A little deprivation is a good thing. Spend a whole day or two not buying or consuming very little.
Does this mean a fast? If fasting is your thing, sure, incorporate that, but I have low blood sugar and fasting isn’t really an option.
But I’ve taken the day and eaten just the minimum. I’ve made all my meals at home, not buying anything ‘out there’ in ordinary reality. Just being content with what I have right in my own environment.
Instead of spending money on being entertained, I might seek out a free event to attend. Local community calendars usually have some musical or performance event that’s available, often free.
Sometimes I just look for ‘free’ and anything, even if the event is $10, I won’t go, because I’ve made a commitment to not spending money for the day.
Going to the library is one of my favorite things to do because it’s free, there are thousands of books, CDs, and DVDs to tap into. I love just browsing around and getting a ‘find’. I mean, it’s a resource we all can have access to. Apparently 68% of all Americans have a library card, which is quite promising. http://www.ala.org/news/news/pressreleases2008/September2008/ORSharris
Yes, getting things out of the library is ‘consuming’ information, but not at a material cost out of my pocket.
The times in my life when I have had less have been the most fulfilling. Instead of looking after a large home, a small apartment is easier to clean and maintain. It fosters intimacy in a way that large spaces aren’t able to.
Low cost and low budget as a mindset to cultivate. So that when things like the economy tank, the effect on one’s life isn’t as dramatic because you’ve been living within your means.
I remember when I was little, I was encouraged to dream I’d grow up to live in a mansion, to have more than my parents did and their parents before them.
But when I started working as an adult I realized early on that wasn’t the ‘goal’ for me. I was more interested in helping people than accumulating material wealth. And somehow with that mindset, I’ve always been provided for.
When you listen to yourself, taking time to be quiet, you hear what your truth is. You hear what’s important and not imposed upon by society, parents or the advertising industry that wants you to spend what money you do have on being something you are not.
Living a life free of material consumption is impossible if you are to live on this planet. You need to eat and sleep and eliminate. Those are basic needs that require food and some sort of shelter. Even if you lived out in the bush and lived off the land, you’d still need to consume the land in order to be.
Life is not meant to be filled in with things created by someone else. It’s meant to be crafted, like a fine instrument, by the person living it. What kind of sound do you wish to offer the world? What is the melody of your being?
You might end up creating an instrument that has never been heard before. It might be difficult for others to listen to. Or, you might become something quite common and familiar, like a piano or guitar.
Yet your life song played on you, the instrument for being in the world, will be different than any other.