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Monday, October 20, 2008

Joyful Consumption

by Eilleen
Consumption Rebellion

I thought I'd share a post I wrote on 2 January this year. :)

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The New Year almost always compels me to reflect and re-define myself. I have been reflecting on my initial ideas regarding my own consumption habits and something has struck me - that 2007 was a great period of turmoil for me in terms of changing my consumption habits.

What propelled me to change my consumption habits pretty much stemmed from negative reactions. I was disgusted with how much stuff I had. I felt overwhelmed by it all. I was ashamed of how I got my quick "happiness" fix (and was it really happiness?). So there you go, Consumption Rebellion (and hence, [my personal] blog) arose out of:

disgust
anxiety

and
guilt

It just goes to prove that negative emotions *are* good in that they built and built inside me until I was finally jolted out of my mindless consumption.

Having said that, I don't think negative emotions are good for me in the long term. There is something wearying about them and eventually its just a lot easier to give up the "rebellion". True change only happens when you are joyfully running TO something instead of desparately running AWAY from something.

The first time I coined the term "joyful consumption" in [my personal] blog was on the 14th of November 07. Reading back, I could see I kinda did it flippantly... the phrase, is mentioned in the second last line of that post. However, as flippant as it sounded back then, coining that term marked a very significant milestone in my journey. It was the day when my rebellion found its direction. It had taken me a good 1 year and 2 months to get there, but *finally* I am now running towards something.

So just to concrete that term in my own mind, here is what I think Joyful Consumption is:

- it is about being aware of the impacts of what I consume, and this gives me *FREEDOM* to choose only what I need;

- it is about surrounding myself with products that were created and sold with joy, and this gives me the feeling of *STABILITY* because I know that the care they have put into their products means that it will last longer;

- it is about re-using and reconstructing products in a creative and authentic way, and this gives me *FAITH IN MYSELF*.

So 2008 will be the year, where I can finally base my consumption habits on:

freedom
stability

and
faith in myself

...wish me luck!

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3 comments:

J said...

Wonderful post! I am working towards only "joyful consumption". Thanks

RosieB said...

Lots to think about here, thank you Eilleen. I've been moving towards becoming a non-consumer (or microo-consumer!) over the last 18 months, and had spectacular success with clothes and personal items but there are still many areas I could work on. I had so much stuff that I was ashamed and still, after 3 major clear-outs, have more to go... I'm a work in progress! :)

Happy Mama said...

I'm a regular reader of Rhonda over at Down to Earth and I'm working my way back through the archives over here on the co-op.
This is a wonderful post and I can relate to it so strongly at the moment. After the excess of Christmas and a sickness bug hitting the family, I noticed how much STUFF I've had to systematically clean that is NEVER used.
And it's actually making me feel ill. That we have all this stuff in our home: some of it wasn't even wanted (too may Christmas gifts for the kids from family and friends), most of it isn't even used; a lot of it was made goodness only knows where by who knows how young workers.
And I was starting to feel crazy that it's making me feel so anxious and guilty.
So, thank you for your post and I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one who gets stressed over what my family don't see as such a big deal.
Karen (Scotland)