Simplifying

Paring down, weeding out, sifting through, releasing, letting go, letting go, clearing the path of all the rubble of distraction so we can remember our centers…the simple truth of who we are and why we’re here. 

It’s amazing how the stuff piles up…just from living daily life year after year in one house. Clothes and books and papers and toys and gadgets filling up all the drawers and closets and nooks and crannies in the house. We hardly ever touch or even think about 90% of it. It just sits there, taking up space, weighing down our lives with its inert presence.

My family and I are in the midst of rearranging our household right now and it’s calling us to let go of all the extra clutter from our home scene so we can be present and available for what is REAL and meaningful to us.

We’ve been taking one room at a time, one box, one drawer…sorting through it all and discovering precious long-forgotten treasures under the rubble of unnecessary STUFF.

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This volume of stuff hasn’t been enhancing our lives at all. The abundance of cheap and meaningless things only serves to cheapen our lives and distracting us from meaning. When we live with excess it just winds up piling up anyway…the mountains of laundry, the messy rooms, the piles of dirty dishes by the sink, the clutter in the corners…and it keeps us busy managing stuff rather than living life.

The goal we’ve been working with as we take on this grand sweep is to have only meaningful, useful, life-enhancing things that have a purpose and reason and place in our home. And, that as we set up our new household together, we all contribute to the maintenance and function of our lives together.

We started this as an experiment in the kitchen by each choosing our own plate, bowl, fork, spoon and cup. Each one of us has one of each that is “ours” and we put the rest of them away in a cupboard we don’t use regularly…out of sight, out of mind…and out of the flow of the daily dishes. Now we’re each responsible for washing our own plates and utensils and there’s no more pile up of dirty dishes by the sink. It’s such a relief…provides such spaciousness…and frees up our time for things more meaningful than washing a pile of nasty old dishes.

Trimming away the unnecessary excess makes things so simple and clear.

I had a somewhat parallel experience with my altar. It was the last thing that I dealt with in moving out of my bedroom. I had saved it for last because it was kind of intimidating. Years of use in the same place caused it to gather many layers of prayers and sacred objects. As I sat and asked for guidance on how to tend to each of these “things” it became clear to me what was no longer needed. I lovingly purged the old and returned it to the Earth with prayers of release and completion. The precious and steadfast sacred tools that were left got packed into a box and brought out to our new tent bedroom to be set up again.

But when I wanted to sit and pray on our first morning in the tent, before actually unpacking and setting up my new altar, I just intuitively reached for the basics. Fire and water and the representation of the God and Goddess in balance and integrity with each other. This balance is what it’s ALL made from…it is the copulation that gives birth to all of creation.

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Sitting in front of this simple altar, making a simple offering of sweet grass in reverence and appreciation for the lifeforce magic that flows through ALL things, I felt myself lighter and more centered than ever. Grateful to be finding my way through the clutter and back to the basics of life. 

 

PS…All this processing through my own STUFF reminded me of that brilliant video from a few years ago called “The Story of Stuff”…if you haven’t seen it, check it out…and if you’re interested in being tapped into the movement that it started visit The Story of Stuff Project website. 

 

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