Self-Awareness in a Material World


Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if I didn’t have a yoga and meditation practice. It’s a little scary.

You see, even with a yoga and meditation practice, I have quite vivid bursts of materialism. I must have this. It just hits me. I must have a convertible. I must have an iPod. I must have a new laptop. I must have cool clothes in which to teach BodyFlow (Willow Lawn Wednesdays 6:30; be there or be square!). I must have a digital camera.

For the record, here’s how those worked out:

  • I got the convertible, after a few weeks of shopping and careful deliberation. A winter full of snow aside, it’s been the Best Thing Ever.
  • I think the iPod is the most useful vanity item imaginable. I really do. It’s just incredibly useful for everything from keeping up with my favorite NPR programs while I conveniently exercise, to managing my class playlists. I finally broke down and bought one after my last one went missing for almost a year. Love it.
  • I got the new laptop, too. It’s great, and I gave my old one to my mother, who really needed it.
  • New yoga clothes…. Hmmm… This one comes in waves, and so far I’m resisting this wave. I have so many pairs of black exercise pants it’s not even funny. But a new top…?

So I guess as cravings for new items go, I lean toward the practical, or at least toward things that will bring me some true enjoyment. I don’t buy shoes just for the instant high and then pack them in the closet. (I’m really bad at fashion, especially when it comes to shoes. Another reason the gym is one of my favorite places. Sneakers are always “in”!)

Right now I really want a digital camera. I keep thinking of all the things I could take pictures of, and how my current photo albums in my apartment all stop right near the end of my last relationship. I’ve had this ongoing worry that if I die suddenly, and people are sorting out my possessions, they’ll go through my photos and think, “Oh, poor thing, it’s like her life just stopped meaning anything to her after he dumped her…..” I’ve always liked photography, besides, and technology is making photo sharing such fun.

Then there’s this blog, which could use a little photo dressing, yes?

To sum up, I am someone who regularly practices non-attachment and still has these weeks of certainty that there is an item I must buy, not that it will complete me but that my life would just not be right without it. Sometimes I talk myself down (or breathe myself down, or stretch myself down…), and think, man, I’m materialistic. But seriously, what would I be like if I didn’t have that self-awareness?

Broker than I am, probably.


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