“Exhalation is not letting out air, but letting out the ego in the form of breath. When you exhale, you become humble, while pride comes with inhalation. To realize that is to realize the difference between attachment and lack of attachment” – B. K. S. Iyengar, The Tree of Yoga
Growth comes with the ability to let go – of everything in excess. It doesn’t matter if it’s possessions, people, thoughts or persuasions.
The other day I did something many would judge me for. I would have given anything to have them stand in my shoes and realize how liberating it is – to come home and decide that nothing of what you own defines you. That you are not dependent on any object, on any memory. To realize that the past is actually a projection of the present. That everything we remember about the past we actually create on the spot and that no moment of our lives was exactly as we remember it today. While we are growing up, we live by the example and persuasions of the people around us. We watch them and think that what others do is what is right. This way we turn into a society of dependence and attachment – to the remnants of the past. Every time we cannot find the strength and motivation to create the emotion we seek in the present, we look for salvation in the past. We look at old possessions, albums, medals, toys and we teleport ourselves back to times when we felt whole and important. We exchange now for yesterday.
For several years I had been wanting to do something, but I had never mustered the courage. I wanted to clean out my home of everything that connects me to my past. I wanted to get rid of absolutely everything I don’t use, don’t wear and everything that fills my home and my day with excesses.
The other day the waiting came to an end. It took me just an hour to gather everything and throw away a lot of the stuff, the rest I gave to the people who wanted it.
I kept a couple of outfits, 3-4 plates and cups, all my books. Once I read that life and meaning do not come with piling up and possession, but with reduction – not from adding, but from subtracting.
I honestly believe that everything in the world is energy and that every object carries the energy of the times you have used it, of the people who gave it to you. Think of a piece of clothing you put on and every time it makes you feel plain. Things you use which always remind you of people or times that make you feel bad, but you still keep them. I sincerely believe a person attracts what they exude. When you exude lack of confidence, you attract situations that consolidate this feeling. When you exude insecurity, sadness, shame, guilt, you once again come close to people and situations which put you in a position where your belief gets consolidated.
I have always wanted to be free – of everything. To realize that each and every day should be lived as a new life – with its opportunities, challenges and experiences. Unfortunately we often attach today to yesterday. We put the day within the framework of the past and don’t let it expand and shrink. We enclose ourselves within the definition of yesterday and until we sever the thread connecting the past to the present, we forever define ourselves by what was.
I don’t want to live in the yesterday. I don’t want to feel like every time I use an object or put on a piece of clothing, I can feel the gust of the past, bringing to life thoughts, feelings, people, moments that pull me back – emotionally, intellectually, mentally and physically.
I believe that in order for a person to become who they want to be, they need to start acting as their future self.
I am not sure what Ines Subashka of the future will be like, but I have an idea what I want her to be like. I can’t predict all her thoughts, longings and her overall behavior, but I know she will be free of the shackles of what is commonly accepted, of the past, of failures, of triumphs, disappointments, insecurities. I know that when she looks in the mirror, she will see a more mature person and most importantly, she will act like one. Because most of us are children in the bodies of adults. We look all grown up, but we actually act like we did when we were children. We hang on to the wounds of our childhood and conceal them in front of other people, but they bleed, when we are alone. We look at our reflections and the mirror shows an image, but we see ourselves the way we were, when we were 14 and that boy made fun of us for wearing funny clothes. We look at ourselves and the mirror reflects one thing, but all we see is the guilt from that time, when we were 10 and someone did not give us a chance and thought we were not enough.
Every new day is a new life. I don’t want to drag my past with me into my new life. Everything I had was a snapshot of what I used to be. Everything I had kept, because it was valuable once, has no value to me now – I am not the same. My present self would not collect the things I used to collect when I was a child, it would not wear the clothes I used to wear back then.
My past fit into a waste container. And nothing valuable can fit into a waste container – because valuable things have no substance. We carry them with us. I don’t care about the details from the past. What I care about are the lessons. I cherish them – I remind myself of them every time I examine the scars in my soul – they are enough for me.
Some will say what I did was wrong. You might say I should have donated more stuff to charity. But you know what? I am grateful to my mom and dad who taught me that giving your old stuff to a person is not charity. They taught me that giving away something you don’t want and need is not noble or generous. Charity means having something you want and which is valuable to you, but knowing that someone else needs it more and letting them have it. Charity means making the effort, finding the time and money and picking out something special for someone so that it would fit their personality and preferences. I do this kind of charity every day. Other people are not a trashcan and we don’t need to overshower them with the things we’ve grown tired of.
I chose to keep less than 10% of what I used to own. And I feel great. I don’t need a lot of clothes, utensils and things. I had better have just a few, but which carry the energy of my new self. Things that are not anchored in the past and do not tighten the noose around my neck every time I pick up speed in the present and hurry towards tomorrow.
I have cleaned out my home and my life. I have made room for the new experiences, people and things 2017 has in store for me. What about you?
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