Saturday, April 10, 2010

my not-so-yogic qualities

Like they say yoga is a practice because it's ok not to be "perfect", so I feel about life in general, and myself as a person. The key is always to evolve and move forward. I feel like I've been doing a lot of that lately, even if it's in seemingly mundane and silly ways.

The major thing I'm becoming aware of is my affinity for "stuff". I recently moved back into the big bedroom in my house, after my sister moved out. Since I'm pretty lazy (another one of those things to work on... although I've been good the last few days!), I basically dumped everything into a pile on the floor. And it sat there for WEEKS- sadly, I'm not exaggerating!

Tonight I decided to start tackling the pile (after cooking dinner, and doing the dishes, voluntarily - which is so unlike me!) I had a garbage bag to put the things I no longer need/want, to donate. It's FULL. And that's on top of two other FULL bags I got rid of during the actual switch. (Although, I suppose it has been a few years since I've really dug through all my ancient belongings, it really puts it into perspective how much people - I, more specifically in this case- buy, and usually pretty needlessly).

This realization comes after a few days of, you guessed it, shopping. I've booked myself a solid month of work (I'm a contract dental hygienist in the "other" part of my life), and I reward myself with buying yet more stuff. Some of it necessary or a good long-term investment, and some of it... not so much. Perhaps it was how it had to happen, for me to finally be able to connect the dots and clue into how I need to let go of "needing" so many material possessions.

I found these words from mnmlist about a month ago, but they didn't really sink in until tonight.

1. Stop buying unnecessary things. Only buy the necessities, and always ask yourself: is this truly necessary?

2. Get rid of the obvious things. Stuff that’s getting in your way, that you rarely ever use. You can often fill up a few boxes immediately, put them in your car, and donate them to a thrift shop or to friends and family the next day.

3. Get rid of more obvious things. Now that you’ve cleared up some of the clutter, you can take a look around and start seeing other things you rarely use. Box these up as well.

4. Clear the clutter on your floors. If your floors are barely visible because you have clothes and boxes and different items all over the place, start clearing your floors.

5. Clear other flat surfaces. Shelves, table tops, counter tops. They don’t have to be completely clear, but should only have a few essential objects.

6. Start going into closets and drawers. One place at a time, start clearing out clutter.

7. Cut back another third. At this point, you should have simplified drastically, but you can revisit what you still own and see things you don’t really use that often.

8. Start letting go, emotionally. For emotional reasons, there will be things that you “just can’t part” with — clothes or shoes or books or mementoes or gifts, childhood items. This is difficult, but given time, you’ll learn that such attachments aren’t necessary.

9. Get rid of another third. At this point, you’re pretty minimalist, but you can cut back more.

10. Et cetera. The process will never end, until you actually give up everything.

 Wise words. So, I'm going to run with this and start physically writing down (in one of the many notebooks I already have lying around the house, no doubt) every single (non-consumable) purchase I make. I think it will be an eye-opener. And while I'm at it, I'm going to try to keep at the cooking and cleaning. It kind of feels good.

How about you- have you been able to make the break from "needing" so many material possessions?