Letting go of material stuff. What to do when resistance shows up.
(our current house- simple and lovely and allowing freedom to pursue our dreams!)
Hello Dear creator of WONDER and magic!-
I just returned from California and I gave a talk and workshop and it felt soooo good. I feel like I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing! If you would like to host me in your city for a workshop or speaking gig- please hit reply! I can tell you the details!
This weekend, I was talking to a beautiful human about his impending move from a lovely home he has lived in for 35 years with his partner…he’s having trouble letting go of the “stuff” and this place where so many sweet memories have happened. He literally experiences his gut being wrenched when he thinks about it. At the same time, this move holds the promise of financially setting him free to be able to live out some of his most precious dreams…travel among other things. He wants to do it, but he’s struggling. He asked me how we got through our downsizing.
I dipped back into some of the feelings I had as we let go of 50% of our belongings back in 2009. Though logically, I knew, that I needed to let go (and I WANTED to let go)….there were lots of FEELINGs: Mainly (for me), shame (Why did I buy all this stuff anyway? What is wrong with me? We never should have bought this big house.).
As we spoke more, I discovered that, in his case, the stuff (and the house) represented his relationships to the people he loved. In his mind, letting go of this home and its contents meant losing relationships/love/everything he cherished. Logically, he knew this sounded “nuts” but he couldn’t shake that feeling.
When you think about downsizing or bringing things you no can longer use to goodwill or trying to sell them, what comes up for you?
It helps me to remember that material goods are just that…material. By divine design, they are not lasting. Whereas, love….our relationships…the way we made others feel (and how they made us feel) is everlasting. A rug or decorative accessory from T.J. Maxx….with time will become dust once again. Love, however, endures forever.
For me, I told him, creating a bit of ritual helped me let go. Whether it’s a single bag, a carload of stuff or an entire house, this process that I will describe has served me.
First, I take some time to say thank you for the gifts the goods have given me (steady transportation- thanks car!) and then, I say a prayer that this material thing will find its new owner who will love and appreciate it. In this way, I am a willing participating in the sacred circulation of goods/gifts. To receive, we must let go. It is the way things are.
The last time we moved, I did a ceremony to let go of our old home…thanking it for all it had given us and I asked it to “call out” to its new owners. I also made a prayer that the new house let us know with signs that it was the right house for us to choose! If you want help doing this- hit reply and Id be happy to work with you!
There’s a wonderful zen story about a monk wandering in the desert who is literally dying of thirst. He sees a shack (hope at last!) and enters it. There is a pump inside and a single jug of water next to it with a note on it. He tries the pump but no water comes out The note says: “After priming the pump, pleases refill this jug and leave it for the next person.” The monk thinks long and hard. If he pours that jug of water down the pump and the well happens to be dry- he surely will die. Or, he could trust. He decides to pour the water into the pump and begins to pump furiously and fresh water gushes out…plenty for him to drink, refill the jug and his own canteen.
This is the kind of trust that letting go takes. To get what we need most (and to support all life), we must not be afraid, but trust that inner voice that’s saying- it’s ok to let go.
So, I heartily encourage you to pour out that precious bottle into the great “PUMP OF THE UNIVERSE” and watch the miracles unfold. Give freely, without attachment. It’s a well that will never dry up. Don’t forget to say thank you for all the riches you receive.
As always, I am here to help you to find your feel good and to find your inner willingness to do the challenging and beautiful things you were put here to do.
with love, Sarah
P.S. I am on an irregular and irreverent BOOK TOUR (more dates/cities will be added!) and hope to see you and hug you!
I will be at the MN State Fair Grounds for the Twin Cities Book Fair 10-11 AM this Saturday Oct. 13th Details are here.
Oct 18 I’ll be in Duluth, MN at the Protein Pub downtown offering free consultations for 15 minutes to help you gain clarity or figure out a message from a beastie! From 1- 3 pm- come visit!
Oct 23, Nov 27 and December 21 (special solstice edition) **Drum Circle will take place at my office from 6-8 pm- 20.00 at the door!:) 1811 East 8th Street- leave extra time fro parking because there is road construction!