Thursday, September 25, 2008

Capitalists Lament! How I discovered that I Like my Hair as it is...

You know how you never paid attention to how many red Volvos were on the road until your best friend started driving one?  And now you see them everywhere?  Well, that's kind of how I feel now that I'm practicing more mindfulness in my spending.  Suddenly I'm paying more attention to my impulses, and I'm realizing how much they really do drive my spending.  

Take this past weekend, for instance.  I was up late trying to finish a knitting project, and watching infomercials (because there was nothing else on--not because I like watching them.  Okay, maybe I like watching them a little).  A commercial came on advertising a hair-care product that seemed intriguing to me.  In true informercial style, there were lots of testimonials and before and after pictures.  And there was the typical introductory price complete with extra bonus gifts if you ordered today.  

Because I'm paying more attention, I immediately recognized my impulse spending urge creeping in.  I mean, who doesn't want fabulously silky flowing locks?  So the next day I headed to my computer to hunt down the product.  But before I placed my order, I decided to practice my new mindfulness.  Here's how:

First, I decided to do some research (research = mindfulness), and so I searched for product reviews online.  What I learned was that some people Loved the product, and others Hated it.  I also learned that the "introductory 30-day sample" was really only 12 oz. and wouldn't last a full month.  Good to know!

Since the reviews dampened my impulse a bit, I had some time to consider what I already own (using what you have first = mindfulness), which, incidentally, is plenty of hair products, some I haven't even used yet.  Did I really need to buy more when I clearly had a lot already?

This led me to think about my hair.  Was I really unsatisfied with it? (asking "do I need it?" = mindfulness)  Well...actually I never think that much about my hair.  It is healthy and easy to style, and for the most part I like it.  In fact, until I watched that infomercial, I was perfectly content with my hair.  And content with the products I'm using on it.  Products that cost A Lot Less than the one advertised.

Hmmmm.  I suddenly recognized that in less than half an hour I went from clicking my way through the online checkout to deciding I don't need a new hair care product after all.  Capitalists lament!  

Anyway, the point is, multiply this little process by about 50 times per day, and that is what I'm currently dealing with in my mindlessness vs. mindfulness consumer battle.  I figure that the more I practice, the better I'll get at replacing impulse with real intention.  

Share your mindless vs. mindful story with me!  Email me at

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