The entrenched culture of consumerism we Westerners live amidst, reaches its tentacles far further than just the physical stuff that we buy.
We consume entertainment. We consume experiences. We consume social media. We consume news feeds. We consume relationships (to the point that we throw them away and get new ones when they no longer work for us). We consume holidays. If we can find a way to consume it, we will.
And this paradigm of consumption is destroying us.
It’s rendering us stressed, unhappy, unfulfilled, discontented, and always in pursuit of the latest thing to consume that will fill the gap.
We know none of these things will. But we continue to live as if they do.
The more I continue on the journey towards simplicity, the more convinced I am that this is the way we were designed to live. To embrace being as more important than doing.
How do we navigate through our culture of consumerism, towards the pursuit of a life of simplicity and meaning?
When you deal in the tangible and the concrete world of your material possessions, you can see the results of living with less. You feel lighter, more peaceful, less stressed by clutter screaming at you on all sides.
But don’t stop there. Once you’ve dealt with your stuff, it often compels you to look around at what other intangible clutter you’ve accumulated in life.
Why are you so busy? Until you’ve addressed the why, there is no point tackling the how. Ask yourself what is driving your pursuit of more. Generally it’s a combination of the sense of importance you get from being busy, and being so addicted to busyness that doing less feels uncomfortable, even painful.
But start to sit in this discomfort. Force yourself not to run from it. If you find yourself with a moment of having nothing to do, resist the urge to pick up your phone and fill the void. Sit. Wait. Breathe. Notice what’s going on in your body. In your head. In the world around you. Because it’s in these moments that we can retrain ourselves that it’s ok to stop consuming. That waiting is ok.
It’s in these moments that our souls have a chance to breathe. And we can start to listen to our very selves. And begin to hear the story of our lives speak.
Happy Monday everyone xx