HOLDING ON to a lot more than you need is the first poor life style decision to address. "IN or OUT" of the system.... no one should wait around for the dollar to be virtually worthless. You must not only learn what to do, but you have to do it before the crashing system dumps on you. Can you say Bernie Madoff? We are helping each other develop the courage to take the best course of action ASAP. Staying fearful isn't going to get you to the next step, that's for damn sure.
Slow Down, for goodness sakes. Relax: How many times have you complained that you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off. So why is slowing down so hard? Could it be that you will be faced with yourself because you won’t have so many distractions. The old story is truer.... you do have to become your own best friend…. Can you do it? Can you SLOW DOWN, relax and make your home the focus of more of your time? At the very same time, don't wait for everyone else to agree with you about the need for self-sufficiency and simplicity. Don't follow the crowd on this one if your friends are pretending their lives are OK. Don't wait for the crowd because it will be too late. If you are reading this information you are a leader of your pack. You have reason to be proud of that fact.
Regardless of the resistance, you must create a Quiet Time in Your Family's Day: This psychological shift of actually creating a totally quiet time for everyone is hard to institute. It takes patience and perseverance. Don’t expect the kids to calmly agree when you really strive to change their habits. Wailing and gnashing of teeth (a response to withdrawal from any habit, be it tv, video or computer addiction) are often heard. At first it may make you nervous to shut off the noise. It is not uncommon for people to leave their TV on 24/7. They never experience silence/peace in their daily lives. So turn off everything that has a battery or an electrical cord attached to it. Do it for a short time each day or as often as you can and don’t let anything interrupt your family’s special time. Use this time to talk about what you want to do as a family.
Next, take the time to create a personal space in which you will be able to relax and feel safe. Create a nest-like environment in which you love to go and be alone. What you will do with your own private time is your own decision, but for some period each day you need a space for uninterrupted aloneness-pleasure. It gives you a space where you can practice looking within, to increase Learning to give to yourself is tough. It's hard to see that many of us don't take care of ourselves well. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was able to turn my phones off in the morning. It’s a tremendous psychological shift to prove to your own self that taking care of yourself matters.
It’s also time to make a space that includes the people who are most important to you, focusing on each other, talking sincerely or even just hanging out. Although any favorite game will work well, there is one product that works wonders for bringing families together. Here is the information on the UnGame and you can order many variations of this game. This page gives you a lot of the options.My grandchildren, who are 8 and 10, are used to my focus on family dynamics, so they loved the UnGame immediately because it levels the playing field. Everyone in the family has to fess up with each other and the questions are more clever than we could have come up with on our own. They ask to play it themselves. It’s a great game for getting to know more about each other and yourself. So take your time. Be patient. It took a while to get a frantic household and it will take a while to reverse it. Falling in love with Quiet Time will happen.
Dinner Table Conversation is Vital: One of the saddest losses of our modern age is that the family no longer eat together around the dinner table. Family cohesion is "iffy" at best. Television has taken the place of family conversation and getting to know each other has taken a backseat to television obsession.This must be reversed, and as early as possible, if parents want to have high functioning relationships with their teenage children. If you can't get to them at 10, why would 16 be easier?
Spread Out the Household Jobs: Stop doing everything around the house alone or with just your mate. Spread out the household jobs to everyone, including the toddlers. It makes total sense that everyone has to take part in the work that it takes to keep a family going. How could it be possible that someone is exempt? Is a precious child a crown prince or princess just because they exist? What did they do to be so special? If they don’t have regular chores, they may very well grow up to be a not-so- adorable-mate who doesn’t pull their own weight and that's not fair to the child, of course.
People need to have a “purpose” in life to feel good about themselves and if you do everything for a child they feel they aren’t needed. If they don’t help and things get done anyway, then the brain says that they are expendable. Simultaneously, a spoiled child learns they don’t have to do anything to still get everything……. It’s a mess.
So don’t leave your beautiful children out of the household chores. Yes, sure, it's easier to do everything yourself, but you'll be sorry later on if you don't take the time now to teach your children to be responsible, reliable and easy to live with. As times get more difficult, getting along with each other is going to be the most important trait we can develop.
