(Originally written in December 2019)
Part of my journey of abundance this winter is to reprogram the Western ways in which I’ve become lazy. There was a time, about 8 years ago, when my lifestyle was much simpler. I was a digital nomad 75% of the time and I was a minimalist, for the most part. I had a rhythm and I had time. I dug it.
Then, long story short, I fell in love with a man who was your stereotypical Western consumer. We spent our weekends at big box stores buying shit he didn’t need, he’d slap it on credit and we’d head home to do yard work. WTF? Well, that lasted a few years, just long enough to leave me in a place of not quite minimalist, no longer nomadic and in a place devoid of direction.
Now, this winter’s Abundance Journey is set to re-program myself. It’s been a few years since that relationship ended (thank god) and now it’s time to rebuild what I walked away from– but under a definition that fits the current version of myself.
What exactly is that definition though? That’s the million dollar question. So, let’s turn towards defining abundance and let that be the framework for this re-programming.
A simple– and slow– way of living. I am completely turned on by tiny houses, minimal capsule wardrobes and living in RVs, Vans or other unconventional– and mobile– dwellings. I was probably a gypsy or Native American in a past life. In order to embrace any version of that type of lifestyle, minimalist and simplicity are a necessity. I’m no saint, I have a book collection, too many computers and a fair amount of cameras. Those last two are “art-work related” but the books, well, I’m just a total book nerd who will retire one day with a tiny little library. I’ve made peace with that.
Simple living applies to other areas outside of dwellings too. I don’t spend my day running around like a chicken with my head cut off, bouncing from one errand to another. Nope. I have a schedule that’s minimal. I even keep my social commitments to a minimum, but I’m an introvert, so that’s partially just how I roll.
I don’t plan vacations, I just go. If I’m flying, I normally buy a one-way ticket and head back whenever I’m ready. I don’t do itineraries and schedules give me hives.
So, I’m somewhat taken by the concept of “Zero Waste Lifestyle” right now. The book is pretty fascinating and I have to say, this type of lifestyle is the pinnacle of minimalism. But can I do it?
I doubt it. I know myself. But I can take some of the core principles into account and incorporate it into my journey of abundance.
I can– and do– find the notion of self-sufficiency to be abundance at it’s finest. To have the time, knowledge and insight to live a de-commodified life? That’s juicy abundance to me. Replacing household cleaners with homemade products– abundance. Buying quality appliances and devices that will last for generations– abundance. Going without because you know the product was made by underage children trapped in sweatshops– abundance.
Having the resources– time, knowledge and money– to live a deliberate lifestyle that is in alignment with your core principals? That’s the ultimate definition of abundance to me.
So, I ask you this, when was the last time you took a long deep look at your lifestyle? Your consumption practices. Your waste habits. Your inability to make anything or repair devices. Do you see being able to live in alignment with your beliefs as a reflection of your level of abundance?
Let’s redefine abundance together.