When I was in school we were exploring our individual needs and how they influence our capacity to both give and receive in compassionate ways. The discussion turned from individual needs to a curiosity about a collective need that we all hold. We mutually agreed that universally we desire and need connection - deep, intimate, whole-hearted, self-affirming connection.
Yet, for many of us this is not a reality of our experience. Even our relationship with ourselves is not flavoured in this positive regard.
Consumerism and Connection
Why is this? There are many factors and recently I have been thinking about the social narrative around consumption and its impact on our connection to ourselves and our lives.
After World War II, retail analyst, Victor Lebeau, suggested a future where, “our enormously productive economy... demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption...we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate."
This goal has been realized; consumption has become our way of life. We consume things, others, and we ourselves are consumed. There is a lot of disconnection from the effects our consumption creates; the effects ripple out from our private lives into social issues and have continued onto the global scale. Now we are flooded with issues of abuse, oppression, and the degradation of life and the environment.
Connecting with Intention
It is a global issue and it can feel overwhelming. Yet, if we scale back and look at our own lives, at our own relationship with consumption we may find that responsibility for our own actions ripple out and connect us to the people and environment around us.
Take steps to reconnect to your own power and intentionally connect from a compassionate place to others and our environment. We are after all in this together.
When I need a reminder that I have power in shifting my perspective from consumption to connection, from the lacking mind to the abundance mind I watch this video of Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics.
- What is your story of self in relation to consumption? What drives you to shop? How do you feel before, during, and after?
- How does this keep you separated from your greatness?
- Has the social narrative of hyper-consumption infused itself into your life?
- Does it decrease your pleasure and connection to the larger picture of our global community?
- When do you feel the most connected to yourself, to others, and the environment?
- If you created a ritual based in fostering the experience of connection, what it would it look like?