Monday, July 18, 2011

Excess

My two olders greeting our new baby on her first day home with all their stuffed toys..She is being loved by the whole family of stuffed animals.  <3

My six year old daughter likes to fill her bowl up with cereal and then only eat half of it.  I am trying to teach her to take a smaller amount and then take more if she is still hungry.

Sometimes people offer clothing that their child has outgrown.  I am trying to not just say "yes" to it, if we do not need it.  Sometimes we need the clothes, but sometimes we don't.  There are some clothes in my daughters closet that she does not need..that end up on the floor..that are not appreciated.

My children have TONS of stuffed animals...My son has been "collecting" pillow-pets.  They have toooo many stuffed animals.  Their toy chest is full and overflowing.  We do not need any more..  But my children still crave more stuffed animals.  I am in love with kitchen gadgets lately...and they are "my toys"... oh, and books..I love books.

When is it "enough"?? Do we ever get the "sense" of "enough"

Many people have insulin issues in their bodies.  I do not remember what it is called, but someone with diabetes or pre-diabetes may have lost the ability to feel full..at the right time to know when to stop eating.

I think in a materialistic culture many of us have also lost the ability to feel the full of "enough"..

How many gadgets do we really need? NEED??  It seems the more we have the more we want...We are never fully satisfied.

In my religion, each year, we have a period of Fasting in March.  The 19 Day Fast.  This period of time, reminds me how to "restrain" myself.  And let myself feel "empty" for awhile..

Funny thing happens when we allow "space"...  Space does not remain as space for very long.  I bet there is a physics law involved..  Seems there is a force like gravity that is like a vacuum 

When we empty ourselves of food, something else fills that space..

Reflection. Insight.  Love.  Thoughtfulness..  (sometimes sadness and angst too)

What happens when we create space in our homes?

(In my home, other stuff fills it-LOL!)

But, I do notice that when I do a purging in my children's room...They suddenly find the toys that are left in there, more interesting and meaningful..It usually results in a nice wave of imaginative play..

What happens when we have excess...When we have enough, what we have is useful.  When we have excess..what we have is clutter and garbage..It loses its meaningfulness, it creates a burden...we have too much to take care of.  We resent it..psychologically and spiritually..It blocks our ability to have enough "space" for spiritual-mindfulness...It clutters our minds with its allure..its seductiveness..  Our stuff is a little "too cool" and it takes over our thoughts..  Or it is too much of a good thing and it clutters our space and feels like garbage as we trip over it and can't find a place for it.  We "worry about it"...becoming lost or damaged.

There is also the excess of activities or hobbies.  Doing too many things, can sometimes water-down their significance, importance.  Sometimes doing too much leads to doing things too superficially..and not really doing anything important at all..  Too many friends at a party, can lead to too many superficial interactions..  (not always)--but I have certainly had this experience..  Even learning too many things--jumping from topic to topic, can lead to only a surface learning instead of mastery of one topic.  (I am guilty of this)  Trying to cover too much in an essay can water down its purpose..  Writing too many "words" is "wordy"..  Is it not better to be concise.  (I am sure I am guilty as of this even in this article I am writing)

What is enough??  in a culture where the norm is "excess"..  When do we stop accumulating?  What is the limit? How many of us even have a feeling of "full"..or a "norm" of what full is??  in a culture that pushes us to "buy" all the time..

Everywhere I turn, I feel the pressure to buy..  On billboards, in the mail, over the phone, at my doorstep, on the internet, in my children's school..  It infiltrates even at moments I least expect, when I search for human connection, there is sometimes conversation about the "newest gadget"...Materialism saturates everything around me..It is a constant pressure and temptation..and like an addiction I can't get away from, because I have to buy the necessities too..but it is difficult to filter necessity from cultural perception of necessity..or want...  And it gets worse..The internet has made that part worse..

How can we as a culture change this?  How can I change this within my own home?  How can I find the strength to filter it?..and resist it?  especially when I don't even want to sometimes?  Is there hope that we will change this trend globally?  Because it is not sustainable....We can't live in this excess indefinitely..It is unhealthy and immoral.  when so many others do not even have a basic "enough"..but perhaps those who are more "empty" are filled with more of what is more "real"..?

Do you feel a sense of "full" or "enough"?  How does one develop it, when one lacks that feeling?   How do you teach it to the next generation that has it even harder than we...When marketing is even more powerful than it was 10 years ago..  and pressures children at younger and younger ages..(to pressure their parents to buy)  How do I teach my children when I don't even have it all figured out within myself?

I think perhaps, we have to become clear on our priorities. and concise in what we need..  and have money for..and what is ethical to buy or not buy.   And slow the heck down so we can think about it and not be so impulsive...and filter the ads and pressures and even avoid the situations of temptations if we can.

What do you think/do about this?

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