Friday, November 25, 2011

The season of "stuff"

I've never been a big shopper and to be honest - days like "Black Friday" give me the willies. I hate to even venture out of the house. Stories like this one pretty much sum up why.

But there's also the fact that today marks the beginning of the season of stuff.

A few years ago Annie Leonard put together a little video about The Story of Stuff. If you haven't watched it before, I highly recommend it. Here's the section that summarizes how we get so caught up in accumulating this stuff.

One of my favorite books of all time is The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. She digs a little deeper into this attachment to stuff and finds it rooted in "the myth of scarcity."

The internal condition of scarcity, this mindset of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life, and it is deeply embedded in our relationship with money. In the mind-set of scarcity, our relationship with money is an expression of fear; a fear that drives us in an endless and unfulfilling chase for more, or into compromises that promise a way out of the chase or discomfort around money.

She suggests that instead, we can reclaim the power of sufficiency.

We each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mind-set of scarcity. Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don't mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn't two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn't a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn't an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough and that we are enough.

I find that in our culture these days the concept of "enough" is almost foreign. As soon as we get to the place we worked so hard to reach, we start to see the deficiencies almost immediately and start looking for more. I know that's not always a bad thing. But what I also know is that more money and stuff will never get us there.

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