Q&A with Jill

What inspired you to create the Shop Less and Live More postcards?

My own journey was one point of inspiration – my healing from a compulsion to overshop has taken an interesting trajectory, and in the last 18 months to two years, I have been drawn to widen my perspective (beyond the aspects of shopping my closet, wardrobing and style, which was my previous focus in this area).

I sincerely believe that we all wish to be happy, but we don’t know how to become so, or how to experience more happiness on a consistent basis.  And the reason we’re grappling so much with being happy is because we don’t really understand what makes us happy – we think we do, but as we strive for what we think will make us happy, we become even more unhappy.  It’s a cruel paradox!

I believe that what makes us happy is the experiences we have, the people we love, and the contributions we make.  And those things have nothing to do with acquiring more and more things.  And in fact, sometimes the determined focus on acquiring more and more things takes us even further away from happiness, and further and further away from a life we love to live.

And that’s what I wanted to spark within others, a reminder of what makes life worth living, and of what makes for a rich, full life.  I want to encourage people to get in touch with their inner light, their inner guidance system, that will lead them to explore and discover what happiness means for them, and to create and live a life they absolutely love.

And these postcards are one way to reconnect with that inner light, that inner guidance system.

What is the Shop Less and Live More program and what does it include?

Well it’s less a program and more an invitation.  I’ve created 365 postcards to inspire people to shop less and live more.  These postcards are the product of my imagination and work and represent a lot of love, time, and energy.  They are also a contribution I dearly wanted to make to the movement of conscious consumption.

I wanted to share this central idea:  that life, rich, full and happy is found in the things we do, the people we love, and the contribution we make.  And that when we turn our attention to those things, instead of the acquisition of more and more things, our life does indeed become richer, fuller and happier.  And these postcards are my way of making that idea tangible.

The postcards don’t form a traditional instruction-based program and it is not a step-by-step guide. It is likely different to anything else you have come across, in that it is an invitation to explore and to create for yourself.

This approach is radical because it invites you to think for yourself.  From my work as a professional facilitator and the creator of innovative learning experiences, I have faith that you not only can you explore for yourself and think for yourself, but that you’re better off if you do so.

Who is Shop Less and Live More for and how will it benefit them?

Shop Less and Live more is for people who love shopping and think of it as their favourite hobby – but they know deep down that they’ve put shopping in a glorified place in their life and made it too important.

It’s for people who shop frequently – perhaps every day or at least weekly – who know that it’s just too much, they’re  spending too much time and money on ‘incoming’.  It’s for people who have a lot of stuff – clothes, shoes, accessories, handbags, and all the rest – but aren’t using all of it, perhaps not using even a quarter of it.

It’s for people who, when they’re not shopping, they’re thinking about shopping, perhaps even obsessing over some item (or many items) they’ve seen in the stores or online, and they just know that their shopping is not quite under control – it just can’t be healthy to be thinking so much about shopping and things you want to buy.

It’s for people who keep the extent of their shopping a secret from others – and who feel bad about not being honest about how much they buy or how much shopping consumes them.

It’s for people who acknowledge that they need to shop less – but aren’t sure where to start or how to do it.

And most significantly, it’s for those who want to live their lives fully, richly and joyously – and who know that shopping isn’t the pathway to living that kind of life.

Shop Less And Live More invites them to think about, to feel toward, and to discover other things – activities and ideas – besides shopping.

How do you recommend that the postcards be used?

The postcards are deliberately designed to open up the space to play. It gives a place, every day, to start exploring new things – new ideas, new actions, new perspectives.

Each postcard invites you to stand in a different position to where you were before.  Each postcard invites you to do something different – even if just for that day.  And each postcard invites you to discover for yourself what you see, what that means, and where you want to go from there.

It’s important to note that the postcards are different to a traditional step-by-step program.  This is not a program that spoon feeds. There are no instructions – but lots of invitations. There are no directions – but lots of thought-starters.

It is a radically innovative approach that invites people to explore and to discover for themselves, to do things differently.  It invites people to create and then to live a life they love – one that puts shopping in its rightful place.

What is the difference between the email series and the e-book?

There are three ways you can access the postcards:

  1. You can visit the home page every day and find inspiration in the daily postcard that rotates on the home page.  All 365 postcards will appear on the Home page throughout the year, and access to them this way is free.
  2. You can sign up for the paid daily email series, where a postcard is delivered fresh into your inbox every day.
  3. You can purchase the e-book, chock full of ideas and inspiration to live, not spend, your life every day.

So I’ve made it easy for anyone who wants to use the postcards as a point of exploration in their own lives to do so.

The postcards are the same no matter which way you access them.   With the e-book, you receive them all in one downloadable e-book – so you get immediate access to all 365 postcards to use in any way you like, and you get to design your own ‘program’ if you like! And with the email series, they are coming into your inbox, one every day – so you don’t have to come back to the website every day to get your daily dose of inspiration.

I leave it up to the individual to determine which mode of accessing the postcard will suit them the best, so that they get maximum value from the postcards.  That’s my only intention – to invite people to access and to explore.

What is the difference between Shop Less and Live More and your My Year Without Clothes Shopping programs?

My Year Without Clothes Shopping is a year-long intensive focused program.  It is a step-by-step guide, organised around 12 key themes –  one for each month.  It has a lot of material – over 1000 pages in total.  Each week, members receive a comprehensive tutorial via an email lesson and a resource.  The weekly lesson is delivered via email and designed around the theme for that month; the in-depth resource is downloaded from our protected and private members only area, and provides examples and exercises to experience that week’s content for yourself.

My Year Without Clothes Shopping is about examining and re-defining your relationship to your wardrobe and your shopping, and through that exploration, your relationship with yourself.  It is a clear emphasis and focus on shopping within your closet.  The women who do this program tend to have a strong interest in clothing and style.  But their shopping has become unhealthy for them so they want to develop a healthier relationship to shopping, whilst also redefining their style, but on their own terms.

My shorter Shop Your Wardrobe program, the 6 week Conscious Clothes Shopping Mini Course also has a focus on shopping, style, clothing and wardrobing.  It is a step-by-step approach to exploring your shopping, but over only 6 weeks instead of a year, with a pace of 2 emails per week.

Shop Less And Live More is a much more open space.  It isn’t a program, I’m not calling it that – it’s an invitation to explore.  There are many areas you are invited to explore with  Shop Less And Live More – it isn’t focused specifically or exclusively on style, although there are some postcards that invite you to explore your style some more (always in a ‘shop your wardrobe’ kind of way).

The landscape with Shop Less And Live More is broad and wide, with lots of choices for the person who is accessing or receiving the postcards, who is most definitely in the drivers’ seat!  It suits people who aren’t as interested in clothing as those who do My Year Without Clothes Shopping or the Mini Course, and those who want to be in the drivers’ seat of their own learning and exploration experience.

 

From an interview with Jill by Debbie Roes of Recovering Shopaholic.