I spent some time shopping downtown with my sister-in-law Sophie today. Her and my brother are heading back home to Australia tomorrow morning, via a five day stop-over in Tokyo (I’m totally jealous) so the get-together was an occasion to spend girl-time with my “little sister” while they’re still here. I also hung out with both of them yesterday at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and then in a café comfortably shielded from the freezing cold where I quickly realized that everything that was coming out of my mouth was in some way connected to my new computer and iPhone. I guess it isn’t so surprising considering how much time I spend with my new toys. I’ve always been sensitive to issues of materialism, mostly because I’m keenly aware that my dedication to amassing “stuff”doesn’t exactly jive with some of my ideals. After a small bout of shopping and a late lunch at a French Bistro with Sophie, I came home and found the following very à propos article in my mailbox, kindly provided by DailyOm:
Clearing a Space for Change
The Weight of Objects
In life, we tend to have an easier time acquiring possessions than we do getting rid of them. Just as we harbor emotional baggage that is difficult to let go of, our lives can tend to be filled with material objects that we may feel compelled to hold on to. Most people are not conscious of how much they own and how many of their possessions are no longer adding value to their life. They fiercely hold on to material objects because this makes them feel secure or comfortable. While it’s true that the ownership of “stuff” can make you feel good for awhile, it seldom satisfies the deep inner longings that nearly everyone has for fulfillment and satisfaction. It is only when we are ready to let go of our baggage and be vulnerable that it becomes possible to recognize the emotional hold that our possessions can have on us.
It’s not uncommon to hold on to material objects because we are attached to them or fear the empty spaces that will remain if we get rid of them. Giving away the souvenirs from a beloved voyage may feel like we are erasing the memory of that time in our life. We may also worry that our loved ones will feel hurt if we don’t keep the gifts they’ve given us. It’s easy to convince ourselves that unused possessions might come in handy someday or that parting with them will cause you emotional pain. However, when your personal space is filled with objects, there is no room for anything new to enter and stay in your life. Your collection of belongings may “protect” you from the uncertainties of an unknown future while keeping you stuck in the past. Holding on to unnecessary possessions often goes hand in hand with holding on to pain, anger, and resentment, and letting go of your material possessions may help you release emotional baggage.
When you make a conscious decision to fill your personal space with only the objects that you need or bring you joy, your energy level will soar. Clearing your personal space can lead to mental clarity and an improved memory. As you learn to have a more practical and temporary relationship to objects, positive changes will happen, and you’ll have space to create the life that you desire.