Could you live without…?

Thriving with Deanna / Lifestyle  / Could you live without…?

Could you live without…?

Have you ever found yourself saying,

“I couldn’t go without _____”;

“I couldn’t give up _____”;

or “There’s no way I could do _____”?

Perhaps you fill in the blank with a food or drink, an item, a service, an activity, etc.


I go through phases where I become very aware of my own reliance on certain things, such that I feel it would be incredibly hard to live without them. A few weekends ago I had to unplug my refrigerator/freezer to let my freezer thaw. It was a semi-planned event. I have a small chest freezer in my garage so was able to move any freezer items to the extra one. I had also let my fridge run low on items so that we could rather easily store what was left among two coolers during the thaw. Yet what a crazy disturbance it was to live without the ease of our in-home efficient cooling systems for our food…even though I had made it as easy as possible!


AND THEN my (old ancient) iPhone stopped working temporarily that weekend as well…{GASP!!} What an inconvenience it seemed to be!! It certainly made me even more aware of how (annoyingly) reliant I am on it. And goodness- I even own an iPad and laptop too. You’d think I had no connection whatsoever!



During moments like these, I become so grateful for the MANY conveniences, luxuries, and pleasures we have! It also makes me realize my overemphasis on certain items. Although I feel strong in some areas of my life giving up certain things, and have somewhat unexpectedly enjoyed taking on a bit of a minimalist lifestyle, there are still many possessions in my life that I’m positive would be challenging for me to go without.


To our credit, anyone reading this likely lives in a first world country and is living a modern lifestyle where we do have conveniences that we shouldn’t reasonably have to go without very often, such as running water, refrigeration, indoor toilets, etc. However, there are many other things in our lives that aren’t “necessary” yet we treat them as if they are. Those are the very things that I’m proposing today that we consider taking a different view of. I’m not proposing that we unreasonably endure hardship, but that we take a look at how we treat and respond to the “unnecessary” items in our lives.


You may be asking, “Why would we consider doing such a thing?” Well one reason is that sometimes we get so caught up in our comfort zone and our daily routines that we forget there may be very simple changes that could bring about a whole lot of happiness — additional or just different! Have you ever heard some form of the saying that it is in our discomfort (or when we get outside of our comfort zone) that incredible change and growth occur? I sure have experienced this first-hand over and over! Can you think of times in your life where you’ve found this to be true? I imagine you can.


So what would happen if we occasionally went without one or more of these things we feel so attached to? Or the opposite…what if we added something to our lives that feels really challenging? Maybe just for a matter of hours, a day, a week, etc.? What if we got a little uncomfortable in the process? What are some of the possible outcomes? What might we be missing out on? What sort of creative inspiration may come from the absence or addition of these things? Perhaps these “things” to which we cling or resist are some of the very distractions I mentioned in my last post.


For instance, if every time you get in your vehicle or go for a walk or run you turn on music, a podcast, or audio book,

what would happen if you went without every once in a while?

You may be surprised by what happens in the silence!


Or what if for one week (or 2 or 3) you go without cream and sugar in your coffee?

Maybe you’d realize you ACTUALLY like it without!


What if you let your favorite ingredient run out without making a special trip to the store to replace it?

Maybe you’d come up with a creative change for some variety!


What if you didn’t check your phone/email/texts, etc. for the first hour of your day?

Maybe you’d find you liked the pace and focus of your entire day better!


What if we added 5 minutes of meditation to our mornings every day for a week in place of the morning email-checking?

Maybe that would make our day THAT MUCH BETTER!


What about skipping the gym on a scheduled workout day because you feel tired

and you’re listening to your body instead of your mind?

I bet your body would thank you! And it’s very likely the next workout will be that much stronger and more enjoyable!


What if you skip the glass of wine at the end of the day that you use to unwind?

Maybe you’d find a bath or a conversation with a loved one suited your needs even better!


What if rather than buying a prepared coffee or going for a manicure, you make your own coffee or paint your own nails? 

What might you do with the money you save from doing that one or more times?


What if you tried just ONE change every once in a while?


I’m going to suggest picking 3-5 things that pop out at you as raising your anxiety when you think about going without them or adding them into your life. And then I’m going to suggest that you pick one at a time in which to consider making a change. Again, you don’t have to make a forever change. Maybe just consider a once in a while change, maybe even when it’s accidentally convenient. For example, rather than making a mid-week run to the store for the few ingredients you’re out of, you consider how you could make it to the next grocery store trip with the items you have on hand. You’re likely to get rather creative! Just maybe you’ll find something new you really like or you’ll appreciate the flavor of asparagus without your usual “special sauce” (real story from a client). Or maybe skipping the music/podcast/audio book in the car will give you a few moments of quiet that lead to some breakthrough ideas you wouldn’t have had the space to think of otherwise. Maybe you’ll find some new habits or routines that make you even happier than before. Think it’s possible? Willing to give it a try?


Let me know what things make you uncomfortable to think about going without. And let me know if you try this.


Deanna Wilcox

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