can actually increase the awareness of the riches of life away from stuff and distraction. Strive to find the balance and live in awe!

BE, Love, Illuminate,

Brittany

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