Thursday, 12 July 2012

Affluenza - Are You Addicted To Affluence?

Prior to entering competitions and winning I was quite content and able to let my life unfold and be at peace with my simple life. Once I started winning I was aware of this addiction to the buzz of the material world and I am now swinging back to the centre on this topic.

I look around and instead of the increase in technology, the increase in health-care, the increase in material products being there to slow us all down, improve our lives, to give us more time with loved ones, and time to relax, it has had the opposite effect for many people.

The media revels in showing us the next gadget we need, the next mobile phone, the next big thing, how we need to increase our wealth, have the best house, the best car, the best relationship.. the list goes on. And this insatiable need for wanting more and more is making many people into modern day addicts.



Instead of being addicted to drugs or drink they are addicted to wanting. And it's not anyone's fault, most of us have been programmed to want and want and want. We are surrounded by the material world. Everywhere we go the media showers us with hypnotic messages that we need X,Y,Z to be a valuable member of society. Car adverts make you think you will be really attractive if you have that new car. Celebrities flout it in our faces celebrating consumerism.

I am shocked that I allowed myself to go that far down the rabbit hole with regards to being addicted to affluence. After a simple life of accepting where I am, what is in my life, I went to the opposite extreme of wanting fast wealth, quick fixes and an increase in my standard of living.  I was not satisfied with letting my life naturally unfold. I wanted the McDonald's meal of abundance and prosperity. I lost touch with my essential nature. I tried to fill the void where my inner peace once was with 'stuff'.

Me?? After all I have written about on my blog over the years. And re-reading an earlier blog I was so against consumerism and look !! Here I am, fully into consuming, shocked at where I went with all of this (How different I was in my earlier blog Material Things).


I won an IPAD, I fell down the rabbit hole, I got lost down there and now, taking time to come back up the rabbit hole and get the balance back between allowing life to naturally bring me what I need and any action needed for it. I realised I can have what I want and let life unfold naturally. It is the desperation, the attachment to wanting that needs to change for me.

So I took some time out. Time out to allow myself to still increase my understanding of my personal value (with or without abundance) and taking time to let myself know I deserve to have what I want in life, without being addicted or attached to the form that want comes in. A more natural loving approach to allowing.

I enter competitions still, I still win, but I am questioning any sense of urgency or desperation in myself to win. And if any comparing myself with others arises I question myself. What is this really all about? What part of me is feeling that insecure? Am I addicted to excitement, the thrill of winning? Why?

Now, I know deep within me is a wise, whole, being (as there is inside every single human being). This consciousness inside me needs no material items or wins to be whole, but after 2 years of living a very simple lifestyle to having my abundance increase it was hard to bypass my ego desires.

I read a section of a book I got from the library on compassion this week and in that book they mentioned this increase in addiction to affluence. It made me think a lot. After talking with Mike I realised instead of things becoming more relaxed for people, the increase in material products and consumerism has caused a great increase in the wants and desires of people.

Back in Mike's youth, people had very little, supply was short, many people were in extreme poverty and instead of feeling lackful or needing to fill a void with affluent things they did not have the wants many of us do now. The scarcity that most people experienced decreased wanting of the material world, instead it increased a need for connections and community.

Technology, affluence, over-emphasis on wealth and status has created a world where many people do not feel good enough if they do not have the latest gadget or have what their neighbours or friends have. This in turn has increased the number of people who resort to crime to get these 'must-have' items (just take a look at the London riots for example).

In the competition world I have noticed a substantial increase in envy, jealousy and even bullying of those that have been blessed with good fortune. The recession has made people even more hungry for all that must-have stuff out there. (My Blog On Adult-Cyber Bullying In Competitions).

But where does it end? When will we be satisfied? Will we ever be satisfied?

For me, I have slowed down my competitions, focusing on only things that will bring value to my life, I am not content to fill my home with stuff I will not use just because I can. I am having to take a good hard look at myself and why I enter what I do. And question myself when I feel upset if I have not won for a couple of days (yes it did become that bad).

I must ask myself where is my sense of personal value?

Who am I? Once again... that age-old question.

What do I really want in my life?

Where is all this wanting coming from?

Why do I compare my world with others when we are all incomparably unique?

So here I am, slowing right down. Focusing on what is important to me, what makes my heart sing (writing) and focusing, allowing life to unfold again, more naturally.

My main desires are for experiences, human connection, love, travel, exploration. My inner world is a source of nourishment if I let it be.



Where are your desires taking you?








4 comments:

  1. What a great post Kelly. I might have a different take on affluence than some, I guess it's all about perspective.

    For me, being affluent means having the ability to have free time and not have to be attached to technology. I'm hoping to get my business to the point where I can hire people to run it so I can have time to attend retreats and spas and ancient ruins.

    I've resisted a smart phone since they came out, however, now, having connectivity issues I see it as a must for business, but only in case I can't connect on the computer. I was born into a simpler time before computers and cell phones and it seems to me life was a lot more civil and less stressful.

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    1. Good point Julia, yes affluence is also time and not being attached. I resisted a smartphone and did win one but after a week of using it I felt really uncomfortable. There seems to be so much on them you end up spending more time manoeuvring around all the social networks and less time simply being in life.

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  2. I've always targeted my competition entries at things I need, or can't afford - anything else is a waste of my time. Also, I would never enter a comp that is intended for a particular audience - eg a family holiday in a baby magazine, or a luxury honeymoon for a bridal publication. So I agree, there are far too many compers entering anything they can get their hands on to chalk up 'wins' which are not much more than filling their houses with crap.

    I think winning the latest iPhone or laptop isn't being materialistic (unless you have six already!). These things, especially if they're Apple products, are ridiculously over priced anyway. You really aren't part of the 'keeping up with the Joneses' brigade Kelly, so don't worry.

    It's good to have a social conscience but turn things on it's head for a moment, if you won the pools/lottery and never had to worry about money ever again, would you be generous with your wealth? There are plenty of things I'd do for myself and my family - paying off mortgages, exotic holidays, etc. but I'd also invest in local and international charity works that I deemed worthwhile, not out of a sense of guilt but because the everyday need to make finances balance means that you can't contribute to good causes quite in the way that they sometimes deserve.

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    1. I took a brief hiatus from my blog and blogger did not inform me of any comments so my apologises for the long delay in responding.

      And yes I am seriously not part of the keeping up with the Joneses and have since changed my perspective on affluence since writing this blog, well sort of ! LOL

      I would happily appreciate the blessing of abundance now, after a while of receiving it, I guess it means something different to me than many people that enter competitions. To me if anything experience it is more important and nice things are an added bonus but I know some people that are heavily attached to the material world, whereas I could plonk a backpack on my back and leave all my material possessions behind. I guess we all have different passions and desires.

      With generosity, I would be generous to some charities, some are so heavily administrated it does not reach the people or cause it is meant for. I am changing my perspective on money, lots of changes this year, update to come.

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Thanks!

Great to connect.

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