Pass it On
“Pass it On” is a song I learned as a teenager. It talks about love starting as a spark and then growing so much you want to pass it on. I think we feel more generous this time of year because of love or at least the idea of love. I’d like to offer another view of this generosity – it is a way to CIRCULATE energy, like a water pump in a fountain, or a gas pump in your car, food through your body, or money in the economy. I think when we circulate the flow of energy through our lives we are healthier. However sometimes the energy/food/stuff/gets stuck and accumulates like a stagnant pond. I think we all benefit when things ‘keep moving’, so to speak.
I find my pile of ‘give aways’ grows larger at this time of year. I love the feeling of opening up space in my home, it seems to open space in my mind and my heart, also. My criteria for letting go includes if it does not function, fit or make me happy, then it is ready to be passed on. My needs change and it helps to share those things I no longer have use for. I love to find ‘previously loved’ or ‘gently used’ items at consignment stores when I need something.
Consider this – pick one space in your home – a drawer, closet, shelf, under the bed – touch each item stored there and ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need this? Does it enhance my physical, cognitive, emotional, relational, or spiritual health?
- Does it fit (my body, my home, my lifestyle, my budget)? Could it be replaced with something else that does fit?
- How do I feel? What memories does it invoke? Do the memories weigh me down or stimulate new positive energy?
- Does it serve a regular function in this season of my life? Could I borrow it later if I have an occasion to use it?
My answers to these questions help me decide what I want to keep and what I want to pass on. I sort my items into various boxes/bags:
- re-gift (share with a friend or family member).
My actual destinations vary although I have favorites – my clothing and household item donation usually go to Goodwill of the Heartland; my paint, good working light fixtures, toilets, and other home remodeling items go the Habitat for Humanity Restore and my best clothing items go to Crazy Daisy and Stuff Etc. I also offer (and find) things through Freecycle. This practice of CIRCULATION keeps stuff from clogging up landfills, storage units and my psyche.
What are you planning to pass on? Where are your favorite ‘destinations’ for those items? Tell us about them at the Eco Family Blog http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/isuecofamily