Transportation decisions: Gas prices and just the plain cost of driving a large vehicle are putting some people on notice to find a really intelligent alternative system for travel. Some people are really serious, like my friend who has not had a car for 20 years. She manages. It’s her life style. If you want to learn how to do this, there are plenty of groups who promote bicycles, walking and efficient motorbikes for short trips. Think about trips in terms of distance and then figure out how you want to get there. Can you walk 2 miles? Can you bike 5 miles? Do you have the time or do you need to take a car.
Preparation, Organization, Planning: You must learn to think ahead. This is a good thing and lowers anxiety because you are being organized and getting prepared at the same time. Are you headed toward self-sufficiency? Do you have a garden plot? Have you put away food? Do you live among close friends who talk about these issues and are working toward unity of action? Do you have any tentacles in the community or your neighborhood for support? Does your family really like each other and enjoy being together?
Fulfilling Ourselves in a Compressed Economy: We must figure out what will fulfill us if our economy suffers for a protracted period. Americans are used to thinking of ourselves as the luckiest people on the planet. Our dreams of the future were filled with opulence, however, so now we must shift to a perception that equates simplicity with great value and enjoyment. Comradic activities, dancing, singing, cooking together, renting movies, trading, finding new and productive talents, learning more about our inner selves, writing, creating art. You can more easily find out your true talents when you must learn to be resourceful.
Create Something of Value That Represents Your Own Self: Make sure to think long term and be patient with how long it takes to bring an idea to fruition. Stay broad and vary your activities as you go along so you won’t bog down and get tired of your pet project. DownSize to Thrive has taken over 10 years to form, going through several iterations before being launched. Timing is vital to success and the “right time” can be felt. I have been working on other projects as well, going from one to another when I felt like changing direction. That way I didn’t drop the ball because I never got bored.
Be Aware of How Long it Takes to Get Things Off The Ground: Many people have trouble judging how long it takes to accomplish projects. We all have timing difficulties. It's easy to think that things take far less time than they do. It's hard to believe, because of the way tv and movies makes things seem so easy, but for a big project in your life, 10 years is more the norm for projects or real accomplishments than we are told. I have been working on DownSize to Thrive for at least 10 years, and all the pieces came in their own timing. Also, to keep going, I worked on several other projects all these years, to switch up and stay fresh and learning other fields. If you don't stay current, you may get bored and quit something wonderful.
While you keep on track with your process and progress, simultaneously keep your eye on the bigger picture, the broader scope, the fact that "right timing" is real. "Everything in its own time", is not a platitude, it's the truth. So do a little each day, go from project to project and work on what you feel like doing so you never run out of steam or get bored or frustrated and quit.
Everything is a Process. Remember that not every decision is etched in stone. You will choose to do many things that are necessary for today that you will have to change in the future. It's the direction that is the key. The long term goal is SELF-SUFFICIENCY, so all that you are learning will evolve into that chosen reality. Don't stress over the process because the elements involved are not rigid. Every type of learning leads to something else. Life is organic. Researching, for example, a house to build can range from a yurt to a straw bale to a tiny house or one made with tires. More forms emerge constantly. Don't fret if you change your mind 4 times. You are learning as you go. From carpentry to environmental systems to leach fields.... It's the direction that matters. We walk before we run. Keep going and the vision will clarify itself. Forces are working that are way beyond the conscious mind. Inner and outer. Lighten up, keep the faith and breathe and make sure to switch-up the order.
Change Your Own Piece of the Planet. Standard advice, but worth repeating. Do something in your own small world to make improvements. Improve your space.... do it with your neighbors, friends and family group and local groups. Do one project at a time. Small is good. Less is more. Just do something. Plant some trees, either fast growing or fruit trees. Organizing to do something rewarding isn't rocket science, but it does take organization. Make a Big Chart for your wall with a LIST OF THINGS YOU DO THAT YOU REALLY ENJOY. Make a ranked list of all the things you love and whether they cost money ($) or not. This kind of a list helps you quickly remember your options.
