Author, Speaker, and Educator Rosie Molinary empowers women to embrace their authentic selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world. She is the author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina. You can find her at RosieMolinary, on Twitter, and on Facebook. These days, she’s showing up in classrooms and meetings in her Karina Megan dress in Rosebloom.
I was in college when I learned one of the principles that still guides me today. Visiting with a friend down the hall, I commented on a beautiful piece of artwork she had framed on her desk, a delicate rendering of flowers with an inspirational saying woven in between petals.
“Oh, thank you,” she answered, looking at the piece as if for the first time.
An hour later, there was a knock on my door. My hallmate came in with the framed work in her hands.
“I want you to have this. I’ve enjoyed it for a lot of years, but I had forgotten about it until you said something. I think it is meant for you now.”
Speechless, I hugged her and found the perfect spot for it in my room. I read it every morning for years. Those words just felt like they were meant for me.
That offering ended up creating a practice I follow today. We e experience joy when we see something we once loved or used being loved or used by someone new. Now, when I am no longer enjoying something as much as I once did, I give it to someone else who might find joy from or a need for it now. Now, for every item that comes into my home, I make the commitment that at least one item has to go.
For almost twenty years, I have followed this one in, one out rule. For clothing, I keep a bag hanging on the back of my closet door to collect items that I am giving away to make room for what I have purchased or have been given. When a fair amount has been collected, I go through the pieces to see if there is something that someone in my life would enjoy having and then divide up the other items for drop-off at my usual donation sites. Occasionally, I’ll consign some items if I am feeling a little guilt about not having worn them too much. For household goods and toys, I keep a box in the hallway closet. As it fills, I load it in the car and make the pertinent drops. It is a process that keeps me mindful of not over-consuming and of sharing, values that are important to me to be living. Moreover, it’s a process that helps me to keeps things organized and in order as I go. Nice lessons learned, yes, but perhaps what my hallmate’s generosity most concretely taught me is that the greatest delight available to us very rarely comes when we receive. Delight, she modeled, is maybe even more amazing when you share.