buy modafinil online with prescription http://sincerelynicki.com/2016/12/08/devotional-power-worship/?share=twitter “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time for the kids to get rid of some of the excess in their rooms. They were agreeable enough about it, but to say that they were excited might be overstepping a bit.

As with all kids, cleaning up their rooms is not something my kids have high on their “things to do for fun” list. The only thing that got them quasi-motivated about it was me telling them that they could sell some of the stuff that was in good condition on OfferUp. (My alternative to straight up bribery, although I have been known to make some deals in the past out of sheer desperation.)

It also wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to get them to let go of their stuff. Stuff that had been buried in their closets for who knows how long—stuff they didn’t even remember existed—was suddenly impossible to part with.

As I witnessed (and subsequently became annoyed by) this perpetual struggle of grasping and letting go, I was reminded of something that Deborah Adele said in her book, “The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice”, when referring to aparigraha (non-possessiveness):

“Anything we cling to creates a maintenance problem for us. The material items that we hoard, collect, buy because they are on sale or take because they are “free”, all take up space and demand our attention. Storage boxes and sheds become an easy way to fool ourselves… Clutter in our physical space blocks our ability to move, while clutter in our minds blocks our freedom to expand and have space for the next thing life wants to bring us.”

Ah, the yoga/simple living connection surfaces yet again. And you know damn well—since my kids like cleaning their rooms about as much as I like lima beans (hint: I don’t)—I used this very message to my advantage.

As their insistence on keeping yet another item that they have no use for persisted, I took Deborah’s message and added my own little flavor to it. I said to them, “I want you to look at all of these things that you think you can’t live without. Take a second to really think about how much you actually need these things, because every single item that you choose to keep will require maintenance. Every single item kept will need to be taken care of, organized, cleaned around, etc., and all that maintenance requires your time; time that you might prefer spending playing games or hanging out with your friends. So, every time you pick an item, ask yourself, ‘Is this item worth the time required to maintain it?’”

Perhaps it’s didn’t magically turn them into minimalists, but I do think what I told them gave them something to think about; because from that moment on the ‘give away’ pile continued to grow.

I’ve noticed that I too have been guilty of maintenance issues—holding on to stuff that I really don’t need and trading my precious time to maintain those things. And I’m not just referring to material items.

I’m also referring to mental and emotional clutter: thoughts, expectations, habits, relationships and anything else that doesn’t serve my best self. When I choose to hold on to anything that doesn’t serve me, those things require my attention, my maintenance, my energy, my time.  So, just like with material items, when I find myself getting caught up in a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that I feel are not of benefit, I am learning to take a step back and ask myself the question, “Is this thought/expectation/habit/relationship worth the time (and emotional distress) required to maintain it?”

And like my kids, this is not something that will magically turn me into a completely different person overnight; this is something that requires mindfulness, discipline, practice, and, you guessed it, time. But unlike the material and emotional clutter, when I ask myself the question, “Is this worth the time required to maintain it?”, when it comes to benefitting my physical and emotional well-being, the answer is always YES.

Now I want to invite you to look at your surroundings—the physical, mental and emotional. Take an inventory of these things and the maintenance required (i.e. time) to care for them and ask yourself the question, “Is this item worth the time required to maintain it?” If the answer is no, then let it go.

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