The average median income in the US is $26,000.00 dollars... about the same
amount of money as it takes to change one tire on a car of the Super Rich.
(from Untold Wealth: The Rise of the Super Rich by David Faber)
The Power of Personal Change
from YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE
There is, however, another way. It involves approaching the problem at its root. Those who depend on change happening through technological or political routes often dismiss or fail to recognize the power of individual choices in shifting the course of history. But every aspect of the old road map – every decision, every law, every technological breakthrough – was crafted by individuals. Each policy maker, each engineer and each politician is an individual. Yes, cloaked in their institutional roles, people can be narrow-minded and self-centered – but as they sit alone and quiet, free from the influence of cultural contexts, they know they are, first and foremost, ethical,compassionate human beings.
Tapping into that core of truth will give us the energy to change the culture of consumption into a culture of enough. We must make our values our allies and not simply treat consumption as a numbers game. Skeptics of grassroots activism, believing that change happens only through business or government, may not recognize that the cultural and political will for new initiatives is generated in the hearts and minds of individuals.
So, taking responsibility for challenging and changing the culture of consumption in our own lives is one key to creating a low-consumption, high-fulfillment society. Such self-empowerment is necessary, energizing, convincing and inspiring. It can take years, decades or even lifetimes to slog through the bureaucratic swamps necessary to change public policy. Relying on technological solutions that may or may not be found in the future is risky. But individual lifestyle change can begin as soon as an inner decision is made.
‘Your Home is your Castle” looms large...
Stay Home to Save Money My oldest son was captivated when he realized how much money he could save by staying home. Today even musicians are learning to stay home and make merry in their own apartments. Home is no longer a “pit stop”. It is now a necessity to use our homes for living our lives. We simply don’t have the money to spend that we used to so that’s that. ADAPT. The psychological shift will effect your whole family because now you are together. Whoops, that could be a challenge. Learning to get along takes priority status. You might find that you are your very own reality tv show.
Many years ago I realized that when you go out, you spend money. When you stay home, you don’t. Life with less money to spare means your home just rose in value. You will be spending more time there, so if you aren’t smiling, surrender NOW to changing your attitude.
Staying home means you have to feel cozy and grounded in your own home. You have to be able to relax there. And you have to have something to do there that amuses you. Most importantly, the people in your home have to get along and like to be around each other. Being happy to be home is essential for health and happiness.
Helping you create a home which suits your desires and supports your growth is part of the DownSize to Thrive model. Home is not just a place to slam through to change your clothes or catch a power nap. Home is your base, your safe spot and a reflection of who you are. Let’s make it so.
We’re here to help in all ways and that means talking about the real issues. The Elephants in the room don’t scare us. We’re riding our own for all to see. No secrets here. And we can help you address what’s blocking your flow regardless of the subject. We know how to cozy-fy your dwelling space. On a physical level, we help you REDESIGN, cut your house costs, evaluate your stuff and help you get rid of what no longer serves you. We also have associates who will help you clean out your attics and basements and junk drawers. If you haven’t done it so far, it’s more than likely you aren’t going to do it alone. So call us.
Make your House Really Cool There are a lot of places you can trade objects for free (a swap shop) that are popping up like bamboo. If you can't find one in your area, create one. (Even corporate is doing it.) Then take home your new exchanges and rearrange the house for a completely new look and feel. Don’t even think about buying furniture you can’t afford. Of course you can go thrift shopping or even trade furniture with your friends. Make use of the new websites popping up in all communities where people want to get rid of stuff for free if only you will haul it away.
Think about fixing everything you have been avoiding. Pretend someone is coming to visit (you know how busy we get cleaning up for visitors). YOU are your own new friend, a new visitor in your life, so you deserve the best surroundings possible. That means dealing with things you have been tripping over or bumping into. Consider putting up window treatments that keep the oil bills down. Create a more cozy space for all your personal activities from reading to knitting to scrapbooking. Make your cooking space a delight. Food increases in importance in a more simple life because we are used to pleasure and must get it wherever we can.
