Do you think I’ll be able to find a khaki jacket second hand? Watch this space to find out!
This is a photo of a postcard advertising a vintage themed event. I found it in the the first second hand shop I visited today. It’s a licensed vintage market featuring music and design.
Seligman, M., 2011 ‘Flourish’ Free Press a division of Simon & Schuster Inc, New York City United States of America.
Tolle. E., 2005 ‘A New Earth Create a Better Life’ Penguin Books, Maryborough Victoria Australia.
In my introduction to this blog titled “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication” taken from the quote by da Vinci, I suggested that readings had led me to believe that happiness can come from exercising gratitude.
As part of this challenge I am reminded to give grace for the multitude of gifts I have everyday. Further consideration of the thoughts of Eckhart Tolle has provoked me to question some of the dispositions I bring to this challenge. Firstly I have begun this challenge expecting to get something from it. In blatant terms I want this action to make me happy. I am only too early into this and am realising that I am approaching this with the wrong mind set. Tolle would suggest that “Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you.” Tolle goes on to describe the danger in expecting an activity to give joy as this misperception can lead to frustration as we live our lives waiting for the world to give us joy. I aim to work against the idea that the world me owes me something, hence carrying out this very challenge of sacrificing the satisfaction that comes with a dose of consumerism. Even so, I am catching myself wanting to get ‘something’ out of this be it abstract or physical. Tolle would suggest my actions are derived from the ego and therefore the opportunity to gain a deeper awareness of the present and an outpouring of joy from within me out to the world are lost. For this reason I will focus on trying to fulfil this goal with joyful participation and a heightened awareness of the present.
Today I payed attention to the present. I practiced gratitude when I passed a police officer who didn’t pull me over after giving me a knowing look regarding my speed and when a parking space opened up before me. I experienced joy alive while sharing coffee with my friends and talking. I became aware. Interestingly as I expanded my consciousness it seemed little ‘signs’ were affirming this journey. One such example was hearing the same song that inspired this very project playing in a department store as i resisted the call to splurge and the words “I can’t give you all that I need, but I can give you all that I feel” (House) rang true within that present moment.
Lately I have been reading an array of sources on positive psychology from the likes of Martin Seligman and Eckhart Tolle. These theorists suggest that exercising gratitude is the key to happiness and perhaps even promises to help unlock the key to the mystery of life and its purpose. This has led me to consider what it is that i have gratitude for in my life.
I have much to be grateful for and I began to ponder on why it is that I get to be so lucky to live in Australia without fear of prejudice, hunger, abandonment, displacement, poverty and abuse. Here I am born into this rich and beautiful place with a family that loves me and treats me well.
However the seemingly mere act of exercising gratitude has created a stirring in my heart that is so alive and active I have had no choice but to investigate ways that I can responsibly give back to my community using my skills and talents.
My small but hopefully worthwhile contribution will take the shape in a challenge I have set for myself. I aim to be less influenced by the consumerist pulls that have soothed me on many a day where gratitude and civic action may have served me better. In simple terms I’m saying goodbye to my shopping indulgences for exclusive and elitist items.
For 6 months I will only purchase clothes from charity op shops. I will document savings and donate them to my chosen charity ‘Saint Vincent de Paul Society’. I understand the best form of charity is anonymous but I hope to gain interest in my challenge and subsequently more funds. I will purchase accessories, hand bags, shoes and all clothing items second hand. In a bid to inspire action in others I aim to do this with style and in keeping with current trends. Therefore I will regularly post images and updates.
In the wise words of the great Leonardo da Vinci ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ may I serve to prove these words as all too true. Wish me luck.