A few weeks ago I wrote this about resetting my mind from materialism and the constant onslaught of American marketing. Marketing in America is like trying to walk through a hallway of funhouse mirrors. You can quickly become disoriented and you intentionally have to want to leave in order to get out.
If you’d like to join me on this journey, here are some of the steps I’ve taken so far with the saint. See if some of these would help you, too. Remember to give yourself grace and to not compare yourself to others. We’re all on our different journeys.
- We completely cleaned out and reorganized our refrigerator, our cupboards and our pantry. Anything that was expired got thrown out; anything that we could recycle (eg, cardboard boxes) we did. This is starting over with a clean slate.
- Any food we found we didn’t use or liked, we’re going to stop buying. This will save money and create less waste.
- We are only buying what we need and will use at the grocery store. One bag of rice at a time; one bag of potatoes at a time. Otherwise we find ourselves wasting food. If there are amazing sales or if a bad storm is headed our way, we may stock up a little bit more.
- We deep cleaned most areas of the house and focused on both appreciating and taking care of what we already have. It sounds simple, but it made a big difference and shifted my mind back into place again.
- I’m cooking at home more. Expect some more recipes to be coming your way. 👩🍳 We still ate out a little, but much less.
- The Saint made a master list of all the projects that need to be done around the house. We committed on working on them together, one project at a time. Communication with your partner is key. ☺️
- I began to read the Bible more. I have a daily Bible I picked up for free at a garage sale years ago. This is to get my heart set on the right direction, at the right frequency again. I don’t guilt trip myself into reading it, or get discouraged if I don’t understand it all. I read it because I want to and I know God will use it in my life.
- I found myself listening more to classical music, sermons and my audio books (currently listening to Jane Eyre) than other stations during the commute. I found myself getting too caught up in the news and current events, some of which won’t matter in five or ten years. After awhile, listening to the news can deaden you.
- I’m learning to become more disciplined. This is not a dirty word and helps you to become more efficient and frees you from unnecessary pressures.
- I’m learning to give myself more grace. Only God can be perfect; the best I can do are the things I do with Him.
- I’m exercising more. Dancing is probably my favorite, I’ve realized. Walking and bicycling are others.
- I’ve learned to say no to the voices in my head, planted there by marketing and society. No, I don’t need that shirt. No, I don’t need that cream to avoid wrinkles. No, I don’t need to live up to that standard. No, I don’t need whatever you’re trying to sell me.
- I’m starting to write more. I was being really slow at writing. Once my mind and environment are cleaner and quieter, I find I can dive into my novel better and write more smoothly.
What do you think, Arcians? When’s the last time you said no to yourself for a couple of weeks straight? It’s a strange experiment in the eyes of the world, but a good one in the eyes of God, I think. We’ll continue this through the end of July and reassess when we get to August.
Give yourself grace. The Saint and I are still allowing ourselves to have fun and go out to eat on our designated date night, or when we had a guest stay over. And we’re still buying things, but only what we need or if there’s a good sale. Presents for ourselves are being thought about more closely and we’re delaying any big purchases. We’re not buying in excess anymore.
In the meantime, need a good free book to read? My book Memory Bound is free to all Kindle Unlimited users. Or ask your local library to order a copy for you. Cheers and happy writing. ✍️