Today is book review/reflection after reading the book Unstuff. My father handed it to me as part of my spiritual education, but it’s definitely something I’ve already been striving for. Unstuff is about uncluttering life, to improve life. This goes along with the Tao’s push for cutting the strings on material possessions and Thoreau’s principle of ‘Simplify, Simplify.’ I speak from personal experience on this subject. In March I was inspired to unclutter my life. I gave away 1/2 of my possessions (and at least 3/4 of my revered closet) and downsized from a 3 bedroom house to a storage shed (I was going for a cabin, but the shed was already there waiting for me). Within weeks I was settled in with less, eliminating more unnessaries as I moved. I tested myself, going shopping, trying on clothes but never actually buying any. Why do I need this? What purpose does this serve? Are more clothes going to make me feel better or change how I feel about myself. Something I did with food like more would make me feel better. So when I ate better (or less) I’d shop more. Lots of people (especially women) have this strong desire to shop. Our heads are full of MORE! MORE! MORE! I need new clothes for every new occasion, a bigger house, a new car. The problem with having all this stuff is we then have to spend a large amount of time taking care of it. We have to take time to clean and polish things. Some of these we don’t even use, we buy stuff with absolutely no function-I mean people have whole rooms in their houses that are off limits to children. In taking care of our stuff, we forget about people. The people we supposedly love take a backseat and it appears that we love our stuff more. In simplifying my own life I’ve had more time to spend with my family and friends. As I’ve said several times- in having less I’ve discovered how much I already had, but all the stuff was cluttering my views and thoughts. Like they say in the book ‘It’s not those of us who have nothing but those of us who wish for more who are poor.’ Our persistent yearning for more may have bloated some bank accounts, but too much food has bloated our bodies and put a haze over our true happiness and purpose. You don’t have to be extreme like me. Start by uncluttering your closet maybe. Unstuff your life and discover what matters. I think that the book has a lot to offer and goes through what I’ve talked about (since these reflections arose from reading it). I must note I wasn’t a fan on the constant push of Christianity, yet it’s a quick read with some really good points. Here are some of the other quotes I took some of the other quotes I took away:
- Stress is the result of a life that hasn’t focused itself on things within
- The more we do the more it demands from us. And the more stuff we own the more time and effort it requires of us
- The continual monitoring, cleaning, protecting, storing, straightening, and upgrading of stuff leads to all kinds of stress-induced emotional ills.
- luxury isn’t a sin, our notion that luxury is a requirement for happiness is. There is no requirement for happiness other than the will to be happy.
- When troubles come our way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
- There will never be enough time to concentrate on God when we are consumed with busyness.