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December 7, 2011

Why less is more – remembering what’s important at Christmas.

Fiona writes: After an expensive shopping trip today I had a flash-back to early last December.

I had to queue up for a parking space, and the streets were seething with people in a frenzy of consumerism.

There were hundreds of them wandering about with twelve different plastic bags each, bulging (I imagine) with novelty boxer shorts and chocolate Santas and fancily packaged letter openers and millions of other things that we don’t really need.

It’s not that I’m anti presents – any tradition that encourages us to appreciate the people we love has got to be a good thing.

But I do wonder if anyone is any happier now that we buy more? Do the 105 extra minutes we get on the limited edition DVD really add anything to the film?  Have we forgotten how to do anything without getting out our wallets?

Things you might be curious about
Where could less be more in your life? How does having more make you feel? More secure? Less unhappy? More successful? Do these feelings last? What might happen if you got in touch with what’s underneath instead?

Suggestions for this week
Choose one area of your life where less will be more. Take some action. Suggestions are: not buying a new book but re-reading one you already love, cutting down on the time you spend with acquaintances and spending more time with your close friends and family instead, reducing your working hours and expenditure and enjoying your extra free time.

“Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
~Henry David Thoreau

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This is an example ‘musing’ from my book, ‘A Year of Questions: How to slow down and fall in love with life’. To join a group of people working through this book during 2012 (with extras) find out more here. You can sign up for one month at a time ($10/£6) or the whole year.

Photo from soapylovedebs, with permission from Creative Commons and thanks.

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