Walking in the sun. God it feels good. The sun is shining kissing my skin. The day is finally warm enough to wear my hiking TEVA sandals. I spread my toes and my body sighs. Walking provides me with a moving meditation to march with the ongoing battle in my mind. It's becoming more and more clear that fear is my constant companion, poking my brain with it's long sharp fingernails reminding me of what I'm not supposed to be doing, how I'm not good enough, or how I'm doing it totally wrong. This day the battle got so fierce, it stopped me in my tracks and I had to look up.
I saw a flowering tree.
Pink always makes me smile and the blue sky calmes my fire. I noticed the precision of nature. Simple, clean, uncluttered. Colors, brown, white, green, blue dancing together to create a colorful soothing peice of beauty. I was looking at this tree and the sky. A perfect model of green design. This tree provides beauty for my eye, shelter, takes in my carbon dioxcide and releasing oxygen for me to take in, food for all the creepy crawling insects and furry Brooklyn animals, it's fallen leaves decompose into the earth around it feeding the soil, the worms in an ongoing cycle. All in a simple, uncluttered space.
The fear based battle in my mind subsided for a moment and I had a powerful realization. I MUST DE-CLUTTER. I have gotten rid of so many things in the past few years I thought I did not have much... except for clothing. I even got rid of a bunch of clothing but still... there's more. I live in a small NYC apartment with my partner, and it's too much. I'm holding on. To me the clothes represent so much more than garments to wear.
Appearances. Superficial? Perhaps. Still I hold on. The clothes represent an identity that I strove to keep up, a persona, so fabulous. Did the reality meet the clothing? In all honesty, no. For me, for a time, clothing was the addiction. My way of coping with being different, lonely or alone was a visit to a clothing store. My dealers were the perky retail store attendants who would hold that pair of shoes or hide that cute skirt in the back for me so I would spend my rent money on clothing and dip into my grocery budget to pay rent. It's better to look good than to feel good...right?
Am I being dramatic? Perhaps. But as I look around, I see I'm not alone. I see other "retail junkies" out there getting their fixes, finding comfort in consumerism. So I made the decision to do a closet cleanse.
As I look through my clothes and begin the process of pulling out the peices I haven't worn in 6 months, the idea of parting with each peice feels like I'm pulling out parts of my soul. I don't own property, or a home, my only possessions now are my kitchen tools and my clothes. Who will I be if I'm not draped in these garments? Tears, actually come to my eyes. My fear has switched form in my mind, turning into a kindly well dressed older lady who says things like, " buy the dress and the occasion will appear", "This is not just an outfit... it's a family heirloom... your legacy!" It becomes ridiculous! I look at her and laugh. I look at the piles of clothing that I will never wear that just sit in my closet taking up space and causing me stress, take a breath and tell myself to let go.
I keep the peices that I truly love, that keep me warm, and cool. My Mother's beautiful one of a kind hand made dresses she had designed when my family were stationed in Japan in the 60's, My Dad's suit jacket with his name engraved in the inside breast pocket that I wore in High School in the 80's and decorated with political buttons, wore with a white tee shirt, skinny jeans, penny loafers and a black fedora resting on the top of my head( a la Madonna in Desparately seeking Susan) with my black Ray Ban sunglasses and an army of bracelets on my arms. These are the garments that are not clutter, that I love. These are the garments that remind me of who I once was without inhibiting the woman I have become.
I tell myself to let go of the rest. I create a mantra for me, " I am not my clothes, I am me. I am. I am okay, as me." Why is this so hard?
Lovingly, I pack my precious threads into the big blue Ikea bag and place them by my front door to take to Beacon's closet. I know they will find homes with the right Bklyn hipsters and will happily frolick all over the city on fresh new bodies.
Without a word, my boyfriend comes over to me and gives me a big hug kissing my forehead and smiles, then goes back to writing his song.
With the open space in my life, I'm allowing new opportunities, abundance, love and spirit into my home. I now know truly that life isn't fair, life just is, and we're all here just living the good, bad, pretty and ugly of it. I'm taking the steps to figuring out how to let go and dance with my fears, one step at a time.