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What you possess, possesses you.

Are you holding onto physical & mental clutter?

 

The struggles I’ve had in life come from expectations I hold.

Years ago I decided that I needed to be invincible. I needed to make sure I was capable of whatever came my way. I had kids..they needed a mom who could handle it all. Having a house and a business…I needed to be able to handle everything that came up and more.

This was an image I was attached to for decades without outwardly acknowledging it. My internal conversation was, “I have a full plate. What? You need something from me? Ok. I can handle that on top of all this.”  By staying attached to this image (this expectation) of myself, I was causing havoc in my life and wearing myself out. A few times I tried slowing down before but the feeling of being “less than productive” showed up in an uncomfortable way.

Being a yogi, I study the 8 limbs and work on applying them to my life to help me create greater freedom. Recently I was studying the Yamas (the first limb) of yoga again. When I got to the part about being non-possessive in life, I realized by holding onto the expectation of needing to be capable of everything that came my way, I was actually keeping myself from experiencing freedom in my life.

As Deborah Adele writes in her book, The Yamas and Niyamas, “Anything we cling to creates a maintenance problem for us. The material items we hoard, collect or buy, all take up space and demand our attention. Storage boxes and sheds become an easy way to fool ourselves. Subtle attachments come in the form of our images and beliefs about ourselves, about how life should be, about how others should be. These images keep us in bondage to our own learning and growth.”

 

Letting go of “stuff” isn’t enough

For years I have been very committed to getting rid of the physical clutter in my life. My drawers are pared down and tidy. I don’t keep much in our storage room. I know having too many things made me feel bogged down and stuck. Through the process of letting go of my physical clutter, I felt great in my surroundings. But I was neglecting to declutter my mind and the expectations I hold there.

 

Holding onto the expectation that I need to be fully capable of everything has kept my mind blocked, unable to have space for the next thing my life wants to bring me. It has kept me so busy making sure I “can” do it all, that I often miss the beauty of life. In trying to live this way, I have actually kept myself from doing what is far more important, flowing in life and living in the freedom of what an uncluttered life brings you; PEACE.

 

Where are you holding onto clutter that is keeping you stuck? Is it physical clutter in your home, storage unit, or car? Or, like me, is it mental clutter of “how you think things should be?”

 

What can you let go of today? There is freedom there.

 

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