I’ve moved a significant number of times, during very crucial phases in my life. I’m currently looking to move again, this time to a different apartment, not a different state or country. Until just a few days ago I’ve been living in a modest Chicago two bedroom with one man who is family by choice, my life partner, and the other who is family by chance, my brother. I can’t begin to tell you how fun and cohesive this nontraditional household has been. And I really can’t adequately express the challenge in saying goodbye to my brother, the sheer juxtaposition of emotions that swirled through me as I was so sad to see him go but also very happy and excited for his future.
Because of our impending move, we decided to rummage through our closets, our old boxes, examining with a fine-toothed comb what was really worth saving and what we could now let go. Not only does it feel like a tremendous release, a major shedding of layers to organize and clean up our homes, it’s also an excellent opportunity to walk down memory lane, have a few laughs, and more importantly, shine a light on what we’re clinging to and what we’d be better off releasing. We kept items that were still fulfilling its functions in our lives, we threw away old, damaged pieces no person would benefit from any longer, and we donated hoards of clothing, electronics and furniture we felt deserved another good home.
When we were finished cleaning out the clutter, relinquishing those items elsewhere, I felt so much lighter, clearer, calmer. Immediately following this clear out, I taught one of my favorite classes, a Restorative on Sunday evening. It felt the perfect subject to contemplate in class: Keep, Donate, Trash. I recognized that as often as we clean out our closets, organize our offices, and defragment our computers, we spend very little time applying the same principles to our psyche. I can personally attest to carrying around a cloud of clutter in my mind for years; my mistakes, my heart aches, my could have beens, and my what ifs. Never had I turned my awareness inward to truly acknowledge the patterns that were no longer serving me, the lessons I could bestow upon another, and the important memories and knowledge that could stay.
I made a little list, inspired by my oddball brain, perhaps it will help you decipher through your own, shed some light on what no longer serves you and which important pieces will help you along your path to bliss.