I continue to find myself in a complete overhaul of my home. I am giving stuff away hand over fist.
Things I thought I would have never given away. Things I thought had so much value to me. Things I purchased even last month. Gone.
Though my small house is far from cluttered, I’m finding that, truly, I want a fraction of the countless items I’ve brought home with me over the past eight years of living here. I need air around me. I need space to breathe. And I need to know who I am independent of the physical things I thought I needed to define me.
I realize in such a profound way that I thought I needed a lot of ‘stuff’ around me to mirror who I believed I was, or to tell me who I wanted to be. Now, I just want to be me, and know that if all this stuff goes away, I will not cease to exist. In fact, I will become even more of who I truly am.
I find that all the things around me are ‘talking’ constantly, which prevents me from just being here today. The ‘stuff’ loves to discuss all the ‘old times’ and keeps me living in the past, or fearful of what might happen if I let go and actually have faith in what is happening now.
Because the truth is that I do not want the crappy ink drawing I did when I was nine years old of a pink flower. Instead, I want to remember the fun I had in that kids’ art class all those years ago, or, better yet, I’d like to go out in a garden today and see a flower in real life. I do not want the miniature wooden chicken I picked up in Kauai five years ago. I want to remember the feeling of Kauai inside my heart, or, better yet, I’d love to actually go visit those ridiculous roadside birds again on that beautiful island. I do not want the book on my shelf that says “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” I just want to be not sweating the small stuff. I don’t want all the back issues of yoga magazines I’ve been holding on to for ‘reference.’ I’d rather just go to class, or do a few stretches here at home. And I don’t even want the pants I purchased years ago on a shopping trip with my friend Sandro, who sadly moved across the world this past weekend. I’d rather keep Sandro in my heart – those pants certainly will not bring him back.
The seeking, purchasing, cleaning, organizing and eventual passing on of all these things is exhausting and distracting. I’ve realized that rather than supporting me, the stuff is holding me back because it holds me in a time warp of what was, instead of what is. Of course, this totally goes against everything we are spoon fed here in America where we are told that more is more and that we should take whatever you can whenever you can. There is a fear of ‘missing out’ on something, when in fact, the complete opposite is true.
When I lived in Tuscany in college, it really was La Dolce Vita. Those Italians really understood what has true value. Fresh food, a modest but comfortable home, doing what you love and most important, being with the people you love. (For me, that’s my amazing and adorable husband and son – my two favorite people on this planet).
I’m finding that in saying no to more stuff there is an immense richness that starts to come through. I’m not talking about the extra money in the bank. I’m talking about the freedom that surrounds you when you are not attached to or dependant on material things. You become more yourself, and more able to connect with those around you.
Today, on this new lunar new year and new moon, I continue to feel inspired to sit more with the nothingness and emptiness, realizing that in doing so, a light and beauty beyond measure emerges.