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If You Can Take Only One Bag…

written by Dr. Maya Sarkisyan January 7, 2020
If You Can Take Only One Bag…

Dr. Maya Sarkisyan, RD&T contributing author, shares personal anecdotes and revelations they’ve revealed about the meaning of material things and living a life of minimalism.

Only one bag…

One rainy day, I was climbing the trekking route to Mt. Everest base camp. This particular day was especially hard; it was raining most of the day, and the trail was really steep and slippery.

I also had no idea when we would get to the next stop and what to expect. Everything important to me at that moment was inside my backpack protected by a plastic cover. And I realized – only a few more things in life were important to me in addition to these few belongings.

Perhaps I needed a little bigger backpack. But the people surrounding me, supporting me, helping each other get to the top, were what’s really important. If I missed something from my backpack, somebody would always have it to cover me. On that track, I got a valuable lesson in relationships and importance.

I love my luxuries.

I like fine dining, international travel, expensive clothes, luxury cars. I didn’t have a privileged childhood, and everything I have I worked hard for. There have been times when things kept me feeling safe like nothing bad could happen to me. But things are not about that at all.

I believe we often (subconsciously) surround ourselves with things to define us. If you have that purse it means you are …, if you wear that fur coat it means you are with … and so on.

Maybe you disagree, but it’s what came to me after seeing hundreds of clients, and after my own life-changing events. And I still love my luxuries, but my attitude towards them has changed.

Everything carries information.

Everything you touch, breathe, eat, drink, see – transfers some information to you. That’s why people love beautiful things; they see them as pleasant information. When you start perceiving things on a deeper level, however, you get access to different information. Not all of that information is good for you – be careful. If you pay attention you can actually feel what takes your energy away and what makes your energy increase.

My father is a hoarder, less now than before. I love my father. He is awesome, and he taught me a lot. He also couldn’t let go of anything (thankfully we didn’t have much to start with). I think he was afraid of losing parts of him he was missing – the happy moments associated with different times. My father is also very creative – he can invent new things, and create virtual worlds for himself and others – in many ways. I think, perhaps, physical clutter kept him grounded and connected to reality.

A question:

Do you think your things keep you connected to your past and ideas about how things should be?

Every moment you are changing so rapidly – everything in you is changing, and the world around you is changing, too. If you could perceive it fully you could lose your mind, so the brain safety mechanisms are in place to change your perception of time. You actually feel almost no movement and sense almost no change. Your brain works this way to keep you safe. Perhaps too safe.

When you free up a space to look around you (externally as well as internally), you will see new possibilities, new ideas, new people. You will feel the world changing. It maybe is scary, but fear is only in your mind –  nobody died from throwing away an old shirt or chipped cup or even the well-deserved trophy.

Letting go.

You will not suffer from stopping believing that old crap about yourself. You know better. But some of these beliefs are tied to things you surround yourself with – so you’ve got to let them go.

De-cluttering your home is probably one of the most emotionally challenging things you can do in your entire life! We develop intense emotional attachments to our home surrounding, mostly because we need to feel safe and secure at home. Paradoxically enough, many things in our home do not even remotely making us feel safe. We have things that subconsciously bring painful memories, regrets, longing for the past, and reminders of failure.

I’m a big proponent of minimalism, as I think better when there is no clutter. I tried clutter – it worked for me; then I tried to get rid of everything, and it worked even better.

If you want to make a change in your life, your environment has got to be a part of it; there is no way around it. If you want to be lighter – weight-wise and emotionally, you’ve got to be lighter with your material goods. You’ve got to identify what is important, really important.

So, material goods are necessary, but you’ve got to choose wisely and retain a few.

The human relationships are far more important.

Remember that when you are clearing your clutter.

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