Have you ever read a blog or social media post that you relate to so much, you could have written it yourself? That’s when I feel like social media is at its best, when you have a “YES! Me too!” kind of moment. Yesterday, I was reading a new blog post by Sam of Catching Dragonfly. While recent events in her life differ from what’s going on in mine, we share similar feelings about the accumulation of stuff. Especially having too much stuff during a time of transition.
“Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.” – Henry David Thoreau
It wasn’t until I moved apartments in May that I noticed my unworn collection of yoga pants.
I was choosing what to wear to Hot Vinyasa when the heap became clear to me. Dozens. They were burgundy, sky blue, forest green and white. Solid, printed, full-length and cropped. Some were gifted. Some purchased. Some didn’t fit right. Some weren’t my style.
I never wore any of them. But for whatever reason, I had them; some for the past few months and others for years. I couldn’t help but ask myself: Why? Why have I kept these? And as I felt a twinge of hesitation about letting them go, I really began to question why.
Taking inventory of my yoga pants sparked the realization that my life was overflowing. Donating the unworn yoga pants started the domino effect of life simplification. Over the past two months, I’ve let go of more than half my belongings – excess stuff I owned, but didn’t find value in.
I traded in decision paralysis with my ClassPass membership for a membership at the Yoga Room, around the corner from my apartment. I opted out of cable TV. I furnished my new room with only the essential. I re-evaluated who I had been spending the most time with and why.
MY COLLECTION OF UNWORN YOGA PANTS CARRIED A VALUABLE LESSON: HAVING LESS IS KEY TO BECOMING MORE.
Reflect on this…
At its best, excess is a cover up – the pricey veneer of a full life. At its worst, excess is the onramp to a life of stagnation.
More stuff equals less substance. When we hold onto unnecessary things and thoughts, there’s little room for valuable additions – new experiences and new perspectives.
The same applies to our relationships. We cling to stagnant relationships the same way we cling to the yoga pants we’ve never worn. They don’t fit us right. We don’t particularly need or like them. But we won’t let them go purely for the fact that they’re already there.
We’re all hoarders – collecting the unnecessary and unfulfilling not realizing how we’re paralyzing our own existence. Too often, we collect and hold on to people, thoughts and possessions out of fear. Fear of being alone, fear of what others think, fear of not knowing who we’ll be without them.
It’s comfort, confused. Our memories are in our minds, not our things. Our fulfillment stems from introspection, not accumulation. Relationships should be carefully selected, not passively accepted.
In my recent journey of life simplification, I’m experiencing less across the board — and therefore, more. Less TV, more reading. Less social media, more soul-searching. Less phone typing, more blog writing. Less banter, more depth. Less consuming, more creating. Less physical stuff, more mental space. Less decision pondering, more decision making. Less thinking about it, more being about it.
I gotta say, I’m loving how it’s feeling.
Consider simplifying your life — from possessions to friendships to extra curricular involvements. Try being naked and undistracted. Take time to get to know who you are without all the things that you think define you. Strip down, again and again. Perpetually work to unveil the rawest version of yourself, on the mat and in life.
Constantly ask yourself, “Is this bringing value to my life?”
If not, why am I engaging with it?
Who might I be without it?
If you’re unsure, now’s as good a time as any to find out.
Photography by Nick A. Urteaga