Jan 14, 2007

yes, a new high

Thanks for the rockin' comments on the last post. I couldn't agree more that what we non-shoppers need is a new high to replace that euphoric feeling one gets from buying crap. For me, it tends to be cycling. That's definitely what got me through the urge to blow cash yesterday. I was riding my bike home, and that always clears my head.
The fact that I volunteer in habitat restoration and work as a dog walker gets me into the park system where I can enjoy that which I work to preserve. That's a really great feedback into my commitments.
But the emphasis doesn't have to be on the high, it could be on the new. Maybe that's where my frustration's coming from right now. I have all of these wonderful aspects of my life (cycling, dogs, parks, Arabic, etc) but I've been working at them for a while. I can remember times when a new component to my bike reinforced my enthusiasm for riding or a new idea for training made me excited to walk my dogs.
I guess I still don't fully understand how to update my life purely of my own ingenuity. Ya know, w/o stuff as the impetus. I have a couple of ideas though. I'll try riding to new places. I'm looking for a conversation partner to advance my Arabic skills. I'm working on an Earth Day project that's relevant to dogs and parks with some environmental orgs in SF.
Hopefully these things will be a more than adequate substitute for shopping as I'm kinda struggling through month 13 of the compact.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I couldn't agree more that what we non-shoppers need is a new high to replace that euphoric feeling one gets from buying crap."
What I do is give away money. I used to give away ones and fives to homeless people. Now I think, I'm not going to eat out. I'm not going into a store. And I take the tens and twenties I feel I might end up spending, and hand it over to a much better cause. Then I feel all good about myself. My motivation is sucky, but at least I'm helping someone, and after that, no longer feel I can shop anywhere!
Terrie

Anonymous said...

Hey,I am a new comer who is from China.I got to know "Compact" last week in newspaper of "21st century".
No shopping for a long time,it's new to me.Also,I wonder how you keep on doing it.
Anyway,I like this idea.

Supriyo said...

Rachel,
The word 'frustrations' in your post really make me think deeply about the experiments we are doing by facing the pains of rejecting the 'euphoric feeling one gets from buying'.

Allow me to suggest you something. The exercise (mental) we are doing by not buying compulsively is putting some pressure on us to make us prepare for something healthy and beneficial for us. I doubt how long we can carry on this pressure. But i strongly believe that during this period we can develop what i call is a SIMPLE MIND which is free from the ideas,suggestions bombarded on us by the leaders of the consumerism. Then only we can carry on our struggle very naturally without feeling any kind of pressure on us.

A simple mind faces every situation as it is, without labeling it as good or bad.Let's face every impulse we encounter as it is and this will make us bold and strong permanently. ( Excuse me for being too long but i can not accept any pain in the heart of a friend.)

Be Happy.

Chris Rich said...

To me, the key to moving away from bloat life is cultivating a keen indifference to stuff to favor people and the living world.

The relentless corporate drum beat amplified by unprecedented persuasion apparatus has made us a nation of solipsistic,socially unfulfilled object fetishists.

Our capacity to cherish the teeming world of engaged, charming colleagues, friends and peers gets stunted by the manipulation toxins imposed on us.

I have always seen shopping as a necessary ordeal to solve some transient problem with minimal fuss so I can return to conversation and contemplation, exchange and sharing.

I've rarely found any euphoria in it particularly when compared with the euphoria of spotting a wary Great Blue Heron or 5 eagles soaring overhead.

Then it also pales alongside the ancient practice of sharing our stories and the euphoria of epiphany when some new horizon of understanding beckons.

So allow me to suggest and encourage a break away from this pernicious manipulation that cheats you of our species deepest birthrights and serves up withered booby prizes that slip from your fingers like so much tinsel when you die.

Anonymous said...

As I try to move away from shopping, as an activity, as a "need-filler", as a source of a "solution", I think of Dr. Phil (yes, a weakness of mine) who has always counselled that to truly rid oneself of any habit, there must be an activity to fill its place. Whether it is losing weight, stopping bar hopping, or any other kind of destructive behavior (or behavior one wants to change), I think it is true that one needs an alternative activity. Insights are great and motivations are great, all the "whys" are important. But to actually stop the activity does take a new activity.
Rebecca talks about cycling. Which is perfect. You cannot shop and cycle simultaneously! Cycling takes you places too, places that remind you of all your motivations to not consume in the first place!

Marishka said...

I've just found out about your initiative and think it's totally awesome! Good luck in all of your future endeavours.

I think we become compulsive shoppers when we stop being in touch with ourselves, when we are missing something important in our lives and when we want to fill the growing hole inside us with superficious stuff we buy to placate ourselves. We lose our integrity and turn to shopping...

I used to be this way myself. There were weeks when I would go shopping (and actually buying stuff) EVERY DAY - during my lunch hour or after work. Isn't that scary? It even got to the point when shopping/buying would not give me any pleasure anymore. I know exactly WHY I was doing it, though. I was stuck in a "dead" marriage (no common interests, values or plans for future, no real closeness or understanding), I had a stressful job in a large corporation, and I had toxic bond with my parents. And I hated myself... Once I changed my life 180 degrees, the compulsive need to shop till I drop was gone... naturally! I got divorced and moved to Europe to get married to the most amazing man, with whom I have everything in common. I no longer have a stressful corporate job but work as a freelancer when I feel like it. I cut my ties with my parents and feel no regrets. The changes were amazing! I simply don't feel like shopping anymore. I've been living in Europe for 1,5 years now and I still have plenty of my US clothes and simply don't see the need to buy more. The only item of clothing I bought here was my wedding dress which cost me only $100 (it wasn't a typical "wedding" dress, more of an evening gown in deep burgundy, NOT purchased in a typical wedding gown store) instead of $1000+.

I'm really happy of my lifestyle and all the changes that lead to it. I no longer have a hole inside that I need to fill with shopping. I fill it with love for myself and my husband. And it works! I feel complete.

Anonymous said...

Marishka - As I read your post something struck me. I lived in Reno for several years about 10 years ago.
People that I worked with would go gambling on their lunch breaks, after work, while buying groceries, socially, etc. I worked at a preschool for a couple of years and one of the gals would take her lunch hour to go to the closest gas station to play video poker or slots. Sometimes she came back with a bag of quarters but most of the time nothing. It's the same feeling isn't it? That same high. Interesting. I hadn't really put it together until I read your post about shopping.