The real psychological shift here is to figure out, if you don’t want to be home, why. If it’s dread you feel when you think of spending more time at home, check out your emotional reaction. Do you need to learn to spend time alone with your own self? Do you need a hobby, could you start your own business, watch the Iron Chef and surprise the family with a totally amazing dinner once a month? Commit to finding out why your own home, on which you spend a giant chunk of your income, is not your favorite place to be and change things one small issue at a time.
How does one go about getting the time and money to actually CREATE a sustainable lifestyle?
A wage earner can’t even keep up with basic costs, so it’s vital for the working person to cast our lot in with others to create a possible future to sustain us during this downturn. Having been living for many years with others to cut costs, I know the dynamics are varied and never ending. DOWNSIZE to THRIVE will address them all with candid frankness, so call if you want your FREE hour to get started.
A crisis can happen at any time and most folks aren’t already depending upon a social group for their safely. We need to look at options.
Do you have a garden? Have you put up food? Who lives next door? Down the street? Like in NYC during the blackout, don’t wait until the crises to get to know your fun neighbors. Organization are out there to join, like Time Dollar for trading hours.
Get your marital troubles on the table. Nothing is more difficult than going into a crises with your enemy. Prepare your kids. Don’t go into a hard time with a whiney, selfish, nasty kid beating into your legs when you are trying to get something done for him or her.
STOP PAYING FULL PRICE FOR ANYTHING!
Learn to be an intelligent shopper. It’s a learned skill, for goodness sakes. When you pick up a 40 dollar tee, put it down. GET MAD. Who the hell ever heard of spending $80 on a damn pair of blue jeans. You are brainwashed. WAKE UP and take pride in SAVING money, not spending it.
Yes, everyone says this who has a bead on the future. It's true. Moving to cash IS a progression away from the insanity of our times. Spending cash makes your economics real. Creative solutions come when the blinders are removed. Get unstuck through the Cash-way. If you think your credit card debt won't catch up with you, you better have a recession proof job. Know any? A CASH ECONOMY is the kind of freedom you can choose for yourself, and many articles have been written about this for quite a long time. Read about it to get the understanding you need. If people tell you, “just do it”, that is not being realistic. You are either thrown into it because you can’t do anything else, or you have to learn WHY it’s so important.and THEN you will WANT to do it.
Ease your way into it by turning all your available money into cash for a pay period so you know what it feels like to have a real limit until your next pay check. Before you run out of available cash, get a game of Yatzee or Scrabble and be prepared to hang out with each other when your money is gone. Focus on doing things at home so you don’t use your credit cards to amuse yourself anymore. Cash is more real than plastic to the psyche. Use it and feel the difference.
So now you’re going to be home more. If you can’t stand each other and you're making the kids crazy (some of them will tell you if you dare let them tell the truth about their feelings... they really will), go to counseling or draw up divorce papers. No one can survive these hard times if they can’t get along. Dealing with your money will make you wake up and face reality. Consumer research has shown that moving to a cash economy drops expenses 20-25% than if you use a credit card. Believe that research to benefit yourself. Get into the habit of using currency, not plastic… at least as long as we have the dollar. Some folks think the Amero is coming and it's not just "conspiracy theorists" who believe it. Make up your own mind.
STOP BUYING BRAND NAMES and buy generic, but focus on quality ingredients. Check the ingredients until you find the ones that are the same as the quality products... and they do exist. But don't buy cheap mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. You gotta splurge where it counts.
CO-OP and BULK Purchases. Share and shop in bulk with other families or join groups to purchase directly from distributors. Co-ops have been around forever. Join one.
KEEP TRACK of your money, for goodness sakes. It's really annoying for many of us, including me, but keep track of your money because you have to do get through this change. Open the monthly statement and read it .CATCH THEM if the banks are taking advantage of you! Money is a GAME. The people who like the game and want to play it are always controlling the ball. That's larceny. YOU MUST BE ABLE TO CONTROL YOUR BALL or they will take you to the cleaners and you will be responsible for letting them do it to you. Naivety or ignorance is only an excuse the first time. After that, get a clue regardless of how annoying money and bureaucracy really are. Distaste for handling money issues is one reason why people want out of the system, so make up your mind what you are willing to do and choose your direction. Are you IN the system or as far OUT as you can get?
