It all started with a beautiful Michael Khors bag in TJMaxx I just ‘had’ to have. (Yes, I know. I am working on my five Yamas, too.) As a admire the bag a woman, probably mid-thirties, snatches it out of my hands. No joke here. This woman literally takes the bag right out of my hands and proceeds to tell me, very defensively, that she was looking at this bag earlier and she just decided she was going to buy it. She stood there, waiting for me to fight back I think, but I honestly couldn’t find words. Really, I thought?
Granted I was a little upset. I wanted this bag. But after a ten second brain process I realized the humor in this situation. Here I was coveting this bag that I didn’t need, nor could afford, and feeling slightly guilty about my desire, when all of a sudden a stranger ‘steals’ it right out of my hands. It was like God came to earth in human form to say “No bag for you!!” I took it as a sign, and let them woman have the bag. (As if I was going to fight her for it?! I am sure some people would have. Good deal, people!)
Anyway, the point I want to make is that very often the holiday shopping season is littered with acts of violence, aggression, and covetousness. Does this sound appropriate for a season supposed to be about thankfulness, giving and life? Maybe it is sadly expected, but it doesn’t mean you have to spread it around like a disease yourself. It starts and ends with you.
“Non-violence is unconditional love, it is true compassion. We achieve that non-violence by learning to love and be loved; but how is it possible to love and be loved if we choose to escape or ignore some aspects of ourselves?” – Unknown
Thoughts of guilt (buying too much), shame (buying more), resentment (crap, I didn’t have money for that), and disappointment all have a seed of violence within them. Now I am not saying boycott all holiday shopping, but perhaps after reading this you can take the values of Ahimsa with you to the mall this year. When you buy something, do it with gratitude because you can afford it. Buy it with love for someone else.
This year don’t just buy gifts for family and friends, give the gift of peace to the world. Minimize the violence you inflict on others and yourself.
Because of my ‘awakening’ at TJMaxx, I want to spread the gift of yoga and Ahimsa a little further this season. I am continuing the Unique Yoga Events special on at home personal yoga sessions – buy four, get one free – until December 31st. So perhaps this is an opportunity to buy a gift certificate for yourself or a loved one. Unique Yoga Events, LLC aims to bring yoga to more people outside the studio space. We work with children, senior citizens, couples, singles, people with disabilities by offering personalized yoga sessions in the comfort of your own home or studio rental. Everyone can benefit from yoga – especially during the holiday season!
Eat well. Give. And do more yoga.
Jamie L. Taylor, Founder Unique Yoga Events, LLC