Twelve years ago, I changed a safe and predictable life in Sweden for the unknown and moved to the southern parts of Mexico.
One of the best things with moving across the Atlantic was the fact that I had to let go of 98% of everything I owned. I remember the feeling of lightness in my being: I was free to do whatever I wanted because nothing was weighing me down.
No furniture, no books, no extra clothes, no utensils, no paintings, no decorations. Nothing. Only me and what I could carry.
I know for a fact that I’ve consciously tried to maintain that light lifestyle. I never keep books that I know I’ll only read once. They have to circulate and fulfill their purpose – which is to be read. I avoid extra gadgets in the kitchen: one spatula is enough. I don’t need a special one for my crepes. I don’t have a toaster because I can toast my bread on the stove. Yes, it takes more time since I have to turn it, but I’m not in a hurry. I prefer having the spaces in my kitchen free for cooking.
I haven’t particularly mentioned this way of living and how it helps me feel light and clear. So a year ago or so one of my parents gave me a couple of molds for frying eggs in different shapes. I didn’t know what to say because it’s exactly those kinds of unnecessary items I can’t stand. Plus, I don’t even like fried eggs.
These molds have annoyed me all this time – they make me feel ungrateful for not appreciating or using them and even though it’s only a detail it does weigh me down a little. But I’ve kept them for the same emotional reasons, knowing there’s only one solution to it: they will have to go. But I hadn’t gathered the courage to do anything about it – until I came along my friend Helena’s initiative: the 90 days challenge.
Reading about what she’s up to, cleaning and clearing away stuff she doesn’t use, need, or like made me walk around my little home and take a really good look at what I have filled it with. Believe it or not, it’s still full of… crap! Things that I’ve been thinking I might need or want at some point. So I decided that this time I wanted my clearing clutter process to be a statement about who I want to be. I’m thinking: if I want to help a new me emerge, I need to let go of all the things I no longer am or want to be.
So… I’ve thrown away all my language teaching materials, because even though I’ll always be a teacher I never again want to teach languages.
And I’ve thrown away all my client files, because even though I’ll always be a therapist I am choosing to dedicate my life to something bigger at this moment in my life.
And I’ve thrown away loads of materials to different workshops I’ve given these last ten years, because I no longer want to give those workshops. With time they have become obsolete.
I’ve thrown away almost all the pictures I had brought with me from Sweden. Consider then that I had already, years ago, cleared my albums only to bring the ones I thought I had some kind of value. Now I’m taking pictures of them instead, and I leave the most valuable ones in my Dropbox (that I’m reorganizing – by the way). Most pictures I look at only make me panic anyway. I’m no longer that person and I don’t ever want to have to see her again.
I’ve given away all my CD’s and DVD’s without even checking if there were any gems in there, afraid that I might trick myself into wanting to keeping one or two. Or twenty. Which wouldn’t make any sense anyway since I don’t have a stereo. I’ve given that one away too. It just took up a lot of space and frankly, since I became a mother I don’t really listen much to music. I don’t know why, but it creates this auditive chaos that I can’t cope with. So, the few times I do listen to music I use Spotify.
I’m also cleansing all the files on my computer. It’s harder because I’m convincing myself it’s not as important since I can’t see those megabytes piling up. But I have to do it, I know.
Why? Because it’s full of things that don’t represent me, things that are no longer part of who I want to be.
So, who do I want to be?
I want to be free. Free from my own ideas and preconceptions of who I should be, when the truth is I can re-create myself in every instant. And I am doing just that, just as I did twelve years ago when I left my birth country and an obsolete version of myself behind. I am so much more than I have been in the past, and in order for me to be able to step into the grandest version of the greatest vision of myself, I need to let go of all those things that I am not.
So I’m going to keep clearing, leaving space for a possible new me every day.
PS. The only bag I still can’t rid myself of, is the one full of flamenco skirts from the time I used to dance and perform on stage. No, I don’t use them and I don’t think I ever will. But the pleasure and happiness when I try them on and realize they still fit is so intense… I can’t help but move to my imaginary flamenco music, enjoying the feeling of the heavy skirt flowing along with me. And I think of that dormant Performer that is still in me, just waiting for another opportunity to emerge again.
/Rebecka Koritz, pedagogical visionary and harsh school critic, co-founder of two small schools in the state of Oaxaca (Mexico), author, lecturer and former language teacher.
This blog post is a part of the #cleanse4expansion-project initiated by Helena Roth as a part of the Create the impossible-online course that started January 11th, 2015. The aim of the project is to do a physical and digital cleanse, to enable spiritual expansion, and also to get 500 000 page views on the blog!