Traveling Lighter… winnowing stuff woke me up to the progress I’ve made over the past four years, the progress waiting for me up ahead. Pretty darn wonderful! It maybe Jewish Wisdom for Growing Older’s shortest chapter, but it sure rocked my world!
Sheryl and Marty have lived in their gracious home in a northeastern city for over forty years. … (They) love their home but look forward to letting go of some of the demands of caring for it. … This desired move is about letting go. … of burdens and clutter but also of countless precious memories. – – One of the great things about consciously winnowing through possessions is being able to give each due respect & honor, knowing that the item is gone, but what it truly is has a place within us. If you are helping someone with a move, don’t assume that you know what’s value, what isn’t – – the smallest, most apparently inconsequential thing can have the biggest pow. Take the time to appreciate, release it from our grasp, hold it in our heart.
It can feel daunting to downsize property. Relinquishing things that hold memories makes us feel at risk of losing our connection to the past. – – My experience is that a slow-paced, conscious winnowing holds the most rewards. It helps to have done several serious sortings long before a BIG transition. Taking the time to honor a special item, share its story, hold in your hand, can help forever cement in the imagination & heart the link it has to the past.
What do we make space for when we clear out years of piled-up papers, give up snow shoveling, or let go of that collection of dolls from around the world? … When we shift from acquiring things or people, we can attain an to acquiring wisdom & well-being. – – If we haven’t learned this by the time we’re middle aged, it’s going to be tough to catch onto the fact that things are static, with the only value the one we assign it. Letting go of what we’ve collected over the years – the very act of doing that – provides the opportunity to honor what each means to us rather than as a possession.
You’re not just giving up, you’re getting. … You’re allowing for the possibility of enriching your life, not diminishing it. – – True, but only if done with the right attitude, in the right way & – hopefully – with the right person. A slow savor rather than an impersonal packing.
“Now, consciously or, more likely, not, we set out to find out for ourselves who we really are, what we know, what we care about, and how to be simply enough for ourselves in the world.” ~ Sister Joan Chittister in The Gift of Years – – Gosh, I love Joan Chittister – she speaks my heart. The unintentional consequence of – inspired by Marie Kondo – doing a big clear of my wardrobe was that have a greater sense of peace & calm with my environment extended to a unexpected stronger sense of peace & calm with myself.
Set all of your actions and possessions in order. Assure that every thing is in its place and time, and your thoughts are free to engage with what is before you.” Rabbi Menachem Mendel – – Marie Kondo to a T – and 200+ years before her! Reading this triggered the realization that the more orderly my surroundings, the more effectively I work, the more I enjoy what I am doing, and I am more constructively creative.
The process that (Rabbi Menachem Mendel) suggests involves clearing out anything that distracts us from the work of the present moment. This arduous reflection and winnowing is the way we can open the door to liberation and creation… This is a path of discovery, of what matters now. This is a process of connecting to the past through memory, not just through keepsakes. This is a powerful way to begin again. – – Rabbi Mendel & Marie Kondo would absolutely be besties! Clutter as a distraction “from the work of the present moment.” This passage also pierces my heart, remembering a beloved older friend who was moving in with his daughter & her family from the home he’d lived in for virtually his entire adult life. While he was on a trip abroad with two beloved grandchildren – a lifelong traveler’s last hurrah journey – she, in the name of efficiency, disposed of his entire, extensive record collection & 2/3 of his library. Impossible to imagine how he felt returning from a glorious adventure to find his music room walls lined with empty shelves, the yawning shelves in the family room that had held a lifetime of reading. Especially the records. He would have given away most of them, I am sure, but he would have had the chance to hold Tony Bennett in his hand one more time, to hear Ray Charles in his mind, to experience the sounds in each sleeve & album without ever slipping it out to play. “This is a path of discovery, of what matters now. This is a process of connecting to the past through memory, not just through keepsakes. This is a powerful way to begin again.” It is a time for reflection & farewell, for making the connection to heart- instead of hand-held, to say goodbye & begin again.