I get my inspirations at the oddest times. Today it presented itself during a beautiful ride in my Jeep. All the windows are off. The doors are off. Cool breeze … taking my little one to work. I’m anticipating a leisurely ride back over our island bridge and a gentleman (I use this term loosely) pulls quickly out in front of me, obviously in a hurry to get somewhere. I immediately know in my heart he’s on his way to see someone special. At 45 mph (properly spaced 4 car lengths behind (see I remember my drivers ed), I can literally taste his cologne. Taste it!
My dad always told me you should only wear enough of a scent that a person invited into your personal space can smell it. But obviously this gentleman did not have a father like mine.
So I start thinking about excess. The excess of things we have. The excess of things we want. Excess of the things we think we need.
I am an empath. I have a heightened sensitivity to people who talk too much … to bright lights, loud sounds, and all strong smells. You can imagine this man’s cologne was putting me over the edge.
By the time I got home my brow was furrowed, my head was hurting and all I wanted to do was close my door and turn the air conditioner down and sit in the dark.
We rarely think about how our excess affects other people. But even more so how it affects OUR lives. When we have too many choices to choose from, it becomes an overwhelming job just to complete a task.
Think about how many pairs of shoes you have. When it is time to get ready to go out, how many times do you change your shoes? We spend so much time, energy, and effort making choices because of our excess, it robs us of valuable time we could be spending in the moments that we are trying to get to.
Eliminating access is not easy. It was forced upon me last year when I moved from a 3,300 square-foot house into a 1,200 square-foot house. I had five shelves full of books. My tiny little beach house was not gonna hold all this literature. And although it pained me as I sifted through the books, gently caressing the covers remembering every story between the pages, I had to decide what was more important … this home that I always wanted or keeping my treasures gathered around me.
So I packed up all my books (I saved one bookshelf of my favorites) and took them to a beautiful little consignment bookstore in Southport. I was prepared to donate all the books hoping that they would find the loving hands of another avid reader. When I brought the boxes of books into the store, they told me that I could actually get store credit for the books I turned in and would be able to purchase more with my credit in the future.
One book at a time.
This cleansing and purging felt so good I actually, with confidence, was able to go through all my pocketbooks and give away all but one in each color. That solved the problem of having to figure out a way to store my many pocketbooks in my tiny new closet. I then went through my shoes, my clothes and even my housewares. I had collected over 12 comforter sets including curtains and rugs over the years. Who needs 12 different comforter sets?
Why do we hang on to the excess? Many people tell me it’s because someone gave them some special thing. They feel like they needed to hang onto a specific item because Aunt Kate or Grandma so and so gave it to them. They feel guilty throwing it away or passing it along.
By releasing the excess that I had, I actually created space for more beautiful things to enter my life.
If we take a moment and try to clear the lens that we are looking through, we may begin to understand that we hold on to memories in our hearts and not the material things people give us. We can still hold these people dear and not be attached to the material things they impart on us.
So take some time to look around your house. What excess do you have that you can release back into the universe?
When we let go …
we make a space for more beautiful things to enter.
The only thing I have not purged is my fingernail polish. Now that’s a whole different story! What can I say? Rainbow toes make my heart happy in Down Dog.