I’m getting to the end of the dismantling process with my Creative Juices Arts Studio, ( i.e. The Mothership ) as the world around me goes through it’s own process of disassembling and breaking down. Which I am finding weirdly comforting, because I feel so much less alone and like I’m somehow part of a much larger process.
Dismantling a studio, a way of being or a way of life means that something is coming to an end. An old form is breaking apart in order to make room for a new structure to emerge.
And there’s something very universal about how this whole dismantling thing works.
So I thought I would share with you some things I’m learning as I go through this rite of passage into the next phase of my life. And as we ALL go through that same passage together in one way or another.
Dismantling is overwhelming.
At the beginning of the journey the job in front of you can take your breathe away with the enormity of what you have to do. It feels completely and utterly impossible and downright depressing. When Tim and I made the decision to close the studio we hadn’t been there in months because of the Covid shut down. And when I walked through the front door again with an eye to assessing the situation in terms of the scope of the dismantling project I wanted to cry and then run away as fast as possible. It was just TOO much. Twenty five years of structures and stuff and and the need for a multitude of decisions and cleaning and sorting made me feel completely overwhelmed.
Dismantling is messy.
There’s no getting around it. You have to drag all of those boxes and half remembered objects that you’ve stored for millenia out of the closets and into the middle of the room so you can see what’s what. Things will be strewn everywhere. Piles will have to be made. Bulky objects will need to be taken apart. There will be dust and cobwebs and maybe a dead mouse or two. Which means things will feel incredibly chaotic and totally out of control for awhile. You will be hot and sweaty. And not in a fun way.
Dismantling is mentally and emotionally exhausting.
It means constant assessing around what you value, taking many trips down memory lane and making a thousand tiny decisions about what goes and what stays. What matters and what doesn’t. It means being reminded about your past. The good. The bad. And the questionable. It means unearthing some ancient shadow material. Which means feeling ALL the feels. Even if what you’re dismantling obviously needs to go, you will cry. A lot. There will be profound grief for what was and will never be again.
Dismantling is going to take longer… WAY longer… than you want it to or think it should.
You will continue to find more and more stuff that needs to be dealt with. The piles will seem to grow larger instead of shrinking. It is a grueling process and can only be done in chunks. You will need to take breaks. You will need to get away from massiveness of the undertaking for periods of time so you can catch your breath and recharge.
Dismantling is something that you can’t do alone.
You will need help and support and love and people who are willing to listen to you complain about this endless damn project without judging you or trying to cheer you up.
Eventually you will turn a corner and realize that you’re almost there. You will see all the beautifully empty closets and revised belief systems. And the piles of crap and things to be gotten rid of will begin to grow much smaller. There will be space. And order will begin to return. There will be less tears, less stress, a renewed sense of possibility and a new future.
And a deep sense of gratitude as well as a profound sense of accomplishment that you did the work you needed to do to step into this new life and way of being.