The Zen of Not Shopping

Headstand in India “Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.” 

~ Bertolt Brecht

 

I’ve been thinking about how #Y4Y has shifted my behavior and mindset.

Here’s my favorite insight: Not having to shop in a retail store has been a relief (so far).

Last Saturday, my husband and I took a trip to Walnut Creek. As we gallivanted through the streets – to my surprise - I found it extremely relaxing to just window shop with absolutely zero intend to purchase anything.

I had expected to feel at least a little bit deprived, being limited to living exclusively off Yerdle during my Y4Y challenge. But instead I felt more in the moment.

It reminded me of one of the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali that I had been taught in my yoga teacher training (that's me doing a headstand in India), and that I - frankly - did not fully grasp at the time. One of them Aparigrapha or “non-hoarding”.

Instead of trying to explain what that really means, clumsily, let me quote the scholar Aranya:

 

"There is trouble in acquiring enjoyables, trouble in preserving them, unhappiness when they’re gone.”

 

The message here is that owning things are not a problem but the relationship that we have towards things can be. In the same vein, we hoard expectations of things, we hold on to them, instead of being open and letting things happen.

I think, by not shopping, I don’t have an expectation to find something great when we go out to town. My expectation is to just hang out with my husband, enjoy the sunshine and have a coffee. It turns out to make life simpler, and more enjoyable.

 

Dun dun dun… Desire rears its head: The Pull of Yoga Pants

To be fair, I believe I already have most everything a person could need. But, need, as we all know, is a relative term, often linked to its more tempting twin, “want”. And I am the first person to admit that “want” is a first world problem. Especially here in the United States, where a former president once declared shopping a patriotic duty. Yes, we are lucky.

Well, yesterday, while teaching a yoga class, I noticed people wearing lovely new yoga pants, in the latest fashion colors, patterns and cuts. Very fetching! Yes, I admit that for a split second there, I wanted new yoga gear.

 

But hey, only 11 months to go, right?

 

While I can go a year without getting the absolute latest yoga fashion, dressing sharply for work is important in my business. Luckily, in terms of business attire, Silicon Valley keeps becoming more and more casual. At my last visit to the Twitter HQ in San Francisco, I noticed that not even presenters wore suits. Jeans is the word. I can swing that.

But it would be unfair to make it out as if Yerdle does not have great fashion. Fashion actually seems to be one of Yerdle’s most active categories; one I’ve indulged in.

Here 6 fashion items I’ve Yerdled that I like A LOT*:

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This ring is my all-time favorite Yerdle.

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Beautiful and practical bag.

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Got this top just in time for New Year’s

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This sweater arrived only yesterday Wearing it now! Soft, warm, ah!

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Great T-shirt for yoga and lounging.

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Yes, never used it yet, but so pretty :-).

 

*Foot note: I use “Yerdle” as a bi-directional verb.

 

Happy Yerdling!