Getting Past the Hypnosis

I saw a news article online about people living with less. I found some insightful info on it that I wanted to share with you:

"After Russ and Deborah Merchant of Delaware, Ohio, moved into a smaller rental home in 2007, they dug out hundreds of items they had never used and didn't need. For a year, they gave away more stuff than they purchased. "We keep being amazed at how having less stuff, with no deprivation, actually gives us better quality of life," says Deborah Merchant. "We've gained emotional and spiritual maturity."

The people in the article had to clutter bust because of the effects of the economy on their life. In the midst of a hard situation, they found their new life of less had beneficial surprises. We don't have to be in financial straits to clutter bust. But we can enjoy the same benefits of no longer having to feel beholden to things to make us happy.

The same article talked about the emotional toll of trying to keep up with technological trends:

"When I could afford it, I always felt pressured to buy the latest software and gadgets," says Kathryn Husby of Plantation, Fla. When job and health issues curtailed the family income, she and her husband cut back to bare necessities. That meant she didn't have to learn a new set of buttons or menu options every year; she just kept pressing the same familiar buttons on the old model. "I'm happier than I've been for many years," she says. "I feel like I'm in charge of my life instead of multinational corporations telling me what to consume."

The allure of new things certainly makes it seem like their presence will make our lives better. I sometimes still think, "When I get _____, I'll be happy." But then I'll be aware of its trance effect. It feels like some kind of altered state. I think some ads have mastered the art of hypnosis without our even being aware of it. The thing is, I know from experience that things don't live up to their hype. There's the "I can't believe I fell for that again" feeling. My experience from my own life and working with others is that the simpler our life, the greater the joy.