“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” -Marie Kondo, “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up”
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.” -Anne Dillard, “The Writing Life”
The very first post I wrote was stating a formula for artistic happiness. Here it is again:
Meaningful Work + Meaningful Community = Artistic Happiness.
In the two years since, much of the blog’s been devoted to helping and inspiring you to find and manifest your passion project.
Today, I want to add a little wrinkle to the equation. Something we need to practice so that we can pursue the formula in the first place.
And that is, meaningful consumption.
What is it?
I define meaningful consumption as the ongoing process of examining how we spend our days, and ultimately (as Anne Dillard brilliantly states above), our lives. Bringing awareness to all our consumption patters. Our time, our money, our energy, the foods we eat, the things we watch, listen to and read, etc…Everything gets scrutinized to see if these patterns are bringing us joy or chaos. And when/where appropriate, we make a change.
Why engage in meaningful consumption?
Well for starters, it makes us feel good. Knowing we’re not wasteful gives us peace of mind. It’s just good practice overall.
Second, our planet and future generations are depending on us to be efficient. Right now.
And finally let’s face it, manifesting our passion projects takes a whole lot of time and energy (and often, money). We need to be ruthlessly efficient in our lives so that we can pursue these projects and do them with excellence and generosity.
Meaningful consumption is the necessary oxygen and lift off to make these projects a reality. To pursue the formula. To find artistic happiness.