Friday, November 23, 2007

Consumerism - Crack Cocaine of the Masses

Gosh do you remember the advertising campaigns when we were growing up...those ones that compared the inside of a car to to a sensual experience, and there was always some hot babe standing by the car looking for all the world like she came with the car?

I often wondered if guys (or gals) felt any vague sense of nonfullfillment after buying the car. Like well it looked great..but the feeling you expected wasn't quite what you thought, nor did it last.

Ah well off to peruse the purchase of something else. That is afterall all life ia about right? I mean the president of the USA after the 9/11 attacks said "whatever you do - keep shopping." We all know he has our health and well being in mind at all times - right?

I have come to the point where I have divided my budget into envelopes and spend so much on groceries, treats, pet food, and it is all allotted into cans so I take out cash to spend and spend only that and only use my credit card for
emergencies, or planned in the budget large ticket items.

I have found investigating myself to be quite interesting and fun. I try not to chastise myself if I goof up, but note it and try to improve the next month. I am enouraged to keep doing this because it is so enlightening about me and my way of spending. My partner is doing the same BTW and that makes it easier ...we did so on mutual consent and as an explorative way to see how we are each spending money. I chafe under control so I have framed this as an explorative exercise in self knowledge and it has been enlightening. The example (visual)
has helped us both more than anything. As a quick gauge "do I really need (fill in the blank)"
and if I do not I try to lose the attachment to want to purchase (like a bad smell).

There is liberation in paradox...and as usual it is found here. I find that as I become accustomed to living within budget constraints I have set in concert with my partner, and our mutual goal of nonattachment to things, I feel more free.

The weight of want is lifted and getting what I need then can also be an exercise in getting something that is good quality. i.e. If I eat less I can afford top quality food from the local organic store that brings all the produce in from local farms. So the "good" in that purchase ripples out in my community and that feels good too.

As I lose the urges to take, want, have and possess, I feel lighter, more able to see and observe without judgment, happier just to be in the moment with my art and the divine.

My partner and I set out a year ago to relocate to a smaller home with half the footprint of our prior home, unload the SUV and get a car with good mileage and low gas consumption and in every way we could, lower our personal rate of pillage on the planet.
I am happy to say that today, we are in that smaller home. We are on a small island, close to town and thus can walk to most places. Our gas consumption is not merely down it is cut by 3/4, and we drive a small Toyota (they manufacture in Canada) Matrix (that was half the price of the SUV and is the most fun car to drive that I have ever had!)

Throughout all of this exercise I have been very aware of compulsions to buy and where and when the drive arrives. I am a recovering alcoholic (sober since Jan. 5, 1981 hee haw) so I do understand that addiction is a shell game. Handle addiction in one area and it pops up somewhere else - a constant lesson in detachment sent to enable me to work on that imperfect part of myself.

Thank you great mystery for this challenge. I think I am getting there. Today is the largest shopping day of the year and I feel no need to change from my jammies or even cruise
LLBean or Lands End. Nope I'm happy as a clam with my 2 dogs, 2 cats and one very hot
drummer woman.

Blessings to the masses this season of reflection and let us keep bringing the light.
Only mushrooms grow in the dark (in shit).

We flourish in the bright sunlight of truth, love and personal integrity. It is as necessary for the truly human condition as breathing. So next time y'all want to buy something - do you need it?
No? Then give someone a hug instead - it will go a lot further, last a lot longer and do immeasurable good for the entire, weary planet.


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