Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Awakening from the Dream of Everyday Life, part 6

Have you ever looked at a credit card statement and found yourself wondering what you bought that came to that total? That's an awakening too.

Access to credit does that to some people. Something strikes your fancy and you just hand over your card and let them swipe it, but if you had to take the cash out of your pocket, you would have passed on it.

There is something going on, some kind of endorphin rush or something that makes us feel good to just buy things. For some people that rush obviously does not last beyond the actual time of purchase. The thrill wears off in some cases by the time they get home.

How would I know such a thing? Have you ever shopped at yard sales, garage sales, thrift shops? Ever see brand new garments there with the store tag still on them? I have known people who have clothes like that still in their closet, dresses that they bought a few years ago, but never wore.

I have also seen guys buy stuff on impulse that they never use. Not just clothing but books that have obviously never been read, tools that have never been used, sporting goods that have no wear at all.

How about home exercise equipment? People are zoned out from watching TV when the late night commercials come on telling you how you have be transformed into the fit and beautiful in just 30 days if you just get on this gizmo every day for a half hour or 15 minutes. But then the stuff just sits there collecting dust until one day it is also in the yard sale or a consignment store or listed on Craigslist or Freecycle.

That certainly is some kind of dynamic happening that makes a person spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a thing, and then they get bored with it after a few tries, and they never get transformed into fit and beautiful and now there is this hulking piece of machinery taking up space until one day they just want it gone.

When we are conscious about money, our shopping habits change and it affects everything about our relationship to money. For some people scarcity is created simply because they keep spending too much. How much more relaxed do you feel when you are comfortable with your cash flow and feel confident that you have made wise and useful purchases? Even when you splurge you appreciate it and are content with your purchase. If it is something you use and enjoy, contentment replaces regrets.

This refers to decorative things as well as functional things. For example, if a person buys a piece of art and they enjoy looking at it every day, they will have good feelings about the purchase, while the person who bought a home gym they never use will have bad feelings about their purchase.

The dream is sometimes that if we buy things that are heavily advertised or are popular that somehow our life will be happier.

Awakening is realizing that we are the source of our happiness.

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