As I sat on my overstuffed suitcase attempting to zip it up I contemplated if I really needed those hotel shampoos, soaps and moisturizers. Maybe I should take them out? Or maybe I should leave them ‘just in case’. Zipping up now became a two person job, one to push and one to zip. I was totally overweight.
During yoga teaching I often refer to the body as a suitcase, the hips to stuff our frustration, the shoulders to stuff our anger, the mind to accumulate junk from the past and the heart a cage of accumulated betrayal and shame. When we don’t know how to deal with what confronts us in this world we do what any good person would do and that is to shove it in the top drawer with the socks, band aids, pens that don’t work and bits of string we have no need for.
I gave my class homework this week to clear out a place in their life where they had ‘accumulated’ stuff they don’t need. Just so for one moment they could taste the freedom of letting go of what no longer serves them. We spend our life in accumulation until we reach the point where we have kind of forgotten the purpose of our original desire. Still we insist on plugging the holes of our existence with material things. It feels for an instant that if you want something enough and manage to obtain it, you can find peace and happiness, and this is true, definitely, in that one moment you obtain it. Soon you will be home with your shiny new watch, or you will have gotten that lunch, girl, house, job, car. Definitely you are happy! Then watch as it fades. The item get’s scratched, the new lover has flaws, the house doesn’t get the sun, your new boss isn’t what you expected. So you start the search again. This can be a lifelong hobby.
It’s quite likely you have more than you need already and what you desire, what you truly want, is already with you. If you take a moment now to think ‘what is it that I truly want is this life?’ you may surprise yourself to find that is would be something like this, peace, a feeling of belonging and connectedness, a feeling of being loved and of loving, or a desire to be more present to what you have now and to those around you. At the top of you list may well be Love. I want to be loved.
Practice for today. As you move through this life there are only three things that matter at the end of our journey. Have you lived fully? Have you loved well? Have you learned to let go? These three things are the glue of our existence, measuring each step along our way. Today rid yourself of any accumulated thought, feeling, or object. Fill that space something that really matters.