How to Create a Right Relationship with “Stuff”

October 14, 2014
Generosity + Shifting out of Ego and Into Spirit

For the past five or six years, I’ve become a maniac about letting go of physical stuff. If I no longer use it, I’m all about finding a new home for it, whether it’s donating it to Salvation Army, giving it to a willing recipient, or selling it in yard sales.

I began this practice after reading that it’s spiritually beneficial to “live simply”…something that’s primarily taught through the practice of letting go of our attachment to things.

Prior being exposed to the idea of living simply, I thought about the act of getting rid of something as one sided (me losing something). Definitely ego-based thinking.

However, in learning more about living simply, I was invigorated by the idea of  letting things go as a way of “breathing new life into them” by allowing someone else to benefit from their use (especially if they’d been dormant in my closet or packed away in a box).

To this day, it’s what spurs me to “cut deeper” when it comes to going through stuff. In fact, it’s turned a once sprawling DVD collection into a shortlist of “go-to” movies and an overflowing …


How May I Be of Service?

September 24, 2012
Compassion + Generosity + Shifting out of Ego and Into Spirit

I was fortunate to have spent the last five weeks in Panama visiting and helping my friend, Lindsey Parry, with her non-profit, Sowing Seeds of Love.  As I reflect on the trip, I cannot help but think about the role service plays in our spiritual journey.  The degree to which I have grown in my spiritual journey directly coincides with my attitude towards service.  For me, much has changed in this regard.  In college, I was motivated to volunteer as a reading mentor at a local school because I wanted to show community involvement on future job applications.  My motivations were selfish.  It was about what the experience could do for me, not what I could do for the child I was mentoring.  I was operating from a checklist instead of my heart.  The same can be said for motivations of guilt.  If we are doing our part as a duty, we are still being moved by ego as opposed to spirit.  To be truly drawn to service, selfishness must be tempered.

It has been well over ten years since I was in college, and in the time that has …



July 30, 2012
Generosity + Shifting out of Ego and Into Spirit

How hard is it to accept the generosity of others?  Is it easier to be the one giving the generosity than receiving it?  Do I give with or without expectations of others?  Do I receive with or without feeling an inclination to balance the scales?  These are the questions that I came to contemplate in lieu of a couple of interesting experiences that I encountered today.

Ever since we started the kindness-inspired Pay It Forward Friday initiative, I had yet to have the first-hand experience of interacting with the person, who received my pay it forward gift.  Since I had been arriving at the coffee shop after the morning rush, no one was ever in line behind me.  To accommodate for this, I would simply ask the barista to put the next person’s coffee on my account (or if I was not at my usual coffee shop, I left $5 with the cashier and asked them to put it towards the next person’s purchase).  Today when I walked into the coffee shop, I noticed that someone was in line ahead of me, who had not yet paid for their purchase.  …