The last three weeks or so I’ve been on a massive de-clutter. It’s just become very clear to me that I really don’t need all this … stuff.
Today I took 78 pairs of shoes and boots to the charity shop. I know, I know – most people have never even bought that many shoes!
I’ve also been losing weight – and doing lots more walking. I’m planning to walk the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain next year with a couple of friends, and I know I need to improve my fitness levels significantly if that is to even begin to look possible.
In this context, the ‘stuff’ is the excess weight that’s just crept up as I approach my 60th birthday. The ‘stuff’ is also about food that I don’t actually need. I’ve never had a particularly emotional issue about food – I’ve just been unconscious about it, and I see the results on the bathroom scales.
You probably already know how liberating a good de-clutter feels!
It creates space in the house certainly – but it also seems to create space in your mind.
What’s even more liberating has been the falling away of my thinking – thinking about the stuff, but also thinking about myself, and who I really am.
Over the past seven years, since immersing myself in the Three Principles, or the Inside-Out nature of the human experience, I have ‘shed’ a whole load of thinking. Or more accurately, I’ve seen through the illusion that my thoughts are true. The illusion that my thoughts are an accurate reflection of reality. The illusion that my thoughts are ME. That’s been life-changing, and has led to a whole new level of freedom of mind. As the fog of thinking has cleared, there’s a much deeper connection to my inner wisdom, intelligence and peace that’s always there underneath.
But recently, there are even more layers sloughing off – like a snake shedding an old skin.
Stuff that I didn’t realise I still even had thinking about. I realised as I went through the enormous number of shoes that I no longer wear that I had an attachment to these ‘things’. It was just out of conscious awareness. The shoes that made me feel sexy, and the shoes that made me feel hip and fashionable. The shoes that were associated with particular moments in my life.
I’ve seen at an even deeper level that it never was the shoes that made me feel a certain way. It was only ever thought in the moment. And of course, you can replace ‘shoes’ with anything else in your external world or circumstances.
The walk next year is, in part, a spiritual journey for me. It’s partly about learning how little a person needs as they walk the path that thousands of pilgrims have walked before.
It’s about travelling light.
Seems to me that’s a great metaphor for the whole of life – walking unencumbered by the heavy backpack of too much thinking, too much ‘needing’, too much stuff.
Just being in the present moment.