The Mindful Shopper: Learning From Fashion Trends

Maya Talisman Frost

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Are you a fashion trend watcher? Do you spend a lot of time flipping through magazines and analyzing the wardrobe choices of others? Do you buy trendy items only to despise them-and yourself-later?

Trend-watching-and, more precisely, observing our trend-watching-gives us tremendous opportunities to create awareness of the traits we hope we have but are not sure we do. In fact, being frustrated, embarrassed, or depressed that we have succumbed to a trend is a perfect chance to discover what we value most.

It usually comes down to this: creativity and confidence. If we find ourselves buying that trendy little bag or those must-have shoes, that little voice inside us shouts “Sell-out!" and we start to feel that perhaps we’re not all we’d hoped to be. After all, a truly creative person would buy-or even make-something unique, and a confident person wouldn’t hesitate to go against the current trend and head in a completely different direction, or choose to buy nothing at all.

And thus begins a soak in the self-loathing tub, followed inevitably by an abandoned item at the bottom of the closet.

To avoid this, you must pay attention to it.

What trendy items are buried in your closet at this moment? Why did you buy them? Who were you with when you made the purchase? How were you feeling about the world in general and yourself in particular?

A little mindful shopping will help alleviate the Trendoid syndrome. And while you’re at it, check in with yourself on that monologue going through your head when you see others sporting the latest fashion fetish. You’ll learn a whole lot about YOURSELF if you listen carefully and-this is the hard part-non-judgmentally.

If you do melt at that crucial cash register moment, don’t berate yourself. Simply take note of the way you feel now, and pay attention to how you feel later. Can you see that downward slide? Ah. That’s better. Things are getting clearer now.

Buying into a trend helps us feel connected when what we really long for is a sense of confidence. Take a look at how you can create greater confidence WITHOUT buying that blouse-of-the-moment, and find ways to tweak the latest trend in a way that makes you feel more creative.

Fashion can be fun and absolutely harmless, and you can use your mindful mall meanders to tap into your own sense of who you are-and what you REALLY need.

Now, that’s what I call a perfect shopping day.

Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse in Portland, Oregon. Through her company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, she teaches fun and powerful eyes-wide-open alternatives to meditation. To subscribe to her ezine, the Friday Mind Massage, please visit


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