Embracing the give-away ceremony

  image courtesy pixabay.com

What is a give-away ceremony? This is a Native American ceremony in which a person gives away items they have and value to others. I believe we can learn a lot from the Native American traditions and this one is a perfect way to help us sort through our belongings, to find and keep only those items we use and cherish.

I mentioned earlier that I had inherited quite a few items from my grandparents. While I loved my grandparents deeply, their possessions didn’t fit with my home and began to clutter up my space. I kept these things out of sentimental value, but not because I used them.  When I decided to downsize my life and move into a much smaller space I passed most of these items on to others who did want and would use them.  I never needed the material items to remember their love, those feeling are imprinted deep in my heart and my memories.

While I didn’t have an actual ceremony when letting go of my possessions, I did set items aside and offered them to one person at a time without anyone else around. I asked simply if they would want the item, and if the answer was yes, I then shared with them the story behind the item.

Why wouldn’t I tell them the story behind the item first?  The answer is simple, I didn’t want to make them feel pressured to take the items to keep them in the family.  The last thing I wanted to do was clutter their homes up like mine had been.

As you begin to declutter your space, set items aside that you believe would be cherished and used by people you know. Invite these people over for an evening and offer them the items. Just remember, once you give a gift to someone, it is theirs to do with as they please. If an item has sentimental value, they may hold on to it for only a short time, then pass it on to someone else. They may even redo the item changing it to fit into their spaces. Whatever they do with the item is up to them, it no longer belongs to you.

You could have an elaborate or simple ceremony. The whole point is to pass along items that you never use. We shouldn’t hold on to anything we don’t love, isn’t us, or doesn’t get used. No matter how much value an item has if you don’t use it, it is clutter. To learn more about the Native American Give Away Ceremony go here.

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