These past few weeks I spent a lot of time in pursuit of liberation. I didn’t think of it as that. I was merely packing a houseful of stuff in preparation for my move all across the USA.
Going from room to room, I had boxes and bags marked "Keep" or "Give away". The Give-away containers kept getting bigger and bigger and so did my sense of freedom. A lightness came over me, the likes of which I haven’t experienced since childhood. I realized the burden of accumulating objects and the relief of ridding myself of them.
Passover was looming near and I thought of new beginnings. A vow of freedom in the here and now began to form. Some came from my experience, others from observing others. It was a profound "aha moment", that led me to write about the ways in which we can set ourselves free.
1. Getting rid of the clothes you haven’t worn in years, or perhaps ever. They may have sentimental value such as the expensive gift from a loved one and you thought you might "grow to like them". You didn’t and likely never will. You may donate them to second-hand stores or consign them to high-end resale boutiques. If they are torn and ultra-worn, I put them in a third bag named "Discard". Ahhhhhh…
2. Furniture – it’s expensive to move heavy stuff cross country, or even across the street. Two bedrooms, a dining room and living room filled with a multitude of containers for my stuff: a great many chests of drawers, bookcases, bedside tables, armoires, easels, chairs, tables, endless stuff. Some priceless antiques, some incredibly beautiful creations which sprung from my imagination, others lovely, functional, solid wood but replaceable. Or not. This stuff has been like a heavy ball and chain around my feet. I just knew I didn’t want to be chained anymore. I wanted to be liberated. If I got rid of most of my clothes, a great number of my books and the linens I won’t use any longer, I won’t need much of the furniture. I eliminated around 4,000 cubic feet of stuff.
2. OK. I understand you are not moving, but you feel chained and trapped. You want to fly but instead you do things for everyone – you are the designated driver, cook, old-parent-caretaker, cleaning lady, and CEO of your company. I think you deserve a break…every day. Some TLC, a warm bath with candles and aromatherapy scents all around. Yoga and a massage, stretching class, daily meditations. I’m talking male or female, we all need some self-loving, A chunk of time that’s yours and yours alone.
3. Hire someone to do the house cleaning at least once a week. Then teach the kids a great lesson: any action has consequences. If They make their bed and keep their room neat they gain points, which can translate to more pocket money. And the opposite applies: they make a mess and refuse to clean up, they lose points. And learn a life lesson. But most of all, you gain some ME time. This will also prevent arguments between you and your spouse, and instead give you free time to recall who it is you married.
4. The greatest freedom comes from within. Tranquility, peace of mind and a spiritually infused life have a way of removing most fear-born behavior and thought pattern. Those alone are responsible for a majority of the sad sense of helpless enslavement. Go within, either alone or with the help of a good functional/cognitive therapist and clean up your inner clutter. Think positive!
Let this Passover be the beginning of a totally free you.
L’Shana Haba B’Yerushalyaim Habenuyah!