As I clean out the last of my papers and photos in my home office, I realize how difficult it is to let go of the last vestiges of what we, as a western society, refer to as our "identity".
From the collection of business cards accumulated over decades of employment to the images of past homes, relationships and travels, these snapshots of past human activity have the ability to place us right back into those moments within our minds. It is a powerful method of time travel. It has both the capacity to make us smile or regret some of our past decisions. Sri Vast warns us that opening a window into our memories allows for all feelings, good and bad, to breeze into our present moment. This exercise of release is a two edged sword that must be done with extreme awareness and kindness towards one's self.
I find it interesting that we have evolved from a nomadic lifestyle, connected to our natural environment with almost no possessions, to that of a consumer society of hoarders, who are renting storage space to house the overflow of our disconnected and lonely identities. This is what our "stuff" represents for the most part, a physical reminder that we have lived a life rather than the inner peaceful balance of a life well lived.
This is why we are currently experiencing a counter-culture of minimalism and tiny homes. We are now seeking to spend more time experiencing the multilayered beauty of the human form on this planet rather than flaunting the illusion of a success driven marketed image of personal identity, which has no soul.
Identity less is more.