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Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Spring Cleaning; Live with less, but live only with the best.

In life on April 22, 2011 at 2:25 am
In pursuit of Quality

I’ve never strived to be a minimalist, but by virtue of my nomadic life, I’ve had to become one. I may have a lot of things, but I don’t have the same type twice. My bare essentials fit into two suitcases, and 2 carry-ons, which isn’t bad at all, considering that I travel with my “studio” (midi-keyboard, electric violin, multiple laptops, recording devices, etc.), my dance gear (jazz, ballet, modern, lyrical, oriental, hiphop), my yoga things, and my performance wear… When they’re specialty items, the cost of replacing them far exceeds the burden of carrying them, so I keep them with me.

As I live and accumulate (I don’t shop much at all – my highest expenses fall under travel and restaurants, thanks American Express!), the amount that I am able to keep and carry (while in nomadic mode) does not change. As such, this kind of lifestyle has forced me to become highly selective, yet, I still find Spring cleaning to be necessary. As the “new” come in, instead of hoarding everything like a pack-rat, it’s better to re-evaluate your assets, and let go of the sub-standard. You owe it to yourself to live with only the best.

What’s more important in life though, are the people we meet and keep. In the age of hyper consumerism and hyper connectivity, we are all of a sudden, exposed to that many more people, thanks to multi-platform networking. I’m a huge fan/advocate of social media, but studies have shown that regardless of how many thousands of people we may be connected to, fundamentally, our capacity to maintain genuine and meaningful friendships is at around 150 connections. (i.e. Dunbar’s number as a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships). 

If one is limited by one’s capacity to carry things – the rational solution would be to reduce the load. Paralleling this logic, as the number of people we meet increases, we should also let go of a similar proportion of people, so that we don’t max our cognitive threshold. The key formula in maintaining a healthy balance is to keep the people who enrich your life, and let go of those who are bloodsuckers in disguise. To blow a relationship – any relationship, over a disagreement is plain silly and unfortunate, but it happens all the time. Yet, so many relationships that have clearly passed their best-before dates are still being held on, for reasons that confound me, and at the cost of happiness.

Trendy numbers don’t stay in my closet for more than a season; classic, timeless pieces are in my permanent collection. I will continue to carry them, to the 26th, 27th, and eventually 192nd country I travel to, and that’s the same attitude I have with the people I’ve had the privilege to encounter in my life. I’ve been lucky in life to have met so many incredible and inspiring people I now call my friends. I’ve also had to part ways with a number of them, but that’s how life runs, and it’s worth it, knowing that I live and learn only with the best.

So when time comes around for Spring cleaning, don’t just get rid of boxes of stuff – look at the people, too. Life doesn’t come with a “refresh” button, so you just gotta do the dirty work yourself. As a child, I used to cry when friendships fall-out. At 15, the end of my first relationship broke my heart. At 22? I couldn’t be happier at the sight of some people walking out of my life – they’ve just made room for my life to become better.

I love detox.

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