Adding It All Up to Find It Equals Zero

December 19, 2017

57 hair ties

7 coffee mugs

92 pens

43 pencils

31 T-shirts

22 pairs of pants

12 handbags

17 jackets

16 different hair products

8 hair brushes

5 body lotions

6 tooth brushes

5 bottles of shampoo 

And I'm only getting started...


If I inventoried the rest of my house (this was just three small spaces of my home), I can't even imagine what the total number of belongings would be. How much stuff do I really own? Or is my stuff starting to own me?


A few years ago. I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and it really was life-changing. In her book, Marie shares her method of gathering and sorting through your possessions using a more emotional process that reflects on how you connect to what you own that allows for you to determine whether or not what you keep has value or brings you joy. Let me tell you - there was a lot of stuff that left my home after reading that book. 


Since then, I have been more mindful with what comes into my home. But yet, there are still cupboards with clutter, and "things" that are just accruing that I have no use for. 


I have always been a consumer. And one my Love Languages is receiving gifts. Growing up, I learned to connect value with monetary cost. Money did buy happiness. It bought name brands, boats, snowmobiles and big houses. As I've grown older and wiser, these notions have been challenged and my perception of what is important has been rocked and reconfigured. And while some habits around purchasing and spending have been transformed, there is still room to do more. 


Enter in last weekend. A Facebook acquaintance, whose posts I often resonate with, reposted a blog in which a woman wrote about her experience of not buying anything new for a year. Immediately upon reading this, I knew. I had to do it too. I've learned in life to strike while the iron is hot and to speak something that creates accountability before you change your mind. So I piped up on the post and said, "Hey! I've been thinking about doing this." Teresa, my Facebook friend said, "Me too." And within 48 hours, we created a Facebook group for anyone that wants to join us in this 2018 challenge and experience. 


In my future, I live with a lot less. I want less to manage and less to take care of. I want to think less about what it is that I want and focus on what it is that I have. These are things that I can begin working on right now. My focus is a state of mind that can change at anytime. And it starts with this challenge. 


Shifting my framework of how I live means I bring less material possession into my life. It is an opportunity to not only be more mindful of what I place importance on but also how I live a global citizen. Where do my clothes really go after I no longer want them? And where did they come from to begin with? What about the bottles and containers and disposable items that we use? What about the deeper question that asks WHY  do I want some of these things in the first place? What need am I really filling with the purchases I make?


If you want to start asking yourself some of these questions and challenge how you participate as a consumer, mull over joining our group. Some of us have already started to make some small changes that I like to think of as "Shaping the Path" courtesy of the Heath Brothers. This is akin to changing your enviroment so that your committment is easier to stick with. We're cleaning up our inboxes, unsubscribing to emails with advertisements, and prepping for an exciting (and interesting year). 











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