THE BLOG
01/22/2014 04:33 pm ET Updated Mar 24, 2014

Living Out of the Boxes

Who knew that the first night in my new apartment would be spent sleeping in the bathtub? It was either that or the floor, and there was literally no space on the floor, filled to the ceiling with furniture, cartons and Hefty black plastic bags.

So I threw some pillows in the tub, trying to stabilize them and twist myself into some small degree of comfort until dawn arrived. I reassured mind and aching body that this would prayerfully be a one-time experience.

Muffle's space had been set up earlier, with her kitty condo, food and litter box. She was truly my super-duper trooper for the ease with which she adapted to her new home!

Finding grooming essentials and preparing food were challenging. Locating something to wear proved easier. In the next weeks somehow whatever I pulled out worked as if by magic, creating original and unexpectedly pleasing combinations. I suggest to designers planning new collections that they first create some chaos and observe what emerges randomly.

Though I am attempting to present this saga of living out of boxes in a positive, light and entertaining manner the experience is at times almost nightmarish. It would be dishonest to gloss over the challenges and obstacles that arise daily.

The task of pruning my earthy goods is almost overwhelming -- it cannot be true though it appears that the more I dispose of the more is left.

I am remembering a vision that appeared the last night I spent in 10-A. An enormous etching of an angel -- like a woodcut carved in neutral tones -- dominated my room -- perhaps 20 feet large. It was two dimensional and silent yet its message of divine protection was -- and is -- eloquently clear.

Initially my mindset was that I could handle this move with a little or lot of help from my friends. I had simply overestimated my physical capability and underestimated/denied the enormity of the task. Also, even the best of friends have demanding lives in which helping others must fit into available time after their priorities.

So I was literally forced to exit the box of my limited thinking... of course my angel brokered the exodus.

As I returned from marketing one afternoon, my concierge introduced me to a young woman seeking employment. Subrina had worked as housekeeper in the penthouse of this building for several years for a Chinese family that had returned to their home in Hong Kong.

Sal thought I might need some help getting settled; well, that was an understatement! Subrina has been a godsend -- capable, pleasant, with the endurance needed for this formidable task. As the icing on the cake, she is well educated, lives according to her high spiritual values and has adopted me as a mentor. What would have taken me months to accomplish is rapidly accelerating and developing into a mutually satisfying and productive relationship.

The cost in time, energy and resources will result in full realization that this is indeed my new residence, where all is organized according to present requirements -- truly a home where there is a place for everything and everything in its place.

The packing stuff is mostly gone. Cupboards and closets are filling to the max. More editing will be required to refine and reduce most, if not all, that is superfluous.

Giving away that which, regardless of attachments, simply did not make the cut was made easier, knowing that everything will find a new life of usefulness. This makes parting from possessions a sweeter sorrow.

My friend Irene N. had envisioned an apartment where light would stream through the windows as I work, as it is now doing. My heart matches its illumination.

These are the words that now define my core:

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need. -- Tao Te Ching

We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting. --Joseph Campbell

YOU CAN ONLY LOSE WHAT YOU CLING TO. -- Buddha