I’ve been shopping like it was a sport since my early teens. Most people may view shopping as a mindless activity, but if you pay close attention, you might be able to learn a thing or two about mindfulness. As a self-proclaimed shopaholic and yogi, I believe the same way how we can learn a million things about ourselves on the mat, we can also learn in any consistent practice, even through an activity at the mall. If you do something enough, you’ll grow deeper to know yourself and the world around you – the only difference is the context and terminology. Over the years, here are some of the best lessons I’ve learned about yoga and life through shopping.
Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. I found a really cute pair of buckled heels in Berlin. They weren’t like anything I’ve ever seen before, so I had to have them. So what if they were a size too small?! I never wore them and ended up giving them to a friend. Now when I find an item I like but isn’t 100 percent, I learn to let it go and hope that the person who ends up with it will enjoy it much more.
Wait for an opportunity… and jump on it!
The worse time to go shopping is when you need something, because the best things don’t come to you when you send out signals of desperation to the universe. I lost a cardigan last year, so I needed to replace it. The winter and spring seasons passed by and even though I tried very hard to look for something comparable, nothing spoke to me. Recently, I spotted a light-coloured oversized cardigan at the same store. I saw the opportunity and pounced! Whether with career, finding a life partner, looking for a great yoga teacher (or clothing item), know what you want, then jump on it because timing and opportunity are the keys to success.
Trust Your Heart.
I love wearing lipstick. One day, I was deciding between two different shades of coral: a lighter everyday shade or a more vibrant, punchy one. Even though I preferred the vibrant shade, I went with the sales girl’s suggestion. She ended up giving me the “wrong” shade. I thought about keeping it, thinking, “Maybe this was meant to be.” Somehow my mind was stronger than my heart, so I went back to exchange it for the lighter one. By the time I got home, I had lost it. (I must have willed it to disappear!) I went back to the store to get the one that had originally resonated with me. Perhaps the “wrong” shade was given to me by divine intervention, telling me something I already knew. It’s best to trust your heart in the first place.
Open Yourself to New Ideas.
If you’re a perfectionist like me, you like to always have things exactly the way you planned. The problem with that is, you only know what you know. The only way to grow and expand is to try the thing you find boring, scary, or weird. My boyfriend and I traveled to Portland this summer, and I stopped by a retailer not available in Canada. I found a skirt that had cream and light denim blue stripes. I wondered, how would I fit this neutral piece into my wardrobe full of black and white? Since it was on sale, I got it anyway, and it opened me up to feeling lighter. The lesson here is to be open to new ideas. If you’re hesitant, do it in a safer place first (on sale, with friends) then really go for it.
I bought a trench-style raincoat during Wanderlust last year. I had been wearing the jacket with the sleeves rolled up for so long that when I brought it in for alterations I didn’t even bother to have the seamstress make any adjustments to the length. When I picked I up I realized it was an inch too short. I was furious at myself for not being more aware; my $150 jacket was now garbage. A few days passed, and I realized, even if it’s an inch too short, life goes on. It’s important to keep in mind that you can’t be in control of everything. Not attaching yourself to the ever-changing nature of this world is the best way to live freely.
Miranda Sam is a marketing professional and fashion writer from Vancouver, BC. She believes that we all need to actively push our boundaries, whether on the mat or with our personal style. This yin yoga certified instructor will gladly help you challenge yourself with an inversion or try a new look. Check out Miranda’s latest fashion musings on www.StylebyFire.ca