May is more than half way complete. As of today I have purged more than 153 “things” and I can already feel the lightness this challenge has created in my life. On a superficial level my house is cleaner and I get dressed each morning much more easily. On a deeper and more important level I have been able to be helpful to others, I have been moved by the people in my life who have also participated and I feel like by disconnecting from “things” that don’t serve me, I have been able to really focus on the things that are useful and create only joy for me. I do get one question repeatedly: how do you decide what to keep and what to purge? I’ve read suggestions online and talked to other people who are going through this process too and I have compiled a list of the questions I ask myself when deciding to let go…
Do you love it?
For me this is not only about a thing but pertains more to ideas, relationships, your own patterns. That’s a huge part of this challenge for me. The tangible items must go but those aren’t the only things that weigh us down. So do you love it? Do you love the consequences or effort surrounding it? Do you love how it makes you feel?
If you were free from guilt would you hold on to it?
A lot of what you have or do is connected to how it’s going to affect others and that is normal. Yoga Kelley would tell you we are all one so when doing anything you want to think of the way it will affect that oneness BUT for me guilt is a trap. It’s a means of manipulation and most people end of keeping things and remaining in situations because they would feel guilty for hurting someone else’s feelings. I ask: “What about you? What about what you want?” If you are burdened by something and only keeping it around because it will hurt the person who gave it to you it’s time to let it go. It’s hurting the person you should truly be worried about… You.
Does it fit the picture of the life you want for yourself in 5 years?
I have a clear picture of the life I want next week, next year and in 70 years. I want ease, love and happiness, to enjoy my work and make a positive impact on each person I meet. I want white sand beaches, time to enjoy my family and friends and adventures all over the world. If it isn’t going to fit that, IT HAS TO GO! So yes I like pretty things and I didn’t give them all away but I realized that all of those things you collect need a place to be stored and a bigger house with more closet space means a higher price tag, which means working longer hours, doing things that I don’t want to do for that almighty dollar, which means less time with my loves, which gets me further and further away from the life I want. The choice then becomes mine…
Can you replace it if necessary?
So there is this trap with things. The what-if-I-need-it trap. Well the fact is most of the little ends and gadgets that we never use but hold on to just in case can be easily attained if by some chance you decide to go on an underwater basket weaving expedition. So I say goodbye to waffle irons, purple jeans, old phone numbers and anything else I never use!
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