From the Niyamas (the eight limbs of Yoga), Aparigraha is non-possessiveness or non-attachment. This practice of non-attachment can be a difficult road to wrap our heads around, especially for us living in the Western world when so much of our success and identity is built around material things.
This past weekend was the final clear out of my family home for staging and to go on the market. If there has been anything in my life, that I have felt truly attached to, it is this house and beyond this house to its contents and junk drawers, and over packed closets. This house that holds every Christmas I have ever known and all of my family memories both good and bad. It has been a cathartic and healing process to weed through this stuff. Find old pictures and finally get rid of the 100 VHS tapes of movies taped from the movie network in 1991. And we are all looking forward to the next chapter of our lives which brings my mom and sister back in to the city and closer for everyday get-togethers.
As I came back to my apartment last night and looked around, it dawned on me how many tiny mementos I have already “borrowed” from my parents through the years to keep here, like small art pieces and a cool decanter set. Also through this clean up how the tiniest things have become so significant. Yesterday I peeled off the towel hooks from under the kitchen sink with a butter knife because I always have loved them. Granted they are super cute art pics from the 70’s but still, yes I did that.
From the yogi perspective, I think it’s when our attachments define us that causes the issues. Stuff is stuff, and the argument my sister and I do keep using is that a year from now we won’t even remember half of what we threw out. Without a doubt though I am a very sentimental person, my pooh bear from when I was six has also just found his way back into my closet here from my mom’s. But when I see these little things around my own home now it is grounding for me. It reminds me of the love that surrounded me as a child by my family and still does now. Perhaps it takes losing one of the most significant attachments I have ever had to really realize that stuff is stuff. But also perhaps it’s okay to have a few small attachments to things that make you still feel like you are 10. At the end of the day it’s not the thing at all but the feeling it brings. However, I think I’ll hang on to those towel hooks, and cool decanters and maybe some rainbow coloured sheets too.
🙂 In love and light.