It’s been now exactly 6 months since I started my project of not buying any new (and used!) clothes for one year. I can’t believe how easy it has been. In the beginning of July, I spent a week end in London, attending a yoga work shop in Soho and walking by fabulous shop windows with amazing dresses, before I teach my weekly yoga classes at Yoga Roof, I see, touch and feel colourful, bright, really nice leggings I know would fit really well and when I am in Zurich, I often walk by and even went in a couple of times into my favourite clothes shop Kitcherner Plus.
I often catch myself telling stories like: “once this year will be over, I will buy that dress!”- “Once I am done with this I will go massive shopping in London!”, “Oh my, I hope those yeans will still be IN when I am done with this year”. I have quickly noticed that this thoughts pass as fast as a summer thunderstorm, or even faster. It’s amazing how things, for instance desires and thoughts, pass much quicker than we think if we don’t engage with them. Half an hour later, I observe myself being somewhere completely different and that single thought is just a pale reminiscence.
Yet those thoughts/desires come up again, but with less strength. I guess this is what we call samskaras in yoga, the seeds that reflect the patterns we have cultivated in our life and that constantly come up again and again.
Training our mind to react more slowly to the fruits of these seeds is, in my opinion, one of the main goals of the practice. With an intent or sankalpa (i. e. not buying new clothes) we have a tool to change our reaction, slow it down, turn it in another direction. This requires work, of course, but is less hard than we think once the intent is clearly set.
Eventually the seeds are less effective, they will always be there, but by the practice (tapas) we manage to burn them down and it’s less likely that they will germinate, or at least we see clearly the process of germination and can choose to react or not react so fast to it.
I am deeply thankful to this practice.