Minimise Matter & Mind
Another return to the UK and I find one of the most irritating things is repacking my bags for the climates and I wonder what stuff goes where? Why do I have all this stuff to re-sort out? Yes, climate is an issue. It's cold in the UK and not so cold in Spain, but warmer in Costa Rica. That's a lot of wardrobes!
Bags, Camping and Shoes
In nursery school my mother laughed at my bags with shoes, changes of clothes and toys. I loved my stuff! I could never cease the toys in my room to play and imagine with. As a teenager we went camping in our summer holidays. My family all joked endlessly about my shoe collection on a campsite.
Yes, I love shopping. I have always loved shoes - they are like slightly functional sculptures! I am strong and can carry heavy and full bags, so there is no deterrent on a full bag. To shop was relaxing, like going to the gallery and looking at art. I really love the Victoria & Albert Museum for this exact reason.
When I purchased my house and left the 6 floor windmill I had been living in for 3 years, the amount of stuff I took to charity shops was embarrassing. The more space I had the more I purchased; and just filled the space. When I left my husband, I took my clothes and makeup with some keepsakes. It still seemed a lot of boxes when my step-dad carried up the two flights to my new flat. Somehow, each time I emptied my life of stuff I managed to accummulate more. This cycle repeated and repeated.
To leave the UK I gave away many of my things so I could store all my belongings under the stairs in my house. Each time I have returned I have removed enough 'stuff' for another box to go. But I question why I keep it all when I currently live out of a rucksack that weighs 20kg. Each time I purchase something in my rucksack something else has to exit, but why do I purchase it? My excuse is that I am working out my new life and needs, but really?
Each place I go to brings out different ways of living, different wants and false 'needs'. I live in yoga wear, bikinis, flip flops and one hoodie. It helps to have waterproof hiking shoes and a pair of socks. Makeup is bronzer, lipgloss and mascara, no nail varnish anymore - I barely wear my rings in the heat! No perfume, just some essential oils that keep me clean, calm and aid my migraines.
When your phone is too pricey for data roaming, it is amazing how resourceful you can become. You ask people for directions rather than look at Google Maps. You can arrange to meet at a time and place without being late. To save battery, you don't listen to music and hear the sounds of the environment around you. Switch the digital toys off and enjoy your surroundings and company.
When there is more stuff, you cannot feel the space. The stuff cramps your mind, your body and connections. You do not make space for yourself and your relationships. The same is with the mind - if we fill our time with 'doing stuff' then there is no time to feel our inner space. That peaceful state of our true nature.
Travelling with so little leaves me bare. The space I found in myself lets me shine and this is what others meet. I used to test my wardrobe with the question "If I haven't worn it in 6 months then it gets thrown out", then I added "Every time I buy 1 thing, 2 leave". Now I ask "Does it serve more than one purpose? And, can it fit in my bag?"
How can you limit your stuff?
Go easy on yourself, this can take time. Below are some handy sites that can help you work through removing the clutter.
Project 333 is handy for women who might feel a need for more clothes!
The Minamalists are educating people to change their ways, reduce their clutter and find their space.
Maybe it's not your clothes? Perhaps it's your digital use? Digital detox tips or try this 30 day challenge:
- Leave the gadgets at home
- Plan to meet your friends the old way - set a time & place, then leave your phone at home!
- Look at a map and work out your directions! It requires use of your awareness, focus, direction, map reading skills - uh oh! All good for mental activity and health!
- You might hear and see your surroundings instead of checking your phone.
P.s. Now my shopping is the constantly changing clients at retreats and their outfits! If you come to my retreat, please bring pretty things for me to coo over!