Last month I wrote about an experiment that was inspired by removing clothes from my closet and what I learned about self-care from that experiment. This month I want to share something else I learned about beauty from thinning out my closet.
After clearing out the clothes and shoes I no longer wear, I opened the closet door and looked at my shoes. I felt a sense of calm. Of gratitude. Of contentment.
At first I was puzzled by this because it felt so counterintuitive. I’ve been taught that more is better; that abundance means more. Looking at my shoes though, I was aware that I have enough. Sure, there may be “gaps” in my choices – e.g. no black shoes – but I don’t feel the need to buy more. And it isn’t some kind of deprivation.
I noticed that delight again when I sorted through the utensil container by the stove and took out the wooden spoons and spatulas that I don’t use. What was going on? Why am I feeling a greater sense of abundance with less?
There was nothing wrong with the spoons I removed; they just weren’t the spoons I reach for when cooking. In their absence, the well-used spoons shine.
If you saw the wooden spoons I’ve kept, you probably wouldn’t exclaim, “Oh, Marilyn, what gorgeous spoons! Wherever did you get them?” However, they are beautiful to me because I have stirred so many meals with them and the wood has developed a patina from use.
This is what I’ve decided: The abundance I feel when I look at the shoes in my closet or the utensils by the stove it not about the quantity of things, but about the quality of their energy. The objects that I find beautiful and enjoy using, no matter how ordinary their purpose, have a positive, uplifting energy.
When I’m not distracted by the things that I don’t use, I get to enjoy the beneficial energy of what I do have. I can appreciate their beauty and be nourished by that beauty.
This is the more that I’m experiencing with less.
How do you make room for the positive energy of the things you love? I’d love to hear about it.