Aparigraha – De-clutter and be liberated

Just as we need to still and clear our minds for meditation and ultimately enlightenment, a similar sense of freedom and wellbeing may be achieved by de-cluttering our homes and living quarters.

Personally I have become a self proclaimed expert at de-cluttering only because I have been compelled to go through the process by moving abroad many times. By moving countries one is faced with a situation of having to make a decision on every single item of one’s possession; whether to take, give away or dispose. This tedious process has left an indelible reminder in my mind about the ‘sins’ of accumulation and hoarding.
It is very difficult to shed these as I believe in most of us there is the seed of fear of separation from an article for a host of reasons: sentimental value, fear of letting go in case it is needed at a latter date or it could be that we are consumed by consumerism and need to buy more and more.

Any Feng Shui book will begin by advising the reader to de-clutter. Having cupboards and rooms full of things and clothes that one hardly uses or thinks that he/she might become useful in the future is like having weights round one’s ankles whilst trying to walk. This excess baggage hinders energy flow in a room apart from the fact that it attracts dust and housework becomes more laborious.

How can we de-clutter?
To start with we should question ourselves every time when we are shopping especially of non-consumables. Do we need this item so much that it deserves a place in our home? exercise machines and massage chairs are typical examples of large items often bought with the best intentions but often left in corners to gather dust.

Charities are hungry for all sorts of items and there are clothes and shoe banks all around town. Some charities will even collect large items of furniture

Have a garage sale or even sell unwanted items on the internet

When you hear that a friend or a family member is in need of something and you happen to have two of or one that is not used then take the opportunity to give. Giving is good for the soul!

Recycling is also an option. Unused or obsolete hardware and printers are often required for their parts or indeed sent abroad to third world countries to be recycled.

If you can’t be bothered with any of the above, then just bin the unwanted excess baggage. The municipal dump will sort things out for re-cycling.

Remember Aparigraha? One of the Yamas of Patanjali.  ‘Graha’ means “to grasp” and ‘pari’ means “things”. Aparigraha means “not grasping things” or non-possessiveness or non-hoarding.
A yogic maxim says, “All the things in the world are yours to use, but not to own.”
Whenever we become possessive, we are in turn possessed, anxiously holding onto our things and grasping for more. But when we make good use of the possessions that come to us and enjoy them without emotionally dependent on them then they do not wield power over us. We will be able to let go more easily.
Try letting go of stuff, it is very satisfying and liberating!