I’m looking around my sitting room and the realization hits me — I’m a hoarder. It is not a pleasant realization. I have a couple of bookcases filled with unread books, stacks of unopened blu-rays waiting to be viewed, and three closets full of clothes, not to mention numerable boxes that remain unpacked from my move three years ago.
What’s ironic about this is in my art and writing I practice minimalism. I truly believe less is more. Minimalism has inspired me and taught me so much since I first discovered it. It has helped me to re-evaluate my approach to art, my theater productions, my writings and even my spiritual life. All are better for this approach. I think now it’s time to approach and live my life in this same manner — to live a simpler life on a much smaller scale.
“Brevity is the essence of style.”
To be honest, I’m resisting this notion. I worry giving up my stuff will make me seem less important; what will I have to show for my work. Who will take me seriously without a job and a house full of things. I know these feelings keep one trapped.
What will I gain from this I wonder. Hmmm …
Peace of mind — The idea of letting my “things” go seems horrible at first, but I know I expel way too much energy worrying about my stuff. Letting this stuff go will set me free.
Freedom from impulsive / compulsive shopping — Amazon loves me. THE COMPLETE FILMS OF ABBOTT AND COSTELLO today only $49.99. OMG — I can’t pass that deal up. It’s too good to be true. I have 352 saved items in my Amazon shopping cart. On-line shopping was designed with people like me in mind. I have started developing walk away power which is a good thing. It is much harder than it sounds. But I’m getting good at it. Whenever I feel the urge to buy something i don’t need. I think of that copy of Robert Goulet’s Christmas Classics that still is in it’s original wrapping.
Lifetime experiences — I often wonder why that trip to Paris never happened? And how come I never made it to New Orleans? Then, I realize those trips were traded for the 195 Criterion DVDs I own. I know. I want so many more outside the box experiences in my life, but I have limited myself. So, as I sell off my possessions that money will go into a new savings account to earmarked for a long over due trip across the pond.
Health and happiness — I suspect I will actually be healthier and happier with less stuff. Probably because I will sleep in a more harmonious home, work less, and feel less stress about letting go.
“The more I examine the issue of clutter,
the more effort I put into combating it,
because it really does act as a weight.”
What is responsibility — If I let my things go I won’t be responsible. Yes, this thought has run thru my mind and it still does. But I realized that I have a really skewed view of what responsibility is. Owning things makes you responsible.
What I’m learning is that responsibility looks different for everyone, and that part of being responsible is knowing how to care for your spiritual and emotional self. What if part of being “responsible,” in other words, is listening to your spirit when it tells you, each morning as you drive to work, or as you look at the clutter in your house, that it is suffocating me?
Better relationships — I can’t help but think with less distractions my relationships will be better. With less anxiety, more freedom and greater discipline my relationships should improve I think. My friendships should be richer and more satisfying. I would fight with myself less. Getting rid of things really has helped to let some toxic friendships go — those friendships that steal all of my energy. I understand what matters now.
There are three approaches I can take toward my possessions: face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until … It is better to face them now. I’ve acknowledged my attachment to the past by honestly looking at my stuff. By doing so, I’ve seen what is really important to me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to put my house in order.