We all shop, but why? We shop because we need things. But mostly, we shop because we want things. But not just things. We also want experiences. We shop to obtain things that will ready us for certain events and situations, and we shop to create certain experiences and feelings. Often the things we buy are just symbols for what we want to experience and who we are inside.
I go through periods where my shopping is really frantic. It doesn’t take Einstein to figure out that my life also feels frantic during these times, but we do have to stop and pay attention to our lives in order to uncover these hidden gems of genius. When I do this I realize that if my life feels frantic, nothing – not even shopping – is going to make it better. I have to make it better from the inside out, not cover it up like a band-aid on a booboo or distract myself with bright shiny objects.
Right now, I’m in a nesting phase. I’m shopping for things to fill my home with, things that radiate a soothing warmth, casual comfort and laissez faire atmosphere… because… I want my life to radiate soothing warmth, casual comfort and laissez faire sense of things.
Lama Jinpa is in the process of moving, and he’s experiencing some unpleasant late-blooming buyer’s remorse, or what I call ‘Object Overload’. “I’m looking around at all this stuff we have to move… At one point we wanted all this stuff… Now it’s all just shit. Now we’re moving and it’s just a hassle. It’s hijacked us and now it owns us.”
You have to know him to understand his sense of humor and get that he doesn’t take things too seriously. But he does bring up a good point – There are times when what we want becomes a hindrance, appearing like not just one monkey on our back but a whole load of incessantly-squawking, bouncing-up-and-down, finger-meddling monkeys that are in fact and in truth just the lot of possessions we’ve collected so passionately one by one.
But passion, too, is a curious thing. Are we passionate because we crave things outside of ourselves or because we long to share ourselves with the world? Are we passionate because we feel something is missing and we want to obtain it badly or because we have all these emotions inside of us simply needing outlets and expression?
Having you ever wanted something so badly you couldn’t concentrate on anything else? And did that passion ever fade away slowly and quietly or quickly with a thud? Lama Jinpa wants a pair of snakeskin boots he saw at Shoefly. And he’s now walking around in them. But if you don’t see them on his feet it’s because he’s only imagining that he’s wearing them. And he’s doing such a good job at it that he might not actually have to go out and buy any. Because sometimes, the pleasure is all in the mind.