#13 Aug 2013 – Does Your Stuff Own You?


Does your stuff own you?

Dump your Junk

Want to know a secret? It’s a lot easier to buy stuff than get rid of it. Believe me. I’ve done it. Many, many times. Wanna learn another secret? Here it comes: having more stuff brings you more misery than happiness. Does this sound weird? I’ve learned the hard way and here is my experience.

Over the past 10 years my partner and I (Garry), have been accumulating stuff quite happily together. He had his own special area of accumulation – furniture, deities – and I had my small little things, where one was just never enough.  Garry worked harder and harder; we kept on spending more and more.

We were on that treadmill: work hard – get money – buy stuff – work harder – buy more stuff. There is no end to it.

A few years ago, something changed and my home started feeling like a furniture shop and I found more peace in places that were empty and free of clutter. I felt strongly that all the stuff we had was now starting to strangle me; squeezing the life energy out of me. My energy felt blocked.

Then I met Lama Marut. His talk resonated strongly with my heart – it felt like living through the scene from ‘The Blues Brothers’; where Jake is having his big moment in the church seeing the light.  I did just what Jake did, jumped up and down and felt like dancing. This was the confirmation of what I had known already and now nothing was going to stop me!

We started reducing. Moving to France and then to Stockholm helped but we kept going. If not every day, but every week we would donate and/or throw away something. Initially it was painful, but now it gives us much more pleasure to see the volume of our things go down rather than increase.

Looking back we thought we owned our stuff, but actually it’s the opposite; the stuff definitely owned me!

This August we are moving to Bali. Starting afresh and arriving with suitcases only. This time, I assure you, I won’t be buying any more stuff.

Like Lama Marut so wisely says; ‘Fight the power!’, ‘Rebel against the big wheels of consumer capitalism’.

How right he was and still is. Thank You Lama Marut for giving me the ‘blue light’ Blues Brothers moment.

With love always,

(and the ACI Singapore team)


A Final Thought

“The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.”

Francis H. Bradley (British Philosopher)


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