It has been a month since my last blog and within that time I have packed all my possessions into a cargo van, moved back to California to assist with my ailing mother and moved in with my sister and her family. Instead of a 3-bedroom home, my possessions now occupy one room and ¼ of a garage in about 25 plastic bins. This all started over a year ago when I had this sense that a big change was coming. I didn’t know what it was, I just knew I had to prepare for it, and the largest part of that preparation was letting go of anything that makes my life too complicated, too burdensome, too heavy. I severed friendships that weren’t supportive; I sold or donated about 75% of my possessions; I scanned pictures and documents and tossed the originals.
The questions I have repeatedly asked myself are:
- When was the last time I used this?
- Could someone else find this more useful than it is to me?
- Is this currently still serving me?
- Does this represent a me that I no longer am?
- Do I need to own this or can it be borrowed when needed?
- Do I own this possession, does it own me, or are we in harmony?
- Is it essential?
What I have discovered is that there is far less I need that I once thought. For example, Why must I have a tea-pot or a rice cooker when I have a pan that can work just as well? Why do I need the sewing machine that I use once a year do mend a seam I can do by hand? Why am I hanging onto clothes that fit me 15 pounds and ten years ago? So I let it all go with a blessing that someone will find it of more use than I.
Like spiritual growth, we often never really arrive at full simplicity. We live in a society that begs for complexity and cultivates a desire for more. Simplification is an ongoing process that often requires tapping into psychological material. Issues of deprivation, greed (which is really just the shadow side of deprivation), fear, status, ego – all show up in the simplification process. Simplification requires a letting go, not just of physical possessions and a way of being in the world, but also it requires letting go of old stories and old ways of relating to our self that limit our connection to our Bigger Self and the Greater Something.
May your life be simple enough to live into the Greater Truths more clearly. May you have what you need and relinquish what no longer serves you.
Sabrina Santa Clara