As the lyrics say, “Money can’t buy me love”. It can’t buy health, love or happiness either and the main problem isn’t a lack of funds or trying. The problem is in attainment. Health, wealth, love and happiness are all nouns, things which can be sought to be possessed. If you own one, then two could be better and of course three would be amazing – right? We are constantly bombarded by messages to buy more, consume more, own more. Even when we think it is in our own best interest. Want to go off the grid and can your own foods? There’s a magazine for that, and a store that sells the supplies, and television shows to help you out. Want to be more green? There’s a magazine for that, and high priced items you can purchase to make yourself feel better about consuming, and online quizzes to test your greenness. I’m not saying owning things is evil or the cause of humanity’s undoing, but the obsession that can come from trying to attain a thing, an absolute, can be frightening and downright dangerous. It’s more about being aware that you are being marketed to, knowing when you are being manipulated, and learning how to be authentic and true to yourself. Can you hear your own voice amid the tidal wave of marketing sirens calling to you?
It’s no longer a call to obsess about the ideal weight, perfect job or best house. No, marketing has become far more nefarious and camouflaged. It appeals to our sense of something better, something greater to attain – peace of mind, kindness, relaxation, purity. Out there on every street corner, every corner of the internet, there is marketing for attainment bombarding us – just learn this new style of yoga, give this cleanse a try – from TV doctors to studio gurus they are all dangling the carrot out there. What makes this worse than selling you a pair of high priced shoes, or a suburban home? Well, if you can’t reach it, if you aren’t satisfied at the end of the day the problem isn’t with any product, the problem is with you. You don’t believe enough, you didn’t meditate enough, or cleanse enough, you haven’t expressed enough gratitude or forgiveness. We’ve gone from being dissatisfied with tangible objects we try to posses, to being unhappy about our own states, our own abilities to make ourselves feel better and be better individuals.
Life is about living, not attaining and the key to all of it is enjoying. Just enjoy, it’s as easy as that. Find the moments – sure the present is great, but the past holds moments to enjoy as well, so does the future. Take a few moments everyday to think about what you enjoy. I do it when I feel as though folding the laundry, just one more moment of daily monotony, will drive me over the edge. I imagine a small little weekend trip my husband and I took, sitting poolside, reading a book and I enjoy that moment in time and the possibility that there may be others like it.
There is nothing to sell, the ability to enjoy what we already have and have had resides within each of us. Sometimes it is buried so far beneath the surface, under glossy images of that “perfect wedding dress” and commercials featuring the “perfect family” or the “shiniest new car” that it can be hard to unearth.
We have nothing to lose by trying to enjoy what we have, or even what we have had. Life isn’t about limiting ourselves or our experiences, it is about expanding them and honoring them by truly enjoying them. So practice yoga if you like, eat gluten-free foods if you feel better, sail away on a trip, take a bite of that gooey chocolate cake and enjoy! Enjoy the moments of every journey you are on because there is no final destination.