Just before COVID-19 began and self isolation was enforced I bought myself a beautiful corduroy green jacket. It looked like velvet and kind of doubled as a coat because the material was thick and felt like it could hold up well against the elements. The jacket looked and felt special and was both formal yet casual at the same. I felt like a winner for getting it at 20% of its retail price.
Then COVID hit and I had nowhere to wear it. In the months of self isolation and wearing very plain clothes in the house it got me thinking. It got me thinking about how we dress, why we dress the way we do, and how consumption is presented as a tool of self expression. Then it got me thinking about consumption culture, keeping up with others around us and what constitutes enough.
Looking at my wardrobe it was clear I didn’t feel I had enough. Despite having more jackets than my wife I still wanted more.
I don’t think I’m the only one. I may be the only one in my addiction to jackets, but I think all of us to some measure are infected with the desire for more. More money, more status, more muscles, more food, more cars, more possessions, more, more, more.
Like dogs chasing cars do we know what we’re going to do when we get what we say we want?
- What does getting more get you?
- Why do you want more?
- What does your pursuit of more cost you? What are you sacrificing in order to get more?
- Can you get what you really want in more cost effective and time efficient ways?
- What is enough?
- What does enough look like?
I encourage you to sit and examine these questions in a quiet place free from distractions and let the answers surface. Like fishing, the answers might not come right away. But with patience and by sitting with it the answers will come.
It was in one of many sessions of sitting with myself I realised my addiction to buying clothes was meeting my need and desire to be creative and express myself.
Buying clothes was and is a valid way of self expression. But I realised I could channel that energy and that desire into making art instead. And that’s what I’ve been doing! It’s been bloody awesome painting and sharing what’s in my head in bright vibrant colour.
It’s also been way cheaper, a lot more fun and is creating a new internal narrative of who I am and what I’m capable of. Where before I was just a project manager, and just an office bound web designer ashamed of my inner world of creativity, now I can proudly say I’m an artist and show the cool work I’ve created. That’s been one of the downstream effects I’ve had after asking the questions I shared earlier.
If you’re keen to take your life in cool new directions and expand your horizons and be more free then don’t miss the opportunity to sit with these questions and find your own answers.
This has been the beginning of my journey of disconnecting from the disease of more. I use the phrase ‘disease’ because when you want more, and are never satisfied with what you have you are literally not at ease. Dis-ease. Like fish in water who can’t describe water or know what water is, I feel like we are all fish living in the water of a culture that has us sacrificing our mental health, physical health and spiritual wellbeing in the desire to get more and achieve more.
I believe that by disconnecting from the beliefs that keep us trapped in the treadmill of pursuing more we can find more confidence, more freedom, more love, more peace, more creativity and more connection with ourselves and others around us.
Thank you for being here, and I look forward to sharing further insights on how we all can disconnect from the disease of more.