Street library

An unexpected benefit from decluttering

A few years ago if someone had said this to me I would have been shocked … but thanks to my decluttering and simplicity journey, I am delighted to hear it:

‘I picked up your book Yoga off the mat’ at a street library during a COVID lockdown. I have read it slowly. I have had yoga in my life for many years and find the journey so exciting, including finding your book. Sending you lots of love and appreciation.’

It makes me smile.

Someone thought to pass on my words because they had served their purpose for them, and now someone else has benefitted.

Not only that. Another week or so later, I got this message:

Hi, I got your CD Shavasana at a garage sale. It’s so great, I use it 3 x a day for burn out recovery. I want to buy some for family and friends, where can I get it?

It really does make me happy.

To have my book in a street library and a CD in a garage sale of course confirms that I have been around for a while, (the book is over 4 years old now and the CD over 14!) but I suspect that not too many years ago I would have felt a twinge of hurt, ‘who threw away my book / CD?’

What I am finding by getting rid of anything I no longer need, is that my surroundings feel clearer and cleaner, and somehow I am freer to go in whatever direction feels right, without feeling too weighed down.

It is great to know that all the trips to the op shops in Mordialloc and Parkdale and the Already Read shop in Euroa are helping others too, perhaps in quite unexpected ways.

Decluttering to me is a form of ‘sauca’, a term from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras meaning something like ‘purity and cleanliness’ and of ‘aparigraha’, meaning ‘non- grasping’. These are both behaviours that the Patanjali suggest we cultivate and I could go on about each one at length (but won’t).

Putting it simply, if our space feels cluttered we feel that as a burden, whereas having clear space around us feels lighter and freer. We really don’t need or use or even enjoy many of our possessions. For example, when looking at my wardrobe, it helps me if I remember that I can only wear one outfit at a time.

And we all know that we are constantly bombarded with ads and images suggesting that our life would be better if only we had this outfit or that furniture, this product that is going to make our complexion look dewy or that device for keeping in touch or for cooking something amazing in record time.

The truth is, we need a lot less than we think, and that does not for one minute mean we can’t have nice things, just a reminder that we don’t have to grasp at all the things that other people want us to think we need.

This is all part of a yoga journey, who would have thought?

So, over to you now, what have you learnt from your yoga journey or from decluttering. I’d LOVE to know!

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