refinish wood floors 3During our home renovation, I’ve paid close attention when apparent obstacles arise.

My tack is different these days. Instead of resisting, I soften, and get very curious. Perhaps what is presenting is not an obstacle after all, but a moment to review, perhaps change course, and see what else is opening.

Yesterday, Bob, the flooring guy, let us know while we were confirming dates for next week that rather than starting on Monday, he couldn’t begin hardwood repairs until Wednesday. The initial plan had been to repair the red oak floor in the kitchen, and then refinish the kitchen and all the hallways prior to laying carpet in the bedrooms, living room, and family room. We are on a specific schedule–we want to move and have a week to get settled before my husband has minor surgery and is laid up for a bit. My old pattern would have been to tighten and resist change, to worry, and fret, to lie awake at night, to envision hopeless outcomes–all that energy spent on an imaginary future that may not come to pass.

Instead, a kind of  inner space opened up. Out of that emptiness, a new plan seemed possible–lay the carpet on Monday, and tape off entryways to the living and family rooms that don’t have doors to reduce the sanding dust on the new carpet. My husband realized the swap opens Tuesday for other small finishing tasks–perhaps Alan the furnace guy, or Scott the electrician can use that available time. This way, we can remain on schedule to move August 1st. Bob blustered a bit about the change in the order of his work, but his blustering is his, not mine. Once he saw that a bit of dust on the carpet didn’t concern me–I surely know how to vacuum–he was able to soften as well.

These skilled tradespeople are awareness in a different, beautiful skin; we are truly not-two. When I knowingly live that, they meet me there.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

not doing and action

Right now, life is filled with apparent endless activity all day–during this house renovation, we work with our contractor and sub-contractors, choose new lights, appliances, countertops and other necessary household sundries, schmooze with the town’s only (grumpy) building inspector, hold a lengthy meeting with the electrician, and work on the schedule of who-does-what-next and when-to-order-what. As “owner-builders,” we’re the general contractors on this project.

kitchen demo

Yet it is apparent to me that nothing is happening at all. Awareness, as always, is present and noticing. As always, there is no color, texture or other attribute that is findable–nothing to put a finger on and say “That! There it is!” Awareness has no opinions or even preferences, yet holds the space for opinions and preferences without comment. Apparent choices are made–yes to this, no to that, and maybe, can’t decide yet–and awareness is not touched.

All the while, our real estate business is ongoing and quite active. Clients’ needs must be met in a timely manner. I deeply appreciate each client for their unique desires and perspectives. In fact, I love them–but that would not be appropriate to share. I want to serve them well. Yesterday, we finished our last task at 11 PM, and a phone call from the East coast came in at 7 AM this morning.

Fireplace demo 2It is amazing what can get done where there is no resistance–this, this, that, and now this, this, this. Meet it, greet it, welcome it, and serve. In a way, we are serving this home as well as our clients–loving it back to life.

Today we solved the design challenges of the fireplace. Agreement on the slate tiles that will surround the fireplace showed up. Our Buddhist friend said yes to designing the wooden mantle–how beautiful to watch him bring the task into awareness.

Awareness does simply this: nothing. No thing. Yet life continually unfolds.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013