I’d just finished arranging – by heel height, color, and sex appeal – my impressive shoe collection – over 100 pairs – when a voice from the TV stopped me in my stiletto tracks.
The year was 1995.
The show was Charlie Rose on PBS. (Interesting combination, I know.)
The guest said, “In Western philosophy we are born an EMPTY box and we need to FILL it in order to become more of who we are. In Eastern philosophy we are born a FULL box and we need to EMPTY it to become more of who we are.”
(Now, of course this is not the exact statement – my memory isn’t that good. Nor do I remember the guest’s name. Nor are those Valentino’s the exact pair of shoes. But you get the idea.)
“WOW!” I thought. Here I had been stockpiling clothes, handbags, shoes, scarves, gloves, hats, stockings, lingerie, jewelry, perfume, furniture, trinkets, dishes, candles holders, placemats, linens, paintings, etc. for years. My apartment was PACKED.
I had soooo many clothes that I could go a WHOLE year without wearing the same outfit twice. I know this because I had a wardrobe schedule locked & loaded weeks in advance. Obsessive, much?
I uncovered a story about myself.
I was bringing material possessions into my life to help me create my identity, while actually having NO idea who I was.
I’d been living on automatic-shopping-mode for at least a decade.
That night, I kept thinking about the ‘boxes’ that the Charlie Rose guest had been talking about. For some reason, what he said really got to me . . .
So I made a decision to start clearing MY box so that I could uncover who I really was.
Not that I went completely zen that night (I still had a department store rack full of shoes!), but I definitely had an awakening.
AND a new obsession.
Instead of collecting material objects to put IN my ‘box,’ I began a ruthless and compassionate examination of EVERY item I owned, to see if I really wanted it in my box – was it going to help me or hide me?
And to this day clearing my box is not only part of my life plan, it’s a part of my business plan. No matter how awesome the designer shoes are, if they clutter my box, out they go!