to have Courage....In Family Life, In Spirituality, In Health, In Living Simply

I'm on a journey...... as we all are. Learning, remembering, re-discovering about health, spirituality, relationships, emotions and the mind.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

100 Thing Challenge

In my research on the Minimalist Lifestyle I wrote about the other week, I came across the mention several times about the 100 Thing Challenge created by Dave Bruno.  I've been reading his posts, and the plethora of comments he gets and enjoying the read.  I get so excited in anticipation of how Minimalist we will live in our new place, since its harder to see what stuff we actually have when its still in boxes and we are sharing 'stuff' with our friends while we stay here.

One of Bruno's posts that I really liked is 3 Consumer Justifications That End in Crap.  These are excuses or justifications that I personally use all the time.  Actually just this morning I was contemplating "It would be wasteful to get rid of it."  After all, I didn't spend any money on it (rain boots and snow boots for Gaelyn) as my friend gave them to us, and she just might need them this autumn/winter.  We have space to keep them both, and we can always get rid of one or both of them in the future if they turn out to be virtually useless to us.  Blah blah blah.

The 100 Things Challenge isn't about an ideal number of anything.  People can determine themselves how they count up their things.  There is total Individualism in how you count.  For example, Bruno counts all his (300) books as One Library.  As avid readers and un-schoolers we have already thinned from about 2500 books down to less than 500.  (Because they are in boxes at present, I don't actually know the number.  I guessed high because I probably can't be trusted to approximate accurately, otherwise I'm tempted to say we only have 200, but I think that might be dreaming.)

Some people would count their 20 pairs of footwear as One, but others would count it as 20 (and probably would thin that down!)  Socks are likely to be counted as One item, as would all your socks.  But that's all dependent on how you would set up your own system.

I think that there is a danger of seeing 100 Things as a possible 'holier than though' thing to hold over other people who chose to live with more.  And one could pat themself on the back if they purchased/acquired something new (but not needed) and discarded something else but kept their total under 100.  The idea behind the 100 Things Challenge is bigger than the tally of things one owns.

We clutter our lives with unnecessary stuff (often produced un-ethically) and spend our money and time and energy in maintaining it, and missing out on the bigger things in life that we dream time to stroll the beach in the evening with our lover or children, or slowly sipping our favorite drink with a friend, or reading the book you've been wanting to read, or....whatever it is that you don't have time for now!!

We aren't going to find our happiness in collecting stuff, nor in keeping our personal stuff to a total of 100 Things.  Whether we have 1,000 or 10 things, our happiness will come from within our hearts and minds, the thoughts we entertain about the world and who we are in that world.

I am not a total of the things that I possess.

I am the Love that interacts with the world.

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