It has been 13 years since I visited Swamiji, in India, for advice on how to find my true self and to give it a louder voice in my daily life. He recommended that I “practice dying every day” as a tool for getting to know my self better — mainly through spiritual endeavors such as meditation and daily yoga practice (both of which I have done regularly since then). Occasionally I also experience this “daily dying” by drinking too much or through sleep deprivation. Most recently it was by moving apartments.
This wasn’t just moving. It was downsizing from 2,000 square feet to less than 1,200. I was forced to give up a lot of my stuff: clothing, electronics, bath products, handbags, furniture, artwork, books. I had collected so much over the four years in the apartment that it was no wonder I have had so much difficultly finding my self lately.
It was difficult to let go in some cases. Some things had sentimental value, some things were quite valuable, and some had been given to us, such as a beautiful handcrafted 12-person dining table. Having this table meant that I could invite 10 people for a dinner party and we could all laugh and eat and drink together. But in giving it up I have realized that in all the time spent living in the apartment, we had never had five people over for dinner, let alone 10. And I actually don’t even like entertaining (or cooking), for that matter.
My new motto is: less stuff, more self. In fact, I’m still trying to talk my husband into putting everything we have in storage except our beds, so I won’t have any daily distractions.