Drowning in Clothes

Your wardobe is insightful; it tells alot about you without saying anything.

Most people that I know well enough to have seen their wardrobes, have too many clothes. As in they have clothes and shoes that they don’t wear – ever. When was the last time you wore those khaki combat trousers?

Trouble is, people buy clothes to sketch out an identity for themselves. For some, this identity changes with fashion – how meek.

This is why I’m here to tell you that less is more. I’m here to tell you this because I know the weight of material baggage. There was a time where I thought it didn’t really matter and that to clear out my closet was just my way of procrastinating in life. It wasn’t until recently when I decided to travel, that I had to yet again, sort through, but this time I was ruthless.

Believe it or not, but all the little material objects you that you collect hold memories, symbols and tell a certain narrative to you. By holding onto these mere objects you’re holding onto the past. Why do you want to preserve the past so much?

During this sort through where I for once rationally organised this material shit, I realised I had kept clothes from when I was 17 – that’s 7 years and I could count on one hand the amount of times I’d worn them.

The question is why do we hold onto these things and keep buying more? Material isn’t going to make you who you want to be – only you can do that. The more time and money we spend on clothes, the less we invest in ourselves. You could invest in yourself by taking a step back and pondering on what it is that you enjoy doing. Everyone has an interest in some form or another. Find yours and start doing more of it. Buying is merely a way of trying to fill that part of us that craves more from life. In actual fact, buying more doesn’t enrich our sense of self, it drowns it.

Stop being a slave to the fashion industry and to the Capitalistic system in general,  which only wants to exploit you. Sure, I’m all for possessing nice garments and having a style of your own, but you do this better with fewer items, anyway.

Since havng my sort through, I now only have clothes that I know I wear. Once you have cleansed your closet, you allow space for your atttitude towards buying to evolve. Now you have a minimal and meaningful wardrobe, you’ll think twice before you buy that on-sale-garbage-that-you-dont-really-want.

You’ll only buy things that you really love and you’ll feel wholesome in them!

 

The Bigger Picture

Believe it or not, but the problem spreads further than our wardrobes.

Everything we do has a consequence. Yes, consequences. Those things that the 21st century first worlders love to sweep under the carpet.

If you buy a top from Primark for £1.50 and it’s made in Bagladesh,  have a ponder on how much it costs to make that top. Why is it so cheap? Who made the damned thing? And what kind of conditions were they in?

Producing large amounts of clothes cheaply requires poor working conditions and environemental hazards. The collapse of Rana Plaza, Bangladesh in 2013 is an example of how people are literally dying for clothes.

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Rana Plaza took less than 90 seconds to collapse, killing 1,134 people

Less than 90 seconds. What kind of state was the joint in for it to collapse in that time? It’s shocking that people agreed to work in those conditions in the first place. How desperate must they have been? You have a group of people so willing to work that they will enter a demolishing building – and that’s how the fashion industry choses to treat them. And do you know what is driving that evil cycle? Consumers who keep buying. I would rather pay more for a top if it meant that the person making it was safe.

There are plenty of people in the world who will give this the ‘I don’t care’ because they think it doesn’t affect their life. These people are very very very small. They don’t have the intelligence or emtoional availability to simply see past themselves. They are probably really lonely.

Back to the point, which is that it’s really important just to be mindful of what you are buying. You don’t have to change your habits in a day; just by having the awareness that somebody has actually made the clothes you wear (they don’t magically appear on the shop floor) is a step in the right direction.

Going Beyond Identity

Our identity makes up the every day aspects of our lives. I guess you could say it’s important to have an identity to get by in the world; but be careful not to neglect your Being.

Maybe you look to your name, job, clothes or friends to define your identity. What happens if you lose your job or your friends? Chances are you’re going to take it pretty tough because the job is not just a source of income – it’s what you have based your sense of self on. Who are you without the outer world?

Know Yourself

If you want to experience a loving and wholesome life, it is unbelievably important to know the difference between your identity and your Being. Without a connection with your Self you will forever be thrown about in the world like a yoyo.

By nurturing your inner self you are building the foundation blocks of your life experience. You can bounce back from the experience life throws at you because you have this little home within that gives you the strength to climb.

So what is this Being you’re talking about?

Do you go through every day with a constant inner chatter?  Sometimes it’s as if you can’t escape your mind. The first step to liberation is understanding that you’re not your mind. Your Being sits behind your thoughts. The Being is the island of peace that you return to after your mind has driven you to the edge of insanity.

How do I engage with my Being?

Take time to do nothing! Stop busying yourself in avoidance of  buried emotions. Stop running.

Meditation can seem daunting but it’s manageable in small doses. You can meditate on the bus or while waiting in a que. All it takes is being mindful of thoughts that are coming up and letting them pass. Don’t let thoughts dictate your life. The more you practice this method, the more you will dis-identify with your ego. You will learn there is a beautiful freedom with this process.

When you slow down this inner chatter, your intuition strengthens. You may find that you try new things and really enjoy yourself. It’s your soul speaking to you.

You can keep your identity, but don’t die not having lived.

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Understanding why

As far as I can see, people cling to identity so they can belong to something.  In what I call the ‘main-stream-world’ our lives are based on identification with the outer world. When we are children, we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. Our subconscious then tells us that we are what we look like, what we do, what we create, our name, what you look like. The list goes on.  What a pitiful outlook.

Not to say that identity is a bad thing, it’s just dangerous when we believe it’s all we are. The world manipulates a dependency on identification. For instance, cosmetic companies depend on peoples’ identification with the physical body. If you’re completely identified with your physical body you may spend a lot of money, time and energy on preserving the beauty of it. Without nurturing the inner self, you are most likely going to be very tied up with your physicality because you think that’s who you are.

When your think about it, it’s ridiculous how people take so much pride in their appearance, as though they have any power over it; as though their energy and intelligence created it. No, it was given. It was by chance.

It’s a long road but it’s worth it

I remember being anxiously over active in my mid-teens. I felt like I always had to be doing something. This was no doubt brought on by pressure of exams and University on the horizon. Again I was being told I had to decide what I wanted to be. Life is a journey that needs your full attention in every moment if you’re going to get the most out of it. I felt that anxiety partly because I was looking for external things to define me. If you look within and centre yourself, you don’t have to do all the thinking! Your instinct will guide you through your journey.

There’s so much success to be gained from spirituality!

Success, first and foremost, is feeling at ease within yourself. Success is waking up each morning and being happy you are alive. Success is to know that you would be happy to die today because you live every day fully. You are not simply existing to tick boxes and maintain numbers in your bank account each month. Albeit, money is important for survival, but don’t sacrifice your life for an illusion of security. Nothing is guaranteed.

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‘Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold’…Mr Marley