Clearing out the Clutter: Introduction

When we began this journey of experimentation with the yamas and niyamas I was filled with excitement and a sense of hope.  Could this finally be the push I need to get rid of the clutter that is consuming my house?  Will I finally be motivated to make a positive change in my professional life?  In short, the answer was no, however, I was able to learn a great deal about myself in the process, and was even able to break down a few walls that I had previously built around myself.

First off, let me describe what I chose for each experiment and why.  The yama that I chose was aparigraha, or non-hoarding/non-attachment.  It immediately struck a chord within me.  I have always had a tendency to be a pack rat and save things that I may need one day.  I usually don’t ever find a need for most of these items, and on the rare occasion that I do, I can never seem to remember where they are hidden away.  I also hoard items due to their sentimental value, whether it is a gift from a loved one, or equipment from days gone by that sparks up nostalgia.  I have a difficult time throwing away an item that I no longer use, especially if it signifies a hobby that I may be interested in or that I hope to take up, but never seem to find the time.

As for my niyama, I had a much more difficult time trying to decide which one to adopt for the experiment.  Shaucha seemed to go hand in hand with cleansing my clutter.   Santosha and tapas were appropriate so as not to desire anything other than what I already had.  In the end, I settled on svadhyaya.  I have felt like I have been floating through life for the past few months, if not years.  This seemed as good a time as any to clear out the clutter in my closets, and hopefully the vritti in my head.  What is it that I want to be when I grow up?  The time is here.  I’m definitely a grown up, so it was time I finally answered that question, with aparigraha and svadhyaya as my tour guides.