“Those who seek security in the exterior world chase it for a lifetime. By letting go of our attachment to the illusion of security, which is really an attachment to the known, you step into the field of all possibilities. This is where you will find true happiness, abundance, and fulfillment.”-Deepak Chopra
The last few months have broken me open wide and awakened me to the process of detachment. It is not an easy task letting go of what no longer serves you. Our move to an island has forced me to examine the things I hold on to. I had to really assess if an object or an emotion serves a purpose or is it holding me back?
Over the course of the past six weeks, I have had to let go of many of my possessions, my creature comforts, and objects that hold memories for me. The task of moving to a small island requires a minimalist lifestyle. We are allowed to bring clothing, necessities and a few personal items. As I sorted through my things, I struggled with difficult decisions that happen when you need to let go of something that you love and cherish. I sorted through my book collection in tears, thumbing through pages of the texts that once transported me to a different scape, remembering each book and why I chose to read it and who I want to care for it as I part with them.
I belong to a special tribe of women called “The CCBC or culture club” a book club that I began 18 years ago in my small apartment in the city of Chicago. That club has ebbed and flowed through the years with members who have come and gone. But 18 years of solidarity with a core group of women is a powerful force. A deep commitment to love and friendship. Each month, we would choose a book to read and discuss. We would meet at a member’s home to gather with food and wine. We admittedly don’t always read, but it gathers us in conscious effort monthly to commune, share, laugh and cry. It is a special bond we share through the commitment of carving time once month to meet up. We open ourselves and our hearts to one another. Each book on my bookshelf represents a strong connection to these meetings, these tribal exchanges. And with tears streaming down my face, I had to pack them up, save for a few favorites, to sell, donate or bequeath to a friend. But as you pack away each item, you aren’t packing away the connection to the people that are attached to the memory associated with that object. You don’t have release the special connection to a friend. Just the “thing” that triggers that memory and/or connection.
Not only did I have to part with my books, I had to gather all the things that make our house a home and organize them for a garage sale. When sorting through holiday decorations, momentos, and everyday household items you realize that each and every thing is connected inextricably to a memory. It is amazing how objects can create a feeling of connection to a moment to your past. The emotion that is tied to each object as I placed it in a box to be sold, tugged at my heart strings.
Why was I so tied energetically and emotionally to these things? I know that they are just “things” but they are also an extension of who I am. They are a conscious collection of things I have gathered around me to make me feel “secure” or at home. As we sold off each piece in the garage sale, I had this sensation of vultures pecking away at my heart, taking my prized objects to their new homes for pennies of what they are worth to me. What should feel like a freeing exercise of decluttering, soon turned into a funeral of sorts. An ending to a chapter of my life and a farewell to things that connected me to my roots, my past.
But, I have learned if we are constantly looking in the rear view mirror we lose sight of what is right before us. The memories can live on, but the objects had to go away. I imagined that each object was energetically connected to me by a long extension cord. I had to unplug my energy that was held in that object and slowly reel that energy back into my being. With each goodbye to an object that no longer served me in where I am going, I reclaimed the energy into my own field. I imagined with each cord being folded back into my energy I will bring a brighter, more full energy field with me to the island. No longer am I weighed down by my objects…I am free and light to move to the next phase.
As Americans, we like to consume and collect. It is in our nature. We have superstores, convenience markets and shopping malls to drive our need to consume and collect. It is easy to purchase and dispose of things on the regular because you can always just run out and purchase more…
I’ll admit, I love to consume! Shopping is a favorite past time of mine. Even my son, Wolfi, notes “My mom is really good at spending money!” 🤑 it is true! But when tasked with purging my belongings, I also had to examine: why do I have all this stuff? Why do I feel the need to purchase, collect, shop and hunt for things to fill a home? I realized that shopping and purchasing things give me false securities. A way to “numb” out or fill a void. As I had to part with hundreds (maybe thousands) of items, my husband reminded me that I solely was responsible for purchasing these items. Wow. That overwhelming task of letting go, taught me that it is equally overwhelming to learn that I had been responsible for the consumption and purchasing all these things.
In my new island residence, there will be no Amazon orders, a quick trip to Walgreens or a day spent on the hunt at Target or Home Goods. I can no longer walk the boutiques of Libertyville or fill my cart with gourmet goodies from Whole Foods. I will have to find new and interesting ways to fill myself up. Consumption and convenience are no longer a daily option. How will I fill my time? What can I do to serve my soul? Who will I meet to create new connections and build lasting friendships? What hobbies will come into my field now that I can’t “shop for fun”? Oh, the possibilities!
Letting go. It creates room. It opens space for allowing new things to enter your life. By letting go emotionally and physically to attachments you can create abundance and a feeling of lightness. You can travel where the wind takes you because you are no longer tethered or burdened with a heavy load.
I encourage you to examine: what can I let go of? What no longer serves me? Whether it be a toy from your youth or an emotion that has become baggage that may weigh you down. Lighten your load. Open up space. You never know what lightness you can welcome in.