Not Needing


I've been thinking a lot about what I don't need.

Mostly physically (my husband and I donated a trunk load of items over the weekend, and that is just the beginning), but also mentally and emotionally.

Our brains are constantly running a list of things we need. They may be tangible, like something we need to do (exercise, pay the bills,) or items we need to buy. They may also be intangible, like habits or mindsets we wish to acquire (more self-confidence, being at peace with a particular challenge.) Many needs are actually things we want masquerading as a "need," further muddying the waters. 

Whether it's a tangible or an intangible project, rarely do we think of what we don't need to make it happen.

Rarely do we ask, "How can I solve this problem with what I have right now, and nothing more?" Even more rarely do we wonder, "Do I already have more than what I need to solve this problem?" or "Would having less help me solve this problem, either directly or by creating the space I need to figure it out?" rarely do our brains get periods of emptiness...

This is in part a disease of our times, an era of raging consumerism and information overload.

Individually, the endless distractions can seem harmless, and individually, they may be. But as a whole, endless distractions insidiously use up our precious resources. 

What is it that you don't need these days? 

What is taking your time and attention, even though it's not a priority? 

Do you think you are productive because you are busy? Is all that busy-ness actually in service of the values of your higher self? Or are you just busy for the sake of being busy, because that's what you think you are supposed to be, and in reality you are freaking going nowhere?

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Autumn is a great time to look at this stuff. The natural world is dying back in preparation for winter, and we humans echo it with festivities like Halloween, Day of the Dead, Samhain, All Saint's, and All Soul's Days.

I have been enjoying this shift to shorter days and the approach of Halloween. It is bringing out the Grim Reaper in me. What needs to go? What do I not need?

This is not the first time I have done a big "weeding" of my life, but in previous ones I focused on the obvious threats and problems. Now I am going after all of the little things too. I am realizing that I don't want to keep stuff around that is innocuous or neutral or harmless, because by golly I only have room for things that are actively contributing to my wellbeing.

As such, this particular weeding looks like it will take longer than the others. I expect that this project is going to percolate through the coming weeks and months. I'm not quite sure where it's going really, (the sign of a true, adventure, no?) but I feel relieved and excited to be on the path.

I'll keep you posted.

In the meanwhile, I hope you are well and enjoying the autumn...

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PS Did this post get your brain gears crankin'?

Feel free to start a conversation below (it's okay, you can be anonymous)!