Episode 111: How attached are you to your things?


Our things mean something to us. We might philosophise about consumerism or minimalism, but when we start talking about our own special things — our favourite t-shirt, our books, our jewellery, our pictures — it becomes personal and we realise just how much of our memory and identity we invest in our ‘stuff’.

In a post entitled ‘Simplicity as Spiritual Practice’ for the blog Zen Habits, Leo Babauta writes that when we place power in objets (the power, for example, of giving us our identity), we lose personal power. Yet blanket statements such as these feel true on the one hand, and on the other are far too general to give us insight into our own attachment to different physical objects we hold dear.

This week we discuss the question — How attached are we to our things?

What do we feel towards the ‘things’ we get convinced to buy by consumerism – the physical results of retail therapy and impulse buying? How does that differ from the things that hold emotional resonance in our lives – those things that are valuable to us because of memory, sentiment, etc.

When we dig deeper, what do our things actually give us? Do we value them because they give us a sense of security, approval, comfort, identity, self-worth, hope or aspiration?

These are just some of the questions we explore in this episode.  Hope it sheds some light on the ways we relate to our stuff.  If you want more, there’s a great documentary on Minimalism, and Clay has set a challenge to get rid of 10 things…share what you got rid of on the Facebook Group here.