Wednesday, November 17, 2010
In Ottawa, recycling goes out every other week, so if one week you put out plastic and metal, the next week you put out paper. And although I'd done a bunch of clearing out before last week's garbage, the stacks of paper had been waiting for many days patiently on the back step for me to put them out.
I came home after yoga last night and began the process of putting the garbage out and then I was face to face with my resistance. Even though I had already decided that my old Who songbooks and magazine articles were ready to go, when the time came to actually put that stuff out on the curb I still wanted to hang on. I considered retrieving some of the notes of great ideas I've had that were in the pile.
Fortunately I have some company around this stuff right now and I was able to have a short conversation about the kind of life I want. I am so ready to have things change. Holding on to this old stuff is the old ways trying to survive.
As I get older I get even more sentimental as each item reminds me of another time and place or brings back memories of people I used to know. As sweet as those moments of memory are, I feel loaded down by the storing of the stuff. I feel faster with less stuff. I feel clearer. Healthier even.
Patanjali's yoga sutras talk about reincarnation. I'm not sure what I believe about life after death but I live like it doesn't matter. So the way I use the yoga sutras is to view reincarnation as happening within this very lifetime. Old ways of being dropping as new ways arise. I've experienced it myself. This conscious letting go of old material stuff is in a way walking into a new life with my eyes open, my arms outstretched (when they're not folded against my chest), saying yes.
(And in less lofty terms I'm just cleaning up after myself :) God forbid I get into an accident and you guys have to come and make sense of my stuff and try and figure out what was important to me versus what I just hadn't gotten around to throwing away...)