Last day of my Consumer Fast!

January 31, 2011

Today is the last day of my 31 Day Consumer Fast!

All month, I only purchased necessities – food, toilet paper, shampoo. I resisted a smooshable turquoise reusable shopping bag from Intelligentsia with a typewriter on it. I decided not to buy the beeswax chapstick from the Farmer’s Market because… my lips weren’t actually chapped. I stayed away from Sephora when a friend had to get some new blush. Instead of buying clothes I held a clothing swap at my house and got about 30 new items (thank ladies!). I didn’t buy any books or music all month, which is huge for me. Instead I listened to Pandora and roommates burned me CDs. I’d purchased 5 books on December 31st, and I am still concurrently reading all of them…

Oh I did buy myself two things during the month. I went to the Bead & Design Show in Pasadena to get jewelry supplies. Much of that was for orders, but what I got for me was a very delicate hammered gold ring with an orange stone (orange is my power color for 2011!) and a tiny  1″ Ganesha statue. I’ve been wanting a Ganesha statue for a few years now so when I saw this little guy for $6 I couldn’t pass him up.

Ganesha is the Elephant-Headed Lord of Success, Remover of Obstacles. This year I’ve been working on removing my biggest obstacle – my fear. He’s also the Lord of Beginnings, patron god of art and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom. In other words, his interests are as varied as mine. I think we’ll get along.

There are  few books I’m wanting to buy, though I’ve decided I will wait until I’ve finished all the books I’m reading to get any new ones. And I should get them out of the library, though I’d have to change my reading habits – I tend to highlight a book til it practically glows in the dark, and now I’m getting into using pens instead of drying out highlighters, and writing in the margins, à la Joseph Campbell: “Alan Watts once asked me what spiritual practice I followed. I told him, “I underline books.” It’s all in how you approach it.”  Hear, hear.

Two of my favorite books of the bunch I’m reading at the mo are The Artist’s Way and BE HERE NOW by Ram Dass. I’ve been doing the Three Morning Pages exercise from the Artist’s Way every morning since 1/11/11 (a coincidence); I’m so excited to write when I get up, I’ve been waking up naturally at 4 or 5am the past week…no, I’m not kidding. No coffee. And I’m usually in bed by 11pm… I feel like I need less sleep now that I’m not putting any crap into my body. A friend pointed out that I probably don’t need as much “recovery” time; my body no longer has to spend so much energy processing things it’s not supposed to, like refined sugar and wine and cheese.

The other book, BE HERE NOW, was where I got that Ice Cream Cone In The Sky thing. I borrowed it from my friend China, and after reading the first page decided I had to have the book. It’s a bit nutty but it’s EXACTLY where I am right now… Last night my roommate picked the book up and read a few pages and also declared, “Oh my god. I need this book.” It’s one of those that comes to you at the perfect time, and reassures you with its ring of familiar truth while catalyzing a shift. Good stuff.

I’ve also just been letting go of a LOT this month – emotionally and physically. I feel like I’ve gotten some good practice at delaying gratification, and I’m actually (finally) taking life steps towards simplicity and minimalism. Stopping the buying of crap will help me move in that direction. I can’t wait to see where it leads me. Out of the country, perhaps… ?



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