For anyone who has been around the Coimbra protocol for any length of time, you know that one of the hallmarks of the therapy is minimizing stress. In keeping with this premise I’ve set out in pursuit of simplicity and have embarked on a journey to downsize my life considerably.
A friend of mine who recently moved from Virginia to take a job in Silicon Valley shared with me that she needed to do some significant downsizing as a result of her transition. She maintained her home here in Virginia and was not sure how long she would be in California, between that and the exorbitant cost of living in Silicon Valley, she opted for an apartment. She shared with me that her apartment there cost more than her mortgage in Virginia, but had much less space. She had minimal time to move and find a place in an area that made sense logistically as she had to factor in not only her commute to work, but getting her young daughter to school in the California traffic. I think everyone has heard—and some have even had the pleasure—of experiencing traffic in Cali, so no further explanation is probably necessary. So she settled for a small starter place until she could get to know the area, etc. and really take some time to look. She quickly found that the stuff that filled her home in Virginia simply did not fit in her new place. So over a period of months she methodically decluttered her life in order to conform to her new surroundings. Every time we spoke I could hear the excitement and calm in her voice as she shared how this one simple act had made her life so much more peaceful. She credited the book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, to her renewed sense of peace and contentment, and after seeing the change in her stress level and excitement, I was intrigued and knew this is just what I had been looking for. I was going to give it a shot!
I was at a crossroads in my life at this point, and decided this was the perfect time to take this challenge. It was difficult at first, but you know…I’ve not missed one thing I’ve gotten rid of. Not one! But I have gained so much. I have gained order, peace, serenity and time.
Why did I not do this years ago?
Why was I clutching so tightly to things that did not give me joy?
I remember a woman once saying, “You cannot receive with closed hands.” As much as I have related that phrase to others, I personally never adopted that strategy. Letting go is not a bad thing. Many times it is JUST what we need to do. Many times we know what we need to do, but let fear stand in our way, and THAT in and of itself is very stressful. A good first question for me was, “What is it that I am afraid of?”
So I donated everything that I absolutely did not love in hopes that it might “spark joy” in in someone else’s home rather than packed away in my closet useless and collecting dust. This truly was “life-changing.” It is indescribable the pressure this took off of me—no longer having the burden of excess. I moved from the edge of a bustling college town to the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains where I could concentrate less on all of the chaos and more on my passion; sharing the amazing blessing I discovered in 2015. The Coimbra Protocol! I dreamt of a quiet little hideaway where I could live a more simple life and focus more of my attention on helping people in a peaceful environment. After all, how can I impart peace if I don’t have it myself?
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