Discovering what abundance means to me and how I can live with less
As humans, we are hard wired to seek abundance, to strive for it.
In times past it was the difference between life and death. We stored up what we could for times of winter or famine.
Today, we still strive for more, but this impulse has been hijacked by the advertisers to sell us things we don't need and often can't really afford.
The result is that we have houses and bodies crammed with excess, minds overloaded with information, and ever increasing debt which leaves us less and less free. It has also resulted in the degradation of the planet and an excess of waste that we cannot recycle or use.
At the same time, for many people, material abundance is still a dream. They own little and have little choice. We should all have enough to eat, clothes to wear, and a home that is safe. There is more than enough material abundance in the world to achieve this. But not if a minority of people consume the majority of the Earth’s resources.
Nature is wiser than us. There are times of abundance and times when all is bare. And the abundance of nature does not trash the world, but goes back into the earth to feed the new growth.
The trees let go of their leaves in the Autumn. They rest. This creates a visual space that is, for me at least, a welcome respite from Summer’s abundance. I appreciate the coming of Spring all the more. Like having your home fall quiet again after friends leave with the abundance of conversation you all enjoyed, knowing that you will meet again.
I would not describe myself as a minimalist, although I am inspired by minimalist ideas and values. I still buy on impulse and I still have more than I need, though I am striving to live more intentionally with less.
I have a smaller income now than I’ve had for many years. But I donate more. I’m clearing out stuff from my home and I feel relieved to let it go. I hope that some of the things I no longer use can be of use to others. What remains I can see more clearly, and I value more.
I like the space that is opening up in my home and in my life. I want to use this to honor my creative self and to grow. To nurture the relationships that are important to me. To feel gratitude.
I am making room for a different kind of abundance.