Accumulation seems a product of years lived… accumulation of experience, of friends (one hopes) and material goods, and with children the rate of increase of the latter is exponential it seems.
With an understanding of the age old adage “as within so without” purging is a necessity to ease the clutter of house and mind and free up the spirit for pursuits of the heroic kind.
In the last month, as many of you know, we made the leap from Ontario to Alberta for us as a family to embrace new and thrilling adventures. In this, we have been called to Review, Remember and Release the things we have gathered over the years.
Purging is not always an easy process, and one that we can avoid with flare if not forced to face it in the midst of a move. Somehow we invite things in, but forget that, just like numerous house guests, we should only allow them to remain for a while (unless they’re reeeeally fab, and then they can stay)! When things linger we can buy in to the idea that we somehow are our things, that the memories within each item are a reflection of who we are, make us who we are. But do they, really? We theoretically understand we are not our possessions, but try getting rid of that favorite stufftie from childhood, or that picture of your family on that awesome vacation from when you were little or even that fave sweater. Those symbols are important yes, and their representing and reminding us a beautiful moment is what makes us human. But often times, those having experienced a loss of all material possessions, like those who have lost their homes to fires or insurmountable debt, are the only ones who suddenly realize they indeed, are not their things. They can’t be, because they must find ways to go on without all their precious treasures.
In Buddhist philosophy this clinging is called Attachment…
“You need two things in order to have attachment: the thing you’re attaching to, and the person who’s attaching. In nonattachment, on the other hand, there’s unity. There’s unity because there’s nothing to attach to. If you have unified with the whole universe, there’s nothing outside of you, so the notion of attachment becomes absurd. Who will attach to what?”
Because we think we have intrinsic existence within our skin, and what’s outside our skin is “everything else,” that we go through life grabbing for one thing after another to make us feel safe, or to make us happy.”
from her article found at About website
Now, I am not suggesting that you give up all you have, that is a life choice few will make. I can only share my insights from my own life journey. Perhaps they will resonate with you as well, and inspire you to Review, Remember and Release a little in your own life and Renew your sense of Unity.
~ Living out of 2 backpacks for 8 years allowed me to feel a lightness in life that was second to none. I came to understand that my soul needs little and my body appreciates the necessities I am blessed with when I am not in a state of constant collection.
~ As I accumulated loving relationships, a wonderful hubby and 2 beautiful boys, schtuff came with the territory (and besides, the world says you need ‘stuff’ to be a successful, thriving grown up (hey, even a kid can be measured by their stuff), right??). I had to LEARN balance and inspire my children to see the difference between Needs and Wants.
~ We have been fortunate enough to move often, as a result of embracing life’s many opps to explore. Now I recognize this is not a lifestyle some would find attractive, but we chose it and we do get a buzz from it. Even if you don’t love to pick up and move house, your sense of Peace in Purging comes from making a conscious decision to set aside time to:
Review, the things you own and hold space for,
Remember, their meaning to you and ask yourself these questions of discernment…
“Do I need this item? Do I want this item? If yes, why? If I keep it, will I use it? Is it time to release this so that I can feel a little lighter or so that someone else who will use it, can?”
Release, what you realize you are ready to let go of and find it a new home, either with a person or community who needs it or in the trash because, be honest, there is some stuff we hold fast to that nobody else would. 🙂
These last 4 weeks have been an Xtraordinary experience with our two boys of seven and eight, as we went through each item and Reviewed, Remembered and Released. I was so proud of their decisions and their delight as they discovered in their own way that they are not their things, that who they are is magnificent and limitless and cannot be contained in toys or gifts or symbols of any kind and that offering of what they have and love can be treasure beyond measure to those in dire need of kindness and compassion.
Here Liam and Nathaniel are in the process of Reviewing, Sharing on via Moving Sale (lots of great things for little $ – and they were able to keep 50% of sales to go toward their savings accounts) and Purging, with a keen sense of Peace, the remainder of items (3 car loads) to the local Homeless Shelter that provides for families in need, for Free, and anything they couldn’t take we drove to the local Salvation Army.
As I unpack, each box is filled with items that hold intention and meaning. I see it all with new eyes, knowing we chose each and every item to stay. No riffraff, just the gems. And there is a homeless shelter and a whole host of people using the services of the Salvation Army who now have more of what they truly need or items and toys that will bring them joy.
May our United energy of Love reach those who receive. May you, in reading this, make time to Review, Remember and Release in ways that will free you, ignite your desire to give and understand that you need nothing, truly, outside of yourself…We are abundant, just as we are!
In celebration of the Cape and the One Inside It (YES! that’s Xtraordinary Game-Changing YOU!)