I am not my stuff

i am not my stuff - lhsi am not my stuff - rhs

Some days I feel like I am drowning in stuff.

I do not consider myself materialistic. I don’t own a huge house, or a fast car. I don’t wear designer clothes or fragrance. I don’t own an iPad. Or a Blackberry. I don’t eat out in fancy restaurants or jet off on foreign holidays. But I still feel overwhelmed sometimes by too much stuff. And since reading this rather wonderful article on Tricycle (you do have to be a subscriber to read it, but it is by Andrew Mellen, author of Unstuff Your Life so I think you would be able to find similar articles elsewhere) I have been on a mission to unstuff my life! I created the art journal page as a reminder 🙂


I have so far managed to reduce my book collection by at least a third. And this weekend Gman and I had a stall at a car boot sale and sold loads more. I am gradually clearing space in my house. And in my head. For me, Andrew Mellen sums it up thus: “The goal is finally having time for all of the things that you say are important to you but never seem to have enough time for since you’re so disorganised”.

As I said from the beginning, I am on a mission to simplify my life, until at last I can sit serenely like the Buddha:

beginning with B - V

This Buddha was the sketch I did for this week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment – “something beginning with B”. And I know Buddha isn’t usually depicted in flowery robes, but I sketched this from a small ornamental Buddha that Waif bought for Gman & he not only has flowery robes but is glittery too!!

Waif chose to sketch baked beans for his assignment:

beginning with B - R

And Gman went for a boy on a beach:

beginning with B - G

Next week’s assignment is to sketch something from your kitchen drawer. Maybe we could each find one item that we don’t need any more, sketch it, then rehome it?!

I will leave you with this thought in mind, courtesty of Bertrand Russell:

“It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”

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10 thoughts on “I am not my stuff

  1. Janet says:

    Lovely post…and a good reminder for all of us. I am continually getting rid of stuff in the search for simplicity.

  2. My husband is always on board with this philosophy… unclutter our lives. Have less stuff… After I finally got on board with it, it really does feel amazing to purge!

  3. Julie says:

    Nooo! Not the books!!! Keep the books!!

  4. abiSnail says:

    as socrates said “how many things i have no need of”.

  5. Andria says:

    I love your “I am not my stuff” pages…and the sentiment as well! I can get overwhelmed by the stuff in our house…the kids’ toys and such especially. Just when I think things are thinned down, they seem to pile back up again. I think there is real peace to reducing all that stuff, because you reduce guilt over not making good use of it too. Best wishes for your efforts!

  6. Ben Naga says:


    Which is more important, to accomplish a task successfully, or to realise it is inessential before you start?

    To quote Patrul Rinpoche:

    “Remember the example of the old cow: She’s content to sleep in a barn. You have to eat, sleep and shit – that’s the unavoidable – anything beyond that is none of your business. Do what you have to do and keep yourself to yourself.


    • vivjm says:

      Ah, yes, that is a great perspective. How many tasks that we may indeed accomplish “successfully” are actually essential? Thanks for the thought.

  7. WEB-CAM ;) says:

    Nice post. Loved your buddha, I am meditating each night in the early hours.
    So peaceful. 🙂

    • vivjm says:

      Thank you! I have never tried meditating in the early hours before, but imagine there would be a different quality to it, and peacefulness.

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