It seems the more I practice simplicity the easier it gets.
A long time ago it was called asceticism.
Some see it as a form of sacred simplicity.
I have been considering the idea for many months, even before the recession forced changes in my life. But of course the practice has been around for centuries.
While it often has religious overtones, it may be too limiting to consider scaling back as strictly a practice of faith. I wonder about the benefits of getting by with less and adding discipline, and looking for the value of being less dependent on external trappings.
Certainly some see having less as a way to reduce our "carbon footprint". In our home we have less packaging and more recycling. I love that the more we re-use and recycle things, whether we are donating items or buying second-hand, or just cooking more meals without prepared food, we save money, save energy (used in producing more stuff) and have less waste. It feels good.
It's interesting that Judaism has generally rejected the practice, tho Kabbalist (Jewish mystics) often practiced great simplicity in their lives, like so many of other faiths.
My hope is that one of the best things to come from the recession and resulting struggles that so many face in this economy, is a new appreciation for those things that are priceless.