My May cleansing and shedding project is already proving far more rewarding and far more challenging than I had imagined.
I wanted to ease myself in, so my shoes seemed like a good place to start, but wow, what a can of worms!
I don't consider myself to be excessive in my wardrobe, but I feel I have enough to be smart in my appearance on most occasions (dropping the kids to school this morning might be an exception!). However, I have 4 pairs of boots, each similar enough to the other to be interchangeable and I think this may be over the top. I do wear them all, but I could do without 2 pairs I am sure.
This awareness brings up all sorts of emotions. The first feeling is guilt. Guilt at the money I have spent on these boots, guilt over the desire to still look at boots in the shop. Then I get hit with a solid whack of over active ego. The truth is some days I like myself in boots, I feel empowered and strong and wearing my boots can help me feel on top of the world. And then I beat up on myself, accusing myself of being self indulgent and superficial and comparing myself to others with a sense of judgement and tall poppyism.
I take a breath, and remind myself to be kind, that this process is a form of healing and evolving through which I can only learn and grow going forward, using the past as a guide, not as a reason for self abuse.
Having reconciled the boots (they are good quality and I like them so I will keep them but be sure not to buy anymore) I came across a gorgeous pair of electric blue velvet slippers, to be worn to something really swanky, preferably a cocktail party in New York or the after party of my book launch, but sitting in my bedroom, in the country, such an occasion feels out of reach and I allow myself to feel hard done by. My hubby comes to the rescue on this one, reminding me that one day, in the not too distant future, if I stay on my path, I will have a need for those shoes so pop them back in the cupboard.
Next I came across the red ponyskin slippers and in a flash I was taken back to my Grandmothers bedroom 18 years ago. One of my favourite things to do with my Grandmother was to help her clean out her cupboards, and in particular her shoes. On this particular day, she had a melancholy energy. Her body was starting to betray her and her glorious shoes were a reminder of the betrayal. The red ponyskin slippers which she had loved so much had become uncomfortable and she was nervous that she would slip, and so they became mine.
My beautiful Grandmother died 10 years ago and so the shoes have become even more precious. I wear them rarely nowadays, keeping them on the shelf so they don't wear out. But this exercise of cleansing and shedding has helped me to realise there is much more to be gained by enjoying them, wearing them, and in so doing embedding my love of my Grandmother even deeper into my psyche and sharing her gregarious energy with those around me who are drawn to the shoes.
The essence of the lesson I have taken from day 1 of my challenge is the freedom that arises when we shift our sense of self, our history and our place in the world, from the external, to the internal. There is tremendous freedom in detaching my memory of my Grandmother from the ponyskin slippers and into the core of my being. It is a process, and the objects form stepping stones which when made conscious can be let go.