11.30.2010

THE HUNGRY GHOST

The world has been reeling and unsettled from economic ills in the last few years. As a result, people have begun to reassess what is important in their lives. We're learning to live more simply and practically, more purposefully, learning to appreciate all that we have and all that is good. This is a trend that has merit

Once you lose some of what you have, or are in danger of losing what you have, things like love and kinship stand forward and become radiant in a whole new way. That's just one of the many percs that pop up when there is less stuff.

Another is that the beauty of the world becomes all the more breathtaking. The seasons become slow (part of this whole slow living trend). They were always there but you were busy wanting stuff and getting stuff. Now you look around and there is so much to enjoy, so much to see. Miracles everywhere.

I was reminded of this last week while away in Portland having Thanksgiving with family. We went on a few shopping trips to REI and IKEA. Have you ever been to an IKEA? Yowie zowie! Talk about stuff. Anyway, I noticed that even though there were a few things I needed to shop for (I did buy a little carpet and curtains for my studio), my 'wanting urge', and the anxieties usually propping it up, have greatly quieted and subsided over the last few years. IKEA was quite an experience but I had so much more fun walking behind my granddaughter, the budding naturalist, as she stopped to point out all the ways the overnight icy frost had transformed objects in her path.
Slow season. Miracles.

This is one of the cards I designed for the 2010 Holiday collection at Brush Dance.

This perspective didn't just erupt overnight, however. At first I resented HAVING to be more frugal due to necessity - I resented not having stuff I wanted. But after a while I adjusted and, eventually, I found that I felt freer. For sure, freer of stuff. But here's the best part: I felt freer of the 'wanting urge'!

Much of what we think we need is simply stuff pulled in to fill holes and take the edge off our anxieties and fears, to distract us from realizing our potential. If I have more stuff I'll feel less empty, I'll feel more worthy.

Do you know what the 'wanting urge' feels like? It's both a compulsive twitch to have stuff and at the same time a layer of icky anxiety underneath. If you keep getting stuff you can sort of keep it from devouring you - but it's a hungry ghost and never sleeps.

As this new frugality took root, I started walking around waiting for the 'wanting urge' to rise up and then I'd laugh at it. "HAH! I don't even need your company anymore!"  I felt my life-force gaining on the hungry ghost.

The biggest payoff, come to find out, is that without this big distraction of wanting and getting stuff you are freer to be the fully enhanced and complete version of yourself. The present powerful you! You at full wattage!

I thought this would be good food for thought as we start the holiday time.

Miracles everywhere! A slow season.