You have a choice, you can either let the pain and joys of the past build up until they’re too heavy a burden. Or, you can let everything go. Burn your notebooks, let the friends go, leave the souvenirs at the shop.
All that really matters is having a connection with the here and now. This breath, this movement, this heart beat.
What can you do to bring yourself here right now?
I get what Everett Bogue is saying, I really do. There is a reason I distilled all my belongings down to things that I could lift by myself and would fit into a small room. I agree that having fewer things frees up energy. I have let go of a lot of things, especially each time I have moved (and as I recently mentioned, I’ve moved 16 times in the past 10 years, so that was a lot of letting go!)
Even so, part of me balks at Everett’s suggestion to let go of everything, to burn every notebook after filling it up, as he does. For one thing, I suffer from chronic diary-ing, even if I rarely read it over. When I do, though, it’s not only good for a laugh, but has often made me aware of patterns in my thoughts and actions that I would not have seen otherwise.
Plus, I love reading other people’s diaries: “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “The Basketball Diaries,” “The Diary of Anais Nin,” and so forth. I think it would be a drag if everyone burned their diaries.
You may be wondering – due to this post’s title – how Hugh Hefner fits into this equation. Well, a few years ago, I caught part of a biography of Mr. Hefner and was surprised to learn that he is an avid scrapbooker. He even has a special room devoted to his scrapbooking, and has over 2000 completed volumes!
Another thing I like about Hefner, is that he schedules time each week for things like poker, intimate dinners and watching movies with his close friends. Often, a mogul such as him comes off as a total workaholic, but what struck me from this biography was how well-balanced Hefner appears. He seems to have a knack for juggling all the different aspects of his life, and I admire that.
So, while I agree with Everett Bogue that there are plenty of things I need to toss, burn and otherwise let go of, there are also things I would like to keep. The best way I can explain it is that I like to have some layers from the past, some texture in my life, the same as I like texture in paintings and music. I think the happy medium – for me – is to get rid of all extraneous clutter in my surroundings, while keeping some choice items in an organized manner a la Hugh Hefner.
I still have a major conflict, alas, between digital stuff and hard copy. All those diaries of mine could easily fit on a couple of CD’s, for instance. I sometimes imagine transcribing them all to a digital format, then burning the originals. Even that doesn’t feel quite right, though. I’m still working through that issue…
How do you feel? Which idea appeals to you more: ditching it all, keeping a scrapbook, or some other variation? Have you ever been through a major purging of your belongings? How did that feel?