As I've downsized my body over the years I've come to appreciate also the importance of downsizing the "stuff" around me as well. One important source of this growing awareness arose from my self-supported bicycle tours in which I realized how fulfilled I was with a healthy body, super cycling friends, my bike and a grand total of 30-35 pounds of belongings strapped onto my bike.
Human connection and wonderful experiences. What more could a person want?
A recent quote which resonated deeply: “the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.” Johann Hari. Here is a fascinating account about his investigative journalistic efforts unearthing "the rest of the story" of the War on Drugs, how our understanding of addiction is so faulty and how a better understanding of addiction can lead to such wonderful solutions (be sure to check out the "Rat Park" discussion in the article and think about how to apply the idea to our lives):
I remember the aching isolation that came with my addiction to food. No amount of junk food could ever fill that void.
But reclaiming my body and putting myself out into the world and soaking up human connection and wonderful experiences...!
It just doesn't get any better than that!
So in line with all of this thought comes the allure and fascination with Tiny Houses. What a wonderful trend! Some areas of the USA have found that rather than putting up the homeless in rat-trap hotels, if they give the homeless a true Tiny Home of their OWN these people not only begin to take pride in their ownership, but also begin to develop a sense of community with others in their Tiny House community. Instead of the isolation of locking themselves into each cubicle of rat-trap hotels, the dwellers of these Tiny Houses reach out and connect with each other. What a joyous use of our tax dollars!
While I don't live in a Tiny House, at least yet, I am beginning a significant effort to downsize not only my body but my "stuff" as well and hoping to prepare for at the very least tinier living quarters to further support my efforts to be out in the world and to connect with others.
Here is a wonderful account of a family who made the Tiny lifestyle "work" for themselves:
In the meantime I have noticed that my interest in purchasing "stuff" has downsized considerably. All those newspaper flyers & ads, those e-mails from various stores and shops? To the trash it goes!
As we prepare for yet another commercial holiday and all of its incessant clamor, I encourage folks to stop, take a deep breath and ask yourselves: what do we and our loved ones truly NEED?
Sustenance for the soul, for the human spirit...it's not out there on any store shelf. Look within, make those heartfelt connections, seek those enlivening experiences out in the world.
Yours in SPARK!