Nice article. I try to live simply too and not ascribe to the "stuff = happiness" philosophy that is the norm. I have to laugh at the irony of reading this sort of thing on YJ, though-- where the sidebars of the screen are filled with ads to BUY YOGA STUFF! Hmm...
In the SF Bay Area, living a life with such *luxuries* as health insurance, life insurance and a retirement account often means working a stressful, high paying job with long hours. Buying *stuff* isn't even an option for many people. I would love to live a simple life with lots of time to go on Yoga retreats or volunteer. Now THAT sounds luxurious to me!
Our old house was damaged beyond repair by an earthquake. It was going to be our retirement home (in 10 years time) and we built it 14 years ago, so that was a bit upsetting. But it has been a great opportunity to focus on what is really important in life. We have also given away lots of possessions, including curtains, furniture and bedding. Giving things away feels good (as long as my upcycling friend remembers to keep passing things on to others who actually need them). Now to continue practising buying less..
Exactly what I needed to read. Recently, I made a huge move to a much larger town, a suburb of Atlanta. I've been a bit overwhelmed with all of the new sites, malls, yoga studio's, vegan friendly shops, ect. so the urge to splurge has been heavy. However, along with this urge comes the reality that I cannot afford all these things. This was a good reminder that this move is a chance for me to develope a stronger connection with aparigraha.
Great opportunity to consider donating a few items to clear the clutter while helping others!
I started buying used books about a year ago. I buy way too many books, especially Yoga books currently. Sellers are very accurate with the condition description of books. I was buying new books and then selling them used in almost new condition. Apparently I'm not the only one with a book addiction. The nice thing about buying used books is I don't feel compelled to resell them when I'm done with them. I just give them to a used book store.
Just the kind of article I needed! I have been shopping way too much. I am tired of living like this. How much stuff does one person need?
I need inner peace more than I need stuff as I get older.
Oh thank you Helen for a wonderfully rounded article and one that lifts me after a difficult day. I live very simply but despite my conviction, find it occasionally confronting to be around have-more types, as I was today. Just reading this gave me a sense of relief and brought me back to centre. You've softened my heart again.
Here's my question: Does anyone have suggestions for earth friendly business and attractive weekend wear for men and women?
I love the type of downsizing christina is talking about (we put our half empty trash barrel out once a month!). Although our home is by no means spartan, folks inevitably walk into for the first time and say, "What a lovely home!" All of the rooms are multifunction (with the possible exception of our office and kitchen), and we use them all (the room with the one TV gets used least, except we we are learning a new yoga practice!).
I think one reason folks love our home so much is because it is scaled to the human form and it is bright and comfortable without too much furniture or other stuff. What we have is mostly antique or used. We constantly getting rid of stuff and, despite having a grade-school child, actually have less stuff than we did 10 years ago. That feels great!
My biggest problem is clothes. My husband and I both work in highly-professional environments. And, frankly, I enjoy that. I like putting on a suit and given a presentation to my peers. However, I have a hard time finding clothes that are professional, attractive, comfortable AND environmentally friendly for both of us (it's even harder for men than for women).
Wearing flattering clothes -- including lingerie, although not from -- makes me feel good and sends the message that I am professional and ready to work. And, I like feeling "smart," not sloppy, when I go to the farmers market, nursery, museum or park concert on the weekends.
Don't get me wrong: I don't have a huge closet and don't like having a ton of clothes. I don't change my wardrobe every season and I hate shopping. In fact, I keep most of my clothes 10-15 years. I just like having a practical amount of the right clothes. (Right now, I'm having trouble getting through a work week.) And, while I still occasionally shop a couple of consignment shops, I've given up on thrift: I just don't have the hours and hours it takes over repeated visits, although I still donate.
So, again, does anyone have suggestions for earth friendly business and attractive weekend wear for men and women? Thanks!
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