Technically speaking this being June it is summer, but as the weather does not really correspond with the calendar let's step back into spring.
What pops into your head when you hear SPRING? For me it's growing, new beginnings, spring cleaning and a spring in my steps. Spring is governed by the Earth and Water elements in Ayurveda, these elements are heavy and tangible. Basically the physical stuff. Perfect time to get rid off things, making way for the new.
When we had our first international move in 2013 from Budapest to Cologne, it almost broke my back. Literally. As a family of 5, having lived in the same house for 12 years, we have accumulated so much stuff. It was a shock to the system packing up. You would not have said that when you came to our house, it was usually nice and tidy. But as things were getting sorted for the move, lots given to charity, lots sold at a huge garage sale and still boxes and boxes and boxes were filled I realised that our stuff is taking all my energy. We went all the way up to 95 boxes. As I was unpacking on the other side, knackered, hurting everywhere in my body I wowed to change this. Our next move was with 60 boxes. Than about 40. Today I am a firm believer of going through the house at least once a year and make a massive clear out.
The logical step in avoiding having too much stuff is to control what is coming in. I found these 6 questions below really useful before making a purchase.
1. Who am I buying this for? - Do I wanna show off in front of friends/neighbors, anybody other than myself?
2. Is this going to add value to my life? - Will buying a new pair off high heel sandals add value to my life when you can't really wear sandals in England and they are too big to put in the luggage for travelling?
3. Can I afford it? - Sounds obvious, but really, do I actually have the money to pay for this purchase or is this going on the credit card?
4. Is this the most useful way to spend my money? - As in does this align with what I enjoy the most in life, our values as a family? We spend way too much on food. Would looking after our food bill mean that we can take a weekend away with the kids every now and then which adds real value to our lives?
5. What is the real cost of this purchase? - This is one is the game changer for me. If spending money that I do not have causes stress than was it really worth it? Or if it upsets somebody in my family and hurts them, was it really worth it? Or if I feel selfish and guilty afterwards, was it really worth it? What is the actual cost, other than monetary, of this purchase.
6. Would the best version of myself make this purchase? Now here we arrive to conscious living. One of the Yamas is Aparigraha - Non-attachment, or avoiding hoarding and greediness, you can read more about it in this blog post. The best version of myself actually aligns with the less is more philosophy.
Next time you are getting your wallet out, stop and run these 6 questions through your head, and let me know what you think.