The LightLiving Challenge – Day 2

April 14, 2013

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” -Alan Cohen

Today I picked my first ‘five to release’ and ‘three to keep’ in my 30-day Challenge. Oddly enough, I discovered that picking the five to release was easier than choosing the three to keep.

The Five Releases:

1. An old black purse from Target that I’d kept so I’d have a decent-looking black bag for ‘nice’ occasions. But I never go to ‘nice’ occasions anymore, and I have my tan Mandarin Duck bag that’s nice enough if I ever do.

2. A box that someone gave me to store/organize jewelry supplies. It was originally a chocolate-covered date box from Abu Dhabi. The idea’s nice but it’s cardboard so not really sturdy enough.

3. A book called The Spirit of Prophecy from the Land of Assisi Refuge and Salvation by Massimo Coppo. A friend met this pilgrim man who was traveling through Assisi and selling this self-published book; to be nice he bought a copy, but since my Italian friend doesn’t read English very well, he gave it to me.  At first I was excited by the gift, hoping it would have some profound truths, or at least some crazy ravings. But it’s not very interesting. Here’s an excerpt, picked at random:

“Well, this is what Marcello later wrote about his retreat, in a note for which some priests had pressed him, and which he first of all submitted to his confessor (who wanted it to be given the title: Fragments of a prophetic story which the Lord is accomplishing inthe land of Assisi”): “On the 15th August 1981, the feast of the Assumption, I withdrew myself for forty days, as it were into the desert, in the former barn of a farmhouse at Rocca Sant’Angelo… I wanted to imitate Jesus, Moses and St. Francis.”

See? Boring.

4. A book called Un Indovino Mi Disse (A Fortune Teller Told Me) by Tiziano Terzani. This book sounds much more interesting. I found it in a book swap box by Santa Chiara church in the Bosco di San Francesco (St. Francis’ Woods).

“Warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to risk flying for an entire year, Tiziano Terzani—a vastly experienced Asia correspondent—took what he called “the first step into an unknown world. . . . It turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years I have ever spent: I was marked for death, and instead I was reborn.”

However, I’ve had the book since November, and though I can read Italian, it takes a bit of effort, and if I haven’t read it yet I probably won’t. So I’m going to pass it on.

5. My very favorite very comfortable pair of Teva flip flops that I absolutely love. I think I’ve had these for five years (maybe more), and though there’s an ever-growing hole in the bottom of one of them, I still kinda want to keep them, just so I have a pair of flip flops for around the house. But I’ve decided to  toss them and make room for a new pair – otherwise I never really think I NEED a new pair, as I’ve still got these disintegrating ones hanging out.

The three things I love that I’m choosing to keep:

1. A journal my friend Kalyani gave me for my birthday last month.

2. A compass and hematite necklace that I made.

3. A golden Ganesh and citrine necklace that I also made.

The keepers were harder to choose than the letting go-ofs because I really only want to keep things that I LOVE. And I realized while looking around that I have a lot of items that I’m ambivalent about.

Though I’m already having doubts about what I’m releasing – What if I need a black purse? (answer: I can borrow one from someone). What if I can’t find comfortable flip flops so far from REI? (answer: I’ll be fine even if I don’t own flip flops right now). What if it turns out I do want to read ‘Un indovino mi disse’? (answer: I can get it in English via Kindle).

I opened to a random passage in another book that I’m keeping for the moment. Here’s some poignant wisdom from Paramahansa Yogananda:

“It is rare to see a truly “free” man. Most people think they aer free, while their minds are utterly fettered by psychological chains. These are harder to get rid of than ordinary chains; for in their subtlety they are difficult even to recognize, not to speak of how to destroy them! It requires a great deal of knowledge to cut those psychological restraints.”

– from Journey to Self-Realization

How relevant.

I’m very aware of my self-imposed limits to how free I am. I’ve freed myself from a lot these past two years, but it’s a continual process of letting go. I feel that this challenge will give me a final solid push through the paper chains of my fears. At least, I hope so!

Happy LightLiving!

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