ELECTRICITY & GAS: Turn off lights, computers and air conditioners unless you really need them or are using them. Stop being inattentive. We've been living like kings and it's time to economize. Shoot for 10-15% reduction to make it doable. You can cut more energy drains as you get used to thinking more frequently about how to “DownSize to Thrive". More details are: 1.) Change your high wattage bulbs and turn off unnecessary lights, 2.)turn off any clocks that are on electrical devices since they use more electricity than you realize. 3) stop doing unnecessary loads of laundry and high energy dryers. Go to the laundromat and do large loads of laundry in larger machines. Hand wash your underwear. Dig out your 40 year old clothes and wear the paisley from the 60’s like everyone is buying new now.Go to Good Will or Salvation Army or the new clothing swap parties. Get over yourself. It was never wise to purchase high-end retail. Now it’s downright suicide.
STOP THROWING YOUR MONEY AWAY.
For example, when you stop buying a coffee out each day, you are saving almost $3.00 each time, which is $60.00 a month for 5 days a week. Why does Starbucks need your $720.00 a year? It's rewarding to buy good coffee and make your own. Get more for less. You can get a cappuccino maker and make better coffee for 1/3 the price. Become an expert "foamer" yourself. With or without cream (Edgar Cayce said black coffee was a food so I listen to "The Master") . It 's economically intelligent and my coffee is terrific.
Bring your own lunch 2 days a week. $84.00 a month. Almost $1,000.00 a YEAR. That is 1/3 of a GREAT VACATION. Although you want to take the family out for celebrations going to a movie for a family of 5 can be $40.00 - $50.00, but renting a movie with microwave popcorn and root beer floats cost less than $10.00. Paying admission and taking your own popcorn and candy in your giant pocketbook will save up to $17.00 . Your vacation is looking better al the time.
Don’t fail to pick up things left on the street on "Big Trash Day". I have a very close relative who is a self-made millionaire. She started by picking up thrown away furniture on the streets of N.Y.U. She created a very, very successful business. Also, per my mother: Don’t charge anything you will “use up” before the time comes to pay for it. Like food. You won’t want to pay for it after it’s gone, so don’t charge consumables. You will SAVE A TON OF $$$ if you get more organized.
GET SCARED ABOUT ANY SPENDING ADDICTION: If buying stuff you can’t afford doesn’t become frightening, many shop-a-holics won’t stop. Do you want to be a slave for the rest of your life, paying 30% interest on stuff you don't even have anymore? It's scary to see the enslavement that debt truly is! But remember... in order to see yourself more easily, you have to learn to laugh at yourself. It will come naturally as you become more honest and forgive yourself for being programmed and blind. Having trouble laughing at yourself? Better email “Downsize To Thrive” right this minute and get your FREE HOUR to see how we can help. We’ll help you learn how to make change FUN if you are open to it.
SORRY to rain on your P.C. ...BUT HIGH-END HEALTH FOOD STORES are RIP OFFS. There's a reason even the people working there call Whole Foods, "Whole Paycheck". Unreal! I do buy their house brand and the fruits that are on sale are often excellent bargains, but SERIOUSLY. Stop buying the overpriced boxed and packaged products and buy in bulk . Mix your own. Are you reading those little tags that say $56.74 a pound for a soy product that tastes like cardboard? Soy isn't even good for you. The overpriced “Health Food stores” products are some of the most outrageous of all. Who are they kidding? Nine dollars a pound for a macaroni product? Are we insane?? Switch from packaged foods to buying the basics and mixing your own so you know they won’t contain fillers and additives. Store everything you can in a cool, dry environment.
