When you feel you’re getting enlightened, don’t throw away your handcuffs

A friend of mine was driving me to the airport a few days ago. Being as we are, we decided to spend our last hour together by talking about naughty girly stuff.

After countless hilarious stories and some epic shits-and-giggles, this phrase came up, “we need to write a blog on if you feel like you’re getting enlightened, don’t throw away your handcuffs and Ann Summers lingerie” – so I decided to write this the moment I got on the plane, just because it was a fun inspired moment.


Anyway, what’s all this about?

Basically, there comes a time in many of our lives, where we feel like we need a “change”. Maybe we’ve read a bunch of spiritual books and gone to loads of meditation workshops. This may cause us to feel like we need to throw away parts of the “old” us.

We begin to rummage through our stuff, giving away belonging that we feel don’t represent who we’ve become / are becoming.

Now don’t get me wrong, clearing out is great, I love giving away clothes to charity or throwing out stuff I’m never going to use. The point of this blog is to advise you to hold on to things you “may” still need in the future for at least a year. After a year, if you still feel like you want to get rid of it, then go right ahead.

Anya Andreeva in Goa, India with feathers and henna mehendi hippy

Sometimes we get a stereotype in our heads that when we step onto a mindful path, that we’re supposed to be a certain way, and we may go into a slight extreme.

We swap our tight jeans for loose yoga pants and our high heels for flip flops. We feel self-conscious taking a Louis Vuitton bag to an ashram and think other yogis will judge us if we prefer to use a suitcase (there’s NO WAY I’m giving up my Samsonite!) instead of a backpack and stay in nice hotels.

The truth is, though, there is no certain way you need to be. Eventually, you will find the right balance and may still want parts of the “old” you.

Anya Andreeva fashion London. Photography by Olga Pylaeva

Just like in the conversation we were having in the car, I told my friend that I had a whole wardrobe of erm… let’s just say sexy stuff… and one day I decided to throw EVERYTHING away. Just like that, 8 years of collecting expensive outfits and toys, all gone. In my justification at the time, I thought of myself as “spiritual”, and surely having 5 different kinds of handcuffs and doing yoga don’t go together… (lol now that I read that back, actually they really do!!) but anyway, what was I saying…?

Right, so this week I needed a corset for a photo shoot…

and wished that I hadn’t been so erratic in my decluttering phase.

I no longer believe in extremes of anything, and don’t think we need to look/be/eat/talk like any kind of stereotype. You CAN have a spiritual lifestyle and still smoke, eat meat, watch rubbish vampire movies, swear and have a couple of whips in your closet. As long as you do those things from a space of love, then it’s all just as it needs to be right now! And most importantly, it doesn’t matter what other people think, that’s their business, not yours.

So to hell with stereotypes, enjoy your life and wear suspenders with high heel boots…unless you’re going to see your Master at an ashram in India…let’s not go to the other extreme now!


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bernard Johannes Sleijster

    Very well-written article, gave me a lot to think about.
    ~ Bernard Sleijster

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