less is more


Here are a few things I’ve been practicing lately:

Planning less.

Doing less.

Buying less. 

Stressing less.

Expecting less.

Here are some goals I’ve been working on lately:

Being kind to myself more.

Taking ‘a moment for myself’ more.

Getting rid of more.

Saying ‘no thank you’ more. 

Giving myself one good thing. 

There’s a couple of things shifting within me these days. Sometimes this leaves me feeling grumpy, and confused, and dissatisfied. And sometimes it has me feeling clear, and focused, and content. Growth can be complicated that way. I’m working on changing my relationship to money, material things, and myself. Working on all three at once seems like a lot, but I’ve realized that these are all deeply intertwined (at least for me). I’m part of all kinds of terrible cycles where I feel bad about myself because I won’t let myself have the thing I want, then I buy things I don’t want because they’re cheaper/I’m jonesing to buy, and then I’m sad because my house/closet/life is full of things I don’t care about and I still can’t afford the things I really wanted in the first place. This goes on for a long time. There are promises and rules and guilt trips and then, I do the whole thing all over again. 

So, this time around I’m changing the dynamic.  Right now, I’m on a buying hiatus while I clean out the things I’ve bought that I no longer love. This is harder than it sounds because nothing makes you feel like you deserve a new sweater like giving away six sweaters that you only wore once. I’m also investing in the things I already own. This weekend, I took my jeans to be hemmed and I got the zipper fixed on a pair of pants that broke at least a year ago. This may seem obvious but it was basically my Everest. I am slowly but surely backing away from our fast-fashion culture. Whilst I’m giving away the items that no longer inspire me, I’m making a list of the items that do. It’s a google doc that I update regularly and it is called ‘Things Chelsey Likes’. I revisit is every now and again to see if my feelings on items have changed. If they haven’t, I know that when I am ready to purchase items again, these are the ones that are worth my hard earned money. 

Throughout this whole process, I am consistently reminding myself that I deserve everything I want. This mantra is two (or 1 million) fold.

Number one, I want to work on being kind to myself but I realized I often do that buy buying things. When I’m going through a cycle of not buying, I experience it as a punishment or a restriction. I needed to come up with a new way to be kind to myself and I realized that it could be as simple as changing the way I speak to myself. (Part of changing my relationship to myself has been acknowledging how tough I can be on myself). Now, when I want to be kind to myself, I tell myself I am doing a great job. I remind myself about the beautiful life I have created. I thank myself for the work I have done. I let myself know that I deserve everything. 

Number two, I realized that I often starve myself of the things I want as a way to feel like I have control and like I am being responsible. The problem is, I don’t have control (always learning this lesson) and feeling responsible and being responsible are very different things. When I deprive myself of the things I want for the wrong reasons, I am much more inclined to buy things I don’t want because I feel frustrated. Now, when I crave control, I remind myself that control is a fallacy but what I do have is agency. If I really want something I have the agency to find a way to get it. Once I know I can have it, and that I deserve to have it, I get to ask myself if I really want it.  This is sort of mind blowing. 

So yeah, that is what I am working on these days. Full disclosure: I have no idea if this approach will help me at all. Or if it is smart. It is just something I am trying. 


Image: Yves Klein, Yves Peintures, 1954


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