MAKE YOUR OWN......“Rub” is a perfect example of how to save money. A tiny jar of less than 2 ounces of RUB costs 5.00, but a pound of the ingredients purchased separately costs 7.00 a pound. You do the math. How hard is it to buy Celtic Sea Salt, minced dehydrated garlic and onions, paprika, black pepper and Italian herbs in bulk? Add a little cayenne, perhaps some smoky chipotle powder to some of it and put the different ones in your old jars you kept when you started thinking about DOWNSIZE TO THRIVE activities. Make extra for your kids and save a ton of money.
FAKE SHOPPING: Years and years ago a friend of mine used to do this and I though he was nutz. Now I get it. Need to STOP SHOPPING? Make a game out of it the way they use fake cigarettes. Practice walking though your favorite store with no money or credit cards with you. Shop like you usually do. Put everything you want in the cart and when you are finished, walk out the door leaving the cart standing in a corner. I know a friend who did this years ago and I didn't get it then. Tell a clerk what you did when you leave and thank her for helping you conquer your addiction. The clerks are underpaid and would appreciate your honesty and probably feel a lot better about their job if they knew they were helping someone. So “Shop until you drop” now has a revised meaning. Shop until you “drop” your mindless addiction to more crap you don't need.
CAR STUFF: I have a good friend who doesn’t own a car on principle. At least most of it is principle. Some of it is probably a lack of money-driven decision, but nonetheless, she has been walking miles each way to work and to the grocery store for 25 years and she is now in her 60’s. The bus routes in her city are sparse and she carries everything by hand in snow, rain, sleet and heat. She looks a hell of a lot better than most anyone else her age even if most of us wouldn't trade with her even for better looks. She's hard core Green, but the rest of us could use our cars less, carpool or at least get a energy downsized car. Here is a great site called Alternative Energy: Cars of Tomorrow With Energy-Saving Technology, posted in Future Energy, Hybrid Cars, transportation. Yes, we need to make a psychological and physical shift, so put your car away once in a while. You might like it.
Being a FREEGAN: Dumpster diving, scavaging, trading, and buying literally nothing. How to be a FREEGAN. Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources". Freegans "embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed." The lifestyle involves salvaging discarded, unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters, known as dumpster diving. Freegans salvage the food for political reasons, rather than out of need.
This is the first paragraph from an article from eHow: There is a new way of living that is sweeping the nation. If you have ever felt guilty from throwing food away or consuming more that what is necessary to live, and have a strong for the environment freeganism may be the life for you. This article will provide suggestions for how to implement a new thought process and begin consuming less.
KID'S STUFF: Training children is like training any other animal.WE NEED EARLY, HEALTHY PROGRAMMING.As mentioned before, this is not about training out individuation. Just the opposite. Freedom and true success come from being brutally aware of far more than we are trained to understand. So if you get the basic training you need to deal with being human when you are young , then you have a better chance to develop the organizational skills needed to be a creative, intelligent being. What we learn as children runs our lives like a computer program. It IS a living computer program. That's just the way it is. So make it good. Make it healthy. Make it work well by not screwing up your kids due to your refusal to evolve.
Include the children in ideas for saving money. Show them the real story about money right from the beginning and don't hide reality. People who are born into families with money teach their children everything and they grow up comfortable with the world of money. No wonder the few own 90% of the wealth. So help your kids learn to do things like pack their own treats or lunches instead of buying the overpriced junk at the stores. Give them a portion of the money they save the family. This reality works.
Stop eating out except for special occasions. Use netflics, but when you go to the movies, take your own treats in. They aren't searching your bags and if they do, don't go to that theater. Get tough and include your children in the plans for how to alter you are over-spending. Try for a family consensus on what you aren't going to do this week. Children don't mind limits if they understand what's going on. It's the need to know that is the issue. THAT is respect..... telling the truth. And don't be a hypocrite. If you say you are cutting back your spending, then don't buy something you can't afford and expect your kids to be OK with it. Would you be? Today's children are far more capable of speaking up for themselves, so expect a rebellion if you break an agreement. This will be a trial for everyone, but it has to be done. Turn off TV if the ShamWOW commercials get you!