I have a rather lot of excess in my life. That’s always been true for me. I come from the More = Security school of emotional compensation. Sigh. But I’m noticing it more right now. First because Spring finally feels like it might actually be arriving (there were doubts I tell you!) and I’m starting to entertain thoughts of Spring cleaning. But even more fundamentally, like so many other folks, I’ve been doing another round examining who-am-I-now and what-actually-belongs-in-my-life-and-what-doesn’t? I definitely have too much stuff (both physical and emotional), and it’s weighing on me. While I know I’ll never be a minimalist, I do know that the Treasures-Only policy feels SO good to me. I don’t know why I keep letting other stuff creep in.
Rachelle Mee-Chapman, aka Magpie Girl, is brilliant at noticing. She recently invited people to take a look at their lives and come up with a list of 8 Excesses. Her additional challenge is to think about how you might turn your excess into abundance for someone else. I’m game…
- Books. Too many. Although I’m a loyal library patron, there are so many books I like having my own copy of. But seriously, I don’t need anywhere near as many as I have. I’m not sure I’ll ever be a Kindle convert. I adore books – I love paper, I love all the tactile pleasure of turning pages, of feeling the weight of ideas captured on sheets of paper. I enjoy bookbinding and I imagine I’ve spent more than one lifetime doing it, so my devotion to the form runs deep. But it’s clearly time to do another cull. (I’m challenged to find places interested in donations of poetry books. Any ideas?)
- Art Supplies. My studio needs a good going through. Years ago I used to periodically play a destash trade game with others – we’d put together packages of stuff we no longer were interested in working with and pass them off to each other, bringing in fresh new (to us) materials from someone else. (I’m not looking to trade anymore, but I think I could be inspired to move along some of my excess to someone looking for some random stuff to create with. So here’s an offer – if you’re interested leave me a comment or drop me an email.)
- Journals. It’s not so much that I have too many blank ones – although I do confess to a supply. But its the number of journals I actually have going at any one time. Too many. Art journals, dream journal, reflections, ideas, various classes/studies, oracular, etc. etc. etc. I’ve repeatedly tried to keep just one journal and include everything, but it doesn’t work for me. And I haven’t found my perfect system yet. (I’d love to hear how other folks deal with this – please share!)
- Weight. No doubt the cause of this is an excess of not moving!
- Coffee. Although I drink only water-processed decaf (and balance my coffee consumption with an equal amount of tea), all in all, it’s too much.
- Too many classes/courses/e-books. I’m definitely struggling to find my balance here. I love learning. But there comes a time when you realize not everything that sounds wonderful or is sparkly actually has to be tried. I wish people would stop putting out such tempting stuff. 😉 (I KNOW I’m not the only one with this problem. If you’ve found a strategy that works for you, do tell!)
- Preparation. This is the one that’s driving me most crazy right now, and the one that has most gremlin voices attached to it. It’s way past time for me to engage more widely in the world. I have people begging me to offer courses, to share what I know, to do something, anything, on a scale grander than one-on-one. Seriously, what am I waiting for?! My next lifetime?
- Hiding. This is related to #7, but gets its own number as well. I’ve totally mastered shy; I’m a brilliant hermit; and I’m truly gifted at staying hidden. I’m excessively good at all of these things. But enough already. It doesn’t even feel good anymore. More like a tired old story not even I want to listen to anymore. The wonderful Michele Bailey-Lessirard of As We Connect encourages with the tagline “Be Seen By Choice, Not By Chance.” YES to that!
So that’s my list. Plenty to weed and compost I’d say. What excesses do you want to confess to? I’d love to hear.