Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

An Energy Experiment

8 January 2013

Hi all,

I’ve been conducting a bit of an interesting “energy experiment” in my house.

Recently I moved into a friend’s house (I have the granny flat out the back) that had previously been my friend’s grandmother’s. Nanna, to put it mildly, was a hoarder. Yep, she could have been on the reality TV show Hoarders, there is (still) an awful lot of stuff.

Meanwhile, I’m paring down to basics and living as minimally as I can. Having moved house an awful lot in the last 12 months I can’t bear the thought of repacking and moving the same old sh!t from home to home to home. I’ve got most of my stuff in 13 boxes and I’m clearing stuff out, giving things away, getting down to basics.

So, how does my energy of minimalism go with the house’s energy of hoarding?

It’s been interesting. I had a rough couple of weeks to begin with and I was totally convinced that my living there is a dreadful mistake (still not completely unconvinced of this, by the way). My moods were all over the place (including a couple of really down days), but I finally think I’m starting to get on top of it.

Last night I went into the kitchen (which has been a combat zone the last couple of weeks) and my friend had washed all the dishes there. All of them. Believe me, this is one huge breakthrough. The kitchen, if not quite ready for a feature in Vogue, is at least workable. I can live with that.

Now I’m currently working on box #13 and I’m finding an awful lot of resistance to getting rid of stuff. The rubber has just hit the road for me here and it’s not fun at all. But if I can empty this box completely (box #12, the same size, is only half-full), then I can put the pantry contents into the box and use the plastic basket that the pantry is now in for my laundry basket. (The laundry basket from Ikea died the death. The idea of a three-compartment laundry basket was great, but the stitching was very poor and let the whole thing down.)

Then to sell some of the things that are too good to give away (like a silk kimono, a 14″ diameter quartz singing bowl, etc.), and get new bedlinen and towels. And then, of course, I’ll want to redo the wardrobe, and pare down the boxes again.

My minimalism is a work in progress.

But it’s not about stuff; it’s not about having less stuff or good stuff or even functional stuff; what it’s about is only having things that I use or love or need, and being free from the distraction of all that stuff, allowing myself to receive what I really want: connections, experiences, growth, contribution. Not just freedom from clutter, but freedom to happiness.

This week, I shall sort through box #13 and blog about it next week. There, I’ve said it out loud, now I have to do it. 🙂

Like I just said, my minimalism is a work in progress.

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The freedom of less (rocks)

11 December 2012

I was going through my gem and jewellery collection (it’s a hobby of mine) and I was working out exactly what I wanted for myself. As it turned out, not much at all. I want for myself a nice pair of cufflinks, and I have just the perfect pair of stones for that: a beautiful pair of square-cut rubies, not heated, not coloured, not treated. They’re not top quality (they’re quite cloudy and included, and there’s even big chunks of rutile at the back) but I really don’t care: I just want that pop of colour that only rubies really provide. If I get married (and that’s a really big if) then I’ll get a plain wedding band, probably platinum because I like it and it’s damn near indestructible.

But I digress. As I said, I was going through my gem collection, and I have an awful lot of rocks that I’m not interested in working with. When I was a beginner, I grabbed pretty much everything I could for practice, and there were many generous souls willing to give me free material. Now that I’ve moved on a bit, I’m now rather selective in what I work with. I notice a lot of the material I used early on were in dark, heavy colours; although they tend to suit me, I’m now not making jewellery for me, with the exception of the ruby cuff links I was talking about.

So I’m giving away the stones that a) I don’t want for myself and b) I don’t think are good as gifts for friends and family. I have a ridiculous amount of tiger iron that I can’t imagine will make pretty jewellery, but juniors at the lapidary club I go to can practice with the material. Our juniors at Nunawading Lapidary Club do really well in terms of prizes and awards, I want to support that.

Now I’m free to make gifts for people. I have a friend whose birth stone is sapphire, and a family member who loves blue: they’re both getting a faceted (synthetic) sapphire next year. (Shhh… don’t tell anyone!) And it means that as all of the people I’m planning to give jewellery to are women, I can use prettier, lighter coloured stones. My peach-coloured sapphire is a case in point. I may even get some chrysoprase and make something with it.

Which means this afternoon I’m going through my rock collection and giving stuff away. And that means when I move (again!) in just over a week, I won’t be carrying a whole lot of rocks with me, and all of the rocks that I have I will list so I can keep track of them. That’s in line with my goal of having everything I own listed, named, and in their correct place.

And that feels like freedom to me.