Friday, June 27, 2008

Loving What We Love

Part of my Not Buying It experience has been processing the emotions that come along with my urge to shop, consume, purchase, acquire. What I've discovered is that most of what I buy, other than the necessities of course, serves to meet some deeply personal need for fulfillment and wholeness.

As I've played the witness to this over the past six months, I've run the spectrum of being amazed and disgusted with myself. I've been sad, disappointed, disheartened, frustrated, lonely, amused, overjoyed, and proud. Baby steps are indeed what's needed in examining such an ingrained part of ourselves. No radical change happens without being thoroughly processed.

What I've arrived at lately, as my life has become more full and happy, is that a sense of lightheartedness and intrigue now consumes my hours and days. Therefore, the need to shop and buy as a way to pass the time, fill the boredom, and assuage my sadness and fears has greatly diminished. In fact, it is currently non-existent.

The summer solstice seems to have brought about a shift of great magnitude within me. My energy level has increased. I wake up early to watch the sunrise. I marvel at the moon and stars as I come home at night. I follow the flight paths of the butterflies as they dart through my garden. I sing at the top of my lungs in my car. Smiling, I hum my way lightly through my days.

I believe I am learning to love what I love. Truly love it. Completely love it. Taking the time and attention needed to allow myself to love and be loved. It has been an unbelievable transformation, the Source of which I am eternally grateful and awesomely humbled.

So, what could be a better way to celebrate this milestone than photos from my very first harvest of radishes (!) and a poem by Mary Oliver - two things that I love very much :-)


Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


First, please accept my sincere apologies for the sparsity of posts lately. There have been all manner of ideas running through my head for this forum, but sorting them out, mulling them over in my brain and then actually getting them onto the keyboard - along with my annoying sense of perfectionism and procrastination (!) seem to get in the way of posting. Does that ever happen to you?

At times, also, my inner gremlin still - despite my best attempts to shoosh him - has a tendency to demean the perceived value of what I want to write and share with others. That, my friends, is a constant battle I face. And I've done enough self-help reading to know I'm not alone, as there seems to be no shortage of gremlins striving to squelch our creativity and sense of self worth.

So, in a triumphant manner today, I am up early to watch the sunrise, listen to the birds sing their way into this summer morning, and share my thoughts with you:

As you can see, our garden is coming along quite nicely. Each day brings a new sight as I look out my kitchen window at this miraculous creation. Butterflies, seemingly overnight growth of certain plants, funky mushrooms and fungus growing in the topsoil, some plants growing rapidly and others withering for whatever reason - all of these are a blessing to me these days. (Okay, well not so much the fungus. While I marvel at it, it really kind of grosses me out!)

I continue to be amazed at the incredible simplicity - and yet complexity - of the fact that you can place a seed in the ground, give it water, some nourishment and sunlight - and voila - get food! I am *loving* this sense of being connected to the earth and its bounty.

Similar growth is happening inside me as well. My inner awakening continues as I work to become more and more conscious of my choices, attitudes, and actions. While my spending hasn't completely taken the path I had hoped it would when I started this project back in January, I am still farther down the road to consumer enlightenment than I would have been otherwise. And, for that I am grateful.

As with my garden, I continue to cultivate the daily necessities of a life lived more authentically, effortlessly, and abundantly. Like the weeds I pull from the soil, I take the time and presence to pull out those things that no longer serve me. Fear, depression, worry, judgment, anxiety, materialism, old behavior & belief patterns, dogma, ineffective coping methods - are all being yanked out and replaced by trust, health, peace, non-attachment, joy, acceptance, and an overall sense of (and commitment to) embracing the goodness and wonder that life has to offer.

For the first time in the eight years we've lived in this house, we are connected to many our neighbors by the common denominator of growing food. Within a half block radius, the spectrum of gardening is wide. It's exciting to see the growth that is taking place - both in our gardens and our lives. The sense of community is expanding as we share in each other's victories and commiserate in keeping pests away, nurturing the runts of our harvests, and planning a neighborhood feast for late summer.

The majority of the salad you see here is organic and local, with the lettuce and radishes coming from just around the corner. (Thanks, Michelle and Jim, Krista and Michael) Each bite was worth savoring, as the magnitude of what we were consuming (ah-ha, a much more fulfilling kind of consumption!) made its way into our bodies, minds, and spirits.

In closing, I *must* recommend that you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is a profound work of importance for our world today. (In fact, I will have to suspend my oath of not buying books this year in order to have this in my personal collection. I've checked it out three times from the library already!)

I'd love to hear what growth is taking place in your inner or outer garden these days.

Thank you for joining with me to be the change we wish to see.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Go Dennis!

I typically don't wax political. Especially in the blog forum.

However, this deserves attention.

As mentioned before, part of my year of Not Buying It includes rhetoric and status quo busting as well as my personal economic overhaul.

Get thee to a TV right now and listen to Denis Kucinich read the 35 (yes, 35!) articles of impeachment against GWB. I am so grateful to have this fellow Ohioan stand in the halls of our government and express what so many of us feel and yet haven't been able to translate into action. Rock on Dennis!!!

Go here and/or here to sign a petition for the impeachment.

We MUST be the change we wish to see.
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