“Every time I give something away, what comes back to me is freedom.” Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell from her book “ A Mind At Home with Itself.”
As I was reading this Byron Katie book this morning the quote above really caught my attention. It rings true in so many aspects of life it is astonishing when you delve into it. In the book Katie talked about giving things away and not being attached to them. At one point she even gave her house away! Reading about this and the conclusions that she has come to in her own life was really eye-opening for me this morning. I began to think about that quote very deeply and the examples I could find in my own life where it is so true. Can you find examples in your life where it is true too?
Giving away physical clutter:
I know that the physical clearing of objects from your environment at home and at work can be very powerful. I have experienced that with every shift and change in my life my step #1 is to clear away the clutter. Not only does it clear away extra things, help others in need and clean up the house and work-spaces, it also clears away mental clutter. Even if I put away extra things that I do not need and they are out of sight, I have found that my mind will wander to those extra things and that mess every time I want to start on a meaningful project. When I clear away those things and really take responsibility for my space I find that I gain freedom not only in physical space but in mental space too. Clearing away extra things = freedom of space and freedom of mind.
Giving away thoughts:
The concept of giving away thoughts and clearing them from your mind when they do not serve you just popped into my head this morning as I was pondering this quote. Many times I have had thoughts about things I need to do, people in my life and so much more that are not helpful. It seems that the mind often goes to the negative place first. For example, some mornings a dreaded boring task will be on my to-do list like “spreadsheets/accounting.” If I hold on to the thought “This is work that I don’t like doing.” I will procrastinate and it will get worse. If I decide to throw away that thought and find something better I can get on with my work and my day. Our work is to clear away and give away those thoughts to the universe so that we have the freedom to do our life’s work and to be at harmony and peace with others. If we wrestle with the worries and the what ifs all day, we will not be doing our best work. I have found myself catching thoughts mid-way a lot of times and working on turning them around to more positive and productive ones. I give away the old ones, or better yet- put them in the trash! That gives me the freedom to be creative, to live in harmony with others and to be my best self so that I can give the best of myself. That is true freedom!
Giving away perceptions of others:
There are perceptions that we often have of others that we need to give away or throw away as well to gain the freedom of harmony with people. For example, we sometimes think we are very separate from others, we think “They are so different from me, they don’t think like me and we won’t be able to agree on anything.” However, if you get to the root of it, we can find things in common that we enjoy. I know someone who has a very dear friend who thinks very differently about politics than they do. But, they have found so many activities that they enjoy together that they have given away those perceptions to find the freedom of enjoying each others company. Often we will look at the surface of a person’s behavior, or something that they did in the past and hold onto it tightly. There is no freedom in holding on to those perceptions. They cause us to bump up against those people in our lives and we cause ourselves mental stress and burden ourselves with negative emotions about them that are not serving us and also can damage relationships. Many times if we get quiet and really observe someone we will find out that they are at peace as they are, and we don’t need to hang on to those perceptions of them. We can give away or throw away those old perceptions and find happy relationships with everyone around us. That gives us the freedom to be at peace with others.
How can you find freedom in giving away things, thoughts or perceptions that do not serve you? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below on the blog, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
With lots of love,