About nine years ago, I made an interesting experiment. For a long time I had been thinking about our society’s enormous need for consumption and the amount of clothes and stuff I had at home.. More than enough of everything. My closet was full of nice clothes and I didn’t even use them all. My home was already nicely decorated and I had all possible gadgets one could find useful. I was very aware of how the unpleasant feeling of emptiness and boredom that ones in a while took over me disappeared and eased out, when I went and bought something. Usually I didn’t stop to think if I actually needed the thing I wanted. Often I was walking in the city, saw something nice and bought it just because buying made me feel good. Good vibes lasted for a while, but never for long. Sooner or later my mind started to feed me with thoughts like: It would be so nice to get something…, to feel something…, I don’t have…, or I need that one thing. I gave myself a permission to buy. Around me I saw a whole society acting in somewhat similar manner, in an unaware loop of consumerism. Buy- satisfaction- emptiness- buy- satisfaction- emptiness…
I was interested in what would happen if I stopped buying things. Got myself out of the rat race. Would anything happen? I decided to see how I felt not buying any stuff or clothes for six months. I would only buy necessities – food, transport card, hygiene things and pay for my hobbies. I would be allowed to travel also. All extra buying would be banned.
Surprisingly six months went by easily. My first observation was a sense of strong relief. My focus was shifted to“ I already have more than enough and I don’t need anything” from “ when I have… I will be satisfied”. My new focus brought along corresponding feelings and sensations. I felt a clear sense of ease, peace and contentment, I was not in a hurry anymore. I also started to feel more appreciation and gratitude towards everything I had, it all became somewhat more special.
I decided to continue my experiment purely because it felt good and right in my heart. Fun thing was that because I didn’t want to buy anything, I had more money than I needed. I realised, that If I didn’t want, I didn’t have to work too much. I was getting by fine with not much at all. With not buying I had created more time and if I so desired, I could use this time exploring something new and exciting. I felt abundant. This got me thinking how weird our society’s structure and operation mode was. It is greatly based on thoughts like: “I work so I can consume, “I am happy when I have…”, I am satisfied when I achieve…”. The rat race promotes inadequacy that creates itself over and over again and never brings true peace or contentment.
Now that I wasn’t buying new clothes, I finally started using all that I had. I noticed I still had a yearning for newness, but that need got satisfied, when I created new looks from the pieces I had. So as I gave up shopping, I got more connected with my creativity. It felt good to act in a more responsible way and not waste our planet resources with unnecessary consuming. Before I used about 20% of what I had in my closet. Often I wanted to feel special and for this buying something new felt easier than using a little time with myself and my closet. Listening to my inner need of how I wanted to express myself with colors and clothes on that particular day. The source for satisfaction was actually the connection with myself – listening to myself and connecting with my creativity, not so much from the outfit itself or how I was possibly seen from outside.
I felt that the connection to myself and to my inner source of love became stronger. I was able to enjoy more being in the present moment. About a year after my experiment started I was on a trip in Berlin hanging out in the city with a friend. It was interesting to witness how my friend was running from one shop to another, shopping and looking for clothes and stuff. All this frenzy behaviour just because we were abroad and when we travel we do shopping. We look for something special, that we might not find at home. This behaviour that I very well recognized, now seemed more like crazy and stressful.
I continued my experiment for a year and a half and after that I allowed myself to buy only recycled. Lately I have again been buying more things and acting a bit more recklessly. Not as unawarely as back in the days, but I have been irresponsible. This is why I wanted to write about this issue now. It is interesting to notice that this old behaviour pattern has started to pull me again, even though I have an understanding, awareness and everyday experience of a way of life, that is in many levels far more satisfying and harmonic to both me and to this planet. But old patterns have a strong pull and energy, especially when they are collective patterns.
There are many people in our world, that really don’t have enough, but there are so many of us who have more than enough and we behave like nothing can satisfy us. Our planets current state is alarmingly reflecting our behaviour. Inner dissatisfaction is not going to disappear with consuming, it will only enhance it. It’s like we forget the reality in the present moment, we close our eyes and buy like headless chickens, often not questioning our behaviour at all.
What if we would ask a few questions before we buy:
- Why am I buying this now?
- Do I really need this?
- What is the need I am trying to satisfy by buying this?
- Do I buy to stand out from the crowd?
- Do I buy to be special?
- Do I buy to be better than others?
- Do I buy to be as good as others?
- Do I buy to be accepted by others?
- Do I buy because I saw an ad that stated I need this?
- Do I buy because everyone else is also buying?
- What is the deeper level of my action?
- What do I really need to be satisfied?
- Is me buying this helping me and the surrounding world?
- Is me buying this hurting another sentient being?
Vast amount of the things we buy, are not made in connection to love. Lot of them are produced only thinking of profit and actually hurting other beings on the process. I believe that we are love. We are doing wrong to ourselves and to our sensitive hearts, when we close our eyes and buy things even though we know somewhere deep down, they are made without respect and love towards others. I think this creates a lot of conflict within us.
I feel it’s extremely important to check am I consuming, because deep down I’m actually missing truthful, authentic connection to myself and to other people and not taking responsibility for my needs? I may buy things, because I feel lonely. I think my dissatisfaction often rises from disconnection to my creativity. I may avoid it, because in a weird way I’m afraid of it. I believe that connection is what most people are longing for. This society and all the thousands of adds, that run in front of my eyes, many of them are not yet supporting responsibility or the truth that, – I am – is enough, that existence is more than enough. The whole system has to change, our value system and thinking has to change. At this moment detaching and staying apart from this crazy system demands a great strength of character from an individual. But we are living a time of magnificent change. As humanity we are in the mist of transformation. We are already so very special and important, we are already enough, we just have forgotten this. It is time to let the good vibes rise from within. Because that’s where they come from, if we don’t cover the source and forget it.
With ❤️ Amira