Tag Archives: lifestyle

A Very Big Lie | Materialism

I first thought to call this post “The Big Lie” rather than “A Very Big Lie”, but then realized “THE” might suggest the biggest lie ever. It’s maybe not the biggest one in our society, but it certainly is A Very Big Lie. What, you might ask, is it?

That our stuff will make us happy.

And if we buy into that lie, then by extrapolation, new (bigger, better) things will make us even happier. Hence we have the mania called Black Friday. It’s the day (weekend, week, will it soon be a month?) when people choose to hugely buy into their egos, unleash their obsession with stuff, and are even willing to go into debt and stampede their neighbor to save a buck.

Have you ever asked yourself why it is called BLACK Friday? The original reason apparently is that it’s the first day in the calendar year when retail stores go into the black – as in, out of the red and making a profit.

The ravenous black monster

I would argue that it’s aptly called black because it reveals the shadow, the dark side, the void that lives within “the collective us.” Because here’s the truth. If we truly felt we were enough without our stuff, there would not be a marketing genius powerful enough to make us behave this way.

To cut ourselves some slack in this, the bankers and corporations have devised this snare to produce more consumers – of things and debt. They make money on us, and a lot of it. We are products of societal programming. And it’s insidious, you know. It sneaks up on us, and even when we (as individuals) think we have it beat, it can still come ’round again to bite us. I have observed this in myself; it’s a hard habit to beat.

On top of all that, not only are we drowning in too much useless stuff, our Earth is now drowning in it too. Because another truth is, we tire of our stuff pretty quickly. The reason? Because that void is a ravenous monster, and there simply is not enough stuff to fill it.

Filling the void is not the answer. We need to vanquish and heal it.

We don’t just hurt ourselves – We hurt the Earth too!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. What could be more more of a vivid truth than the piles of garbage on our oceans, and on our beaches?  Stuff we got tired with and threw away so we could go out and buy “a new one”. It’s tangible proof not only of our collective void, but our disrespect for the Earth as well.

There’s still time to turn this around. But to do that, I believe we need a complete re-evaluation, not just of the value systems of our society, but if we are honest, also of ourselves.

If you are worried about our Earth and environment (I am), and your personal power to effect change, here is a positive Black Friday takeaway that I found posted on Facebook this weekend:

“Less is more. The greenest thing you can do is consume less.”

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Photos courtesy Lucien Wanda and Bruce Mars, Pexels

A Very Big Lie | Materialism © Susan L Hart 2019, 2020

Friendly comments welcome. I post them as quickly as possible. Thank you for reading!

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Harvest | of Love

It is harvest time in the Northern Hemisphere, and celebrations of gratitude are occurring in some cultures. It gives me pause to think, are we cognizant often enough of the seeds we are planting with our words? For indeed, we harvest what we sow.

Words are seeds and they have power. The moment they leave our mouths, we have planted a thought or feeling in someone else. When words are rooted in negativity such as anger, jealousy, spite, or a need for control, they create huge destruction.

Sometimes the destruction is intentional, which creates its own karma back to the person who initiated it. Other times the hurt and destruction are unintentional. We are sometimes simply careless and do not think before we speak.

Particularly with the current turmoil in the world, it’s behooves us to intentionally plant more positive, expansive seeds. Words of love. Words of gratitude. Words that initiate cooperation. Words rooted in grace.

At the end of the day, the world will be the garden that we plant. What will it look like? Will it be a world ravaged by fear, war, greed, jealousy, hate? Or, will it be a world that flourishes in a state of grace? It is up to us to decide.

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Photo courtesy Елена Кузичкина, Pexels

Harvest | of Love © Susan L Hart 2020

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Farewell, Friend | Our friend passed away. Now there's a vast boundless void where his smile once was. | HartHaiky.com

Farewell, Friend | Live Fully

I wrote this haiku to honor my friend Robert, who in his younger years successfully climbed to the summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador. (On a whim, with one friend and a guide!) His free spirit, adventurous side was an inspiration to those around him. He loved to travel and experience new places and cultures.

When is the last time you took a risk? That is, to find and/or express an important part of you that is as yet unfulfilled? Society tends to encourage us to “play it safe” at almost any cost. But that safe zone causes us to feel bored, at which point the marketer says, “This new toy will make you feel better”. And the banker says, “You can have that right now! Pay me later”. We’ve been lied to. It’s a deep, insidious trap. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with owning and enjoying nice things. That is, as long as they are not the source of our feelings of self-worth. And, if we’re not going into debt to salve our void.

How often do any of us deeply smile? You know, the kind of smile that comes from a place of “the true essence of me, and why I came here, feels fulfilled”. I look at myself and think not as much as I’d like. But, I’m working on it. Because my smile and your smile, and that pure joy we’ve been waiting too long to claim, will go a long way towards healing this troubled world.

My other post today: Your Contribution

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Photo courtesy Pixabay, Pexels

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Farewell, Friend | Live Fully © Susan L Hart 2019, 2020

Feel the Flow | Learn from the water; time and tenacity smooth the roughest pebbles. | HartHaiku.com

Feel the Flow | of Life

Are you feeling in flow today, or are you head banging? Part of flow is knowing when to stop resisting when things aren’t going quite the way you thought they “should”. You can choose to find another way, or, keep causing yourself grief.

Many of us have a need to control and direct the universe. We have free will and intention, but, sometimes the universe has a different plan for us than we expected. That’s when adaptation and truly understanding flow comes into play.

Flow like the water.

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Inspirational Quotes:

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” ~ Margaret Atwood

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ~ Lao Tzu

“I am rooted, but I flow.” ~ Virginia Woolf

“Taoists do not look upon meditation as ‘practice,’ except in the sense that a doctor ‘practices’ medicine. They have no design to subjugate or alter the universe by force or willpower, for their art is entirely to go along with the flow of things in an intelligent way.”  ~ Alan W. Watts

“A moving door hinge never corrodes. Flowing water never grows stagnant.” ~ Ming-Dao Deng

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Just Let Go | And flow © Susan L Hart 2019, 2020