“The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.”
As you might already know, I’m selling everything I own and setting off to travel the world in January.
What you probably don’t know is where I’ve been living up until now.
Few people know about this little basement apartment that has been my cocoon for the last two years. Few people have seen inside the low ceilings and tiny window of the place where I’ve written all these blog posts, written The Love Mindset, and done countless coaching sessions.
This has been my cocoon. And, now the shell is breaking. I am emerging into my own light.
It’s been strange, to say the least, to travel all over the world virtually while sitting right here in this little, constricting nest. It’s surreal how limiting my environment has been compared to my boundless curiosity, but I think it had to be. All cocoons are. We emerge when we are ready.
I am ready now.
I look around me and the walls are white with faded outlines of where the pictures once used to be. Boxes line the floor. The warm, cozy energy I cultivate with my daily routines no longer pulsates along with the amber stove light in the corner. It dissipates into the emptiness, into the silence.
This is no longer my home.
My favourite part about selling my things has been seeing all these people coming in and out of my place—people of all different ages, genders, professions, cultures—all of them carrying a smile and some item that I once owned.
I am shedding my skin. I am shedding yet another mask.
As I sit here reading old journals, I’m remembering all the times that I’ve ever shed the outside to awaken what’s on the inside.
I remember, many years ago, I was backpacking in Europe, and I found myself at a music festival with nothing but a backpack. I didn’t have all the clothes and makeup that I needed back then to “feel cool.” I remember the discomfort I felt, and I remember the power of saying “F#^k it” and stepping out into the world anyway.
I remember, after I had a breakdown, the days of staring at my makeupless face in the mirror, feeling loathing, then love, then freedom.
I remember the tears I shed when I threw that giant garbage bag of size zero clothes into the donation bin, knowing I’d never starve myself enough to fit into them ever again.
I remember looking myself in the eyes as I pulled out my piercings. I remember the smell as the hairdresser stripped dye out of my hair. I remember feeling like my soul was coming alive each time I looked at my raw, naked face in the mirror—untouched, real, beautiful. Me.
And here I am again. Except, this time, I’m not awakening from a slumber. This time, my open eyes, open mind, open heart—they are all opening wider than I ever thought they could.
Just when I thought I loved myself, loved people, loved my partner, loved life—I am falling back in love, deeper than I ever thought was possible.
I can’t believe I ever used to be addicted to drugs. Living in love is a high I could never have believed existed. But it does. And it’s getting stronger.
The strangest thing is that what I’m shedding now isn’t necessarily negative. I’m not materialistic, and I never have been. I’m not weighed down by the past or by negative self-concepts. These past few years, I’ve just been a girl with a few appliances, an address, and a wild song in my heart.
And losing those appliances and that address has made that song louder.
Now, I’m shedding these ideas like “I live at x address” and “I make shakes with my blender” and “I make coffee in my coffee maker” and somehow it feels just as good.
It’s strange, but it does make sense.
If what we are, at the core, is an interconnected, powerful, eternal energy that permeates all things, then how constricting is it to give that energy an address? Or a blender? Or a name?
Some part of me fears this change, fears going off the deep end, fears what I used to fear as a kid when I had those dreams about floating off the surface of the Earth with nothing to hold onto.
I fear it so much that I need to do it.
Fear is a question of my loyalty to myself, and my answer is “Yes.”
Yes. I choose me. I choose life.
I choose love. I choose power. I choose freedom. I choose to follow my inner call and go towards what feels really, genuinely good without lying to myself about what I need to be happy. I choose nature. I choose life.
The more I choose these things, these things that we all have the power to choose, the more I realize that every single moment is an opportunity to make that choice. Do you want joy or safety? Do you want love or pity? Do you want an address or freedom? Do you want adventure or a blender? Do you want life or security?
Do you want to spend your life experiencing who you really are or crafting who you think you should be?
The more I open up, even deeper, to who I am within, the more I realize that I’m made of pure, universal, blinding, bright Love.
Today, more than yesterday, and yesterday more than the day before, I’ve felt love for myself and others like I never thought possible. And that’s not because I’ve found more things to love. It’s because I’ve torn down the walls of safety I’ve built around myself, so the sunshine of love that’s been waiting beyond those walls can now shine even deeper into my heart.
When I stop trying to hold on to what isn’t mine, that which is grows brighter.
When I stop trying to be safe, I become braver. When I stop trying to be secure, I become free.
And it’s a funny thing, you know—I never felt like I was holding onto my address or my blender or my bed or my name. But I was. I am. We are. We do. We are so unlimited, but somehow, we are wired to limit ourselves to seek for the feeling of safety that is, and always will be, an illusion.
The illusion of safety is nothing compared to the feeling of eternal, spiritual, universal connection to everything and everyone in the world.
And we don’t feel like our couches or our spatulas are padding us against a deep, conscious awareness and presence with the universe, but they are. Just like our labels for ourselves. Just like our labels for the outside world.
Once again, I am reminded of my favourite Rumi quote: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
And I realize that Rumi was playing small. He said to seek and find all the barriers within. And yet, there are so many barriers on the outside as well.
So if I may, I’ll revise that quote and say:
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it and all the protective possessions and people that you have accumulated around you that block you from experiencing it.
Maybe we can’t all formulate a lifestyle around this, but it doesn’t mean we don’t need this experience, at least once in a while. We already take vacations from our jobs. Why not take vacations from our possessions? Our identities? Our belief systems?
However we do it, our job is to come out of the cocoon. The sun is always, and will always be, shining.
(Photo by Łukasz Lech)