Today’s post is a free preview of a lesson in my upcoming Love What You Have course, a 3-week email course dedicated to loving what you’ve got instead of always focusing on what you don’t. I chose this lesson in particular to arm you for the onslaught of Black Friday/Cyber Monday advertisements that are, I’m sure, already hitting your inbox.
I believe with all my heart in the power of loving what’s around you—because just as there will always be imperfection and things you don’t have, there will always be pieces of your life and your surroundings that are perfect, abundant, and just what you need at any given moment.
I also acknowledge that in this crazy, consumer-driven world we live in—and especially during the holiday season—it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees: to become so caught up in fast-paced living and sale prices and infinite options for things we could attain, that we glance past what we’ve got right in front of us. See the bottom of the post for details on the course and how to sign up!
I’m going to tell you a story about a woman. She’d read the Sunday paper every week with her family, and she’d always ask for the Target ad first. She’d flip through the pages and think, “What do I need from Target this week? Cubicle shelves are on sale, and so is that DVD I want, and ooh, that SWEATER!” She never failed to find something she “needed”, even if she hadn’t known she needed it until right that minute. Then she’d hop in her car and go buy these new necessities—no sense missing the limited-time sale, after all!—plus a few extra lovely things that caught her eye when browsing through the aisles, of course.
Spoiler alert: the woman was ME, just a few short years ago. This expensive addiction to the weekly flyers in the paper lasted until I had a lightbulb moment. Well, until I made a list, actually. A list of Things I Don’t Need.
I was browsing through the ads one day, and found myself tempted by some fluffy towels in a lovely shade of turquoise. Then I stopped to count how many towels I had at home. Six matching ones in the downstairs bathroom, plus the combined pile Jon and I had before we moved in together, plus the four we got as wedding gifts. As I ran out of fingers and toes for counting, I realized: Huh. We’re set on towels…at least for a decade. Maybe two. I don’t need to look at towels in the ads anymore.
Once I had this simple (yet profound) realization, I started to assess what I had all over my home. And I realized, much to my surprise, that when it came to most everything in my house, I had what I needed, and couldn’t think of anything else I needed to buy…until cracking that weekly insert excited my imagination and toyed with my sense of want versus need.
I slowly created a mental catalog of what I had, as an antidote to thinking that I “needed” everything that was being sold. I have enough towels. Shampoo. Tablecloths.
So I started asking for the comics first, instead of the ads. It quite shocked me to learn how much less I bought, once the source of temptation was removed. Moreover, I realized until that aha moment, my “auto-pilot” behavior had been to look at the ads, see something I liked, and immediately find a way to fit it into my home/wardrobe/life—rather than coming from a place of knowing what I had, and asking what else I needed first, before cracking open the ad or visiting the website.
Today, you’re going to apply this exercise to your own shopping habits. Make a point to ask yourself, how much do I need? Is it reasonable based on my lifestyle to have two cake stands? (Alas, for me, it is not. Although I hope someday it will be.) When you know your perimeters ahead of time, it’s much easier to say no when you’re out shopping and surrounded by temptation.
The beauty of doing this is you’re methodically eliminating decisions from your life. It’s a critical step in accepting what you have, to know what you have in the first place so you can stop the constant hunting for more. You no longer need to ask: Do I need towels? Do I need shampoo? When you already know the answer is no, you can move on to more important questions.
Such as: what kind of cake should I make, to place on my beautiful cake stand?
Take 10-15 minutes to assess what you’ve already got in the category you tend to shop for most often (such as clothes, shoes or, like me, home decor items). Decide where you have enough, and what actual holes there are in your collection. Eliminate temptation by unsubscribing from the store newsletter, not visiting the website or not cracking open the sales flier unless you’re looking for something specific.
You can see how a paradigm shift like this could potentially revolutionize your Black Friday. If you like the idea of that, you’ll love Rosy Blu’s new course.
The next session of Love What You Have starts Dec. 5 + registration is now open!
Here’s how it works: Sign up here for the course, and you will receive one email each weekday for 3 weeks (weekends are for catchup and relaxing, because who needs lessons on the weekends?). Each email will contain a different way to love what you have. You’ll receive ideas to shift your perspective, as well as actionable tips to find joy and satisfaction in what you already have. Each day’s content takes just minutes to digest, and at the end of the course, you’ll have your own mini library, which you can return to again and again, when you are feeling overwhelmed by choices or dissatisfied with where you are and what you have. Grasping this hold on what you have provides comfort in the present and an abundant place from which to grow.