When the economy isn’t the greatest, jobs are harder both to find and to hold on to, and we’re living in a culture of limitation and fear, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of hoarding. Even if we are very frugal and careful about what we bring into our homes, we may have a difficult time of letting go of things that no longer serve us. We may have a hard time spending our hard-earned money, which means that our money can’t serve us either. Sometimes, because we’re stressed out, we revert to old patterns of behavior and old ways of thinking, which brings up old pains and fears we thought we’d dealt with already.
In America, July means fireworks and barbecues, celebrating our nation’s independence from the British Empire. Independence on an individual level is also important to us. This is a month to liberate ourselves from the chains of our past, and from our fears concerning the future.
This month’s meditation will help us feel safe enough to let go of the baggage that holds us back and weighs us down.
To begin, take twenty two deep breaths, or as many as it takes for you to relax. Inhale “I am peaceful,” and exhale “I release.” While you inhale, thinking “I am peaceful,” imagine that you are pulling into your body a soothing light that fills up every cell, calming and relaxing you. While you exhale, imagine all the fear, tension, anger, doubts, and stress gathers into a dark ball of heaviness that you push out with your breath as you think the words, “I release.”
In your mind’s eye, imagine you are in a single room. Everything you own is in the room with you. All your clothes, books, movies, appliances, electronics, games, office supplies, food, all your garbage that you have not yet released, and every cent you currently claim all sits in piles around you and beneath you. The room really isn’t big enough to hold all this stuff. In fact, it’s so full, there’s not much room for air.
You need air more than you need stuff. Air is peace. Air is clarity. The more air you have in your room, the more room you have to move around in, to stretch your stiff limbs. You need space to rearrange the most important things, and to inspire you with ideas for a better, more fulfilled life.
Let’s look around for ways you can make space.
Wow, look at all that food! How much food do you need to keep in your kitchen? Enough to feed yourself and your family for a week or two. How many weeks could you feed yourself and your family with the amount of food in your kitchen right now? Let’s toss out the food that’s already gone bad. Let’s donate the food you don’t even like or rarely eat. Challenge yourself to put off grocery shopping as long as you can by getting creative with the food that you’ve stored up.
There’s a little more breathing room in here.
Look at another pile, and think about how you can make it smaller. For every item in your room, ask yourself if you need it more than you need the space it’s taking up. Ask each item if it belongs to you or if it needs you to bless someone else with it.
Open the door to your room and push out all but your very favorite and most needed belongings. Arrange those belongings in a way that pleases you. This room is the altar of your life. Your belongings are both decorations and tools. Make this space sacred and peaceful. Take a good look around at what really matters to you. Breathe in this peace, and when you are ready, open your eyes and look around your home for the baggage you are ready to release. Repeat this meditation daily if you need to to help you make space in your life for what matters most to you.