I’ve always been sort of a messy person, but I like to believe I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older. When I was a teenager, my messy room never bothered me much. Now, though I still have the ability to achieve the same level of strewn clothing and paper, it aggravates me to no end. The last thing I want to do is come home and clean.
I happened to stumble across the KonMari method during an Internet time-suck session. It’s a way of keeping your home/closet neat, established by Marie Kondo, a Japanese goddess of tidiness.
In a nutshell: You keep only what brings you joy. Get rid of anything else.
Because I’m still in the tail-end of my yoga teacher training, my mind instantly went to the concept of Aparigraha. It’s one of the five yamas of yoga, or to put it plainly, things we abstain from. Aparigraha means “non-coveting.” You keep only what you need and let go of everything else.
I often try to meditate on the idea of letting go. Our jivamukti teacher at Earth Wellness urges us to “Inhale ‘let’, exhale ‘go’.” It’s a powerful, beautiful concept, because holding tightly to notions of how you want your life to unfold -- or even notions of who you are -- can hold you back and cause deep unhappiness.
Letting go of whatever you don’t need is actually necessary to maintain a healthy mental and spiritual life. I’ve learned to let go of painful memories. They never served me in a positive way and will no longer have a hold over me. I’ve even learned to let go of people who are no longer a positive part of my life.
It’s not an easy thing to do, but it seems like it should be the simplest thing.
While aparigraha can be intimidating to observe, letting go of the stuff we don’t need might be at least a little easier. When progress is measurable, it’s comforting, because you’ve can clearly see that you've achieved something.
However, in letting go of thoughts, ideas, memories or people, you think you’ve made some progress, but a moment or situation may make it clear that you haven’t fully let go.
But letting go of an old pair of pants I haven't worn all year is something I can get behind. I don't want my possessions to have power over me. It’s yoga for the home.