Junk in the Trunk

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.

306: Getting the Junk out of the Trunk

I wondered if I had reached rock bottom when I stopped to go through someones recycling today and pull out three top of the range magazines. It felt wrong and right at the same time.  I can buy my own magazines so why did I take some used ones out of a bin? Because I couldn’t believe you would just throw out something so good without thinking of someone else that might need it more.

My friend thought it was wonderful, a redistribution of the universe’s treasures. The suburban version. In fact, she told me, her son had just sequestered a beautiful yellow bike off the street for his son, that was set for the scrap yard.

In America and other countries, they have accumulated so much stuff they must have lock ups to store it all. Often those lock ups get sold off in auctions, sight unseen.

A woman down the road who sees a use of everything that passes through her hands, is living a hoarders life with paper stacked to the ceiling.

My partner declared when we couldn’t find a connection for the TV ( we had previously thrown out)  ‘that proves why you should never throw anything out’.

People stay in relationships because they wouldn’t know what to do with all their stuff if they had to move.

backpackerYoung people back pack around the world with just what they own on their back. ( Remember the freedom of this??)

If you are reading this it is quite likely you have enough of everything. Just as the pleasure of the new watch/car/ appliance has faded maybe you could consider what you really do need in your life and what can be put to a better use.

What can you thoughtfully gift to others and where can you De-clutter? Is there room in your life for less?

Practice for today; Go through you things. What can you give away to give you that back packing feeling of freedom? What don’t you wear or use? Who would benefit from it the most? Remember we don’t really own anything. To be really free in this world you need to put down what you are carrying.