As a new day breaks in Toronto, Canada – mixture of birds sing outside my bedroom window. As the birds make their presence heard, the warm sunlight fills out the clear blue sky. I can see the moon is still high up in the sky. It’s like a delicate balancing act between the Sun and the Moon.
2 weeks from today, my flight will land in Istanbul, Turkey. On June 1 2014, I will begin another journey into the unknown. This is the reason why my posts on this blog has been sporadic and sparse – my apologies.
Since the start of 2014, I held the intention and committed myself to the commencement and completion of a 250 hours yoga teacher training (YTT) course, find a tenant for my home and travel to Turkey with the intention to start guiding Spiritual tours.
Last week, I fulfilled my final requirement for my 250 hours YTT by teaching an Ashtanga yoga class to beginners at the Downward Dog Yoga Centre. Now I have been busy sorting, purging and packing my home into various sized boxes to be stored in a 10 feet x 8 feet storage locker. My tenants are more than excited to move into this place that I have called home for the past 10 years.
Through these events I have noticed 2 main things…
- My “Bubble” is very small.
- I have many, many baggages!
Within the last 4.5 months, as I intensely committed myself to spending 250+ hours on deepening my yoga practice, I have discovered that I live within a 2.1 km long bubble. This bubble is a strip of Queen Street West which starts in the west with my local public library and my grocery store, then ends in the east with my yoga studio. My home is in about the middle of that bubble.
It is incredible how I love to travel thousands of miles around the world, yet enjoy and be comfortable living in such “confined” space. Sometimes this comfort zone, along with the family, friends and acquaintances that I keep can definitely be seen as a source of limitation than freedom. It takes effort, adventure and risks to venture into a new neighborhood or a new restaurant.
So I cannot help but to think, if I did not have this passion to travel, would I be satisfied and happy to live in such a tight bubble? What is truly integral for a happy, fulfilling life? What other catalyst would I need to help me push and stretch the envelop in my life?
Baggage… boxes, closets et al.
My name is Karen and I have been living the life of a pack rat. I tuck away the thoughts, memories and experiences of my past 39 years into various drawers, boxes and storage equipment within my home. Souvenirs from past journeys, family keepsakes, daily objects and everything in between is what I am talking about. In an extreme effort to reduce all my personal belonging to fit into a 10′ x 8′ space has been challenging to say the least.
Each item that I take out of its hiding place brings back a flood of images or experiences. A recent buyer of a piece of furniture even commented this and I paraphrase “It’s incredible that you have a story for each piece of furniture/item in your home!”
Sometimes flipping through the TV channels, I would come across a show called Hoarders. That’s not what I am describing but that is just one extreme of the spectrum. Over-attachment. Extremely sentimental.
To say it was easy to sell off, throw away or donate my personal belongings would be a complete lie. It is even more difficult to part with an item, especially when an item has been with me through a memorable patch of life. Call this dramatic but that’s me. Picking up a ticket stub from a show or a concert helps me recall that experience; from seeing the advertisement, buying the ticket, standing in line for entrance and being part of the event.
Could this be part of the reason why I feel like detaching myself from this “disposable” society – where items have a built-in expiration date? Planned obsolescence. Despite my childhood which focused on materialism, I am now focused on conservation and preservation and minimalism. Though I see minimalism is perhaps my largest challenge.
Thinking back to 2013, I lived out of a 65 L suitcase and a 35 L backpack in a span of 8 months. So I know I am capable of minimalism. Somehow, it feels daunting right now. Perhaps someday, I can reduce my baggage even more though that would require consistent warm weather and no electronics.