This past week something shifted. Or it all just crashed together, a huge wave of STUFF. I had my third melt down in two weeks, extremely abnormal. I may be high strung, but I'm usually not this emotional. As I drove home from my third trip down in three weeks, something clicked.
I have too much emotional clutter. Too much emotional responsibility. I'll have an update soon, but the main thing is that with a full time job, full time yoga practice, working on Coffee and Yoga, Yoga in the Park, two blogs, two email addresses, facebook and a twitter account... life has swept away.
Spring is actually the perfect timing for a de-clutter, opening the windows and letting the fresh air remove dusty winter thoughts. It's also extremely easy to just simply throw everything away, a complete 'purge' so to speak.
Although purging may feel great immediately (moving from BC to Nova Scotia with only our suitcases really taught me how fantastic it could feel), we- consumeristic North Americans, tend to fill the void with newer, 'better' things. Adding to the forever waste that fills our landfills, oceans and rivers.
I truly feel there is a balance. Keeping everything 'in case' it will be useful someday is often a mantra I read out here in eco-frugal land. Never throw away, so much guilt with being 'wasteful' and frivolous. At the same time, keeping every little bitty string can slowly build up this wall of panic- a 'I must keep!!!' frenetic thought pattern. Less clarity, more disorganization. A balance is key.
While driving I was listening to a French cbc podcast and the lady, in her beautiful Québécois accent spoke about 'mindfully decluttering'. It was pivotal and very yogic. My plan is to give it a try, not word for word, but in a general sense.
Instead of planning an entire day of 'Mission Purge', where a general sense of exhaustion and overwhelming tend to take over after a short time resulting in 'bah, just dump it!' attitudes, try smaller pockets.
Take on an area, gather up your 'things' and meditate on each item. Give yourself the time to consider the item, your attachments, your memories and whether you really 'need' this thing. Evaluate what feelings emerge, without judgment and let them pass. In this manner of slowly and mindfully removing objects (as that is all they are) we can take some time to meditate with our own collected emotional clutter that we might not have seen creep up over the winter months.
Recognize that stuff is simply that, and without them our memories and emotions live on.
Although your stuff may not seem necessarily useful anymore, they may help others in need. The last resort should be a garbage bag.
Have separate 'rescue' sections ready- boxes for a transition house, for a local Value Village (or second hand store) and recycling. You may want to keep the transition and second hand store boxes out in storage or in your garage to make one simple trip. Transition and safe houses can use things like clothing, household items even books.
Another option for bigger items, would be to advertise on Kijiji, craigslist or freecycle. This way, your freedom can help someone else.
The last step- have a firm policy of 'no buy' for a few months afterwards. Trying to filling the void of 'thing' is a compulsion from our culture. Living with less clutter mindfully for a few weeks or months will give perspective. What do we really require, and what can we really live without?
For myself, this will take on another aspect; decluttering my activities and attachments. I don't *need* to be involved with so many activities, something is causing emotional stress and needs to be let go. However, after letting it build for so long, my first instinct this week was; f*@ it, I don't want to do any of it (including a moment of, I don't want to blog anymore- GASP, I know).
This mindfully re-evaluating and taking small moments of time to decide and let go will assure that my activities are truly where they should be, in line with my priorities and beliefs (as Yogic Dancer has reminded us). I haven't played my guitar in months- I didn't have the time. Which is ridiculous. I need music like I need to breathe. I have been asphyxiating myself...
Energy is precious and I need to value mine :)
article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com