Fill your heart, not your house.

April 13, 2017
Print this out and put it where you can see it often.

Good morning, beautiful people. This week’s Yoga Tool, Aparigraha, or non-hoarding, has been teaching me a lot about what I need. I used to feel I always wanted more—more things, more food, more work, more money (of course). By making Aparigraha my meditative focus this week, and practicing it in various ways, I’m seeing what I really want more of:

Time. For writing, for spending with my husband and family and friends. For the quiet spaces we used to get before there were screens everywhere.

Space. A sense of openness, both in my surroundings, like getting out in nature, and in my head, as in not being so distracted by constantly doing. Or thinking that I have to constantly do.

Happiness. The real thing, not the kind I think buying things will bring me. Look, I’m all for a cute dress and a new notebook, but material goods are fun, not the source of real happiness. I want the real, lasting kind that comes free with a good attitude toward life.

Letting Aparigraha unfold in my life has had dramatic results. I’m eating less and feeling more satisfied. I’m working more effectively. I’ve gotten rid of things I don’t need, which creates that spaciousness I want. I’m less stressed and have long periods of being calm and focused. 

The process was simple:

As with making any positive changes, we begin by generating peace within. We can’t make good decisions when we’re in fear. This is why I start every morning with Deergha Swasaam, or Deep 3-Part Breathing Practice.

I use this practice as a meditation in itself, focusing on my breathing. If I’m meditating for around ten minutes, I usually release the Deergha Swasaam practice a few minutes in. This lets me start my day calmly. I can also repeat the practice any time I feel stressed.

My focus this week is Aparigraha, Yoga’s ethical principle of non-hoarding, so I’ve been using a Mantra during meditation:

I have enough. I am enough.

After meditation, I think about how Aparigraha can translate into my life: What am I hanging on to that I no longer need? This starts with my physical surroundings, so I go around and take stock of what’s in our closets, on my desk, in my drawers.

If you haven’t done this in a while, I fully recommend Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. While it seems to be about organizing, it’s actually a deeply spiritual exercise that will reveal a lot to you and help you become lighter and unburdened. Because this is the truth about spring cleaning and Aparigraha:

You’re not just getting rid of material things you don’t need. You’re releasing emotional baggage too.

What you’ll find as this goes on is what I’ve found this week: You have enough, because you are enough.

Actually, you are more than enough. You are a divine light. Unburden yourself so you can shine even more brightly on the world.

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