Confessions of a serial shedder: The Mt Everest under the house
I’m a serial shedder. I work as a human rights advocate in conflict and post-conflict countries. That means that every couple of years I pack up my life and move country, so I shed regularly. I go through everything I own and I decide whether I want to give it away, sell it, recycle it, or take it with me.
No matter how ruthless I think I’ve been, though, I inevitably end up with a pile of things I can’t take with me, but which I’m not yet ready to let go of. I store these things under my house. I then rent out the house while I head off to the latest war-zone.
When I get back, two or three years later, I always wonder why I kept all that stuff under the house. Half the time I don’t even open the boxes. Faced with the effort of sorting through it all, I usually decide that I can live perfectly well without it.
But there it stays. My stuff. Under the house. Haunting me with the knowledge that it will not go away by itself. Tying me down. Weighing on me.
So this year, as part of The Shed Project, I’m clearing out the stuff under the house.
This, my friends, is my own personal Mt Everest of shedding. It’s going to take all the will power I have to do it. So I’ve added a little incentive for myself. I’m going to sell whatever I can and all the proceeds are going to go to HIV/AIDS projects in South Africa.
Because the thought of people living with so little, and still finding the courage and tenacity to develop projects to support their community to deal with the epidemic of HIV/AIDS is enough to make me feel quite differently about that stuff under the house. It’s enough to motivate me to haul it out, clean it up and sell the hell out of it!
Shed your own Mt Everest and Support HIV/AIDS Projects
I know that some of you have your own personal Mt Everest’s to tackle in this shedding process. And I thought that you, like me, might need a little extra motivation. So I wanted to invite you all to join me.
Here’s the invitation: Sell what you shed and donate the proceeds to proven grass-roots initiatives to support communities affected by HIV/AIDS. I guarantee it will help you feel quite differently about that mountain of stuff. And I guarantee that every dollar you donate will make a difference.
Yoga as a practice of shedding: Letting go of all that is not love
But maybe you have a different kind of Mt Everest to climb. The kind that doesn’t end up in a yard sale or a Craig’s List listing. Maybe your Mt Everest is to shed the 10 pounds that no longer serve you, or to shed the anxiety that keeps you awake at night, or to shed the relentlessly critical voice that keeps you from living your own wildest dreams?
In that case I would love it if you would consider joining me for my very special Karma edition of 30 days of yoga – an online course which will support you to establish your own authentic and unique home yoga practice, even if you’ve never done yoga before.
I teach the transformative yoga of self-kindness, which helps move whatever is stuck in your body or your mind. It can help you shed your own Mt Everest.
30 days of Karma yoga: pay-what-you-can and support HIV/AIDS projects
The course includes video and audio versions of a targeted yoga practice (which I support you to select based on your specific needs), regular emails and advice about establishing a home yoga practice, email access to me for advice or support, weekly videos answering questions from participants, additional meditation and restorative practices each week, and a community of support.
It usually costs $100 (and people who have done it say it is a steal at that price) but I’m offering this course on a pay-what-you-can basis. Choose to donate as much as you are able, and I will donate all the money to HIV/AIDS projects in South Africa.
The course begins on 7 October, but you’ll start receiving advice on how to prepare as soon as your sign up. Registrations close 3 October. Sign up now.
Marianne Elliott is a change-maker, human rights advocate, yoga teacher and writer. She is the creator of 30 days of yoga: an online course to establish a regular home practice of yoga and to build a kinder relationship with your own body. She is currently writing a memoir about her life as a UN peacekeeper in Afghanistan.