Last month I scared a few folks with fire. Some were concerned, some were energized by my intensity igniting action, and some were confused. Some ignored the flames. All of these responses are beautiful and welcomed. But the pith point is: embodied sufficiency requires us to burn through the dregs of our complacency and be powerfully moved by situations, people and emotions. In other words, by being fully present to the “fiery” situations in life, my pissed-off-ness has carved out a cleaner, deeper, truer space of sufficiency, allowing for a pristine clarity from which to respond to situations, people and emotions. This is freedom. This is life.
Today, in late July, I feel joy, happy and inspired, more like water than fire, fluidly open to possibilities, and excited by a few discoveries. Tomorrow, or even this afternoon, I might be feeling something different. The ability to be present to what is, builds your ability to embrace and feel expanded sufficiency—and the tentacles reaching others get closer, generosity beginning to blossom. Can you feel the pull towards co-creation?
I have been reading reports on the explosion of the sharing economy. New ways are developing to co-own our possessions with others. Instead of the dire need to own (me, mine, myself), we are recognizing the intelligence and benefit of renting, sharing, and borrowing (we, us, everyone). Years from now, I imagine we will look back on this time and see a huge transformation in what really matters. I can’t wait.
You are likely aware of some of the choices for sharing, such as Airbnb, Zip cars, Uber, Lyft, and local upscale clothing. Each day new ideas are ignited for optimizing the use of “non-owned” material goods. The Lexington Public Library in Massachusetts and the Nashville Public Library in Tennessee loan out musical instruments in addition to traditional books and movies. No doubt other libraries across the country are doing the same. The inventory of instruments is growing daily, thanks to those who recognize the value of music and the waste of an unused idle instrument. Can you hear the guitars hidden in the back of closets whining to be strummed?
What else is blossoming in the sharing economy? Transportation and recreation vehicles of many flavors: bikes, boards, boats and RVs (check out Spinlister, Boatbound, RVShare). The cost of buying and maintaining these toys is noteworthy – not only in dollars but also in time. Time is spent making repairs and funding maintenance rather than in their desired use with other people. Growing up in a boat-owning, fishing, water-skiing and -recreation family, I often heard the phrase, “the best boat is your friend’s boat.” Meaning, using another person’s boat optimized the experiences of boating activity. Essential enjoyment of a boat was the actual use on the water, and these times decreased over the passage of ownership, consuming time and energy in maintenance.
The sharing economy spreads into food consumption, expanding from physical nourishment to a nourishing experience (check out Feastly). Meal sharing and meeting new people at the same time could become our evolved new way of dining. Enjoying a special menu with a chef at his or her home, with others, is a budding scheme. Or, have you heard of, or perhaps participated in, a Pop-Up community dinner? Not so long ago on Facebook I enjoyed viewing a friend from Charleston S.C.’s photos of the pop-up community dinner in her neighborhood. Everyone was wearing white. On the lawn of the community park, portable card tables were lined up and decorated with tablecloths, utensils. Participants brought dishes to share with each other.
Sharing, expanding our embodied sufficiency to generosity, as we recognize opportunities to connect with others in new and fresh ways, supercharges our well-being toward soaring. Over five years ago, maybe close to ten, I wrote about an innovative idea and website called: rentme.com. After a slow start and stumble, it folded. I don’t recall how long it lasted, but when I went to rent a wheelbarrow, it was no longer in operation. The concept of renting instead of owning a few years ago didn’t succeed; it was too early. But, now, in a climate of shifting values – as our planet suffocates and as we realize stuff no longer generates pleasure – we are open to connecting with others in a new way. This way of sharing, borrowing, and renting allows us to spread our wings in life. We free up energy to direct toward that which gives us the most satisfaction, well-being and nourishment.
Sparking joy and ease,
P.S. Sparking joy is a phrase from the popular book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, by Marie Kondo. She offers a somatic practice of clearing your home of unwanted (non-joy-sparking) items that is both effective and easy.