The more you have, the more occupied you are. The less you have the freer you are. - Mother Teresa
I-Am-Through! Through living a congested life. Through keeping stuff just for the sake of keeping it - and that includes emotional baggage as well as stuff I don't need, and in some cases, have no idea how I even ended up with.
I have a friend who has become deeply engrossed in energy healing and the idea of trapped energy as the cause of many of the things that vex people. She offered to check me for trapped emotions. Most people might think this concept absurd. Most people would discard such absurdity outright as hooey. Then again most people haven't lived the emotional roller-coaster that has been my life. I know I receive residual hauntings from the "ghost of heartache past." He lingers around - rearing his ugly head at the most inconvenient times so I said "Heck yeah! you can check for and release my trapped emotions!"
Saying I believe in such things is one thing. Having actual hope that there is a "process" that could undo the wreckage is another - but being an eternal optimist wanna be, I remain open minded and reserve my hooeys for after the fact instead of before even trying something so try it I did.
There have been some surprising results from that releasing session. For instance, I have a long standing and well earned reputation for not being a "morning person." Getting up and waking up are two separate events for me that happen about an hour apart. My brain absolutely refuses to engage until it feels like it - no matter what time my body is in motion. That can lead to some pretty interesting things happening. I often ask myself questions like "Where was my brain while my body was doing that? That could be a stand alone post - but I digress!
Back to trapped energy and why I agreed so readily to give what my friend was proposing a try. I am not a depressed person. Having said that, I will say, that I've been a very disengaged person. Not unhappy. Very grateful for my life and the people and things in it - but disconnected. I haven't felt passionate about anything for years. It's a difficult thing to explain to someone who's never felt it and no explanation is needed for those who have. The only way I can sum it up is it's like floating around your life instead of being firmly planted in it - feeling a lack of direction and generalized apathy without a concrete cause. As you might have guessed, this is a less than ideal way of feeling.
I went to our agreed upon session and left feeling no different than before. I was told, according to the testing, it would take two days for my body to process the releases.
I went on about my business and a few days later an odd thing happened. My brain woke up at the same exact moment as my body! I got out of bed conscious for the first time in as long as I can recall. Not only did I get up and wake up all at once, but I woke up on purpose - with a purpose - and that purpose was to purge!
I'll post more about the process of emotional release at another time. Today it's all about the purge!
This process of waking up - not just getting out of bed and arousing from sleep - but actually WAKING UP has been unexpected. The first thing that happened is I looked around my space and wondered Where did all this stuff come from. It's got to go!
I began ripping through every nook and cranny of our home, dragging out things that haven't seen the light of day in years and actually seeing them instead of just looking at them. It started in the laundry room. I have cabinets and drawers where tools, nails, screws and other assorted junk live. I saw with clarity what belonged and what didn't and started mercilessly building Discard Mountain. I moved next into my office. I spent a nine hour day sorting books - CDs and other things and thought I was through when I took those items to be re-purposed - only to spend another eight hour day emptying file cabinets and filling up garbage bags with shredded papers. Not feeling quite finished with my office, but being tired of shredding, I moved to my bedroom.
Boxes and bags began to accumulate at an alarming rate. Into the trunk - over to the resale shop, and back with more empty boxes to fill. At one point my husband mentioned he was leery of napping on the sofa for fear of waking up in a dumpster somewhere.
With each load removed I felt freer. More space to move, more air to breathe, a lightness. The crazy part of this is that I've never been a "keeper" to begin with. My husband has asked, on more than one occasion, if his body would still be warm when I started discarding his belongings after his death. I've admitted I'll probably be calling Goodwill - full of sobs and tears - from the coroner's office.
This time feels different though. I don't feel like I'm getting rid of things. I feel like I'm making room for something. Something new - like a new path has suddenly emerged and I've found myself over packed for the trip. It must be something big considering all the space it seems it will need!
(Sidenote: I left my computer to get something to drink while writing this. While in the kitchen I dumped "the junk drawer." It's now beautifully organized with everything in plain sight and housing nothing unnecessary or extra. Ahhh. This may be some form of mental illness but I hope I don't recover before several more trips to the thrift shop.)
In the middle of 'everything must go" madness, we took a long road trip across a particularly flat and dull part of the country. To preserve my sanity, I decided to download a book to listen to. While perusing the available choices one called out to me. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I downloaded and began listening to the book.
In her book, Marie explores the idea that everything around us is energy - that even our possessions are made of energy. As such, they vibrate right along with everything else that's made of the stuff - which is everything. The point is that there is an energy to everything we own - positive or negative. Her idea of the ideal life is only to be surrounded by things that resonate well with us. She advocates picking up each of our belongings and asking if it brings us joy. If not - it's another one for the heap.
It seemed terribly simplistic and unrealistic to me and this is a very over simplified synopsis of her entire concept, but once I'd heard those words - they resonated with me. That meant revisiting areas I thought I'd already decluttered for one more go through. What I released the second time was greater than the first.
No longer will I keep a pen that was gifted solely to promote the person or business forking it over unless I love how it feels and works. Many of those usually end up driving me crazy when they don't work well. (That meant discarding a scary number of pens!) Most of the books I parted with were given away. I felt they'd served me well and could do the same for someone else. Others - though in perfectly good shape - I felt didn't serve to elevate anything. Those were discarded.
I've decided to take responsibility for my own energy. That means for the energy that I transmit into the world as well as the energy in my personal space. If it isn't uplifting, it's a waste of time - and time is something we have limited access to. It isn't a renewable commodity. It's precious and we're well within our rights to protect it at all costs.
I've often said (I wish only jokingly) that if I had back all the time I spent looking for my cellphone, I'd be back in my teens. If I added to that the time spent looking for my keys, I'd be in diapers. While that's hyperbole (to some extent) I'm sure I'd be horrified to actually have an accounting of those lost moments.
We strive to own things - then, when we're not looking - we find that those same things own us. They eat into our joy with their care, and cleaning. They clutter our minds and our space until we can no longer enjoy our possessions because they've grown into too much to even remember - much less use. HONESTLY, raise your hand if you've ever bought something you needed only to find out that you already had one you'd forgotten about. My hand is high above my head.
My questions for all of us to ponder are what is the actual cost of our possessions? Not just the price we paid to obtain them - the actual cost. How much have we paid in lost time? Lost space? Peace of mind? If we could eliminate all of our "un-necessaries" and "don't care abouts", and no longer had to fuss over them, what kind of space would open for things we might rather be doing?
How would our lives flow? Would our minds also be uncluttered and exploring new horizons? Would our relationships have a renaissance brought about by the freed up time and energy?
I can't answer these questions definitively yet - I'm not through purging, but I can tell you that getting ready to go places has been a cinch! I haven't lost my keys or phone all week and when I need a pen, there's one that I love right where I need it -and paper with it! These little things are making me breathe easier these days. So far my husband has been safe on the sofa - and I'm far less anxious. I hope you consider taking time to evaluate your stuff to life ratio and find out which way the scale tips.
One other side note: Since I've taken responsibility for MY stuff, I'm less grouchy about my husband's "stuff." There's a theory that when our lives are congested and out of order that we look to transfer our frustration at ourselves onto others. Maybe there's some truth in there somewhere.
Now, back to purging!