Originally Posted in Our Community of Humanity at Inner Child Magazine
Attachment Disorders and What Do I Need?
Every month, pick up each thing in your house. Hold it. Feel it. Notice the texture, the color, the softness and ask yourself, "Does this bring me JOY?" This is an adapted exercise from Suze Orman, a well known financial advisor and TV personality. Paying attention to what we are attached to can be good for the wallet and for the heart.
In the process of moving last year, I thought a lot about stuff. What to move? What to take? Where to put it between here and there? Where there should be? What I can live without? What do I need to live? What is important?
The last year has been an interesting journey in the relationship to my stuff and attachment to physical location. My dad says, "never pack more than you can carry yourself for a mile."
June 2013 started with a flight from West Hartford, CT to Seattle, Washington. What did I need to take for a nine week bicycle journey across the country? What could I take on the plane? Fortunately, I took Southwest so I was allowed two free bags—two big duffel bags. My bicycle flew by itself on Bike Flights and was waiting when I arrived in Seattle.
Did I have too much stuff for a bicycle ride across the country? Yes. Did I have everything I needed? No. I found it impossible to plan for every need. I could have bicycled 3000 miles with only three cycling jerseys instead of four but I really could have used an extra pair of comfortable biking shorts. I could have used a soft pillow instead of a pillow case stuffed with clothes. Experience teaches us how to pack and what we really need to navigate life. Sometimes that experience comes in handy because we repeat a part of the journey or walk a similar path. Sometimes we just have the experience and can share it, so others on a similar journey can pack better. On what parts of your journey have you learned something worth sharing? How are you sharing your wisdom?
The most surprising thing I learned is that I can, if needed, run my life from my iPhone, including write blog posts, post pictures on LiveMapp and Pinterest, create Facebook and Google Plus posts, make LinkedIn business connections, do radio interviews about life on the road, have conversations with friends back home, email clients, catching up on world news, and do internet searches for information about the coming weather and places of interest along the way. I can do it all without a computer or any other electronic device. I just need my phone.
Everything I needed for camping at night could fit in one large duffel and everything I needed for daytime clothing and electronics could fit in another duffel. Of course, I counted on access to laundry a couple of times a week and a wall outlet for charging my phone every day. A bicycle trip is a study in what do you really need? What are the connection you really need in your life? What is important beyond the stuff? You learn a lot spending nine weeks on a bicycle with time to think, to plan, to challenge yourself to do something great, and most of all to breathe in all the joy of life. I had to make sure I had enough to keep warm and enough layers to take off to stay cool, rain gear, back up batteries—it is challenging to plan for all the different situations that arise in life.
A few months after bicycling from Seattle to Washington, DC and then returning home to West Hartford, CT, I decided to leave the East coast and I set out on another journey. Deciding what to put in my car for the drive out to my parent's place in Utah was challenging. The rest of my stuff would go into a POD—a big box. I didn't know how long it would wait for me to decide where I would land so I had to figure out what would I really need to live my life for the next few months.
And like much of life, at least my life, the time my stuff sat in the POD was much longer than I expected. I didn't predict my trajectory very well. I didn't have quite enough experience to know that I would spend five months at my parent's place in Utah with only what I drove across in my Honda Accord.
Were there things I wished I had put in the car for easy access? Yes. Did I do okay without buying much to replace stuff in the storage container? Yes. Did I look forward, once I decided, to holding, arranging and playing with my stuff in Spokane, Washington, where I am landed? Yes, hopefully for a long, long time. But I have learned what I really need and what I can do fine without. I understand my needs better. I have grown in my ability to navigate the journey.
The Root of Tantrums
"When we hear the other person's feelings and needs, we recognize our common humanity," says Marshall Rosenberg, developer of Non-Violent Communication. He goes on to say, "At the root of every tantrum and power struggle are unmet needs."
What do you really need?
Not Taking Advantage of Your Amazon Author's page?
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