About this episode

Stuff, things, objects, physical belongings. We need them to live our lives, but they can feel like SUCH a burden! Martha and Ro examine our collective desire to accumulate stuff, which conflicts with our instinct to feel wild, unfettered, and free. Our hosts explain how nonstop shopping is a cultural trap and offer some simple tips to escape it. Many of us feel a bewildering need to buy, have, and keep, but when we reconnect with our beWILDered selves, we remember the beauty of the open space.

Show Notes

None of us can live a 100% stuff-free life, like the Buddhist on the mountain … but how much stuff is enough? And how much is too much? In a culture that urges us to get, buy, and keep as much stuff as humanly possible, Martha and Ro point out that it can be hard to tell the difference between “decor” and “clutter.”

If you’re feeling bewildered by your compulsion to keep acquiring stuff when your current stuff-levels are already high, you are not alone. Martha explains that over the centuries, humans have been tricked into believing that our possessions define us. And in modern times, mechanisms like the Gruen Transfer muddle our senses and convince us that nonstop shopping is utterly normal. Our quest for material wealth has been reinforced by cultural norms, and our obsession with accumulating surplus shows no signs of slowing.

But stuff itself isn’t inherently bad! (Aren’t you relieved to hear THAT?) Martha muses on the idea that people’s stuff mirrors their inner lives, pointing out that virtually everything we create is a form of self-portrait. Ro talks about curating the objects in her office as an expression of self and points out that arranging it has been deeply fulfilling.

But both hosts agree that a beWILDered soul will naturally seek a state of calm and order and peace and emptiness. To that end, Martha shares a daily practice to help us experience spaciousness and learn to focus our energies on it. Learn how to bring serenity into your space without having to buy an essential-oil diffuser and new floor cushions and long, flowy drapes and … a whole bunch of unnecessary STUFF.

Questions? Comments? Trying to figure something out? Email us! podcast@marthabeck.com