As I mentioned before, we moved over to the US with 6 suitcases total: 2 jumbo size and 1 small carry on each. I filled one of the jumbo ones with clothes, and the other was packed full of shoes, accessories, toiletry items, yoga mat, and other desk/office related things I would need to work with. While packing up our flat, separating my essentials from non-essentials was not an easy task, as our shipping company said our boxes could be at sea for 8-12 weeks! I was sure that I had forgotten something and it kept me up at night. I had irrational thoughts of needing to bring my entire Sweaty Betty yoga wardrobe and had to make some tough choices.
But I've been getting on just fine with what seems like only about a quarter of my wardrobe and without extraneous books and personal belongings. In fact, I don't miss any of it. To admit, I don't even know what is inside the 50 large boxes that are floating across the Atlantic right now! When they arrive, we'll have to put them into a storage facility until we have a permanent place to live. But I'm not sure what I'll do when I face all of my personal effects again, whenever that may be.
Paring down and living in a sublet apartment with just a 'kitchenette' has really brought me back to the basics. For the first time in my life, I'm microwave-less. We don't even have a kettle. Living without all of the extra stuff is actually pretty great, liberating even. I'm thoroughly enjoying this simple, minimal lifestyle. I only need the essentials to get on with life.
One of the yamas (moral restraints) in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is Aparigraha, meaning non-greed or non-possessiveness. Not one of the easiest things to do, but the experience of moving country has taught me that I already have everything that I really need. When I feel the urge to buy something that isn't a necessity, I stop to observe the feeling rather than act on it. I take a big breath, and let it go. For example, I've walked into Lululemon no fewer than 3 times in the last month to quick-fix my Sweaty Betty withdrawal symptoms, but walked out empty-handed each time. However, in a moment of weakness at my first visit to TJ Maxx (that's just like TK Maxx for you Brits), I did a large panic purchase but then returned the majority of it a few days later. So I kept a pair of skinny jeans. Let's say my practice of Aparigraha is a work in progress. But now, I'm striving to create more space in my stripped-back life for experiences, ideas, creativity and to simply enjoy my journey of change. I'll keep practicing. Less is definitely more.