This morning I purchased yet another white linen robe, and thought about my Rent the Runway unlimited subscription that is supposed to help me buy less things. There’s a growing narrative in the work I do that we don’t need more things and that minimalism is a step closer to godliness. Hell, even I think a calm environment echoes inner calmness and vice versa. Though I’m not championing the gross extremes of consumerism, there is something to be said about the things you have and the things you buy helping to create a more sound, genuine and authentic version of yourself that you feel better about.
Over the course of my adulthood, it became apparent to me, to feel more like myself and the life I wanted to create, all I had to do was to be more conscious and intention with my purchases. All and all, that is how the life I wanted was going to be shaped. It certainly does not happen overnight, nor does it remain consistent over time but this simple understanding helped me stand more in my truth than accepting that I had to continue to only have the things that no longer felt like me.
Often times, we lust after those lives on the internet or anywhere, even a friend’s home decor style, not realizing it’s less about amount of money we have and more about how we choose to allocate the resources we do have. For example, we have to get a coat, or we have to get a new sofe; with some planning, it’s possible to get the one that you actually see as the life you want. You can have that. You can be that person. We have the ability to self-determine and define for ourselves the types of people we want to be.
Though sometimes we need to hear that “you can be that.” It’s as if we need permission because perhaps we don’t believe we are worthy of being what we want and desire or what we believe to be “superior” to our current status. However, this shift has to occur inside first, even before you decide to make any purchases.
However, the power of things to help us feel better about ourselves cannot be denied. Watch any episode of Queer Eye (and cry along with me) but the power of a wardrobe shift, a few more grooming products, and the living environment make-over is enough to turn people’s entire view of themselves around. So as I’m confronted with the culture of “buy less things” (which I do whole heartedly believe in,) I don’t have shame in making sure the things I have support the life I want, and make me feel good about me. This goes for the type of beauty routine I want (clean or effective products, that smell and feel good, with packaging I can recycle,) the type of home I want (enough space for friends to come stay with me so I can be domestic and make them welcome kits with toothbrushes and clean towels,) to the type of woman I want to be at home (linen robes, dreamy dusters, silk pillowcases, and hands that are always soft.)
This can all start with the powerful I AM statements I talk about all the time, it’s even one of my few tattoos. Think to yourself or write, more powerful, out I AM ____ and not just about the current status but who you want to be. Here are some examples, because even in the land of affirmations and feelings, lives products that can support that. These can also change given the day, the year, the season.
+ I am a woman with a calm and welcoming home. (this is how I plan what I put in my home.)
+ I am a goddess who floats around her apartment in luxury fabrics. (this is how I allocate what robe and products I buy when it’s time.)
+ I am a powerful woman who has her shit together and is not intimidated by any space. (this is why I buy statement coats and make sure I have tailored trousers and put together business casual looks that fit my personality, not what some stale person told me I had to wear to be in those spaces. It’s also why I do Rent the Runway, so I can switch out these looks and try out looks I thought were “not for me” at one point, but they are for me, and they can be for you, too)
+ I hold space for my friends and take care of my family. (this is how I plan travel and gift giving.)
+ I’m a lady who smells amazing and has skin that my ex-lovers remember how soft it is. (this is where you get yourself some things that smell amazing and feel like YOU, and take the time to take care of your skin.)
These might sound ridiculous but they’re mine. Go create yours. They don’t have to make literal sense to anyone but you, so be as specific as you’d like. It’s a practice in self awareness and intuition. We know exactly who we are, we just have to unlearn who we were told we were and who we were told we could be. You can be that woman (or man,) you want to be. It just takes figuring out how to believe it, activate it, and own it.
Certainly shopping and the acquisition of “things” can become a method to not feel, to avoid uncomfortable feelings, and revel in poor coping mechanisms. However, I think when you’re conscious about who you are, and who you want to be, you avoid mindless buying and escapism into things. You instead make a plan, that can be minimal at that, and execute it was possible. Allowing yourself the space to feel joy over these things you wanted to feel the most like yourself.
It feels good to become the person you want to be, and to live in that truth. And when the “but I can’t’ because” start to crop up, take pause, get creative and be patient. I had to wait a long time to be able to do some of the things that mattered so much to me, but I believed in my core, who I was, and who I am. I also had to challenge myself when the person I knew I was was not lining up with how I was living. It’s a process, but one that can be supported by the things you choose to have. Let your consuming be conscious, and see what opens up.