Year End Cleanup 

As the year draws to a close, I want to share my experiences with material possessions on this trip. When we arrived at our house, I noticed how ‘foreign’ this place looked to me. We have been away for only 3 1/2 years but I must admit that I did not recall owning most of the things – furnishings, collectibles, housewares, even my own clothing! Our house has two floors, with an adjoining extension. As I went around the rooms and opened the closets, more alien things presented themselves. I kept asking myself where these things came from; they certainly didn’t land in our house from outer space.  

With 30 years of spiritual practice, I take pride in being vigilant in owning things based on needs. A case in point, I have a shopping list so that I do not buy on impulse. And I clean up the pantry and closets monthly to avoid accumulating things. When I looked at the things in front of me, I was baffled as to when and why I bought them. The thought of re-examining and assessing them all overwhelmed me.  

Every day for over a month, we gradually cleaned up our house. As I looked closely at each item, I recalled the moment in time when I first took it into my possession. Many of them were from decades ago when we were antique dealers in Manhattan; we acquired them for the business. Also, our lifestyle was quite different then. We had three homes and always had many visitors, hence the many sets of housewares. The same was true of my clothing as I frequently travelled. Gradually, I was seeing a pattern – I was subconsciously attached to these things from the past which had defined me. I had a very fulfilling life in the States, playing my role well, and I wanted to hold onto this part of my memory. I brought these things all the way from Manhattan, warehoused them in Hong Kong and finally placed them in our Kyoto house. As much as they give me fond memories, I no longer need to own them as I am no longer bound to my old self.  

This pandemic has shown me that I can further pare down the material possessions without depriving myself. For 3 1/2 years, we have been living comfortably in an apartment in Hong Kong a quarter of the size of our house. Now that we are spending more time in this house, I can shape a way of living that re-presents the consciousness of the moment, instead of that of the past. I am so grateful for this chance to see myself once again from a soul standpoint. 


De-Light Note

Our soul truly needs only Light, even though our body and mind need material things. It’s perfectly fine to have material possessions; they not only satisfy our needs but also give us pleasure and enjoyment. However, when we become attached to them, even pursue them without regards to our souls’ needs, our lives are not balanced and complete. 

When you clean up, examine your possessions. See what your attachments are, mentally and emotionally. Often, it is not the things themselves, but the desire to hold onto them. Could it be fear of scarcity? Fear of letting go of your self-identity? Of abandonment? Our possessions are a reflection of our collections inside. 

  • Close your eyes and connect your soul. Ask why you are on Mother Earth. 
  • In de-Light, I honor and embrace my soul. I live in fulfillment of my soul purpose.