Are you intentional about the stuff you invite into your life? Does it tend to bring you joy or chaos?
It is said that less is more, however, there is a powerful societal force driving us to believe that we need more; that we should actively seek more.
I know it’s true because I am a willing-victim of that force.
While the idea of less sounds dreamy – less stuff, less mess, less chaos – the reality is often the opposite (cue the GPS guy).
Side note, we call our UPS driver the “GPS guy” because when my now-teenager was little and the big brown truck would stop in front of our house he’d yell, “Mom, the GPS guy is here.” And so it stuck… Ok, back to the story…
Despite the packages arriving all too frequently, I recognize the necessity to better discern what I really need from what I think I need.
2020 has proven that, above all, we “need” copious amounts of toilet paper (and evidently, yeast). 2020 has also shown us that the need for more can quickly turn dangerous.
Hoarding aside (that’s fodder for its own GIRLetter issue)… before we know it, our stuff becomes clutter, clutter incites overwhelm, and overwhelm consumes our mind, messes with our energy, and negatively impacts our productivity.
It’s a vicious cycle and it’s constantly contributing to our chaos. The kicker is that we’re allowing it… inviting it even!
So, what do we do about it, mamas?
It’s time to get intentional about your choices. It’s time to realize that YOU are in control of your chaos and not the other way around.
In one of our favorite books, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, author Greg McKeown asks this question, “What if society stopped telling us to buy more stuff and instead allowed us more space to breathe and think?”
Did anyone else just take a giant inhale?… I swear I forget to breathe sometimes…
When I think of consuming less I think of tiny houses, capsule wardrobes, and minimalism.
I am by no means a minimalist though I’m genuinely intrigued by the practice. I must have Googled it at some point because now every minimalist and her sister shows up in my social media feeds – which is creepy, by the way… that “they” are anticipating our every move.
Who are they, anyway? And, what do they want from us?… Oh, wait, I can answer that one: they want our money. They want us to buy MORE STUFF!
It’s a perpetual problem and companies pay big bucks to brainwash us. It’s not new, it’s marketing 101… okay, maybe 102 as it seems to get sneakier all the time.
How we respond to it, however, might just have an impact on our happiness and our quality of life.
The book jacket of Essentialism reads, “[Essentialism is] a systematic discipline you apply every time you are faced with a decision. By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is essential, the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our choices so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter.”
Did you hear that? We have a choice! We have a choice every time we face a decision on any given subject!
Discipline, however, doesn’t come with a magic wand (or we’d sell them… did you see what I just did there? Boom, an invitation for more stuff!)
Discipline takes time and awareness and hence grace. When you truly wrap your head around having a choice and making an intentional decision EVERY TIME, you begin to control the outcome of your life instead of constantly getting lost in overwhelm and the exhaustive task of reacting to everything that comes your way.
Commit to a plan and take small strides, every day, toward more disciplined decision making. Make concise choices about the stuff you invite into your life by deciding what really matters to YOU. Own your choices and seek out that which allows you to accumulate joy rather than chaos.
In conclusion, sometimes less is more! Keep this in mind as we head into the season of giving. Oh, and read Essentialism – it’s sooo good!!
Thank you for being here today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and may it kick off an extraordinary week!
Love & Grace,
Rachel (& Amanda)
Co-founders of Grace in the Race, LLC