Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How Do You Know What To Let Go Of?



I've been cleaning out dresser drawers and closets - initially with the idea of swapping out some summery clothes for some cooler-weather ones - and I came to a (not so new) conclusion:

I have the potential to keep a lot of crap.

Sure, that stretched-out, misshapen, faded tank top, those high-water wide-leg exercise pants (circa 1995), and the sweater that's too short and wide, making me look like I have a VERY large, squat torso perched atop stick-like legs might one day come in handy when . . .  I don't know . . .  when I suddenly find that every other article of clothing in my home has suddenly been stolen or burned in a fire, and underneath the charred rubble or in the midst of the over-turned furniture I discover those pieces of clothing and shout an exclamation of relief, "Thank GOODNESS I did not get rid of those old clothes!" quickly dressing in them because there may not be an opportunity to cover myself in any other manner . . .  ?

I consider myself a pretty good purger, yet there are times when I unearth something I've kept for "just in case," but today, as I sorted the stuff in the drawer that holds my exercise tops, the faded, pilling black sports bra with elastic threads poking through the fabric drifted to the top of the pile from the recesses of the back corner of the drawer and then into my hands. I started to stack it neatly with the dozen other sports bras that I have and I asked myself when, exactly, would I ever wear that thing? Under what circumstances would I find myself saying, Man! If only I had that ratty old black sports bra!

Most all of us do that in some form or fashion.

No, you may not hold on to old worn clothing that no longer fits you, but sometimes we hold onto other things that no longer "fit" us: old relationship patterns of protection long after the jerk has hit the road . . . skewed beliefs about money causing us to overspend or become super-miserly when we are no longer living paycheck to paycheck . . . odd behaviors surrounding food when we have developed other skills for seeking comfort . . .  

Just like my initial instinct was to restack that old sports bra without even considering how or when I would ever use it again, it's important to go through our mental/emotional stuff every now and then and see what we've been holding onto in the back corners of our mental dresser drawers and pitch a few dusty, faded things. It's super-freeing. 

The season's changing. You should dress accordingly.

Author Elly Haddad is a certified holistic health and wellness coach and founder of Elemental Fit, based in Nashville, TN. She helps individuals and groups understand the important influence that diet & lifestyle have on health, happiness, & overall wellbeing. Elly is also a writer and public speaker, conducting workshops and seminars throughout the US. She can be contacted directly via email here

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