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This realization came to me in the process of moving, and the deep clean that ensues with it. I started with the bedrooms and my bathroom, and that felt pretty smooth and light. I let go of/gave away shoes (TOO MANY!), clothing, jewelry, and beauty products that may be of use or bring joy to someone else’s life, although it was no longer needed in mine. I was feeling in good spirits as I entered into day two, packing the remainder of our clothing into crates so that we are able to give away a dresser, bedframe, and a few other home goods that may be of use to someone. As I moved into the office/yoga space, a heaviness settled in- there was SO MUCH stuff there; not just physical stuff, but the emotional/mental/and spiritual stuff of memories and experiences that I had associated with the physical objects (aka developed an attachment to). There were notebooks filled with notes from meaningful college courses, yoga studies journals, personal journals, job interview and audition notes, old career projects; as I pieced through them it felt as though I was time traveling through my (what felt like) many lives! And as I packed them into garbage bags, knowing on some level that I did not NEED to carry them with me anymore, a sort of grief came over me, like I was throwing away so much of who I’d known myself to be.
Becoming aware of this feeling moving through me, I paused to reflect where it was stemming from and heard a voice say, “do you really need these material things to remind you of what you already know?” And the answer to that, I knew, was “no”. I don’t need the binders, books, stacks, and piles to prove that I’ve done important things; the stacks actually represented a habitual pattern on my part of overconsumption of knowledge to compensate for a deep-seated fear of not knowing and therefore not being enough. What Yogic philosophy has taught me is that knowledge without wisdom is dead weight; it’s in the application of the learning that true growth and evolution occurs.
As I paged through the notebooks and journals, I realized that I had been learning the same lessons over and over, presented by different teachers and in different environments, like the Universe was just hitting repeat until I finally realized I was on the merry-go-round and intentionally chose to get off. Attachments keep us stuck like that, and for the past decade, I have had a strong attachment to the many titles that identify me with knowledge: student, grad student, corporate performance coach, health coach, yoga student and yoga teacher. In truth, I can be all of them and I am none of them. Unhooking from the ego attachment to each of the roles created more space for me, which many of us say we want but when it comes we don’t know what to do with it! As I am writing/saying this aloud to you, I am settling into the lightness that now lives where fear used to, and it feels GOOD.
As we close out this spring season, I would encourage you to take a space of time to reflect for yourself:
What are you holding onto?
What are you identifying yourself with?
What’s weighing you down?
Can you let go of/release any or all of it?
Can you sit with unfilled space, internally and externally?
As you cultivate this practice, what do you notice?
The emptier/less consumed we become, the closer we move toward our truth.
“Travel light spread the light be the light.” – Yogi Bhajan