A few days ago I reached for something in my laundry room and a purple candle tray fell to the floor and shattered. First off, I was selling my home, so I hid things in different places to move them out of site. (I don’t normally have candle trays in my laundry room.) I held my breath for a second when I heard the tray shatter, and when I looked down I sighed with relief, one more thing I didn’t have to figure out what to do with. I felt a glimmer of delight – the candle tray was dead. I had to pause. What a strange feeling.
I know I struggle with clutter. If I throw away an old pair of running shoes, I wonder if I should have given them to a homeless shelter. I stare at the soles and try to figure out if my old shoes would be more of a curse than a cure to another person. I sort through old clothes to make sure I don’t send anything to Goodwill with stains on it. I throw away old yoga pants with holes, but not before I make a decision about whether it would be worthwhile to sew them instead. Sometimes I throw things out without going through all of these paces of psychological and physical sorting. I give myself permission to just throw things away without guilt. At least, I try.
It was a perfectly good tray – unchipped and functional. As lovely as the day I bought it, probably twenty years ago. I could place a candle on it and it would protect my furniture. I used to like it. Perhaps I even thought it was beautiful. When did I stop loving it and wanting it? The tray didn’t change. I did. I suppose I used to like pillar candles. Now I like glass cylinders. Like an old toy forgotten as a child, I grew out of my candle tray.
I wonder how often we wait to be “saved.” To have someone or something come into our lives and break our candle tray so we don’t have to feel guilty about our own desire to break it ourselves.
That crash on the floor was the sound of freedom.
One of my good friends and fellow yogis recently spoke to me about minimalism and the work of Marie Kondo. Marie says you should only keep things in your home that “spark joy.” I’ve been rolling those words around in my mind for weeks. What a lovely ideal.
For me, the question then becomes, should we only keep people in our lives that spark joy too? I know, we all have difficult family members and relationships, but it seems to be a reasonable question. Have you ever had someone break up with you and you sighed with relief? Ever have a business acquaintance or friend cancel a lunch date and you smiled? Perhaps a family member stopped speaking to you and you were grateful?
I love the pursuit of self-actualization – identifying passions and living to your fullest potential. So much so, my life coaching business is built on it. Miriam Webster defines actualizing as making actual, or real. Through self-actualization we identify and elevate our authentic self. But, what about actualizing not only our self, but our environment as well – can we make our relationships with people and our physical space authentic and real too?
Imagine living your life at your highest level of potential surrounded by people and things that ignite your joy.
I can’t think of anything more beautiful.
And you absolutely deserve it.
I wish you all Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!
P.S. The photo is the shattered pieces of my candle tray. It’s so interesting to me how it can be simultaneously broken and beautiful. I’m teaching meditation on Sunday, November 24 at Giving Tree Yoga in Smyrna. Come out and say hello!