Start by taking a moment to tune into your body. Notice how you have no lower back pain. This won’t last long once you start moving, so cherish the feeling.
Bring your hand to the soft flesh of your bicep. Ask yourself, when is the last time you lifted a dumbbell? Will it be physically possible to carry your JOKKMOKK IKEA table down the stairs? Feel the sensation of the unused gym membership card burning in your pocket.
Reflect on all the times you were winded from just taking out the trash. Know in your heart that this will be so, so much worse than that.
Take a few breaths, now a few more breaths. Are you really wheezing already? That was only the second trip to the U-Haul.
Allow yourself to feel the support and kindness from the one friend you blackmailed into helping you move. Notice how the light in her eyes fades a bit with each flight of stairs she climbs. Understand that no amount of pizza will ever repay her for this and that your relationship is now severed irreparably.
Take a moment and repeat motivational phrases to yourself as you spackle the walls. “I need my security deposit back, I need my security deposit back, I need my security deposit back.”
Inhale a cleansing breath of grimy city air, and exhale acid reflux from the nine cups of coffee you drank on an empty stomach because you “needed the extra energy.”
Observe: Where is your attention? Is it on the marble coffee table you just dropped on your pinky toe? Release that negativity. Make peace with the throbbing of your toes.
If you get distracted by a thought, or a sound, or a family of rats crawling into your open U-Haul, don’t feel discouraged. Life is full of distractions. Acknowledge that distraction. Understand the likelihood that the rats will make a permanent nest in your box of vintage sweaters. Let it pass.
Try focusing on wrapping yourself with love. But don’t stop wrapping the boxes, you still have to wrap the boxes. Wrap yourself in love even when you realize you accidentally packed the scissors and tape inside a box that’s loaded in the truck.
Take a look around at everything in your field of vision. Notice the expired beauty products, board games with missing pieces, and books you only keep on the shelf to look smarter. Bring awareness to the fact that you may be a hoarder.
Practice offering loving compassion to your friend who has just let your indoor cat out of the apartment. Carry that compassion with you as you chase your cat for 11 blocks. When an inner voice questions if maybe your cat is running because it would be happier without you, don’t try to silence it.
Catch a glimpse of your reflection in a storefront window. Swallow—literally swallow—any negative thoughts that arise about your appearance. Remind yourself that you are not just your unwashed hair, your spaghetti-stained sweat suit, or your scarred face from where your cat clawed you in an attempt to flee. You are the jewel within.
As you do the final apartment walkthrough with your landlord, repeat the phrase, “may you be well, happy, and peaceful” out loud to them. Repeat the phrase until they feel so uncomfortable that they give you your deposit back on the spot.
Once you’ve turned in your keys, conclude your meditation. Allow yourself to surrender to gravity and relax in the driver’s seat of the U-Haul. You’re finally done! Next stop: your new walk-up apartment.