Do you ever take a look around and notice that you have too much stuff? Or maybe you’re holding on to some relationships that you’ve outgrown and that aren’t really serving you? We live in a world where Consumerism is the golden rule. We hoard our treasures like dragons. We’re always looking for the next thing to make our lives better. We always seem to want more, more, more.
The minimalist movement is the antidote to this rampant mass consumption. Minimalists strive to clear our lives of high quantities of stuff in exchange for high quality stuff. And by ‘stuff’ I’m talking about material belongings, yes, but, also, relationships. Having a handful of relationships that are authentic, fulfilling and supportive, is much more potent than having a ton of relationships that don’t serve you.
Minimalism is about being choosy. It’s about choosing only those things that will bring joy, contentment, purpose and passion into life. It’s also about letting go of the clutter of stuff that clogs our lives. It’s only in letting go that we can make space for new growth and greater bliss.
That said, letting go can be difficult. So, to help make it a little easier, I’ve compiled a list of my Top 5 Tips for Letting Go With Grace. Try one or several of these tips to release yourself of some of the stuff you no longer need. And while you are the only one who can decide how much letting go is appropriate for you, it often happens that once you start cutting loose your life’s ballast, you’ll realize how good it feels to lighten up.
Take a photograph! Many times our attachments to things, places, or even, sometimes, people, have more to do with the memories we associate with them than anything else. I find that when I’m feeling sentimental about something to which I know it’s time to say goodbye, I can just take a photograph of it. Storing the photo on my computer, or on a thumb drive means it doesn’t take up space, and I can look at it anytime I want to conjure those special memories.
Do some journalling! Whether it’s a pro/con list, or waxing poetic, writing about the object or relationship you’re considering releasing can give you some much needed clarity about how it’s serving you (or not).
Create a ritual to commemorate the good that came from the object or relationship, and to send it out to someone who needs it more now. (Or, in the case of a relationship, to wish for health, happiness, prosperity, etc. for all parties.) This can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. A simple idea is to take those pages from the journalling you did [in Step #2] and burn them - in a safely contained fire, of course - letting the power of the fire cleanse you of any attachment to the object or relationship in question.
Help others! Use this as an opportunity to be of service to the world community. This one really only applies to material items. Find a way to donate your old belongings to individuals and/or organizations who can benefit from them. Sometimes you can even request updates to see how your items have been put to good use.
Raise some funds. This one also only applies to material items. Selling your belongings can be a wonderful way of helping fund new adventures, or even pay off debts. Have a yard sale, or use websites such as ebay, craigslist, etsy, or other similar sites and get cash for your goods.