Two years ago, Jenny’s life turned upside down. “The Universe,” she says, “picked me up and spun me around.” She landed in Detroit with her computer and a few bags of clothes.
At first, she missed her books and her photo albums, but none of the other stuff. Not a thing. That came as a big surprise.
Not only didn’t she miss her houseful of possessions, she actually felt good that it was gone. Relieved. Liberated. So she decided not to get bogged down in crap in the future. Now, she can pack a bag and go somewhere, tomorrow. Possessions will never weigh down her life again.
Having less stuff means having freedom.
We get attached to stuff. Jenny’s previous life was relatively prosperous. She had crafts supplies and baking equipment and lots of other things she rarely used. The intention of someday using them kept her tied to them.
“Purging gets easier the more you do it,” Jenny says. “As you give stuff away, you’ll start to feel freer and want to do it more. And your place will look better! When I did my purge, in every cubby, in every closet, there was just shit. Shit I hadn’t seen in years.
“The aha! is how much psychic space things take up.
“I don’t judge my self worth based on the stuff I have, so I didn’t expect to react strongly to getting rid of those things. I certainly didn’t expect the feeling of liberation.”
Me: Now that you have all this physical and psychic room, what has come into your life?
“What hasn’t? It’s opened up so much. When I look back, it seems like I was helpless with all the things that happened, but on the other hand I took charge of my life in a way I hadn’t before. I freed up space for new possibilities and the new possibilities just keep coming.
“Once you realize you can do something like this, you realize that not only are you okay, but you feel a lot better. It opens your mind to a lot of possibilities. Maybe other assumptions you have are wrong too. It was a very strengthening kind of experience.”
Me: How do you resist the lure of the new and shiny?
“There’s nothing to resist. The realization that I felt better having less stuff was so strong for me that it wouldn’t make any sense to start acquiring stuff again.
“In fact, there’s tension and hesitation when I think about bringing something new into my life. I don’t think that collecting junk is anyone’s goal. There’s an unconscious grabbing, buying and keeping.
“Having things is a false comfort. It’s a lie.”
Me: How can people get this kind of freedom without jettisoning all their belongings and moving 500 miles away?
“I encourage people to push their comfort zones and get rid of a lot more than they think they can. You think you’re going to miss it but actually you feel very free and light. It’s counter intuitive.
“I don’t think I would have discovered this if I hadn’t been put into a situation as I did. You don’t have to get rid of everything, but purge just a little more than you thought you could.
“Have the intention of freeing up space for yourself.”
The lovely and talented Jenny B Bones runs an empire dedicated to changing the world through words. Because she pared down and simplified her life, she’s got a laser focus on doing what she loves and what she can help others with. Read her spicy, witty blog here.
In case you were wondering, I help people with purges large and small. Too much stuff in your home, on your desk, or in your head? Click here to find out how much better it can be.