Diamond-Cut Life

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Unclothing This Horse

December 27th, 2009 by Alison · 4 Comments · lifestyle

The jury is in. I’ve decided to delve farther into my satisfaction, actually my enchantment, with the clothes I’ve already got, and not shop for or buy any garments for at least six months. Ta-da!

I can picture my male readers, maybe especially the ones without a female in the home, scratching their heads and saying, “So what?”. To which I’d reply, “Um, this is the equivalent of watching no sports games on TV.” To which I can picture an American male, my dad or brothers for example, murmuring “Ohh!” And maybe shuddering in sympathy at my upcoming ordeal.

Some of you know that my clothes-horse addiction centers around Goodwill, where low prices and the pre-used nature of the items soothes my desire to consume modestly.  Even so, Goodwill shopping can be just a scaled-down version of the rat-race, with the addictive whisper of just one more buzzing in my head (the whisper that is interchangeable between addictions). I’m not alone. Juliet Schor, the vibrant Harvard sociologist and economist, reports that in 1991 we in the U.S. bought an average of 34 garments per year (not counting socks or hose). In 2001 that number increased to 52. That’s an average of a new garment every week. That’s excess and overkill, a different thing from abundance.

I actually already started my clothes-shopping abstinence a month ago, at Thanksgiving, and have noticed two  things so far: not shopping frees up time for socializing and Nia dancing, both of which I actually enjoy more than shopping; and the clothes I already have in my closet, once I settle down and focus on what I have instead of on what I don’t have, is a lovely, pleasing sufficiency.

My next post will offer a simple, practical tool for following through on New Year’s resolutions (NRS). For five NRS ideas that can make a positive difference to both you and the earth, see here. To see how being even a social drinker costs $30,000 or more over a few decades, take a gander here. It’s joyful and empowering to get a grip on our consumption!

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Crafty Green poet

    I think I’ve got to the stage of only buying new clothes when i need them. Every so often i go through my wardrobe and throw clothes together with other items that I don’t wear them with, to find new combinations…..

  • Alison

    Ms. Poet, That’s great, that you’re distinguishing between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. Sometimes they’re the same thing, i.e. what we want is what we actually need, like a nourishing meal, or a coat and gloves when it’s cold out. Sometimes, though, we want things we don’t need at all, like the ninth, tenth and eleventh black sweater!

    (By the way, I only have three black sweaters. Didn’t want you to think I”m compulsive. OK, four if you count the one my mother made by hand and wore as a young woman about fifty years ago).

  • Micky

    Here’s a different take on New Year’s resolutions, from a channeled source that calls itself Chief Joseph:
    How often have you yearned for a fresh start in your lives, a new beginning? How often have you told yourselves if only you hadn’t done this or that, you could start anew with no past baggage?

    The desire to have a new beginning in your lives is commendable, and we completely understand that. We are not discouraging you from this.

    But, for whatever reasons, the beginning of a new year has taken on a mystique and power for many of you. And so you make your long, often ponderous, lists of new year’s resolutions.

    Then … you quickly abandon your well-intentioned lists. And you give up and plod ahead without that energy and joy you felt when you were creating your lists.

    The reason many give up their new year’s resolutions lists is they’re too much for you to comfortably handle all at once. You overwhelm yourselves.

    And so you “throw the baby out with the bath water,” as your saying goes.

    Friends, you need to take a shorter perspective, if you will.

    January 1 is a new beginning, certainly. But there’s nothing sacrosanct about that date. Every day is a new beginning. Would it not be easier for you to take your lives one day at a time instead of in those daunting one-year chunks?

    You don’t know for sure what lies down the road one year from now. But you do have a better idea of what lies before you in the next 24 hours. Wouldn’t it just be easier to take it one step at a time? One day at a time?

    New beginnings abound in your lives. January 1 is a new beginning. When you awake in the morning is a new beginning. When you go to sleep at night is a new beginning.

    In fact, every moment is a new beginning. Every breath you take is a new beginning.

    With each breath you are born again. With each breath the cells of your body are born again. What existed one breath ago no longer exists with your next new breath.

    New beginnings abound with every breath you take. Live in the moment, knowing all your power lies in this present moment. All of it!

    Make your lists of goals. But do it in a way that feels good and easy to you. This should not be an exercise in seeing how much misery you can create for yourselves.

    New year’s resolutions are not usually a good exercise for most of you. And for the reasons we’ve already discussed.

    Have your goals, certainly. But live them only in the present moment, allowing yourselves to simply flow with the energy of your life, with the life-giving energy your higher selves bring you with every breath you take.

    New beginnings abound. Let your next breath be as important a new beginning to you as January 1.

  • Judaica Store

    I agree with you about the new clothes issue.
    I personally donate clothes every few months.

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