Lessons from a year of letting go...

May 15th marked an anniversary for me.  One year as a nomad.  A year ago I decided to move out of my house and see what it would be like to “float,” to not have a house of my own, and to go wherever the wind and my desires took me.  Fortunately my work as a coach and facilitator is congruent with that lifestyle, and I tend to love the unexpected. So I sold or gave away much of my furniture and other things I had been holding onto for many years because I was curious to see what would happen, how I would feel, what would come up. This is what I’ve learned.

House-less does not mean home-less.  One year of “house-lessness” has really proven the sentiment “home is where the heart is” to be true.  In my case, it is also “home is where Bodhi (my fun and loving dog) is”.  I’ve stayed in many different places, connected on a deeper level with many friends, and had the opportunity to see a side of their lives that isn't as visible in short visits. At this point my coach would ask, “What does home mean to you?”.  And what I have learned is that it is possible to feel at home almost anywhere, as long as love and acceptance are present. 

Less is more.  I’ve learned that this can be true in many different contexts and the one that stands out right now is that the less “stuff” I have in my life, the more fun I seem to have. There is less to maintain and clean and repair and keep track of, which has opened up “time” for me.  Time to play, to connect with people, to be outside, to create.  Time to explore possibilities that may always have been present but that perhaps I couldn't see from behind all my stuff. My business has grown and thrived, I have deeper connections with people, I have traveled more, and I have more fun. 

Letting go of things brings me what I need. Watching my stuff go out the door last year was challenging and somewhat scary, but letting go of attachment to “things” has expanded into letting go of attachment to old stories about what life “should” look like. It has helped me to feel lighter, to get creative when I need something, and to really explore what “need” means. Letting go has actually brought so much richness into my life that I feel I have more now than I ever did when I owned a house full of stuff. I’ve experienced my life more, and what I notice is that I feel significantly less stressed and distracted. What I need usually shows up in one form or another at just the right moment. 

So, one year in and many have asked the question “How long will you be a nomad?” And I have no answer, and happily, no need for an answer.  What I am extremely aware of is how much gratitude I feel for the experience and the people that have been a part of making it so magical by inviting and welcoming me and Bodhi into their homes to share a bit of their “behind the scenes” lives with us.  I’ve seen so many new places, re-connected with old friends, and made many new friends and been a part of hundreds of priceless moments. And the learning never ends.